Thursday, July 21, 2011

Who Are the Chickasaw Indians? A program by Rebecca Hatcher Travis

Who Are the Chickasaw Indians? Come hear Chickasaw Nation citizen Rebecca Hatcher Travis tell stories about her American Indian heritage and read from her award winning book, Picked Apart the Bones on Wednesday, August 10th at 7pm in the Friendswood Public Library Activity Room.  Rebecca Hatcher Travis’ book Picked Apart the Bones won the “First Book Award for Poetry” from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.  

About her award winning book, Rebecca Hatcher Travis writes, I see many of the poems in the book Picked Apart the Bones in the color red, since they were written to remember – the stories, the struggles, the people of the past.  Other poems, bright yellow as the sun, rejoice in the continuation and determination of generations of Native Americans.  Still others, in shimmering green, celebrate the beauty of and our connection to the sacred natural world.     

Rebecca Hatcher Travis has graciously shared three of her poems for inclusion in From the Reference Desk. These poems include Blood Wise, Easy Clay, and Pieces of Place. These poems, with additional comments by Rebecca, follow immediately:

Blood Wise
green rolling hills with sacred mounds
ceremony and forbidden ways
the blood remembers
what memory does not
like the instinct to survive
intuition confirms
our deepest knowledge
we understand where we belong

The poem Blood Wise along with a copy of the book Picked Apart the Bones are included in a time capsule sealed in 2010 on the grounds of the newly opened Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma. 

Easy Clay
find the right trail
down the hill
to the old slow river
there along the bank underfoot
you will find its home

sister calls it easy clay
as she rolls it carefully
between her palms
stretches snake coils out one by one
to form her useful pots

still gathered by the riverside
this old earth almost falls into shape
it tries so hard to please
for easy clay remembers why
it lives there by the water

Easy Clay is a tribute to all potters for the art of creating handmade vessels.   

Pieces of Place
how this land clings beneath my fingernails
travels down my throat in small armies  
moves under my skin without a sound

year after year I hurry back
step into the cool of Travertine Creek
hear the roar of Turner Falls

sip their clear spring waters
until I am so full of this place
I could burst

Pieces of Place relates to the natural beauty of the crosstimbers found within the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma which includes some of the purest spring waters in the world. 
Come to the Friendswood Public Library on August 10th at 7pm to hear Rebecca share stories about her American Indian heritage and read from her award winning book, Picked Apart the Bones.
More poems by Rebecca Hatcher Travis:

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