We the People of the Turtle

travelling with the ancestral spirits fishiesp1040284

Turtle sounded like an amphibious gurgle

Until we grasped its wise prescient rhythm

Penetrating us with its origin-migrating song

And the first and last word is turtle

Which is the world in all its form


Turtle swims through the stars

In  spirals of the rotating galaxies

Going inward to center and out to new worlds


Light reflecting in the eye of darkness

Color of shimmering Saturn rings

Shell a shield for comets and asteroids

Debris of broken consciousness

Littering the carapace


Turtle created the world

And the turtle is the word

And the word comes reverberating

from its shell of divination

Our domed mirror

As we build upon the mirror

Walk upon the mirror

Of the first word


In the beginning was turtle

And depending on how you look at the word

You might see the myriad moving things

Desert of tortoise deep under wave turtle

Brackish pond snapping turtle of beauty

Expanding water rings rock the water lilies

With patient wisdom and trust that we keep

Our sacred bond to the turtle beak mandible

That speak the celestial word turtle

Through our innermost lives


We who are in covenant

To its nails and snake head

its green dinosaur tale

Creation story bubbling up to the surface

With his breath release between the tin cans

Tires and plastic


Aboriginal pilgrim moving slowly through land and sea

Compelling reverence from those who can see turtle

Those who can hear the dance in the moving word


No one would dream of eating turtle

But now it is happening


Her moon eggs are getting dimmer

Predators claim her savagely

Farmers imprison her as delicacy


Turtle who teaches the soul I Ching and the Tao

Turtle who lights the winter campfire stories

To bring relief and instructive sacred knowledge

Mnemonic retelling of wise turtle who is smarter

Than restless empty satisfying of quick needs

Clever enough through the millions of years

To keep rising through our changing forms


Turtle of the deep and quiet word

Resonance in its moving meditation

Swims like flying feathers

Crawls with its belly close to our earth

To feel our blood pulse


Knows the direction of our wellbeing

Even when we ourselves get lost

In our own cunning



Word turtles resurrected

Turtle words floating in the divine

That flow out of Egypt and Latin and Iroquois

That carry us into community of bigger lives

The turtle within and without

In the song poetry of this wandering life

We the people of the turtle

Seeking turtle life



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