At the graduation ceremony on my rez (Native Reservation) yesterday as they drummed, and sang for the 2014 Aabizikaawin Graduates I stood on the stage holding my GED/Diploma and was deeply moved. Here is a poem that later came from that inspiration, and I’ve included one of my favorite drumming videos for you to better feel the heart of the poem. Enjoy and be blessed.
The beat goes on, life stays in the middle.
No top, and no bottom.
New seasons for new reasons.
No beginning, no end, it continues, always changing.
Some dance, some sing, and some stand, outside the ring.
To rise or fall, to find your way,
What is the cost, how can you pay?
Life and death, power and slave,
He will none, to face the second grave.
This I say with no trace of doubt, I know my end will come about.
And this I believe with my whole heart, to God, my creator I will depart.
Cling to what is good, hope for better days.
Love the best you can, hold onto the way.
Even when hard times slow you down,
Don’t let the devil steal your crown.
Keep up the pace of the drum, hold your head up to the sun.
Cuz the current trouble now in motion, will only last like a wave of the ocean.
Though lightning flash and thunder roll be sure the Lord will still your soul.
“O Lord, the king rejoices in your strength. How great is his joy in the victories you give! You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips. You welcomed him with blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked you for life, and you gave him length of days, for ever and ever. Through the victories you gave, his glory is great; you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty. Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence. For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken. Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies; your right hand will seize your foes. At the time of your appearing you will make them like a fiery furnace. In his wrath the Lord will swallow them up, and his fire will consume them. You will destroy their descendants from the earth, their posterity from mankind. Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed; for you will make them turn their backs when you aim at them with drawn bow. Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might.” Psalm 21