beaded trout

Time of the Circle Dance

Tony Cerda told me that when the Ohlone dance clockwise they are dancing for the future and when they dance counterclockwise for the past and into the past.

San Jose, April 2002

I was abandoned as a child. My mother told me on her deathbed. She took my brothers and me to Disneyland's Tom Sawyers Island, told us not to leave the Island and then she went away to play bridge

Anaheim, October 1957

There was an indian village on Tom Sawyers Island with a ceremonial dance circle. Authentic live Indians, six authentic tribal dances (summer, weekends and holidays only)

I was nine when I danced the friendship dance on Tom Sawyers Island.

Oakland, October 1992

Indigenous Peoples Day Pow Wow. Dennis Jennings told me he worked at Disneyland in 1957. He sang around the drum, the Omaha, the friendship dance.

San Francisco, September 1974

Robert Slowman told me the Navajos believe that every freckle was where your parents kissed you as a baby. My parents did not know if they would ever have children.

Schenectady and Arizona, June 1948

I was born the year the Hopi sent out their messengers to the world to share the prophecy.

Brent, Oklahoma, 1930

My mother was told not to jump on her mother's bed. She did it anyway. She landed on some scissors. Her grandmother, Granny held her on the way to the Hospital in Fort Smith. Granny dripped water into her mouth from a wet handkerchief all the way into Fort Smith. They said she died that day. Prayers and hope brought her back. She would never have a speen and would not have children.

My mother gave birth to three children.

Sallisaw, Oklahoma, summer 1955

Granny's given name was Mary. I sat next to her and read her a book.

She put her arms around me and said,

All my life I wanted to live to be 100.

Your name is Mary and my name is Mary.

You are 7 years old and I am 93, so together we made it.

Idle no more is on going.

Mary Jean Robertson


contents of issue 4

A Tip From the Butterflies
Nicole Savage

At The Stomp Dance
Linda Rodriguez

Gone Dancing
Deborah A. Miranda

Solstice
Linda Boyden

Time of the Circle Dance
Mary Jean Robertson

Un-Dance
Nazbah Tom


Mary Jean Robertson Biography

Mary Jean Robertson is a poet, journalist, writer, DJ and activist. Her radio program 'Voices of the Native Nations' has run for 40ish years on KPOO radio making it the longest running Native controlled Native radio show in this plane of existence. Mary Jean is currently very active in the Idle no More movement.


Permission to publish poems in this one context was granted by the authors, who unless otherwise specified, hold copyright on these works.