Baptism, or: Peace Pipe

Poetry Partners #115

‘Sacred Wisdom’ (gloss form- Black Elk), a poem by Joy A. Burki-Watson of ‘Way down upon joy’

And while I stood there
I saw more than I can tell,
and I understood more than I saw;
for I was seeing in a sacred manner

Black Elk (1863 – 1950)
And while I stood there
the sun rose ‘cross the lake afire
taking my mind to way back then
when wisdom shared sincere desire
and men woke worth with passive prayers
and now I stood there

I saw more than I can tell
and heard the bell tolling liberty
yet, unfree people were crying still
in a world of insensitivity
perhaps their spirit seeks good will
I saw more than I can tell

And I understood more than I saw
wisdom innate makes raw insight
forever’s wish for peacefulness
freedom’s forgotten comes to light
when justice rules with speciousness
and I understood more than I saw

for I was seeing in a sacred manner
from my own sacred point of view
while wondering when the world would wake
to all the years of tears accrued
while not ignoring time’s daybreak
for I was seeing in a sacred manner

An acrostic poem in blank verse by ben Alexander of ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’


If you will read again what is written, you will see how it was.

Black Elk (1863 – 1950)
Bells tolling, tolls paid in pounds of flesh for
liberty, treaties lie like broken limbs;
all peoples together that great tree; one
circle of joined hoops; and I- on Wounded
Knee before inevitability.

Earth, Unci Maka, giver of life for
Lakota, may your pure waters hold the
key for our children to live in this world.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

List of Poetry Partners

16 thoughts on “Baptism, or: Peace Pipe”

  1. Soothing to read that he survived a massacre and that he’d been given the opportunity to travel beyond the boundaries of his birthplace.

    The tributes are both beautiful
    And in my heart of hearts
    I wish and I pray that the eyes may be opened and the hearts willing to receive and accept them not only as hope and promise
    As sacred law.

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