Before the land existed there was only water ... After many had failed, toad dove deep into the water ... Bringing the Earth up from the depths and placed it on Turtle's back. At once the Earth began to grow larger and larger until it became the whole world.

            Woodlands Indians story of how the Earth came into being

She rocks my shell slowly
ploughs the field
long abandon,
She loosens compacted shoulder soil.

Take a deep breath now ...

She digs to let the light in, air,
Water flows down trenches
through clotted loam in
fields ready to plant. Water seeps
though black earth
hardened rock, drips through cave cracks
where drops trickle to an underground stream,
flows out to a lost pond.

In the center, a turtle floats,
dives deep underwater,
sinks to the bottom.

Turtle finds no enemies, no threats
Lies between rocks as a rock.
Water stirs far above

Gently rocking, rocking my shell.
I slip out for one moment,
leave my shell behind.

This turtle, lies pink and naked on the bottom
I take a breath, float up and up
to find finger spades smoothing earth in place.

Turn over Please.

Turtle complies, dissolves
my shoulders
loose enough to grow
seeds of ease.

Her hands gather hair shafts,
form sheaves and sheaves
of golden wheat.

My face loosens by fingers that
slide, stop, release

Rest now ...

Milkweed seeds blow free
in autumn breeze.

Copyright 2000 Robin Lopez Lysne