Cream City/Doodooshabo’enaande Oodena

Margaret Noodin

They gathered to trade
where the stones were white
between midday and midnight
between the good earth and the great sea.

Foxes, feathers and fireflies to the north
fins, skunks and onions to the south
different echoes whispered
different memories made.

Workers and wanderers stealing days
forging dreams big as melting stars
sometimes fantastic
sometimes familiar.

 


Translated into English from Anishinaabemowin by the poet.

 

Doodooshabo’enaande Oodena

Gii maawanjidiwag ji-odaawewaad
endazhi waabshkaabikong
abitoo-ay’iing naakwek miinwaa aapta dibikad
abitoo-ay’iing minoakiing miinwaa chigaming.

Waagoshag, waawaateseg, miigwanag giwedinong aayaawaad
ginoozheyag, chigagoog, zhigangwishan zhawanong aayaawaad
babikaan bedowe dibaaswewewaad
babikaan miikwendamowaad.

Anokiijig, paandajig gizhigoon gimoodaanaawaan
ningaabikizaanaawaan bawaajigewinan ningaabii’anong
naningodinong maamakatch
naningodinong endaayang.

More by Margaret Noodin

Babejianjisemigad/Gradual Transformation

Chigaming gii jiisibidoon mikwambikwadinaa
The great sea was pinched by the glaciers

neyaashiiwan, neyaakobiiwanan, neyaakwaa
land reaching, water pointing, trees leaning

biindig zaaga’iganing, agwajiing akiing
inside the lake, outside the land.

Omaa zhawenjigejig zhaweniminangwa
It is here we are loved

epiichi agwaayaashkaa mii dash animaashkaa
by the slow swell of tides

gaye baswewe zisibimaadiziyang.
that echo the rasp of our lives.

Maampii gidanishinaabemotawigoonaanig
This place speaks to us

ginwenzh biboon, nitaawigin niibin
of long winters, summer growth

babejianjisemigad apane.
and slow constant change.

Gidiskinaadaa Mitigwaakiing/Woodland Liberty

Apii dibikong gaashkendamyaan miinawaa goshkoziyaan
When in the night I am weary and awake wondering
endigwenh waa ezhichigewag bagoji Anishinaabensag odenang,
what the wild young Anishinaabeg of the cities will do,
mitigwaakiing izhaayaan miinawaa anweshinyaan.
into the woods I go and rest.
Nimawadishaag zhingwaakwag miinawaa okikaandagoog
I visit with the white pines and the jack pines.
Nibizindaawaag zhashagiwag miinawaa ajiijaakwag.
I listen to the herons and the cranes.
Nimaatookinaag zaagaa’igan ogaawag miinawaa apakweshkwayag.
I share the lake waters with the walleye and the cattails.
Niwaabaandaanan wesiinhyag-miikanan miinawaa nakwejinaanig
I marvel at the complexity of wild paths and webs woven.
Miidash apii bidaaban niswi giosewag miinawaa
Then when the dawn hides the three hunters
niizhwaaswi nimisenhyag dibiki-giizhigong gaazhad
and seven sisters of the night sky
baabimoseyaan nikeye naawakweg zoongide’eyaan.
I walk bravely toward the noonday.
 

This poem was written in response to "The Peace of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry.