The People of the West Wind


Suisunes once lived
beneath the Twin Sisters.
Ascending beyond the vineyards and twisted oaks,
they still drift through morning mist,
and walk the sacred paths
of their fathers.

Guardian oaks still embrace the People.
Meandering branches lean low,
give their clambering children
an easy climb
up high to where acorns
fall in the western wind
to feed
their hungry

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The Suisunes people, called The People of the West Wind, lived for over 10,000 years in the area where I now live… but they nearly died out within a generation of exposure to European missionaries seeking to save their souls. They would have eluded the attention of the Spanish longer had they not given refuge to escaped mission Indians. In 1810 several dozen of these gentle people committed suicide rather than submit to the Spanish.

If you listen carefully in the morning breeze you can still hear their laughter.


One thought on “The People of the West Wind

  1. Wonderful poem, Steven. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Here in the northwest I can sense the presence of tribes that were once one with this land. At the beach on Puget Sound I “see” them and their fishing boats catching salmon in pristine waters – those waters which we’re now polluting…. It’s a travesty what our arrogant ancestors did to them across the continent…. Thank you for this poem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s