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Poetry and Songs

Tsisa Gesvi Unelanvhi

Jesus is Lord

Indian Blood

To all of my relatives. The Blood will never loose its power~ 

My Blood is mixed but my heart is fixed
on the ways of my mother's people.
So deeply ingrained, the child was trained
by elders wise and honorable.

Taught from birth to love mother earth,
to honor the work of Creator.
What a noble creed! This life that I lead
is simple yet could not be greater.

First Nations all have taken a fall
but never took root in the mud.
America flourished, her lands nourished
and strengthened by Indian blood.


Jorie West Copyright 2002


Christie LeVonne

To Whitefeather aka Christie Le Vonne, who sings and walks the path like an angel

Christie LeVonne would long be remembered  after she'd left the room.

She was just one of those people whose presence banished the gloom.

Her beauty was soft, not exotic, but breathtaking just the same.

She captured your eye with the insight of one who knew more than your name.

I was one of the chosen few who could say they knew her well.

She touched my heart and changed my life in ways too dear to tell.

The very essence of my being awakened to a new dawn

 the day I opened up my heart  to the gift of Christie LeVonne.


Jorie West Copyright 2003


Morning Sun

 With love to Rachelle aka Morning Sun, who supplies me with a steady flow of inspiration to write....and sing

I knew she would be coming, I saw her in a dream.
A vision of hope and beauty as she walked beside the stream.
The first time that I saw her I knew she was the one.
Her eyes were bright with wisdom and I called her Morning Sun.
She stayed beside me night and day and rarely left my side.
Each time I looked upon her face my heart filled with pride.
She loved me and I loved her, I thought we'd never part.
We had merged into one person who chose to share a heart.
But all too soon the shadows fell as it began to snow.
I looked into her eyes and knew it was time to let her go.
She left me sitting quietly beside that peaceful stream
But visits me each morning with a beautiful sun beam.
Each night as I lay on my bed I pray when day is done,
I thank God for blessing me with the love of Morning Sun.


Jorie west Copyright 2003


Mother's Sanctuary

To Bobby Ford.......the brother of my heart

Some folk worship in a building with four walls, a roof and floor,
adorned with stained-glass windows and a lock upon the door.
There's a sign outside announcing when the service will begin,
then posted underneath, are the times they may go in.
So far as I'm concerned that's fine, but it is not my way.
I like to touch the earth and smell her fragrance when I pray.
My Spirit soars like the eagle, rising on the wind
higher than the mountain and comes back down again
to ride the rapids on the River of Life that's flowing free
through my Mother's Sanctuary where my Father waits for me.


Jorie West Copyright 2001


My Special Place

To Tristan, my White Eagle

There's a special place inside my heart

where I keep the things I treasure.

A space I have designed "for me",

created for my pleasure.

The pictures on the walls there

are rich with memories

of people who have blessed my life

and shared something with me.

Whenever I feel lonely

I pray a silent prayer

Then slip into my special place

and always find you there.

Jorie West Copyright 2002


Sacred Fire

To my brother, TurtleBear.......with love.
We've longed for peace in the valley
Since ancient days of old
To break the back of prejudice
Where the winds of hatred blow.
Give us strength to face the enemy
And tear down his strongholds.
Warm the hearts, oh Sacred Fire,
That have bittered and grown cold.
We are Cherokee, Shawnee, Creek and Crow,
Inuit, Cheyenne, Arapahoe,
Choctaw, Chickasaw, Kickapoo,
Blackfeet, Seneca, Osage, Sioux.
Scores of tribes, too many to name.
Native blood flowing through our veins.
Born to worship the Holy One,
Warriors of the Mighty Son.
When we cross the river to the other shore
We will live in peace and "Fight no more....
Jorie West Copyright 2001

To Hayley beautiful dreamer

My arms fell asleep, I think I did too
Gazing through the window, chin in my hands
Daydreaming again as I so often do
of my own private place in a perfect land
A place where the fragrance of love is sweet
Hanging in the air a pure sense of pleasure
love stays close, swirling 'round my feet
luring with promise of joy beyond measure
Dancing, singing my hearts favorite songs
Griping melodies of subtle temptation
I reach for the apple, something goes wrong
as I take a of bite of loves sweet flirtation.
The texture is odd, the taste rather plain
I cling to my daydream, wishing to linger
As it continues to fade I begin to feel pain
Reality returns......I've bitten my finger!


Jorie West Copyright 2003


The Heart of the Tree

In memory of my Grandmother~ Dona Ford

Her essence dwells upon the land of America's First Nations,
preserving life and heritage for future generations.
Proudly poised, though slightly bent from the pain of giving birth,
Blessed by her offspring rooted deep within the earth.
She nurtures roots across the sea on lands she's never known,
acknowledging their birthright though far away from home.
The Matriarch, steadfast and strong a testament of right.
Her covenant is with the land for which her children fight.
She's weathered much adversity, unexpected, yet it came.
Amid the storms she stood her ground, surviving through the change.
Many fruit have fallen, scores were plucked unwillingly.
Though scattered, most returned to find the heart of the tree.
As I stand beneath the shadow of this tree I love so dear,
with echoes of my ancestors who've walked the Trail of Tears,
my spirit knows its sustenance comes not from all the others
but thrives upon the parentage of my Indian grandmothers.


Jorie West Copyright 2003

Uncle Noah 

In memory of my uncle~ Noah Ford

He was seventeen when he went hopped that train
Not knowing where it would lead him
His parents were poor but the kids were sure
They would find a way to feed them
Their faith was strong but it wouldn't be long
until the bank would call their loan
So he left that day, looking for a way
to save the family home.
He worked real hard and lived on little,
Sent most of his wages home.
He had great dreams, but in the middle
of the night he was all alone.
Always stayed away from drinkin',
Never placed a careless bet,
After a while he'd saved enough
To pay off the family debt
So he hopped back on a southbound train
that was headed toward his home
To share Christmas with his family,
The best they'd ever known.


Jorie West Copyright 2003


Come Closer, Love

To Tsisa Galonedv....the love of my life

Was it all in my head,or did I hear you say- I love you?
Did I just imagine the sweetness of your breath upon my face?
Come close my love, for I need to know that it is really you
By the sound of your voice, the touch of your hand.
Come closer now, for I know deep in my heart of hearts
Your love could never be imagined and you are real.
You know when I need to hear you say the words that comfort me,
Although words cannot express the depth of love you 've given me.
I can feel it in my soul each time you gently whisper my name,
You touch my heart and take my hand again.
Come closer now, sometimes my faith's enough to see me through
But not today.......I need you.


Jorie West Copyright 1999


 I Am Cherokee
Copyright 2003 John TurtleBear
His spirit dwells in His people
Who thank Him for all he's done
The Robin celebrates life
As the tree shelters her young
Music springs from the fountain
Whose waters give us life
It refreshes those around us
And calms the battle strife
Creator inhabits the mountains
Calm waters reflect His face
The eagle soars with His majesty
Deer run with amazing grace
The oceans, full of His blessings
are filled with the Spirit of Life
The trees are filled with His fruit
His Word is a two edged knife
I believe that all were made
From the dust of mother earth
Created in His image..........
 through His breath given birth
The Cleansing
Copyright 2003 John TurtleBear

There are times when we allow the Cloak of Our Past

 to settle around our shoulders.  Even if the weather of our lives is humid and hot,

we bear its great weight and seem content to leave it there. 

We wallow in our own misery and wipe the sweat

 of  past regret from our foreheads.  

We want to be left alone and yet we wonder

 where all of our friends have gone.

We complain that the world is full of fair weather friends

 that are more than willing to share in our victories,

 but when the storms begin to blow over our lives,

they seem to desire the company of others.

This may seem to be the case, but take another look around you. 

There are those who will be there to comfort you

 no matter what their personal cost might be.  

This is the nature of a true friend. 

These friends are the gold and silver that make life

 worth the living no matter how tough the going may be. 

Sometimes the crisis that brought you together is worth the price

 that was paid so that you could truly know the value of your friendship. 

Always without fail, friendships built on mutual caring and love for each other

 come out of the fires of crisis even more pure than it was before. 

The wood, hay and stubble of the relationship are burned away

and everything is bright and new again.

We are so blessed to have friends like this in our lives,

 loved ones who will stand beside us, loving us in spite of our faults.

  Usually these are the ones who have had reason to know by personal experience,

that the voyage of despair on which we find ourselves will soon be over

 and that the safety of the harbor is just over the horizon. 

 The experienced Pilot serves the relationship well,

 but will never try to take the helm away from you,

knowing that it is necessary for you to plot your own course in life.

Take heart, if you find that fires of life are beginning to flare up around you. 

 Rejoice and know that soon there will  be a refreshing rain

 that will cleanse you and provide the nourishment to begin to grow again.



To the child of my heart, Carrie-Anna aka Mockingbird

Conceived not of my body
but deep inside my heart
I chose her for our family
to be a special part

I have named her Mockingbird
She mimics everything
I often stand outside her door
and listen to her sing

So sweet, our little Mockingbird
destined to belong
As she follows her own heart
Our love will be her song

Jorie ~

Copyright 2003 Jorie West



In Loving Memory of  my mother ~Mary Ann

Ignorance called her half breed and it filled her soul with pain

Hateful words chilled the blood pumping fear through tiny veins

She always kept her head bowed down, afraid to show her face

While Cherokee Pride slipped away and misery took its place

Defenseless in her innocence, too young to understand

That Creator God shaped each of us with an impartial hand

Determined in her heart that someday shed be treated right

She bundled up her heritage and clothed herself in white

Tsalagi, donadagohvi

I admit I dont know why but if I stay I fear Ill die

Woe! Im afraid and alone

I dont know where Im goin and I may never see my home again

She hid within their culture, found acceptance in their world

And grew into a woman with no resemblance to the girl

With a mothers heart she vowed to save her children from her fate

And taught them to avoid the snares of prejudice and hate

She said, Dont let them know youre different always try to fit right in.

Tell them where youre goin, Dont tell them where youve been

Tryin hard to please her, I learned her lessons well

Though I knew deep in my heart there was so much more to tell

Cherokee, burning in me

Hidden in my heart but the truth will set you free

Oh, where should I go?

Cant be sure where Ill find you, but my heart will lead me home again

The rhythm of my heart in that moment spoke to me

Though clothed in mamas hand-me-downs my heart beat Cherokee

I opened mamas bundle with reverence and in awe

of the wonder of her heritage and the beauty that I saw

So many hidden treasures, Im finding more and more each day

Through the history and the language of our people and their way

My precious mother never knew, until the day she died

Security comes from deep within along with Cherokee Pride

Cherokee Pride demands respect for the varied ways of man

To honor the Great Spirit and creation of His hand

We are blessed by the heritage he breathes into each soul

We are not just half or part, Tsisa made us whole

Cherokee, proud to be free

Imprisoned for so long but I still can hear your song

Calling me, Tsalagi

With faith steadfast and strong, I know where I belong, Cherokee

With faith steadfast and strong, I know where I belong

And Im singing your song Tsalagi


Jorie West Copyright2000

{The next poem was written

by my twelve year old granddaughter, Hayley.

It is dedicated to all of  the victims and families

of the recent Tsunami.

Shashi, we are praying for you, Jorie 


Copyright 2005 Hayley R. West- Wright

Can they smell?
The Ocean, I mean.
Can they?
Someone once told me,
told me they could.
They could smell the ocean
The home in which billions of creatures live.

Can they hear? The cries, I mean.
Can they?
Someone once told me, told me they could.
They could hear the cries,
calls for help
from the children to their mothers.

Can they feel? The tears, I mean.
Can they?
Someone once told me,
told me they could.
They could feel the tears,
the waterfalls which
will never stop running.

Can they taste? The salt, I mean.
Can they? 
Someone once told me,
told me they could.
They could taste the salt,
the white rocks of the sea.

Can they see? The death, I mean.
Can they?
Someone once told,
told me they could.
They could see the death,
the heartbreakers of life.


My Haven

Jorie West 2006

An addition to "My Special Place"..... for Pat,  in Memory of Bill

There's a haven deep inside my heart

where I store the things I treasure.

A place that’s full of you and I

and all we did together.

The pictures on the walls there

are rich with memories

of things nobody knows about

except for you me.

Whenever I feel lonely

I’ll breathe a silent prayer

then slip into my special place,

you'll be there



Haunting Dreams

Taylor Huse 2008


Only six weeks old in his mothers womb

A place made for comfort becomes an early tomb

What was supposed to be a simple choice

Has now become…….her greatest remorse

She tried to close her eyes and hide

From the pain that she felt inside

But as the time kept on going

The pain she felt in her heart…would not stop growing



She cries herself to sleep each night

Knowing the choice that she made wasn’t right

Haunting dreams of the day that she took

Her child’s life away

Now all she can say…..”I’m sorry…mama’s sorry”


The next night when she goes to bed

Many dreams fill her head

There’s a boy sitting on a swing….blue eyes bluer than the sea

Brown hair and a sweet little smile

She wishes she could stay for awhile

She knows the time that she has will be good

 but not enough

No not enough…



She falls down to her knees in shame

Hears a voice calling out her name

The Savior whispers in her ear

……and this is what she hears

“Stop crying yourself to sleep each night

Even though the choice that you made wasn’t right

Through me you can be made whole once againI love you……Daddy loves you

I love you…... Daddy loves you”

Break Away

Jorie West 2009


She looked into the mirror, touched the colors on her face

And reached down for the make-up that would cover every trace

Of the bruise upon her cheekbone from his heavy hand, last night

She wondered what she’d done and if she’d ever, ever get it right.


She closed her eyes, remembering the words her father said

So many years ago, when he’d wished that she were dead

There were times that he’d ignore her, but mostly he was cruel

Reaching for the belt, he’d always say “girl, you broke the rules”


The first chance that she got she packed her bags and ran away

And moved in with a stranger, just to have a place to stay

But he used her and abused her like her father had for years

And today it’s hard to see through the swelling and the tears



Break away! From the heavy hand of an angry man that will never treat you like a lady

If you stay, he will tear you apart and shatter your heart

You could end it all and maybe you will find… that God is kind

She picked up a knife to end this life

A baby’s cry pierced through her thoughts, the knife fell on the floor

As she realized that her baby boy deserved to have much more

Than to go through life believing that his mother did not care

enough to put her baby first. How could she leave him there?


Break away! From the heavy hand of an angry man that will never treat you like a lady

If you stay, he will tear you apart and shatter your heart.

Its time to think about your baby and you know you have to go

Don’t change your mind,  God is kind

And His Son is the One  (hold out)

He’s the One who can save you

He’s the One to set you free

He’s the One who really loves you

He’s the One who died for me…..and you

Run to Him!



Desert Wind
Jorie West 2016

Dizłn’Oodiłii, Y’t'h! 
Din, and friends,
Meet below where eagles go, again and again,
breaking through the silence, carried by the wind                                         
Nizhn sounds, go round and round on the desert sand
Hear Him when the children laugh, or when the eagle cries
In the bawling of a baby calf, Or when a mother sighs
He moves within the waters in power and might
He calls His sons and daughters to walk into the Light

He's calling you, God is calling out to you
He’s calling out,  He’s calling out, He’s calling out to you.
He's calling you, God is calling out to you
He’s calling out,  He’s calling out, He’s calling you.

Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah, Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah,  Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah, Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah,  Hey Yahweh

He calls out from the mountain
Chaco Canyon, too
He’s the One and Only God
and he will walk with you
Each time you see the eagle
Pause and think of Him
Listen to Him, people
His voice is in the wind 
ooh oohooh, ooh oohooh

Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah, Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah,  Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah, Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah,  Hey Yahweh

The people at the mission
near the Reservation there
can point you toward the
one and only God who really cares
Oh come and drink from the well
that never will run dry
then soon, just like the eagle,… will fly!
Fly away  Fly away  Fly away
Yaweh, Yahweh, Yaweh

Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah, Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah,  Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah, Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah, Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah,  Hey Yahweh 
Yaweh, Heyah Hey Yah, Yaweh, Hey Yah, Hey Yahweh