here are some lies i’ve told you today:

  1. i’m fine
  2. it’s ok


you don’t understand what I mean when I say

“but they’re my kin”

maybe it’s because you grew up kicking anthills

you were brought up with generations

that don’t know what it feels like

to run your hands over stretched hide

but they’re my kin

you’re probably confused.

i don’t know if you’ve felt what it’s like

to mourn a stranger

but these strangers aren’t so distant

from faces we recognize

when we go home.

i’m fine

it’s ok

you laugh when i say i can smell the seasons change

but then we wake up to frosty mornings caught in low sunlight

the birds know it will snow soon.

the leaves are starting to point down.

autumn brings grief and the end of huckleberries,

it brings longer nights and brighter moons.

the northern lights are stairways to a final home

and they’ve been dancing a long dance

making room in constellations for souls to rest

there’s a particular heartache you feel

maybe you don’t feel it

but there’s a particular heartache we feel

when the river is being dragged

when backroads are being searched

when footprints disappear in snow

it’s ok

i’m fine




52 Comments Add yours

  1. siriradakaur says:

    Awesome I really enjoyed reading it.

  2. achafablog says:

    I am writing more about the effect this poem had on me. I have a family, hidden history that my father and I shared alone, away from the rest of the family. It was a story, folklore, about the Choctaw Indians, and their relationships with their former slaves “Freedmen and women.” All of my childhood folklore was derived from Native American animal tales about how the world came to be, and told to all us children by my uncles and aunts. I tell them to my grandchildren, and it feels right, that frame of reference. I am in contact with the tribe, and may return to tribal land. I want to be free in time and more so in space. Writing for me is non-structured now, whatever I write, in whatever style, says what I hear. I want to walk my dogs in the woods in the new dawn, fish in a small pond for breakfast, stir my old lady when I get back, see if she’s feeling frisky, if not, cool, maybe after our day is done, and write, and talk to our friends, and visit the animals, and the woods, and the sun, and enjoy the bird’s songs for another season. Why do Blue Jays sing loudest in Autumn?

  3. nightylove says:


  4. I am touched! Thanks❄️

  5. westcoastingblog says:


  6. Hemangini says:

    evey one is guilty of this sin, “I am okay/fine.” … :/ Such wonderful poem..

    1. Hello Hemangini, why do you call it being “guilty” of a “sin”?

      1. Hemangini says:

        “i’m fine” is a bad line :/ that’s why

        1. No that’s not why, Hemangini. Guilt and sin are your projections. Those come from an institutionalized dogma and not a sincere place. As is the word “bad” and actually, you need to rethink what is about you and what is not about you.
          “I’m fine” might be a mask you find hides guilt or shame but it is because you hold those pre-conceived notions that you still can not see or hear this persons experience.
          I don’t respond out of guilt or act out of guilt. I don’t believe in “sin” so what do you mean… really Hemangini? What are you really saying to this person about their work and being as if you know them?

          1. Hemangini says:

            What I am trying to say is instead of saying, “I am fine” and masking the things that disturbs you or make you feel something is the worst thing one can do to themselves. One needs time to short out things I understand but instead of lying to our own selves we can be more honest. We think “Masking” will make it better or give us time.. We say I am fine even if we are not and we accept someone’s “I’m fine” without thinking much, without seeing the hurt/pain/happiness etc in their eyes and trying to learn more or get to know each other.. I am saying that instead of conceiving a word’s meaning to be bad we can use the word when we really mean it. If one is hurt or is hiding something maybe they need to spill it to someone before it engulfs them whole.

            Guilt or sin is not my mere projection. I speak from experience that when you say things for what they are it becomes better and acceptable. instead of trying to make our way out without actually solving the thing at hand we don’t do any good to anyone in that situation.

            Hope this clarifies your misconception of my answer.

            1. Daal says:

              Hemangini, this is so in line with my way of thinking – & so beautifully poeticized as well as explained more literally here 🙂

            2. Hemangini, I understand what you are saying. My comprehension skills are not the problem. I realize what you wish for people to express openly so that they may receive help and that’s well intended of you by all means. (And out of the context of this specific poem or poet:) the reality is, that most people who ask others how they are do not want to know the “truths” of the other persons life. It’s really just a habitual “pleasantry.” Everyone has problems… everyone masks them to get by in the professional work place or the public commons. We don’t all go around “spilling” and those who do are often stigmatized as the depressed, or angry, or complaining, or needy, or whatever “higher maintenance” not going with “popular opinion” label. So it’s a weighed risk. Sometimes more dangerous for some people than others.
              In terms of this poem’s context and native americans, who call themselves the “forgotten people” the mask is part of their culture for so many reasons. Some tribes do not allow the men to cry. They carve mourning masks. These express their emotions for them where they aren’t allowed. But that’s not my point…
              What the “I’m fine” speaks to in this poem is spilling the truth. It is telling you how it feels to say I’m fine and not mean it… and how to live with the mask placed on them (not by her own doing) but because the people in community or society are blind or do not really consider native american stories or histories, and so this mask is whose fault? The unrecognized?
              Do you know what is happening in the Dakotas? The Dakota Access Pipeline has a growing movement of people “spilling” their feelings to protest the oil industry and to protect clean water… and those people who are protesting are getting arrested. They white people didn’t want the pipeline built across their land. So the oil industry forced it on the tribal land. If it is so safe to build, why won’t the white people allow it on their more direct route? The tribes are being silenced on social media… or mainstream media is corrupting the information to make the Tribes appear violent. Who is really violent tho? The people who wiped out the voices of the native americans in the first place? Or the tribes who want to protect clean water? Do you know about the story of Crazy Horse? Do you know what happened to the Lakota tribes when they protested in the 70’s? Do you know how the FBI killed the families of the Lakota people?
              So when you come here with concepts of guilt and sin after the first christian missionaries made the native Americans give up their clothing, dance, language and spirituality… you are coming from a projection of your own morality and limited knowledge of and or edited version of history. When you say that people should just “spill” their feelings… well…
              this poem did that. You don’t need to “life coach” her.
              I don’t have misconceptions of you, we are unfolding your ability to read between the lines. Good poems and literature aren’t always about the most direct statement. “I’m fine” in this context is about understanding the complexity and layers in a poem and of a person. And it works here.
              What doesn’t work is “Guilt”, “Sin” or your interpretations of “good and bad” word choices.
              I hope this clarifies my questioning of you.

              1. Hemangini says:

                You can not wake up someone who is pretending to sleep.. 🙂

                1. Hi Hemangini… um…I’m sorry you don’t feel like waking up? You don’t have to pretend about sleep walking, tho. I can tell by the way you bump into people in comment sections that you’re going to label the “sinners” and ask for their confessions in order to “prove” you are righteous in how to “cleanse” them or “fix” them and so free them. I totally understand that the online scene is all about psycho-analyzing someone thru their art and writing and then prescribing help from a narrow p.o.v. that grants you a sense of purpose… like you’re actually helping.
                  Here in Oregon, the Burn Paiute lands were held hostage by white people (ranchers) with guns who were not from the area, demanding “rights” to graze cattle on tribal burial grounds. The media, other than our local media, reported on it in a mostly skewed manner and with very little info. The people of the Burns Piaute area had already worked out their land and water issues and or were doing so… peacefully and they were working with government… but the white ranchers who came, terrorized these people and undermined the law enforcement that did a good job and they undermined what works about our local and federal governments and they framed us. They were not informed about the land treaties, or the public trust that protects the land from over grazing and fertilizer polluting the rivers. Also, If native Americans and black people carry guns (lawfully in the open where states allow) they will more than likely and in higher numbers, get shot immediately. They aren’t allowed to hold a community hostage for a month… If it’s a toy gun, the black kid gets shot. If it’s a native American his wife gets killed to “teach” the husband a lesson like what happened to John Trudell… So… the demand for peaceful demonstration is coming from the systemic, institutionalized white supremacy… and so altho I believe in non violence, it is also a form of subduing people who have been culturally appropriated, wiped out, enslaved etc…. Currently the 9 jury members who held the town of Burns hostage were all white and they voted that the white ranchers were not guilty… “of conspiracy” but what this looks like to everyone in the world if they know about it, and don’t have better sources, is white rednecks TRUMP indians and blacks and women and so on down the line.
                  The “appearances” and the masks are societally enforced and so “I’m fine” in this poem… is effective in bringing all of this to light.
                  So I ask you, who do you think is sleep walking and why are you holding on to your proverbial guns?
                  Why are you doing the emoji face at me smiling? Is it to prove you have “inner light” and nothing you label as “dark” or “sin” can hurt you? Is that a mask? I guess, what I’m saying is… It’s you that has the agenda. The “sin” agenda.
                  The poet doesn’t. The poet was honest.
                  Anyhow… nice enuff to meet-cha petri-dish. It’s tough to have reverence in a machine world. Best of luck.

  7. B€|NG λκ$Ηαγ says:

    Nice one

  8. Come to my blog page and comment if you like it or not, i’m working on it for college

    1. whiteotterworks says:

      Nice are you doing digital media and web authoring?

      1. Kind of, we are pitching and planning a digital media product. It’s cool if you come and have a look. I’m improving it and add more stuff

  9. whiteotterworks says:

    Wow! We all are fine on the outside, it is the way we protect our broken hearts from further harm. It’s fine, I am O.K. I glad the Metis’ are finally recognized as a nation and are a true example of two worlds collided by their art, t reflects this. I am touched.

  10. Praggati says:

    Beautiful. Seeing writers like you inspire me to write better with each day!

  11. tiandewen8 says:

    I desire the sunshine, all the beautiful things.

  12. dave says:

    Thank you for your poem. I was deeply moved by your words – why do we tell the lies when the heartaches are upon us?

    1. Hello Dave… is “lie” the right word for what’s really happening in this poem?

      1. dave says:

        Maybe not. 🙂 Love the poem.

  13. hamed09352970404 says:

    Very nice

  14. Hmmm. Some great play on words here.

  15. writegill says:

    The beauty of your content and lightness of form speak straight tot eh heart.

  16. wordchanic says:

    i loved it ,the twist is intelligent

  17. achafablog says:

    I can relate to someone who feels two worlds inside themselves, as I do, as my father did, as the elders all did. It always relates to a closeness, back with nature, where we started from.

  18. Interesting and inspiring.keep it coming.Readind things like this encourages me to write and post more.

  19. Had a great time reading 🙂 different style eh …

    Please go thru my latest blogpost and give me your feedback so that I feel motivated to write more 🙂 much love

  20. Barb Knowles says:

    “the northern lights are stairways to a final home
    and they’ve been dancing a long dance
    making room in constellations for souls to rest”

    This is an exquisite poem. I was born in Alaska and feel there is great significance in the Northern lights. But you are right. Most of us don’t understand. Unless we’re taught. Thank you for sharing this in a simple yet powerful way.

  21. mkguzi says:

    Thank You , the earth does to speak to the listening

  22. Beautiful. Miigwetch for sharing ❤

  23. floridaborne says:

    “you laugh when i say i can smell the seasons change” That made my senses stand at attention.

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