Seven men on the rock upon the house

By Marion Sarain Stump, 1945-1974, Cree/Shoshone/Salish, U.S./Canada.

Seven men on the rock upon the house
The deadman’s head is laughing
At my mistakes
A lazy flyin’ of crows in the sky
Brings me away
In a returnless run
Like red leaves
Carried by the autumn wind
With an iron blade
I was trying to write on rock hearts
Hoping to see them laugh
Hoping to see them cry

Source: Native Poetry in Canada: A Contemporary Anthology. Artwork by poet.

From Native Poetry in Canada: A Contemporary Anthology, a note about the artwork: When Marion Sarain Stump was growing up, he was interested in the old stories, and he began drawing as a child on grocery papers. Later he grew interested in Native painters from the southwest, such as Allan Houser and Quinchy Tahoma. According to Stump, “I started to understand the old paintings and drawings and finding them ever more full of meaning and life. These paintings and the Indians who explained them to me are my real teachers, I think.”

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