davidbrucehaiku: Robin Higgins






She knows stock photos

One vivid, clear expression

With a blank background


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davidbrucehaiku: real art






a field of flowers

put it in a museum

because it’s real art


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David Bruce: Native Americans Anecdotes



On June 11, 1905, Zack Miller and his brothers planned to hold a Western show on their ranch located in Oklahoma’s Cherokee Strip. Unfortunately, a storm headed toward the ranch and Mr. Miller worried that rain would force him and his brothers to refund the spectators’ ticket money, resulting in huge losses. Suddenly, a Ponca medicine man by the name of Sits-on-a-Hill came to him and said, “Big blow. Big rain. No show.” He then offered to turn the storm away from the show in return for five steers. Mr. Miller thought a moment, then he said that they had a deal. The medicine man danced and sang while beating a drum. The storm clouds neared a river, then the medicine man screamed while pointing a shell at the storm clouds. As if they had been ordered to, the storm clouds headed east, away from the Western show. The next day, after he had been paid his five steers, the medicine man told a secret to African-American rodeo star Bill Pickett. The medicine man had studied the local weather for decades, and he knew that storms almost always headed east after arriving at the river.

The Western Mono native American tribe still sometimes use baskets to serve as baby cradles. To protect the baby’s eyes, the cradle has a hood that shades the top of the cradle. Cradles made for boys have different designs from cradles made for girls. Cradles made for boys have either straight lines or a V pattern because hunters must shoot straight to be successful. Cradles made for girls have a “busy” zigzag or diamond pattern because mothers must stay busy to take care of their families. In the old days, once the baby had outgrown its first cradle, the Western Mono used to leave the baby’s cradle hanging in a young pine tree — according to tradition, this helped the baby to grow quickly like the young pine tree. Unfortunately, when non-native American peoples moved into the Western Mono lands, they collected the baskets left hanging in the pine trees, and so the Western Mono don’t follow that tradition any longer.

During the winter of 1535-1536, several men under the command of French explorer Jacques Cartier lay ill, suffering from bad breath, blackened teeth, and swollen legs. Many of the men died. Mr. Cartier saw a Native American who suffered from the same ailment, but several days later he noticed that the Native American was in perfect health. Therefore, Mr. Cartier asked the Native Americans for a cure for the disease, and they made a thick syrup using the bark of a certain tree. The syrup cured his men. Today, historians believe that Mr. Cartier’s men suffered from scurvy, which is caused by a lack of vitamin C. They also believe that the tree bark from which the Native Americans made the syrup contained vitamin C, which is why the syrup cured the men.

In 1876, General George Armstrong Custer and his men were wiped out by the Native Americans in the Montana badlands. Arriving in the area just after the battle was dinosaur fossil hunter Edward Cope, who was happy to hear that the Native Americans were grouped together in a huge camp as he figured that it lessened his chances of running into small groups of hostile Native Americans elsewhere in the Badlands. Even when Mr. Cope met hostile Native Americans, he never feared them because he had an unusual way of turning hostile Native Americans into friendly Native Americans — he amused and fascinated them by taking out his false teeth then putting them again in his mouth!

According to ancient stories, the Native American tribe of the Ojibway (also known as Chippewa) once resided by the Atlantic Ocean; however, prophets told them that they must move west to find a better land on which to live. They would know that they had found the right land when abundant food grew in the water. The Ojibway migrated west for hundreds of years, and in the mid-1500s, they came to what is now northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. There they found wild rice growing abundantly in the water. The wild rice, called by the Ojibway mahnomin, is a gift from the Creator and is their sacred food.

Many Navajo live on the Navajo Reservation, but many Navajo live away from it. Once, when Monty Roessel was a young boy returning home from school, he heard his mother calling him to sit beside her as she weaved and sang. He asked her why she weaved, and she replied that while she was weaving, she was home in Navajoland. She explained, “This is who we are. The loom connects me with the sacred mountains, and the song connects me with my mother.” Later, Monty’s 10-year-old daughter Jaclyn asked her grandmother to teach her to weave. When Jaclyn was asked why she wanted to weave, she replied, “That is what we do; that is who we are.”

The village of Kake on Kupreanof Island in the southeastern part of Alaska is the location of one of the largest totem poles in existence. The totem pole was made by the Native Americans known as the Tlingit and is over 132 feet tall. It was created in 1971 and was displayed at an international exhibition in Japan. Because of the totem pole’s great height, it had to be cut in half in order to be shipped to Japan for the exhibition. Afterward, the totem pole was brought back to Kake and displayed.

Before the Pueblo, a Native American people in the southwestern United States, dig clay from the earth, they first pray to Clay-Old-Woman and tell her that they will treat the clay and the pottery they make from it with respect. The Pueblo believe that Clay-Old-Woman is the spirit of clay, and if they treat the clay with respect, Clay-Old-Woman will help them to create beautiful things with it. In addition, she will live within the clay and protect the pottery made from it.

The Onondagas are a free Native American people in New York, and they are part of the Iroquois Confederacy. They have their own nation, and when an Onondaga travels, he or she uses an Iroquois passport, not a United States passport. In addition, they own the land on which the city of Syracuse, New York, is built — New York State leases the land from the Onondagas.

One of the beliefs of the Native Americans known as the Wampanoag is that each of us bears responsibility for protecting the environment. In fact, each generation is responsible for preserving the environment for the following seven generations.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


Three Shorts

Poesy plus Polemics

three Image From Pinterest

Outliving Means

rising costs
squeeze into fixed incomes
dams burst under stress


undulating hills
paint uneasy centuries
forty shades of green


the desperate play
rolling bones in back alleys
begging for a fade
old bricks can trip up the odds
old dreams come up snake eyes

From my books Ephemera, Pieces of Wine, Range of Motion and Riverthink

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Within these dusty diary pages
nostalgia lies for her midday nap
3pm, summer day
windows wide.

I remember when growing older was a promise of the future
the A-OK to have pancakes
anytime we damn well wanted,
under our own roof, our own law.

I used to sneak out of that humble home
we’d meet at the park and race to the swings
he’d reach so high on the set, he swore
he touched the stars with his own two feet.

Growing older meant we wouldn’t have to
give report cards to our parents,
we could rip them up
and never see the light of judgement.

Recess at 9:40,
lunch at 11:40;
turns out,
without that structure,
we collapse under the scaffolding.

We have lived our childhoods in regimens and timetables
we’ve added those numbers together
and that’s all we have.
My parents were so eager to show off my…

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Edgar Lee Masters: Hod Putt (Spoon River Anthology)

Here I lie close to the grave
Of Old Bill Piersol,
Who grew rich trading with the Indians, and who
Afterwards took the Bankrupt Law
And emerged from it richer than ever
Myself grown tired of toil and poverty
And beholding how Old Bill and others grew in wealth
Robbed a traveler one night near Proctor’s Grove,
Killing him unwittingly while doing so,
For which I was tried and hanged.
That was my way of going into bankruptcy.
Now we who took the bankrupt law in our respective ways
Sleep peacefully side by side.


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Lao-Tzu #21: How do I know where creation comes from? I look inside myself and see it.



The greatest virtue you can have

comes from following only the Tao;

which takes a form that is intangible and evasive.


Even though the Tao is intangible and evasive,

we are able to know it exists.

Intangible and evasive, yet it has a manifestation.

Secluded and dark, yet there is a vitality within it.

Its vitality is very genuine.

Within it we can find order.


Since the beginning of time, the Tao has always existed.

It is beyond existingand not existing.

How do I know where creation comes from?

I look inside myself and see it.


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Aesop: Androcles and the Lion

A slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to the forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a Lion lying down moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee, but finding that the Lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to him. As he came near, the Lion put out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain. He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the Lion, who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Then the Lion took Androcles to his cave, and every day used to bring him meat from which to live. But shortly afterwards both Androcles and the Lion were captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the Lion, after the latter had been kept without food for several days. The Emperor and all his Court came to see the spectacle, and Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the Lion was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim. But as soon as he came near to Androcles he recognised his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog. The Emperor, surprised at this, summoned Androcles to him, who told him the whole story. Whereupon the slave was pardoned and freed, and the Lion let loose to his native forest.

Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.