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Poetry From Four Directions winners

WINDOW ROCK

Navajo Nation Poet Laureate Laura Tohe started the poetry program “Poetry From Four Directions” using funds from her Academy of American Poetry Fellowship.

“This is a poetry program I developed for students and teachers on the Navajo Nation homeland,” she said. “The program culminated with poetry workshops and a poetry contest.”

Four students won awards for their poetry from high schools in Window Rock, Red Mesa and Thoreau. The winning poems are as follows.

 

First place, Olivia Footracer

10th Grade, Window Rock School District
Lydia Fasthorse, teacher

Nishlí

Tsi’naajinii nishlíigo bits’áádóó hayoolkááldéé naashá.

Tsi’naajinii, Diné bitsii’ nizhónigo daalzhin.

Tsi’naajinii, diné naabaahii dabitsxe’ígíí

Shikéédéé’ yikahgo, Tsi’naajinii bidziilgo bik’ehgo yisháál.

Shikéédéé’ yikahgo, Tsi’naajinii bijéí dabitsxe’go nidaaskaiígíí bik’ehgo yisháál.

Tsi’naajinii asdzání nishlíigo hool’áágóó, náás, neinijigo yisháál.

Tsi’naajinii sáanii shil nilíigo bee yisháál.

Tsi’naajinii nishlí.

I Am

I wake up every morning knowing that I am of the Black Streak Wood People clan.

The Black Streak Wood People clan is known for our black hair.

Black Streak Wood People clan is known to be warriors.

I walk in the footsteps of my ancestors who are strong.

I walk in the footsteps of my ancestors who are strong-bodied.

I walk in the footsteps of my ancestors who have a strong heart.

I am a woman of the Black Streak Wood People clan moving forward.

With respect for Tsi’naajinii women I will walk.

I am of the Black Streak Wood People clan.

2nd Place, Vivica Lewis

11th Grade, Window Rock School District
Lydia Fasthorse, teacher

“Tó Bee Iinánii”

Tó éí iiná

Ho’dichííhdéé’ bee jiiná

Tó éí nizhóní

Tsohodizingo tó choo’í

Tó éí likan

Tó éí nilt’óólí

Tó éí iiná

Tsílkéí, ch’ikéí jileehgo bee jiiná

Tó éí nizhóní

Tsohodizingo tó choo’í

Tó éí likan dóó nilt’óólí

Tó éí iiná

Hastóí, sáanii jílíi tó bee jiiná

Tó éí nizhónígo bil tsohodizin

Tó éí ãikan dóó nil’óólí

Sá biyi góne’ bee jiináago iilkááh

Tó éí nizhónígo bil tsohodizin

Tó éí ãikan dóó nil’óólí

 

Water is Life

 

Water

Water is life

Since birth, water has kept you alive

Beautiful water

Used during prayers

Water is enchanting

Water is crystal clear

Water

Water

Water is life

In your adolescent stage, water keeps you alive

Beautiful water

Used during prayers

Water is enchanting and crystal clear

Water

Water

Water is life

Through adulthood, water keeps you alive

It is good, water has kept you live

Water is sacred prayers

Water

Water

Into old age, you will lie on water to the end

Water is sacred prayers

Water is enchanting and crystal clear

Water

3rd Place, Lauren Sanders

10th Grade, Thoreau High School
Cheryl Antone, teacher

Continue

By the waves of the Pacific

She walks in a shop

Young and excited

Glad she is alive

Permanent art on her skin

A word, continue

To remind her that even through the darkest;

Simply continue.

Honorable Mention, Tevin King

11th Grade, Red Mesa High School
LaVelda Charley, teacher

Shi

I am from the breath of holy deities (holy ones)

I am from the light of the sun

I am of atoms from the universe

I am from the horses that teaches me discipline

I am from the land that is surrounded by four sacred mountains

I am from the teaching of the four sacred stones

I am from a family that teaches me tradition

I am from wind that blows along the reservation


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