#172 ZUNI DRUMS by Katherine B. Hauth

On the foot-packed earth of the plaza
Zuni drums beat

piñon fires
beat bread baking in hornos
beat sureness of solstice
beat out blue sky toward the east

streaked with pink clouds
beat in rain to reach fields
for life-giving corn
beat in harvest and planting

which turns into harvest again.
Drums beat from the beginning
to always
in circular pattern

spirits woven into earth living
beat for kachinas in body paint
and horned headdresses
approaching the plaza.

Drums beat for births
beat for deaths
beat for tattooed teens
beat for boy on broad shoulders

straddling black braid
thumping the beats
on his dad’s Yankee cap
beat for grandmothers in flowered shawls

who no longer hear but know the beat
through the earth and their feet
the pulsing of creation.
All hearts beating.

Let Zuni drums beat
beat   beat   beat !

Katherine Hauth turned to writing after careers as teacher and personnel analyst. She’s published poetry for adults and children and two children’s books. What’s for Dinner? Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World, 2011, Outstanding Science Trade Book and Junior Library Guild title, received a 2011 New Mexico Book Award.


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