Ghost Dancers

Six new poems

Amy Barone

Ghost Dance

Renounce resistance — join me at the Ghost Dance.
Embrace silence — quiet movers change the world.
Fall into a trance.

Peace demands a circle, joined hands.
Listen to others’ demands — stifled speech
breeds tyranny. Grab your shield and feathers.

From Nevada to Idaho to Wyoming and the Dakotas.
Some dancers survived Wounded Knee in 1890.
Wovoka carried on the mission — true identity.

Redemption warrants risks. A saviour awaits.
The commandments hold sway. An afterglow
fortifies and heightens hope for tomorrows.

Twilight Flight

After the sun drops,
an indigo dusk takes root.
Leaves in ochre, saffron
and jade float toward night.
Vestiges from the maidenhair tree,
symbol of love and longevity.
Venerated as sacred and strong.
Distant cousins survived Hiroshima.
Traces of emerald horizon and brown
shadow give way to blue tattooed sky.
Fan-shaped bodies of foliage,
their delicate veins like seams of a quilt,

find safety in numbers, reach for partners
as they sway and prance.
Emboldened by a twilight dance,
they grow larger beneath chameleon heavens,

bringing breezes and calm,
celebrating day’s end,
beckoning us to dream,
find peace in colour and touch.


A yellow cardinal was spotted
yesterday in Alabaster, Alabama.

The news flew across Facebook and Twitter.
The rare-hued bird garnered fast fame.

Yet skin tone renders some creatures hidden.
Others invisible. Whether they want to be seen

and heard or not.

March 1, 2018

Strawberry Moon

The vibrant low moon shadowed a day flooded with sunshine.
Who in this city, teeming with tourists and bustling locals,
more attuned to their iPhones than a Native American celebration,
knew it marked the start of the hay harvest.

In Manhattan, Kansas, by the light of a moon tinged orange-yellow,
farmers rose at 4 a.m. to prep for a day of cutting and baling feed.
Just as the Algonquins, on reserves in the Ottawa River Valley,
once gathered strawberry roots and leaves in the brief season to brew potions.

Nature-devoted poets fired up their computers to pen odes to the Solstice.
Saturn, in the glow of the “Rose Moon,” nearly brushed elbows with Earth.
A slight hush fell over New York City as spring handed summer the torch.

Rest Stop

At a river’s edge, a baby elephant suckles his mother.
A small herd meets, then trudges through water, trunk-to-tail.

On a golden field at an animal rest stop in Kruger National Park,
water buffalo, zebras and gazelles

are caught unawares doing what nature dictates.
An eagle overlooks his fiefdom from a bare tree perch.

Alligators languish on their turf.
A hippo’s yawn could fill a photo frame.

Grinning penguins pose, safe from zoos and loud tourists.
Birds in exotic blue and orange feathers strut.

A rainbow crisscrosses Victoria Falls.


They’re up there — in transition,
sandwiched between old and new lives.
Floating, attachment dissolving, thoughts turning pure.

They’ll become who they’re meant to be,
as long as they have the grit to conclude
unfinished business. Journey on.

The next time I chat up horses and unicorns,
I’ll be more respectful of friends and family.
Speaking to stars is never in vain.

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"