Three Poems

John Smelcer

The Dandelion Blossom

During midsummer, a fluffy seed thought,
"I'm tired of being adrift on the wind."

Presently, a dandelion blossomed in the sun.

On the Nature of Being

A mountain reflected on a still pond.

The mountain had no intention to cast its reflection.

The still pond had no desire to receive it.

Song for the Return of the Sun

At midwinter, an old man from Slana River burst out singing.
He kept singing a song for the sun to return.

After three days, the sun rose and shone brightly on the land.
That evening, his face burned, the old man wrung sunlight from his clothes.

translated from the Ahtna by John Smelcer