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the daily poetry movement

Toe'osh: A Laguna Coyote Story is todays peice. It is written by Leslie Marmon Silko. She is most famous for a wonderful novel called the Almanac of the Dead which is about the fierce brave Yaqui people of Mexico who endured slavery as well as many other abuses. Set in modern times the novel deals with the "insurance" companies, police brutality, and mysticism. It is a must read. This poem should be read aloud to a friend over a cup of tea. Sipping slowly on a cold morning it is difficult to your breath from the tea's breath.
Toe'osh: A Laguna Coyote Story

In the wintertime
at night
we tell coyote stories

and drink Spanada by the stove.
How coyote got his
ratty old fur coat

bits of old fur
the sprrows stuck on him
with dabs of pitch.
That was after he lost his proud original one in a poker game.
anyhow, things like that
are always happening to him,
that's what he said, anyway.

And it happened to him at Laguna
and Chinle
and Lukachukai too, because coyote got too smart for his own good.

But the Navajos say he won a contest once.
It was to see who could sleep out in a
snowstorm the longest
and coyote waited until chipmunk badger and skunk were all
curled up under the snow
and then he uncovered himself and slept all night
inside
and before morning he got up and went out again
and waitied until the others got up before he came
in to take the prize.

Some white men came to Acoma and Laguna a hundred years ago
and they fought over Acoma land and Laguna women, and even now
some of their descendants are howling in
the hills southeast of Laguna.

Charlie Coyote wanted to be governor
and he said that when he got elected
he would run the other men off
the reservation
and keep all the women for himself.

One year
the politicians got fancy
at Laguna.
They went door to door with hams and turkeys
and they gave them to anyone who promised
to vote for them.
On election day all the people
stayed home and ate turkey
and laughed.

The Trans-Western pipeline vice president came
to discuss right-of-way.
The Lagunas let him wait all day long
because he is a busy and important man.
And late in the afternoon they told him
to come back again tomorrow.

They were after the picnic food
that the special dancers left
down below the cliff.
And Toe'osh and his cousins hung themselves
down over the cliff
holding each other's tail in their mouth making a coyote chain
until someone in the middle farted
and the guy behind him opened his
mouth to say "What stinks?" and they
all went tumbling down, like that.

Howling and roaring
Toe'osh scattered white people
out of bars all over Wisconsin.
He bumped into them at the door
until they said

"Excuse me"
And the way Simon meant it
was for 300 or maybe 400 years.
the missing words 30.Nov.2003 02:01

migratory bird

The last line should read

Sipping slowly on a cold morning it is difficult to tell your breath from the tea's breath.