Very fine. I appreciate the stripped down. The last five years Ive written more laconically than I ever have, and have a whole section called "The Non- Nature Black Lives Matters Hybrid Haikus "in my soon-to be published first book of poetry. Some examples.

Prelude: Malcolm X

Bonfire eyes blaze

Devour whole libraries

Read the riot act

Tamir Price

I like playing here.

Bang. Bang. Bang.GOTCHA!

Hi, officer I was just-

The Department of Deportaton Deportment

We clean your toilets,

Your lawns, your kids too.

When we're gone, what will you do?

On the Plus Side ( to my wife)

You arrive so alive

The full moon's astonished.

A glow claims the world.

I have some suggestions:

You're a lone tree still

standing after lightning

strikes. It appears

You've endured

the worst. Peel back

the bark.You'll see

flames of want, need

doubt burning you

inside out

I often try to ditch the "little words" used too much in ficton too, to smooth out " the FIELD" for

readers. I marvel how often FIRES AND THEIR AFTERMATHS crackled through your works. Some memories never burn out and who knows if they dont even stay with us at the finale maybe like fireworks that want to continue to have fun with us and amaze kin or else decide we might need some extra warmth

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I once believed myself the proverbial "lone wolf". I remember that flame.

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Jun 7Liked by Sherman Alexie

I think the word is peel. Actually I don’t have the slightest idea

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Love hearing you read them!

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Jun 7·edited Jun 7Liked by Sherman Alexie

Thanks for your quick response, Sherman! First, I understand that an Artist need not explain their work. So, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my comment. I truly appreciate your art!

Second, I also appreciate science and art equally. And my comment comes more from the science side.

Essentially, the word "Want" is infinite and insatiable. Whereas, the word "Need" means something specific as you can read here in my Substack: https://xmentor.substack.com/p/the-x-mentor-needs

Again, I appreciate you and your work! Nothing but the highest respect for the art you create!

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Lovely work. Nice niner :)

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I love this poem - except for one word. "Need." There's a reason I feel so strongly about removing this word when placed in direct context to the word "Want." There's a big difference between the two words. For me at least, it 'popped the magic bubble' that the poem otherwise created. Ask me more ONLY if you're truly curious about the meaning and difference between the two words. And Sherman, I'm open to learning why you chose to put these two words together as you did. I can learn from you. Perhaps it's your intention to create this sort of tension (or in my case, friction).

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A metaphor of endurance and what lies beneath in the search for resilience.

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Jun 7Liked by Sherman Alexie

Your poem has special meaning for me right now. Thank you. (I'm a tree lover since childhood.)

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The poem below belongs to Jason Grundstrom-Whitney. A white person raised by an indigenous mother.

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Ferns and Flowers:

The miracle of Spring

Is the regenerative heart

Of our Sacred Mother.

All beings blush

With the rush

Of greening,

Ferns and flowers

Sway in the breeze

Talking in tones

Inaudible to us

But as loud as a single dewdrop

Falling from the bell-blossom of

Mountain laurel



The human family, wounded as we are, finds imperfection in the personal, apathy towards the collective.

If we could only be like flowers and ferns addressing the greening of Spring with a resounding,


This yes is celebratory of all. This yes is filled with gratitude to have this rare opportunity to simply be.

St.Hildegard had a theology of life affirming itself by the pliant 'greening' of life as opposed to a 'dry toast' theology of guilt, shame and all the baggage contained with Augustine's monumental 'roofer's mistake' of original sin.

We are original goodness, the energy we receive is that of greening through love. The Great Creator dances life and we dance with it.

Not having guilt or shame, flowers and ferns cast no dispersion onto other beings, they simply green and blush beauty in forests, mountains, plains, deserts everywhere!

The next time you are at the brunt of negativity try this if you would like:

- Remember original goodness

- Remember the sacred energy of greening

-Remember that the accuser knows not your circumstance, pray for them to find life affirmation again and drop the detritus of cold, stiff, and death- defining statements and perhaps outlook on life.

- Remember this time will pass, life flows, life dances,100 years from now this moment will be forgotten.


little brother of dust

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What a wonderful poem. I love being able to read them and listen to you read them. It's amazing how reading a poem can indicate what needs to be changed. I wonder was it the word, want, you changed?

My house has had two direct lightning hits over about twenty years. The last one, about nine months ago, blew our telephone apart (yes, I live in a rural location so still have the mythical land line). My husband was within a few feet of the detonating plastic, so it was a bit of a shock (he was not hurt).

I think so many us feel like a lone tree that endures, hiding our wounds inside. We think everyone is else is doing better than us, but we're all papering over our scars, and doing our best day to day.

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It was "doubt". Whatever you had in there before, it wasn't doubt, because you wanted to tie it all in with "out."

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Jun 7·edited Jun 7Liked by Sherman Alexie

The insides of us hold so much heat and no one can really tell; everyone wants us not to stay so long in flames... I was once told my face was "too sad" after losing a very close friend...

I like this Niner---I dig poem forms.

My guess is maybe your first line used to be: "You're alone, tree, still..."

Or maybe, "peel back" instead of "peel off"?

(Feeling a tad obsessed in the guessing!)

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Jun 7Liked by Sherman Alexie

Has anyone ever told you that you’re good at this writing stuff?? 😉😊🙏❤️

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I love trees, lightning, and poems. But hate beets.

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