Poetry by Sounds of Running Water

Running Horses

The Poetry of Sounds of Running Waters (via G.S.H.)

In one of my many incarnations, I was privileged to be the father of a beautiful, talented and spirited daughter, Sounds of Running Water, or in the Nez Perce language, Hophopponmi. In the last battle, we were forever separated by circumstance. I am honored to present some of her poetry today as I have reconnected with the soul who was my daughter, as I was Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt “Thunder Traveling to Loftier Mountain Tops” or simply, Young Joseph. My daughter’s words are strong and speak of the land and life that we both loved. I hope you enjoy them.

My Father’s Horses
I used to love watching the horses. They
seemed so wild and carefree,
and I knew they were watching me.
Sometimes I’d have a dream that they
carried me away
out onto the open plain
and in the morning I could look back
and see my village and my father waving.
Come home, he’d call, smiling.
That was my dream.

Field of Sunflowers

Earth’s Child
High up on the mountains
where the morning light strikes first
I could see the face of God
in my beloved people and in the firs.
The dark skirts of mountains
were my mother’s skirts;
the granite faces: my father’s face.


Free Spirit
My heart is the sky, I said,
my heart is part of the sky.
You won’t find me
down among the roots or branches.

My heart is in the water, I tell you,
my heart in the springs in the hills.
You will find me
where the rivers get big
and in the sea itself.

My heart is a river
full of the life that is inward;
my heart is the river in sun.



talk to you
in a language you can’t understand
because their ears are
different from yours.
Spiders speak in webs.
Antelope in leaps.
The feathered coats of birds will tell you
their whole story
if you learn to hear feathers.
Try not to think
the earth is not speaking.
It’s never silent,
only quiet;
if you are quiet
you can hear it
singing to itself.

Imnaha Country

@All Rights Reserved, Elizabeth Ayres Escher, http://www.bluedragonjournal.com

5 thoughts on “Poetry by Sounds of Running Water

  1. The meadow photos were all taken above the Imnaha River Canyon, in the old territory of the Wallowa Band of the Nez Perce on the Wallowa Mountains. It was June and the land is green and fresh. It gets very hot there later in the summer.

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