to congregate with maskers

Apache Mountain Spirit Mask John Farnsworth

I shall congregate with maskers
circle dance their holy ground…
lift its soft warm dust to clouding
with my bare…bare tender feet

ki-tana-po, ki-tana-po, ki-tana-po
ai-na, ki-na-wchi, ki-na-weh

take up chants…petition spirit
croon a cadence rise and fall…
imbrue thought…and bear the
weight of a vast imagining

chi-li-li-cha, chi-li-li-cha
don-ka-va-ki, mas-i-ki-va-ki

stretch my arms to the horizon
caress air with open palms…
shoulder weave above the plaining
and think locus to the earth

kive, kive-na-meh, kive-na-meh
kive, kive-na-meh, kive-na-meh

for I’ve access…if I wish it
to a universal voice…I’ll overlay
significance…I’ll imagine wisdom
in its ancient keening howl or…
its whispering syllables

ki-tana-po, ki-tana-po, hopet*


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by John Farnsworth

“Apache Mountain Spirit Mask

*The ancient Hopi words of this chant have lost their English equivalent.


14 thoughts on “to congregate with maskers

    1. Thinking…you know I’m always pleased, Jana, when you like one of my poems. Haven’t been writing much for a while, so this one feels extra good. Smiles for you, my esteemed poet friend.

  1. Wonderful – I love the chant- reminds me of one I used to llullaby my second baby to sleep with, chanting and stamping with him in my arms, Worked a treat.

  2. enjoyed this, bonnie. your audio file was so helpful. also, it’s wonderful to witness you using your imaginative powers to transport you and your readers to a consciousness which seems both alien and familiar.

  3. I often come back to your postings, Bonnie. It takes awhile to feel, hear, see everything. This morning I woke wanting to sink deep into this one. I hadn’t even listened the first time. Chaotic (but creative) state of being. I’m now on my third time listening. That line…”shoulder weave above the plaining” …so beautiful. so so beautiful….

    1. Aww, dear poet friend. I’m glad I wrote it…if for no other reason than your reading of it. Know I’m pleased you found the plaining line. The chant has been with me for many years.

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