Monday, May 9, 2011

the Language of the Heart (speaking of obligations/translation into Lakota)

Language, like life itself, is a strange and misunderstood activity.  We think we are making sense, we think are connecting with others, when even within one language there are nuances and easy ways to confuse and to be confused.  How much more do we misunderstand the silent language of a world, a universe, that tries with every breath to tell us secrets?   The poem I posted yesterday about listening to that inner whispering has been translated into the Lakota language by Kevin Locke (Tȟokéya Inážiŋ, meaning "The First to Arise"), whose mother was a tireless champion of not only her beautiful language, but also of the language of oneness.  

Diana Malouf was a new friend.  Author of Unveiling the Hidden Words (a study of the translation of the Arabic verses of the Hidden Words by Baha'u'llah) she was herself a translator.  She died yesterday in her home, and I would like to dedicate this poem to her as well as to Kevin's mother, Patricia Locke (Tawacin WasteWin, she of good consciousness ‚ a compassionate woman) who is inspirational in many ways.

Sitting here with my friends,
okȟólawičhawaye ob iblótake

Mitakuye oyasin.
All my relatives.
mitákuye oyas’iŋ

All created things.
wamákȟognake oyas’iŋ

All those who have gone on.
tóna t’ápi oyás’iŋ

The saints.  The Holy Ones.
Wakȟáŋ Oyáte kiŋ hená.

We sit here with the best friend—
Kȟolá iyótaŋ wašté kči uŋhíyotakapi

that Great Voice speaking in my heart—
Ho Wakȟáŋ kiŋ mičháŋte ogná wóglake

Sitting here we have a little coffee, a little tobacco.
wakȟályapi etáŋ, čhaŋlí etaŋ yuhá uŋkíyotakapi.

We sit quietly and listen to the Great Voice, remembering what we know.
waslólaye kíksuye Ho Wakȟáŋ kiŋ iníla uŋk’úŋpi.

Remembering what is true.  What is true.
Táku wówičhakȟe kiŋ uŋkíksuyapi.  Táku wówičhakȟe kiŋ.

Patricia Locke (Tawacin WasteWin, she of good consciousness ‚ a compassionate woman)


  1. This entire series is wonderful. This is especially beautiful. Thank you.

  2. Dearest Rhonda, yet another gem of truth, a sparkle reflected from two finely cut diamonds.