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Peter DeBlois
Poet
This haiku honors the Haudenosaunee, the People of the Long House, who taught us how to play lacrosse, how to govern, and how to relate to nature. I had in mind a person who embodies this heritage: Oren Lyons, Faith Keeper of the Turtle Clan, who has led a life of engagement with his land and culture, and advocacy for indigenous people. A superb lacrosse player on SUís 1957 undefeated national championship team, he went on to become a teacher and global ambassador for human rights.

The poem begins with a soft dawn image in the Onondaga hills and ends with the bracing sharp crack of two hickory wood lacrosse sticks echoing through crisp morning air and traveling out, like Oren Lyons, with an invitation to engage indigenous values and the land.

Smoke threads over a
Haudenosaunee sunrise,
two lacrosse sticks crack.

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