from Raccoon

    
    
    
by Geraldine Monk

for Laura and Nick







But Out the Blue Poolside Up
(not seeking sprouts a vision)

  Lo!

  
                                                h
                                     u
                          m
                m
   
i
                n
                          g
                                     b
                                                i
                                                     r


                                                     d
                                                !          !
                                                                        And
                                                   don't
                          blink
   oh
                     ye
                                    eyes
                                                     of
                                                               mine
                                           be
                         on

                                                                        hold!












Never Seeing Raccoon
(I eat its words)

Forepaws

one who lifts things up, they rub, scrub, scratch
they rub and scratch
they take everything in their hands
they touch things, they scratch
they pick up things
graspers
they pick up things, they rub and scratch
one who picks up things
one very clever with its fingers
they handle things, they use hands as a tool
they handle things
graspers
they pick things up, one who touches things
one who rubs, picks up things with hands
washes with hands, they scratch
graspers

asban, ah-ra-koon-em
welkol, wilkol, wulkol, wutko
mapachitl, atuki, q’oala’s,
aasebun, aissibun, shauii
essebanes, wutki, eespan, wtala;
wtakalinch, hespan, nachenum, aispan,
sha-we, asban, at-cha,
aispun essepan, wood-ko shapata,
ethepata, swini, que-o-koo
k’alas

Face

painted one, blackened face
blackened face and feet
white bands on face
one with marked face

shiuaa, attigbro,
nashi,
macheelee, macheelee
cbel’igacocib,

Magic Thing
    
magic one with painted face
masked demon spirit
one who makes magic
one with magic, one with magic
one who makes real magic
one with magic
she who talks with spirits
she (little old one) who knows things
she who watches,
witch, spirit

weekah tegalega
gahado-goka-gogosa
macho-on,
wee-kah, wee-chah, wee-kahsah, wici, wicha
wee-kah tegalega, wici
mee-kah, mee-chah, mee-kahsa
macca-n-e
wayatcha
see-o-ahtlah-ma-kas-kay
ee-yah-mah-tohn
tsa-ga-gla-tai

Tail

long-tailed bearlike one
those of big-tailed (long-tailed) kind
big (long) tailed ones
ring-tailed one
big (long) tailed
big-tailed, long-tailed ones

siah-opoots-itswoot
ee-ree-ah-gee
gah-gwah-gee, cah-hee-ah-gway
shinte-gleska
kagh-quau-ga
ee-ree

Doggish

dog, of dog kind
doglike leaper
doglike one
tamed like dog
night doglike one
of the dog kind
doglike leaper

ah-ohn, mayuato,
agaua
wacgina, ausup
ah-ohn, ah-oon,
agwana

Feeder
    
graspers of crayfish
doglike leaper on crabs and crayfish
pulls out crayfish with hands
doglike leapers on crabs and crayfish

shauii,
mauyato,
seip-kuat, siep-mantei
aguara-po-pav

Pure Racoon

kaka-nostake,
guassini, guachini,
o’at
ottaguin, ochateguin,
tcokda,
patkas
kai-kai-yuts
klapissime,
va-owok,
pilquits,
pah-suh-de-na,
dEwu’si
roosotto
kanulo-nixa-niso












The Portland Ghost
(sung to the tune: In Burnham Town)


In Port-land town there liv-ed a wo-man
thrown down a shaft
which creaks with shame
Ni-nah
haunts those rooms with
an-ger
she moans
‘nigh-na’
is how you sigh my
name.









__________________

Acknowledgments.
The indigenous peoples of the Americas for their 'raccoon' words.

These three poems are from a longer sequence, Raccoon, which will be published as a Free Poetry booklet. Geraldine Monk's latest book is Escafeld Hangings.

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