Poems and Photographs by

Carol Alena Aronoff, Ph.D.

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ISBN: 1-57733-175-3, 104 pp., 47 photos, 6 x 9, paperback, $12.95

Also by Carol Alena Aronoff, Ph.D.:
The Nature of Music
Her Soup Made the Moon Weep

Organized into two sections, Cornsilk honors both earth and heaven, the ancient traditions and some of the new. In each poem of her second volume of poetry, Aronoff's highly imagistic view of the land--and the people who live close to the land--enriches her ongoing theme of the interdependence of all things. How wonderful to see her compassionate mindfulness continue from her previous book, The Nature of Music....

The symbols and motifs of Cornsilk are at once extraordinary but familiar, a purposeful duality that exists throughout the book. Some may not be acquainted with the rites and traditions of these ancient cultures, yet through Aronoff's poetry, and the evocative photographs that enhance her poems, we welcome their wisdom into our lives. Some may not have traveled the mystical landscape of these poems, yet the connection between humans and their environment is timeless. Through the maturity of Aronoff's teachings and the intimacy of her words, when we close this precious volume, we are drawn to reflect on its lessons. All at once, we understand that we exist in an absolute and changeless reality. If we are honored enough to encounter a spiritual guide, we will voyage the world with a finer vision. And, like Aronoff, ultimately we will seek the sacred footprints of the badger. This is our legacy. This is our walk of life.

from the Foreword by Andrea L. Watson, Braided Lives: A Collaboration Between Artists and Poets, Taos, New Mexico


"If we slow down our pace, we can hear the voices of the Old Ones in the poems of Carol Aronoff. Their awareness is transmitted in images of great power and simplicity, calling to us from the lush farms of Hawaii or the desert cornfields of the Southwest. These poems give tangibility to the essence of these voices, in the words of today." Betsie Miller-Kusz, artist/muralist, director of SomArts Gallery, San Francisco/Jemez Valley, New Mexico

"I am sure that long after we're gone, Carol Aronoff's poetry will live on alongside the work of other great poets. These masterful poems and photographs are all about true connection and the spiritual gifts Native cultures offer—living in harmony with earth, sky, water ... and each other. As we read, her spellbinding imagery softly pulls us into magical worlds--our hearts open, and for a few moments we can live in simplicity and wonder with these mystical people--their land, ceremony, wise ones. Carol Aronoff will help us to remember ancient culture and peoples ... far into the future." Nancy Clemens, author, Dolphin Divination Cards, artist and environmentalist

"Reading Aronoff's poetry is chasing scent of pinon, inhaling indigo moons, wrapping consciousness in corn silk. We are touched beyond measure as she weaves words into meditations on life, balance, wisdom and the world of spirit. Eagerly we follow her along ancient paths back to soul source and the sacredness of Mother." Madelyn Garner, Poet and D.H. Lawrence Fellow, University of New Mexico's Taos Summer Writers' Conference

Table of Contents

Foreword by Andrea L. Watson

Cloud Steps
Singing the World into Life
Pendleton Shawl
Village Table
Badger Walking
Sun Spots
Morning Light
Harvest in Hotevilla
There is No Death
Gathering Children
Joint Use Land Dispute
Prayer for Rain
Going Home Dance
Snake Dance
Space Sisters
Shared Blessings
Simple Pleasures, Hopi Style
Standing on the Corner...
Trading Post Tales
Navajo Weaver
Desert Fire
Earthly Lament
Corn Pollen Memories
Hopi Memories
In Memory of William Mehojah (Little Star), last full-blooded member of a Plains Indian Tribe
Desert Night
Red Canyon

Talking Story
Pu'uhonua O' Honaunau
Cleaning the Temple
Traveling Nowhere
Kona Coffee
Pathway to the Gods
Cactus Wars
Paving Paradise
`Io Remembers
Cloud Play
Mahalo Hawaii
Walk in Beauty


There is No Death

A lone cornstalk stands sentry
in the harvested field paying
homage to the fading stalks
of fallen soldiers-all heroes.

Old women discard worn skirts
on this same field
to dance
in sacramental
corn pollen robes
on full moon carpets of lush
green and silver.

Brittle stalks nourish
the tired soil,
the soles of my feet
are kissed by silken strands.
Memories of sweet corn
children drying in the sun
leave golden footprints
for unborn generations.

There is no death.

Pelican Pond, 2006

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