In A Dress Made of Butterflies by Sandra Lee Stillwell

In A Dress Made of Butterflies

poems by Sandra Lee Stillwell

Cover Art Legendary Spring Birds
by David Chethlahe Paladin

Published by Poetic Matrix Press
112 pages, price $15.00
ISBN 978-0-9789597-0-8

Available from Small Press Distribution (SPD)

SPD

Description
The Book

For nearly a decade, Sandy Stillwell has been published in our national level rural literary newsletter, Hard Row To Hoe, more often than any other poet or writer. She is, for us, ‘the Voice' of Native American Culture.
— Joe E. Armstrong, Editor Hard Row To Hoe

When I first met Sandra I knew then that she is an old soul, wise beyond her years. This is present in all of Sandra's poetry, stretching back to the world's beginnings and all the way to the present and on past. Sandra tells wonderful stories in her poems, adding herself to a long line of storytellers. Like Griots of old, she distills the truth through a fine water of words. And that is the key to her work—a deep love and sharing of truth. It is an honor that she is my friend. I hope she will become yours, as well.
— James Downs, Yosemite Poet

Sandra Lee Stillwell

I am a wild flower transplanted in full bloom from the Mendocino Coast to the inlands of California. I wilted some in the heat, but recovered enough to discover the joys of middle age. I am a descendant of the Karuk People of Northern California. My Grandmothers ventured from their brown eyed suitors to settle with husbands with beautiful sea green and sky blue eyes, hence only my heart is truly native. I carry a small grudge aimed at my Grandmothers to this day.

I find inspiration in life, nature and the culture of my ancestors. I am employed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation which keeps me close to nature. Life comes naturally and the culture of the old ones is an integral part of who I am. Poetry is my drug of choice, but it has not always been so. I find bitter sweet joy in being part of a volunteer teaching team at a rehabilitation facility in Fairfield, California. My students are in recovery for drug, alcohol and life abuses, self inflicted and otherwise.

In this first book I have tried to tell the stories of my life and the lives of others with as much truth as possible. In some cases I have failed miserably. Everyday brings a new dawn and another chance to get it right, another chance to cherish all of life's blessings, another chance to dream of and work toward peace for all of the Earth's children. — Sandy

Legendary Spring Birds by David Chethlahe Paladin

I am forever indebted to Lynda Paladin not only for so graciously allowing me to use her late husband, David Chethlahe Paladin's artwork, but for choosing what I consider to be the perfect cover art for "In A Dress Made Of Butterflies." The caption under the photo she sent me reads: "Here's ‘Legendary Spring Birds'. Although there are what look like butterflies, they are really winged serpents. This is about transition, from the old world that's dying to the new world that's being born...or created." It is a painting filled with hope. That is what I wanted my book to be. — Sandy

From In A Dress Made Of Butterflies:

About Jim Eagle Heart's Flute A Blossom Fully Opened
For My Father
He says he found it in a dream
the big bear flute
inlaid with turquoise and shell.

Found it in a dream
and crafted it right the first time.

No mistakes...
just right the first time.

He found it in a dream
the big bear flute
inlaid with turquoise and shell.

Each morning he goes outside
to give thanks and greet the dawn.

The morning after,
big bear tracks circled his house
circled so as not to unwind the dream.

He says he found it in a dream
the big bear flute
inlaid with turquoise and shell.

Found it in a dream
and got it right the first time.
You never spoke to me of the one called God,
but I saw the light within your eyes,
and felt the warmth of love
and peace
radiating from your touch.

You never spoke to me of the one called God,
but I saw the worn spots
on the knees of your pants,
and on the rug beside your bed,
and heard murmurings in the night
when only you and I were awake.

You never spoke to me of the one called God.
Perhaps there are some things
better left unsaid,
things that speak for themselves,
like how we live our lives,
or the way we treat our neighbors,

You never spoke to me of the one called God,
but then there was no need to speak,
for your truth was a blossom
fully opened.
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