Let your imagination soar

October 5, 2021

Walking on Earth & Touching the SkyThe students at Red Cloud Indian School wrote poems. Their teacher, Timothy P. McLaughlin, collected and helped them edit their work. Artist and author, S.D. Nelson, Standing Rock Sioux (Lakota) painted the illustrations, incredible illustrations.

Joseph M. Marshall III, author, from the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, wrote a foreword for this stunning book, Walking on Earth & Touching the Sky, an anthology of the students’ poems and short prose.

I would like to share my favorite poem which I read to my writing students every workshop I teach.

And then I ask them to choose an animal … or an object … and write their own poem of seven ways to look at, think about, imagine that animal or object.

Seven Ways of Looking at Eagles

by Tonia Scabby Face

One way is how he soars high above the clouds.
The second way is when the eagle sits on a tree branch
Looking over the countryside.
The third way is when he grabs his prey on the prairie.
The fourth way is when his protective eyes are keeping you safe at all times.
The fifth way is when the eagle lets us borrow his feathers.
The sixth way is when he talks to the rest of the sacred animals
So they can also keep you protected.
The seventh way … the seventh way is how the eagle sits waiting for your own flight to the sky.

Choose your own animal. Let your imagination soar. Write seven ways of looking.

Nancy Bo Flood

As a fish-brain surgeon or a rodeo poem wrangler, I have loved stories. I strongly believe that words – in poetry or prose – help heal our hearts and give us new eyes to see the world. I was first a research psychologist studying brain development at the University of Minnesota and London University before following my passion – writing for children. Learn more...