Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sioux Falls

Patrick and I drove to Sioux Falls this past weekend to attend the Northern Plains Indian Art Market. The market was disappointing: far smaller than it used to be. However, most of the artists I like were still there. They are all people from the Dakotas. The Blackfoot from farther west, who do awesome beadwork, were not there. Nor were the plains Ojibwa, who are also fine beadworkers.

Patrick bought a ring from Paul Szabo, a Lakota silversmith from the Rosebud Reservation. I got a pair of earrings that Szabo made: highly stylized, geometric spiders. The Lakota trickster is Iktomi the Spider, though I don't know if my spiders are Iktomi.

There has been heavy rain and flooding through the Upper Midwest. Driving back, we dcided to take two lane highways rather than the Interstate. We ran into a detour on the Highway 14, which was probably flooding along the Cottonwood River. But it didn't take us far out of way; and the drive was pleasant, through golden fields under a bright blue sky.

We got some terrific photos in Sioux Falls of the falls on the Big Sioux River, which is running very high.

I wrote a poem:
We are photographing the Big Sioux River,
twice as big as it’s supposed to be,
flooding houses and garages,
cars half under water.
A guy says where he’s from in Iowa
flood water took out a dam a week ago.
“It isn’t supposed to be like this,
not in September.”

We don’t mention global warming.
Instead, we drive down to Sioux Falls
to photograph water crashing and foaming
over ledges of pink sioux quartzite,
people walking on the stone at the river’s edge,
watching and taking pictures,
mostly quiet and serious,
as if this is somehow important.


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