Four Winds

The old Lakota was wise. He knew that a man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard. He knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too. So he kept his children close to nature’s softening influence. ~ Luther Standing Bear

Four Winds

the east offers new beginnings and the seeds of wisdomFour Winds, poetry

from the south we receive warmth and growth

the west brings sunsets, death and the flow of life

while the cold north winds teach us patience and endurance


I feel a strong affinity for the Native American teachings and traditional way of life, including the idea of Wakan Tankan (Lakota for the Great Spirit or Mystery of life). My poem is based on the teachings of the Lakota tribe of the North American plains. They see the world as having four directions with a different wind or property for each direction. Some tribes teach six directions (adding above and below) as in my haiku called Native Winds.

Alternate meanings on the four directions from the National Library of Medicine:

four directions: east, south, west and north

seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter

elements: fire (or sun), air, water, and earth

stages of life: birth, youth, elder, death

aspects of life: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical


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