Rainbow, A Sign of Hope and God’s Promises

We have had some amazing rainbows in our neck of the woods lately! I took this photo a couple of nights ago from my front deck. It was exactly what I needed to see on that very day, at that very time. I love it when that happens. God’s Glory, as shown in nature, always leaves me in awe. Thank you, Father.

I have set my rainbow in the clouds,
and it shall be a sign of the covenant
between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:13

I also love this Hopi Indian quote: The rainbow is a sign from Him who is in all things. ~Hopi

This Week’s Feature: Bass-Toned, Bamboo Flutes!

Bamboo is considered an exotic wood, although it can be found in the United States. My bamboo flutes are a great and affordable way to start on your flute-playing adventure. While they sound beautiful, (some of my favorite personal flutes are bamboo) they are less expensive than my other exotic woods, as well as the hard wood flutes.

This week I am featuring two bamboo flutes. They are both bass-toned flutes. This red bamboo flute plays in the key of G, and the brown flute plays in the key of F.

To purchase, or for other bamboo options, please visit Bamboo River Cane in my Shop. To see all of my flutes, please simply click on Shop. Thank you!

As Long as the Grass Shall Grow: Recitation and Flute Accompaniment by Howard Ball

 Listen as I recite (and accompany with the Native American flute)
this song released by Johnny Cash in 1964.

      As Long As the Grass Shall Grow
As long as the moon shall rise, as long as the rivers flow,
As long as the sun will shine, as long as the grass shall grow.
The Senecas are an Indian tribe of the Iroquios nation,
Down on the New York Pennsylvania Line you’ll find their reservation.
After the US revolution, Cornplanter was a chief.
He told the tribe these men they could trust – that was his true belief.
He went down to Independence Hall and there was a treaty signed,
That promised peace with the USA and Indian rights combined.
George Washington gave his signature. The Government gave its hand.
They said that now and forever more that this was Indian land.
As long as the moon shall rise…
On the Seneca reservation there is much sadness now.
Washington’s treaty has been broken and there is no hope, no how.
Across the Allegheny River they’re throwing up a dam.
It will flood the Indian country, a proud day for Uncle Sam.
It has broke the ancient treaty with a politician’s grin.
It will drown the Indian’s graveyards. Cornplanter, can you swim?
The earth is mother to the the Senecas. They’re trampling sacred ground,
Changing the mint green earth to black mud flats, as honor hobbles down.
As long as the moon shall rise…
The Iroquios Indians used to rule from Canada way south.
But no one fears the Indians now and smiles the liar’s mouth.
The Senecas hired an expert to figure another site,
But the great, good army engineers said that he had no right.
Although he showed them another plan and showed them another way,
They laughed in his face and said no deal – Kinuza dam is here to stay.
Congress turned the Indians down, brushed off the Indians plea,
So the Senecas have renamed the dam – they call it Lake Perfidy.
As long as the moon shall rise…
Washington, Adams, and Kennedy – now hear their pledges ring.
The treaties are safe. We’ll keep our word, but what is that gurgling?
It’s the back water from Perfidy Lake, it’s rising all the time –
Over the homes, and over the fields, and over the promises fine.
No boats will sail on Lake Perfidy – in winter it will fill.
In summer it will be a swamp, and all the fish will kill.
But the Government of the USA has corrected George’s vow.
The father of our country must be wrong – what’s an Indian anyhow?
As long as the moon shall rise, (look up) as long as the rivers flow, (are you thirsty)
As long as the sun will shine, (my brother are you warm) as long as the grass shall grow
For more recitations of Poems, Songs, and Prayers, as well as flute music, please see my Flute Sounds page.

The Sounds of Nature

The Sounds of Nature

As I walk a new path today,
I anticipate where God will lead me, and I begin to pray.

I climb higher, walking up the hill,
high above me is a noise – so loud and shrill.

It is the chirp of an eagle flying high,
amidst the white clouds in a clear blue sky.

All the birds are singing their song.
I‘m listening to nature as I stroll along.

How many times have I heard that sound –
of a humming bird flying around?

Frogs jumping in the pond just below,
and suddenly I hear the call of a crow.

As a deer jumps the trail in front of me,
I hear the sound of wild turkeys roosting in a tree.

And geese are honking their call, high in the sky.
I’m hearing so much and I ask myself why?

As the wind billows up and blows through a tree,
I wonder what these sounds are saying to me?

I’m tired and I sit down on a log.
I hear the croaking of a bull frog.

My flute in hand, I commence to play
to see what I can add to the sounds of the day.

I begin to ponder, as I sit there,
“The sound of my flute is much like a prayer.”

I’m filled with gratitude for all that I hear,
and that the sounds of nature are always near.

By Howard Ball

A.A. Milne Quote About Perseverance and Patience

I love this quote about perseverance and patience from A.A. Milne, the author and creator of Winnie the Pooh.

Rivers know this: there is no hurry.
We shall get there some day.~A.A. Milne

This is also the way of the Native American culture.

Ceremony of Tears, a Poem About the Building of Grand Coulee Dam and a Tribute to the Local Native People

Image result for Grand coulee dam being built

Ceremony of Tears

The Grand Coulee Dam would have no fish ladder to climb,
no way for the salmon to get up the line.

For many generations the Indians had fished the river there,
thousands of salmon running year after year.

The salmon would swim up the Columbia river to spawn,
where the Indian people fished from dusk to dawn.

The white man didn’t understand or care about the Indian way,
how much the fish helped them from day to day.

The spawning salmon and the food that they gave
were meals that their families could store and save.

The fish would swim to a place that was called Kettle Falls.
Many tribes would come there when the season would call.

A Salmon Chief was chosen out of respect.
He would take care of problems, lead and direct.

The young men would climb out over the falls,
and catch the jumping salmon in basket stalls.

They’d fish with spears and nets too,
any way they could catch them and subdue.

The men would then pass the salmon to the shore,
where women and children prepared them and more.

The women placed the salmon on sticks around a fire, and some to sun-dry,
to store them for the future – such an important supply.

The days were long with excitement and strife.
Oh how they would miss this old way of life.

There were Chelans, Colvilles, Nespelems, and the San Poils;
The Lakes, the Palouse, and Wenatchees laboring in their toil.

The Methow, the Okanogan, and Chief Joseph’s band,
they all shared in the fishing and gave a helping hand.

The Kalispell and the Kootenai fished there too,
and the Bloods came from Canada – there weren’t just a few.

The Spokane Tribe and the Coeurd’Alene’s came,
the quest to catch the returning salmon was always the same.

They named the huge lake that covered the land, Lake Roosevelt,
for the United States President who had taken a stand.

From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Canadian border,
it was 140 miles of lake to get into order.

The dam would provide energy and irrigation for a lot of dry earth,
yet cover towns where people had lived since the time of their birth.

The beautiful history and culture of a people covered forever,
could not be saved with another endeavor.

The changing world, and modern progress were here to stay,
and so the people gathered to grieve and remember on this final day.

They traveled from many places, covering hundreds of miles,
to say a final farewell to their fishing grounds known as Kettle Falls.

The gathering of the people with their memories, questions, and fears
would forever be known as, The Ceremony of Tears.

By Howard Ball

As founder and owner of Ball and Dodd Funeral Home in Spokane, Washington, My father was in charge of moving all of the Indian graves to higher ground when Grand Coulee Dam was built. The stories of the people’s sadness and challenges at their way of life being forever changed greatly affected me. I wrote this poem as a tribute to the Native People of this region. Please see my blog post about the film, Echoes of Yesterday, produced by Lon Gibby Productions, which documents my father’s project.

For a recording of me reciting this poem, accompanied by my flute music, please listen here:

Ceremony of Tears 

      Ceremony of Tears

For more recordings of my music and recitations see my Flute Sounds page.