Photo courtesy of the author, Jamie Randal

Photo courtesy of the author, Jamie Randal

Jamie Randall

Jamie Randall is a member of the Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe in northern Wisconsin. She is currently completing an MFA in Creative Writing from Augsburg University, while working at a community college, dismantling the systems of oppression, and raising two amazing little people with her partner in Minnesota. Jamie seeks the rhythms of the world that have been lost to colonization and tries to release them in her poetry.  

September 2018

Witnessing Weave

In late summer, I was asked to participate in witnessing a rehearsal of Weave. Community witness is one aspect of the entire project, where different facets will be brought together to create the production. I went into the space with very little context so I would be able to fill my senses with the experience.

This particular rehearsal was held in the Ivy Arts building in South Minneapolis. As I found my way I noticed the halls were filled with offices and workspaces, many of them healers in some way or another – occupational therapy, bike repair, massage. The rehearsal space itself was the was warm with dark wood floors.

I was early so there was still pre-rehearsal prep going on – dancers were stretching, sound and projectors were being tested – I settled on a sofa in the corner of this large room and waited. Soon more people began to arrive and find seats. A hush settled as Rosy Simas walked to the front and explained to the audience what would be happening next.

In honor of what I witnessed that evening, I offer this poem which came from what I saw and heard and felt that night:  


I once walked off

the edge

of an underwater cliff


As I looked into the

ocean’s great eye

a shadow appeared

from the deep azure

Rising over horizons of

black and purple


Shadow formed sea turtle

It began a dance

Undulating ablution

We moved along the lines of

each other’s curves


In the slow moving thunder

the current and wave

I let the turtle swallow me whole