Many people who knew Doti (including me) didn't realize that she'd been a prolific poet in her younger years.  She wrote mostly about the two things that were closest to her heart:  nature and Native American culture.  

She always had a strong connection with nature and, if it was possible, had perhaps been a Hopi medicine woman in a previous lifetime.  Some people would look at her funny when she'd say something like that, but she firmly believed in spirits, previous lives and the afterlife, and she always had a strong affinity for the desert Southwest native cultures.  When she was a kid playing "Cowboys and Indians" with her friends, Doti was always an Indian.

While she was in the hospital recently, I stumbled across a folder in her house that contained poems she'd written between the ages of 10 and 16 and I mentioned them to her.  "When I was young, I thought about becoming a poet," she told me, "but I decided to become a teacher instead."  I read several poems to her during her final days as she lay in her hospital bed, including the one I especially liked, called "All is Quiet."

I've posted a few of her poems here, all of which she wrote when she was 16 except for "All is Quiet," which she wrote when she was just 10.  Under the text of each poem, I posted a scan of the original poem that I found in her folder.

All is Quiet

 

Walking through the forest light,
Just before a summer night,
All is quiet, all is still,
All is at nature's will.

Peace is scattered throughout my mind,
Then a strange feeling I seem to find,
I seem to find myself at rest,
The forest seems also to be blessed.

Not a whisper from the swaying trees,
Not a sigh from the frolicking breeze,
True all is quiet, all is still,
All is at nature's will.

Heart of the Wind

 

Walking over the heavens,
Blowing past the clouds of white,
Slowly this wind spirit
Brings first the sign of light.

Puffing over the mesas,
Drifting banks of shifting sand,
Gently this wind goddess
Brings a peace unto the land.

Storming over the desert,
Tossing sand into the air,
Raging, this wind demon
Leaves the earth so nobly bare.

   

Cloud Dreamer

 

High on the distant mesa he lies,
This lone Pueblo boy;
Watching the drifting clouds in the skies,
And dreaming as they float by.

The lofty eagle soars high above,
Against the turquoise sky;
Sending his silent message of love,
And guarding the Indian boy.

Twilight

 

Beauty in the desert
From the sunset glow,
Drives the sands to shifting,
Sends the wind to blow.

Then the rays of twilight
Slant across the land
And bring the chill of nightfall
To the blazing sand.

 

   

Rain Prayer 

 

Hear the pound of mighty drums, 
Thumping, throbbing in the earth;
Harken to the sound of thunder. 


See the mass of whirling feathers,
Spinning, twirling in the sky;
Now behold the sign of rain clouds. 


Feel the touch of splashing water,
Beating, dashing on the sand;
Understand these drops of beauty.

 

Harmony

 

Calm and peaceful
Are their faces,
As quietly
They walk the earth;
For beauty
Roams their hearts.

Harsh and rugged
Are the deserts,
As thirstily
They drink the rain;
For water
Rules all life.

Cool and cloudy
Are the blue skies
As breezily
they brush the land;

For turquoise
Rides the clouds.

Calm and peaceful
Is their union,
As beautifully
They travel life;
For beauty
Restores their souls.