Poster Image

Their Ghosts Are Still There


Item#: 2006SYR07

Purchase Details

11x17-inches, printed on heavy weight (100-pound) Hammermill cover paper. We package each print with a piece of chipboard in a clear plastic sleeve.

You also receive…

An information page with photos of the artist and poet, and hand-written comments from each.

Medium- and large-format posters are available by custom order. Contact us for details.

Poem Inspiration Location

Their Ghosts Are Still There

poster information


Their spirits are there
Native voices echoing
Onondaga Lake

Some days I go walk Onondaga Lake Parkway, or ride my bike along it. One day I was walking it, and I got this feeling that there were spirits around. It was a spring day, and warm, with the sun shining. Spring is a time of renewal for me, and it's my favorite season. I think that had something to do with it. I felt that these spirits were walking with me, or that they were in canoes on the lake, and I just started thinking what life was like back then.

Spirits often come to me in my dreams. Relatives who have died—they appear in my dreams and sometimes talk to me. And then I'll write the dreams down. I always think they're trying to tell me something significant. Like with the Indians: the message seems peaceful—to respect nature.

My recent creative work has focused on cultural icons, so this poem was a natural. It was about celebrating a culture for which I have a great deal of respect.

When I read this haiku, I immediately saw, in my mind's eye, what it would look like.

A good friend of mine, Anna Dyer, is Mohawk, and she was a great help. She loaned me a sweet grass “Strawberry” basket. I used the lid as reference for the light at the top of the image.
Anna's friend, Louise Cook, translated the haiku into Mohawk so I could incorporate that into the water. I also included the turtle image in tribute to the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga.