Janice Gould

Waking in the Dark
                    For Marta Snow

Waking in the dark, I lie in bed near the open window
and stare at the sky.

Stars pass by like migrants,
each one bent with a burden of light,
each one murmuring a little song
remembered from childhood.

The road they tread is long, their feet dusty,
hardened by the persistence
and permanence of passage.

Night wind rushes past
cool as velvet, smelling faintly
of lilac and sand.

It nudges the stars along,
and when they begin to wane
whispers encouragement, explaining
the necessity of movement,
proposing a purpose:

that simple relativity sustains us,
that the force of gratitude connects us on our journey,
watchers of skies and stars.

Waking in the dark,
I lie in bed near the open window
and stare at the sky.

Janice Gould’s tribal affiliation is Koyoonk’auwi (Concow).  She grew up in Berkeley, California and attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning a BA in linguistics and an MA in English. She completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of New Mexico, with a concentration in Native American Literature. In 2008, she earned a Master’s degree in Library Science at the University of Arizona, and also completed work for a certification in Museum Studies.

Janice was recently named the Pike’s Peak Poet Laureate for 2014-2016 and, as a result, was recognized with a “Spirit of the Springs” Award from the City of Colorado Springs. Her poetry is published in over sixty journals and reviews. She has earned awards for her writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Astraea Foundation, the online journal, Native Literatures: Generations, and from the Pikes Peak Arts Council. In 2012 she was the Native American writer in residence at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, the second person to hold this honor. Her most recent book of poetry, Doubters and Dreamers, from the University of Arizona Press, was a Colorado Book Award Finalist and a Milt Kessler Book Award Finalist. Her other books include Earthquake Weather, also from the University of Arizona Press, Beneath My Heart from Firebrand Books, and Alphabet, an artbook/chapbook published by May Day Press. The University of Arizona Press also published a volume Janice co-edited, Speak to Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry. 

Janice is an Associate Professor in Women’s and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she developed and coordinates the program for certification in Native American Studies. Her many other talents include music performance, music composition, and photography. You can view some of her photographic work here.