ATTLE CHEE ATTLE / Ralph La Charity

when chee qualmie me Attle Seacomish
chee qualmie come stillish
come stillish sno Attle cheecom

when chee qualmie homish see agua sno Attle
chee qualmie agua   agua qualmie
Seacomish snoguamish guano qualmie
snocomish guano guanatchee
at chee guamqualmie guanatchee still

          Attle chee Attle / chee Attle cheecom

cheecomcomish cheecomqualmie
when at come quacheecomish
homish chee Attle me guamqualmie
sno homish   when at chee
come at chee sno, come at chee gua
at chee still a guamish omcomish
come at chee sno guamish, at chee come coma comagua
omcomish   at chee agua   comqualmie qualm

          Attle chee Attle / chee Attle chee gua

gua comagua omcomish
gua guamish Seacomish still Attle
sno guamish guanatchee gua homish still
when chee qualmie, chee qualmie homish sno guamish

chee comish guamcomish when Attle
omcomish still Attle comagua, still Attle a coma
when chee qualmie, me chee guamish
when chee comish, me chee Attle

          gua chee Attle
                         Attle me guamqualmie
          Attle me guamcomish
                               qua chee Attle
          chee comish Attle
                             chee guamish Attle

qualmie sno homish               qualmie when at chee

          Attle chee Attle / chee Attle chee Qua

1 comment:

Ralph La Charity said...

Folks in Athens GA, who were able to hear this poem aloud in performance early Oct 2010 at the Globe, where it was chanted forth by me as it should be, have evinced curiosity about what language this poem is in. Rand McNally provided the place names I used as the basis for this chant, which I crafted forth while living in Seattle in the early '80s. The state of Washington has many many place names that come to us via its native American populations. All you have to do is look at the state as represented in a RMcNally road atlas and you will see where the vocabulary for this poem/chant comes from. I took a handful of those place names, mixed them up & took them apart, reconstructed them on the fly, letting the Ear of the Poet (me) roam the evocative interstices & tell the aurally suggested tale. The particular way I chant the piece is my own intuitive rendering, not one drawn from having heard native American speakers from the state of Washington in action.