New Medicine


By Chrystel Aurora Cornelius, Anishinabe People/Turtle Mountains, North Dakota


A poetic interpretation of the painting "Little Brother" by Nick Baxter



Although the landscape captures only a fraction of the portrait it implies an all encompassing expansiveness, a silent desolation of a barren and cracked landscape, devoid of natural presence.


A vast wasteland of fractured parched earth abounds, opened to its capacity –no water, no sprig of green, no life. 


Beyond exhaustion, the earth is forlorn.


Yet amid this natural devastation, still yet emerges… the all consuming eye.  The certain culprit of such grotesque devastation, like a cockroach, it too survives.


Perverted in its very existence, we see a visual metaphor representing the relentless consumption of the global masses, perpetuated by industrial and corporate hunger, a vast black void incapable of satisfaction.


Gently coating the desecration in an attempt of subterfuge we find the preverbal whitewash-or green wash if you will -of governmental illusions of perpetual comfort and stability, of endless opportunity and resource, a falsified belief in the advancement of tomorrow.


But that facade is too revealed and the layers of truth peel beneath the surface.


Yet the eye still searches, crazed and bloodshot, wearing the blood of Armageddon brought on by itself-   its presence still restless and relentless in its everlasting pursuit of …more.


Incapable of experiencing the solace and joy of the present, looking through a cracked lens of perception it is ever diligent in its perpetual search.


And here we see a portrait of the future, no matter the course that is taken among the many avenues presently given; our global society is blindingly leading us to the silent and timeless oblivion of non-existence.


And so we ponder.


Yet present reality shifts as we look at the portrait.  In plain view shadowing the madness we find gitche mushkeeki (great medicine) gently draped over our uncertain future. 


The most powerful protection known to our people, we see a plea to the human race to yet ever evolve and persevere in our effort at conservation which is our only hope  for own  continued existence.


And so we visually witness….the embodiment of prayer on canvas.


So we’ll leave off with much wiser words than I can offer…


Only after the last tree has been cut down,

Only after the last river has been poisoned,

Only after the last fish has been caught,

Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

-- Cree Indian Prophecy