Emergence Magazine

Artwork by James Lee Chiahan

Earth Keeper

by N. Scott Momaday


N. Scott Momaday is a Kiowa author and poet. His books of poetry include In the Bear’s House; In the Presence of the Sun: Stories and Poems, 1961–1991; and The Gourd Dancer. His first novel, House Made of Dawn, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


James Lee Chiahan is a Taiwanese-Canadian artist and graphic designer. He is interested in creating images that recall moments in everyday life that are deeply affecting but difficult to explain. His clients include The Marshall Project, The California Sunday, and The On Being Project. He is currently based in Montreal, Canada.

When we dance the earth trembles. When our steps fall on the earth we feel the shudder of life beneath us, and the earth feels the beating of our hearts, and we become one with the earth. We shall not sever ourselves from the earth. We must chant our being, and we must dance in time with the rhythms of the earth. We must keep the earth.


N. Scott Momaday, excerpt from Earth Keeper: Reflections on the American Land.
Copyright © 2020 by N. Scott Momaday. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins.

Read More from Shifting Landscapes

Step further into the changes enveloping us with Vol 4. Shifting Landscapes. The voices gathered here bear witness to the Earth’s changing face and offer ways to orient ourselves in this time of great loss, possibility, and transformation. Spanning 275 pages, this issue is our most photographic to date and includes a special practice insert.

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