Manataka American Indian Council

Proudly Presents






by Juli Maltagliati



 God Showed Up
They say God is
bearded and bellowing,
maternal and merciful,
mystical, unknowable,
unnameable, infinite,
genie and magician,
 God showed up today
in the space between remembrance
when sense went missing
and my dogs smiled,
lively eyes flashing
sacred knowledge of eons.
God showed up today,
shunning incense and ritual,
pious words and sacrament,
speaking in tongues lapping water,
reflected in hands dirty
with soil brushed from
sun-warmed fur.
Tragedy goes unanswered
and unchallenged;
sorrow and grief wont be denied.
But God shows up
when theyre not looking,
as panting canine breath
hot with laughter
that thaws our icy
howling hearts.
Copyright 9-14-08
Juli Maltagliati






Each is a morning of miracles

when my faithful eyes unlock to the light of day,

familiar delectable stranger,

come to whisk me away,

a fresh face among thousands,

taking shape from a somnolent fog

as my ears are caressed by the

snuffling snore of dogs.


My breath is the breath of Lazarus,

reclaiming life

in a renaissance of lucidity,

cutting dreams like a knife.

Both wonderment and confusion

fill my essence and lungs,

in equal audacious proportions,

as they speak in tongues.


I meet myself in the waking,

the lost and the found,

and exchange the usual pleasantries,

without making a sound.

Then I rise to go out through the egress 

where the stone has been rolled away,

and wink at my pseudo sangfroid,

that I wear to traverse the day.


 Copyright 7-10-2014

Juli Maltagliati





During the darkest shadow time,

while staggering through my daze,

a hidden door appeared that beckoned me to choose,

and stumbling across the yawning threshold there,

I ventured on, with nothing left to lose.


There then emerged a bright ephemeral realm,

shrouding me with peace Id never known,

emancipation far beyond a name,

absolving obligation to atone,

and transitory though I knew it was,

those moments lay fixed as corundum stones,

and left their mark forever on my soul,

scrimshaw on my frail immortal bones.


Then, a multitude of angels did appear,

lest I trust the lie I was alone,

and all at once, I knew what rapture was,

no trace of cruel calamity or fear,

and every dog Ive ever loved was there,

faces lifted heavenward, like mine,

searching for God with sure, untroubled eyes

sniffing the evanescent, sacred air.



Copyright 7-19-2014

Juli Maltagliati






There you lay in the new days light,

your life lost sometime in the night,

still and unbroken like morning dew.

Oh, you might have been sleeping.


Who even knew you lived,

beyond the one who killed you?

Who ever cared for you but your mother

and our God?

Who mourned your passing but me?

Maybe angels in attendance,

or maybe the wee lizard watching

as I buried you in the soft earth,

unless, quite unlike me,

she had the eyes to see

you rising up like Jesus did

to meet eternity.


Copyright 7-12-13

Juli Maltagliati





If I only knew how,

I would bottle my dogs like a fragrance,

their essences harnessed.

Even after they strayed to the fog

where they vanish forever,

I could open that vessel,

as I grieved,

inhale them like oxygen,

pour them over myself

like baptismal waters,

healed of delusion and vanity,

saved from human nature,

born again with an adequate heart,

and I might be retrieved.


Copyright 8-8-13

Juli Maltagliati





I buried a snake in the woods today.

Someone had fractured its back.

It looked otherwise unhurt,

a mosaic of ineffable beauty

lying broken in the dirt.

I prayed for the delicate serpent

and for each one that roams and survives.

I prayed for those whose irrational fears

make them lay waste to innocent lives.


Humble snakes move in silence around us,

vilified, feared, and despised,

and what we perceive as temptations

are but passion and beauty disguised.


Weve forgotten more than we remember,

yet are sure we have something to teach.

Words never come as we bid them;

we make do with what passes for speech.


Our own hissing ophidian shadows

concoct mythical beasts to combat.

Dazzling snakes at our feet horrify us,

and we are the poorer for that.


 Copyright 5-30-12

Juli Maltagliati