Grandmothers Land

By William Oandasan 1947–1992 William Oandasan
around the house stood an
orchard of plum, apple and pear
a blackwalnut tree, one white pine,
groves of white oak and willow clumps
the home of Jessie was largely redwood

blood, flesh and bone sprouted
inside her womb of redwood
for five generations
the trees now stand unpruned and wild

after relocating so many years before the War
the seeds of Jessie have returned

afternoon sunlight on the field
breezes moving grass and leaves
memories with family names wait
within the earth, the mountains,
the valley, the field, the trees

William Oandasan, “Grandmothers Land” from Round Valley Songs. Copyright © 1984 by William Oandasan. Reprinted by permission of West End Press.

Source: Round Valley Songs (West End Press, 1984)

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Poet William Oandasan 1947–1992


Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Nature, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity


Of mixed Yuki and Filipino heritage, William Oandasan was a member of the Yuki tribe of Round Valley, California. An advocate for Native American writers, he founded A Press in 1976 and edited A: A Journal of Contemporary Literature. He is the author of the poetry collections Taking Off (1976); Sermon & Three Waves: A Journey Through Night (1978); Moving Inland, A Cycle of Lyrics (1983); Round Valley Songs (1984), winner of the . . .

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Poems by William Oandasan

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Nature, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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