Windy Winter in the Forest (day 2049)

Green branches and
New logs
Across my path

Where Roots Dig In (day 2048)

You could have been left
As the ancient Ents of y’or
– A diamond tear –
For this full moon
Amidst orbit
Of one remaining star
That settled dangling roots
Bore each drop to fall
Again, again
A rumbling sound
Shaking from
Fiery depths within
– Mordor’s call –
Your name, it rang
It flickered truth
Through a clear eye
Of a diamond mind
Where time stretched
Between the underground
And fear you’ve left
– A diamond tear –
Where roots dig in
And a crysalis
Becomes a nymph.

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXXIII (day 2047)

(part XXXXXXXII)

I surprised myself at how passionate I became
And took Willow to bed
We lay there, forehead to forehead
Sharing our hearts and souls
Through our eyes, our breath
Our souls entwined like our very essences
A mixture of meaning and questions
Desire and passion
A giving and taking and listening and sharing
One that we spoke in ten thousand languages
When she kissed me I was at once a victim
Then an accomplice
Then I was the fever incomprehensible
And then just as quickly
Transformed back into the listener.

I experienced an epiphany that night
That I never really truly felt before
And that was the feeling of One
That my thoughts
Were just as relevant as Willow’s thoughts
That she had mine and I had hers
And that we were both at the same time
Quite on opposite sides of the same breath
Her ebb was my flow
But our build was the same
I felt it as I held her
And she moved with me and against me
We began glowing together
I experienced a union
Then stepped back and observed the separation
I learned the experience of true love
Fully loving
Which was both giving and taking
At the same time
Both nothing and everything
Both silence and screaming
Like I said, epiphany.

That night I bowed down to the deep connection
I felt and experienced so intimately with Willow
I thanked my fingers for finding me so
I thanked my breath for filling me so
I thanked my eyes for focusing me so
I thanked my heart for fueling me so
I thanked my knees for bending me so
I thanked Willow, deeply, powerfully
With words that meant ten thousand things
With embraces that held ten thousand meanings
With tears that sprung ten thousand rivers
With motion that turned ten thousand days
Past moons that shone at midnight.

// end

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXXII (day 2046)

(part XXXXXXXI)

In the morning
After Sara had fed us all we could eat
We were again on our way home
With slightly lighter packs on our backs
Leaving such a warm and friendly place
Always makes one feel a bit homesick
For their own special people
Their own family
I knew that both Moon Cow and I
Had home on our mind
But nonetheless
We had a happy jump in our step
As we made our way through the forest.

That morning when we were stopped by the creek for a drink
We saw two Elk come up and have a drink, too
We knew that there must be more around
But neither of us could handle carrying any more on our backs
So we just sat and watched them drink water
Saw them communicating with themselves
It’s hard not to project human emotions and feelings
Onto animals that you see
Are they in love? Are they romancing?
They are probably just thirsty
And their instinct led them to water…
Peaceful animals and very quiet.

When we started to recognize our home trials
Our spirits became much lighter
And we were practically skipping along carelessly
When out popped one of the young scouts
Right in front of us and scared the willies out of us!
Moon Cow started playing around as if he was shot
And the young scout named Beaver Slap
Accompanied us home as Moon Cow shared stories with him
About how we had come by the meat we carried on our backs.

Willow and Lily were expecting us
And as we came into the village
They came over to us and gave us hugs
It felt so good, even after just a short time
To hug Mercy and Lily again
It is hard to explain the goodness one feels inside
When such a thing is experienced
I guess all I could do was squeeze extra hard
Like a giant bear
And hold them extra long
And laugh extra deep.

part XXXXXXXIII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXXI (day 2045)

(part XXXXXXX)

Sara and Bill were happy to see me
They said they hadn’t had any visitors yet this summer
And had none to expect
They confessed they had been watching a while for me now
Thinking it was about that time
That I’d be showing up,
If I were to be showing up at all
They had news of a few U.S. Army parties
Heading through these parts
Looking for some rogue bandits of some sort
Miners, they said, that had caused quite a stir
In a town about five days ride South East
Early in the Spring
We said we hadn’t seen or heard either of them
It wasn’t the group that Tall Pine and I
Had tracked the year prior that ransacked our home,
It is always a bit unsettling
Knowing that people like that are out there
Maybe watching us as we go about our day
Who knows what they’d do if they stumbled upon our home
Most likely they’d stay right clear
If they know what was best for them
We have a good number of scouts
Always roaming the valley who wouldn’t be
Too friendly to them, also.

We showed Sara the gift of our deer
And she was very happy to accept it
She immediately went to work preparing it
And Moon Cow asked her if she’d like us to set up
A smoke house for them to smoke it with
She said that she had heard of such things
But never seen one set up
And she’d be much obliged if we could show her
That was, of course, if we could put one together
With the little pieces
Of leftover wood that we could find around
We told her that wouldn’t be an issue
That all we needed was a few axes
And we’d be able to make it from a few fresh logs.

We spent the night listening to Bill’s stories
Moon Cow fit in just fine
Being a man of words, too
I think Johnny-Boy enjoyed hearing the stories
Moon Cow shared,
A culture I don’t think he has yet had
Much exposure to,
His life mostly living off the land
As they were now
And in mining towns
Like the one he was born in.

Moon Cow and I slept outside
We made a small fire
To keep ourselves warm through the night
I liked sleeping under the stars most of the time
It’s something that you get used to
And if you have just a few small luxuries
It really can become quite liberating
Traveling so lightly and freely
Especially when you’re carrying
Everything on your back.

part XXXXXXXII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXX (day 2044)

(part XXXXXXIX)

We had been going North for three days
And decided to head West towards the mountains
Until we could go no further
And then begin the journey South
Towards our home
Hoping by that time, we’d have some meat.

By noon we had two deer, one male and one female
Moon Cow had found the first one
Put an arrow into it that went in through the rib cage
And Long Arrow put a second arrow into it
Which went right into its neck
We followed it for a short time
Easy to keep track of as it moved slowly
And as we were doing this
Moon Cow saw a second one, the male
Which Runs Wild also saw at the same time
So he snuck up on it a little bit
With Moon Cow right there beside him
As Long Arrow and I kept tracking the first one
And Runs Wild put his arrow right into the second deer’s heart
Which fell right there, on the spot.

For the rest of the afternoon we dressed the deer
And feasted on the hearts
A delicacy I had acquired the taste for
Hunting with Moon Cow
He once told me a story of why it’s important
To first eat the heart of the animal
That has sacrificed it’s life for us
“When the moon bleeds it’s light
We must see it
And the Coyotes howl
We must hear it
When the wind blows
We must send our messages in it
So to must we eat the heart
Of the life we took.”

There is an unspoken tension
That exists when upon the hunt
And no hunt has been made
Land speaks to one in this way
Without words
Call it superstitions
Call it coincidence
But food is food and when no food has been got
One will go hungry
A winter with no food is a cold winter indeed
We were all happy that night
To have very full bellies.

At this point, we were only a day and a half
Away from Sara, Bill, and Johnny-Boy
Who I hadn’t yet gone to check-in on this year
I made mention that I’d like to go see them
And Moon Cow was eager to meet them himself
But Long Arrow and Runs Wild showed no interest
So we decided that the two of us would go see them
With extra heavy packs
And give them a healthy portion of deer
We traveled together for one full day
And when Moon Cow woke me up the second morning
Long Arrow and Runs Wild had already left
Moon Cow and I arrive at their cabin by noon
Just in time for fresh bread from Sara’s oven.

part XXXXXXXI

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXIX (day 2043)

(part XXXXXXVIII)

For three days we hunted
And for three days we found nothing
That would serve as any kind of sustenance
We of course found plenty of squirrels
And small birds to feed us
But deer, elk, buffalo, moose…
Nothing.

I woke up on the morning of the fourth day
Feeling like I had been charged with bolt of lightening
Awake from a dream that had left me silent all morning
As we packed up and prepared to break camp
Moon Cow came over and looked at my arrows
And asked if I was alright
I said yes, I’ve never felt better
And he asked about my dream
Moon Cow always had a sense about these kind of things
I think that’s part of the medicine man in him.

“When I was young
My mother used to come into my room
In the early hours of the day
And tell me that my father had just left again
She would cry to me
And I was..
Hardly able to understand what that meant
But her crying
Would alert me, and wake me up
And I would feel like I had to protect her
I was responsible for her
An assumed set of duties
That charged me with purpose
You should have seen me
Walking down the street
With two cents in my pocket
Going to buy the daily bread and a paper for mom
I’d say hi to all the folks I knew
And they’d smile back at me
Knowing and seeing the determination in my eyes
The responsibility I had in my shoes
They knew my father
Some would even stuff a nickle
Into my well worn pockets
I’d smile and say: ‘thank you m’am’
And charge off on my way
When I’d return home
Mother would be waiting with a broom
For the paper to devour
With the hopes she would find something better
For herself and me, I guess
In my dream I remembered my determination
For a better tomorrow
The perseverance that was required of me
I feel it now
And it makes me think about the future.

part XXXXXXX

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXVIII (day 2042)

(part XXXXXXVII)

After seven full days of talks
Mountain Chief decided that we would stay where we were
And let the White Man’s determination
Determine our future
Our hopes were that we would remain safe
Where we were, uninvolved
But I knew that they would eventually come looking for us
However, I knew it would be more peaceful if we stayed out
Of the wars that were happening
Everywhere upon these lands, apparently.

It was also made known to everybody
The dangers of keeping U.S. Army enemies
That is, members of other tribes on the run
In our own homes
As the U.S. Army would most likely
Come looking for them
It was also made known that some of the men
Would be going off to help
Some of the other tribes
This caused tension
About whether or not Mountain Chief would allow back
Any man that went away to fight
But eventually Mountain Chief decided the right thing
And said those who decided to fight
Would always be welcome by his fire
Seven men with family in other tribes
Left after two days preparing,
After much ceremony,
And all for us returned to our usual simple life
In our mountain valley.

Moon Cow and I talked about going on a hunt
So we asked Long Arrow and Runs Wild,
Mercy’s man and eldest child,
To see if they wanted to come hunt with us
They of course were always eager
So we left after a day of preparations
Happy to be wild and free again
Searching through the forest
Using our instinct and skill guide us.

part XXXXXXIX

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXVII (day 2041)

(part XXXXXXVI)

When Mountain Chief returned
From a journey to the other tribes he knew
He shared with us the situation
That the entirety of our people
Were facing, and it wasn’t pretty
He shared the systematic
Slaughter, trickery, cheating, imprisoning, hangings,
Or corralling onto parcels of land called ‘reserves’
That made little sense to anybody
But more sense then sure death.

The U.S. Army was hunting down tribes
Burning the villages of those who didn’t cooperate
Or turning their fire sticks
Upon women and children
Survivors were left so debilitated
That they would do anything.

Mountain Chief’s fury was obvious
As was most of the other people listening
And seven full days commenced
Where Mountain Chief and the elders
Discussed the possibilities
Of what was now to be done
The main ideas were:
To fight with the other tribes fighting
Which would lead to more or less
A life as an outlaw
And left out the future of the women and children,
To stay where we were
Without getting involved in any of the U.S. Army’s games
Nor help our brothers and sisters
Who were or were going to war,
To sign one of these Peace Treatys
That were being waved in the face of anybody
Who would listen
And submit a life on a reserve of land
Cut off from our way of living.

Among those present in the discussions
There were clearly some who were not going to sit
And wait for the U.S. Army to eventually find us
Who said that they would
No matter what way the choice was made
Help our fellow tribesmen
To take our land back
Most people agreed that this was indeed
A very brave proposition and commitment
For it was fairly evident by now
That U.S. Army’s forces
Were just far to powerful
With their firesticks
Meaning that any opposition was mostly a death wish
But never-the-less, a very honourable way.

There was also a growing sentiment that
We would become a safe haven
For those on the run
Seeking to heal or lay low
Until some sort of trouble or another
Would pass over
This seemed like a very passive way
To show our support
While still remaining not involved in the wars
Yet we knew that if it came time for us to sign
One of these Treatys
This would add complexity.

Mountain Chief was a proud man
And having to make such an important decision
Was not an easy one
If it were just him
I know that he would have chosen to fight
Until his last arrow was sent
But he had the responsibility to our family
To ensure its survival and health
And he knew that peace was very smart.

part XXXXXXVIII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXVI (day 2040)

(part XXXXXXV)

Upon returning to our village
We had a feast with the Elk we had taken
With anybody that was around,
When we had returned and word got out
That a giant herd of Elk
Were two valleys to the North West
A large hunting party left
To see what they could capture.

Lily was so happy to see us
Of course
But she also had a bit of pride to her
That we hadn’t noticed before
I could tell that she felt good that
She had been able to take care of herself
Without the help of parents
We asked her if she had spent every night by herself
In our teepee
And she had said that she would have
But Mercy had been so excited
That she was going to stay with them
That she had no reason to stay by herself
Her blooming heart couldn’t let Mercy down
Besides, she said, Mercy has the best cooking.

As the summer progressed
We noticed Lily taking more and more time
On her own
She liked to wander the forest
And would bring home
Some very unique herbs and medicine
That her mother had taught her so well to find
It made Willow very proud she was
Taking an interest in the medicine
But also worried her going off alone
A mother’s natural tendency
But I also knew that anything could happen
Unexpectedly while out
We wouldn’t know where she was
And having two people together
Increases the chances of survival should an incident occur.

We shared our worries with Lily
And asked her if there was anybody
She thought that might be able to accompany her
I recognized the look she gave me
Was about as pure as it gets
Imploring me with her beautiful eyes
If she really had to
I understood it was hard for a young girl like her
And made a silent vow to myself
To go out with her more often
Like I so often did with Willow
We also talked to Moon Cow about this
And he too made it known
That if Lily ever needed a companion
To count on him, always
With this, Lily smiled.

part XXXXXXVII

 

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