Life of a Leaf (day 2408)

I’ve grown accustomed to leaves turning my memories from fresh to curled, a well understood paradox that changes the tide so romantically it hurts like the small spots beside the bulging veins growing inside.

My smile has grown lines, my heart has extended its beats, my hearing has begun to dance with angels upon the dead leaves blowing along the roughly trampled ground – are these our memories we have yet to experience, or have they been forgotten and left to dissolve into earth?

So I crouch down low and embrace the softly blowing wind that helps me to see my passing time I used to think I loved, I used to want to love, so here I’m hurting from spatial infrequencies that cup my involuntary spasms from underneath the table and remind me to forget to itch the pain.

Does this leaf know it crumbles within my palm so slowly softly? Did it reach for me in a pure moment of thought, expecting my return upon amber wings of a sun soaked day like an emotional Prometheus on a personal mission.

Then, like the ashes of memories crumbling in scaled hands of our Phoenix, so too shall sun rise again over the horizon of a small family farm to bring with it a wet spring full of insight and gratitude that runs the width and depth of a heart shaped leaf settling softly upon a well worn path of insight.

Hiawatha (day 2270)

Oh Hiawatha how you lend my heart to sadness
How you’ve been so great and noble
To your finest friends and people
How your handmade birch canoe
Rose and fell within the waters
How your willow bow and arrow
So skilled and faithful fed you
But in spite your faithful service
Your ever fearless journey
Dear sweet Minnehaha
Sent off to the blessed land
From a winter hunger fever
From her life so taketh your heart.
And loneliness then cometh
Though we all know just as seasons
So must come and go our good friends
Chibiabos, Kwasind and all kinfolk
And so we must take to remember
Four nights we must take care to
Send them off with mindful firelight
Four nights must we wake to stoke
Campfire for their journey.
How so easy it is to forget
All your deeds of strength and honour
Clearing rivers of their boulders
Catching Nahma, the sturgeon
In unnecessary tumult,
Fighting gravely the Pearl Feather
Fighting Megissogwon
That lived past the black pitch-water
Where fiery serpents gathered,
How Kahgahgee tried to
Take out Hiawatha’s corn fields
But how Hiawatha captured
Kahgahgee, the raven
And killed all the crows who plotted
With Kahgagee to
Cause destruction to his people.
So then why did you have to
Sail off in the Big-Sea-Water
Gitche Gumee shining brightly
So no more the sun would rise
Brightly on your wigwam, Hiawatha?

Spruce Story (day 2247)

The old spruce and I sat silently
We shared secrets unspoken
We shared ground softly packed
I looked up and counted to one hundred
Each branch I gave a name
Each name remembered its origin
In the world of seven valleys
I heard ravens nesting
Squirrels chasing
And I felt each limb slowly shake
Watching each needle slowly fall
Tumbling to the palm of my hand
Which rebirthed my blessings
In each moment of doubt
Until I stood where the spruce had stood
And I inhaled deeply as the spruce had inhaled
And I listened as the spruce had listened
And I swayed as the spruce had swayed
Until the seven valleys became my valleys
And my story remained so.

Allowed To Fly (day 2225)

Where are we allowed to fly?
Crimson dreams that set fire to galactic ghosts
Swinging too slow and forgetting
Each signpost leading us there.

And if words shant be strong enough
Let them capture the North Wind’s fury
Secret wiles of Mudjekeewis
Belt wearing naked bear slayer.

But let not the words of fear
Let our hearts float listless forward
Set wicks to our roaring fires
So we track each evening star.

Who then does this whisper come from
This easy touch of heart I hear
Say it slower so I can embrace
Evening’s wind through cottonwoods.

Is it not enough to lay here?
My opening is widening
I am not forgotten dandelion
I am resting with lilies.

Inevitable Spring (day 2099)

My inevitable spring
Slopes Eastward from here
Awakened by long train stops
Eclipsing my moon
Which cannot bare to withhold
Another day without you
But without silent winter
I cannot let go of autumn
So carefully pruned
As knitters of cocoons
Lay under aurora borealis
To watch Icarus
Climb as a nighthawk
Like my midnight winter moon
Alone again
Lost in a scape of twinkling
And gravitas bound.

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 XXXXVI (day 2020)

(part XXXXV)

During this time of the cold season
I became well acquainted with the myths and legends
Of the Blackfoot
One of my favourite
Was always of the Old Man, Or Na-pe,
He was a common figure in all of the legends
As the first human alive.

One day, he was sitting by his fire
And thinking to himself that he was lonely
He was restless and lonely
He looked around and tried to console himself
With the things that he had
He had a good stick to be poking the fire with
He had a good teepee to be living in
That needed no repair
He had more then enough furs around him
And he had a big buffalo just killed
To feed him for a good long time
He had almost everything he could want,
Why was he restless and lonely?

His only companion, A-pe’si the Coyote
Was very nice to have around
But right now
Was off scheming on his own
He was nice to have around
But always with his schemes
That just didn’t make sense to Old Man.

Old Man packed his pipe and lit it
And then paced around the fire for some time
Thinking: “It would be nice to have somebody to smoke with
Somebody to talk to
Somebody like me,”
And went back to smoking his pipe
“Why not!? I’m the Old Man
I can do anything I want!”

So, Old Man set about his own scheming
First he gathered lots of clay around
Then he started feeling his whole body over
Taking very careful note of each bone in his body
How it felt, how it was shaped
How many of them were in his body
And meticulously went to work
Forming each bone he had in his body with the clay
Once these were all done
He put them into the fire to harden
After he let them sit in the fire long enough
He carefully pulled them out
One by one.

Now Old Man sat with two piles of bones in front of him
One of the piles was all the perfect bones
That had come out of the fire as he had designed them
But the other pile was filled with all of the broken ones
That had split or bent inside of the fire
With the perfect bones
He began to tie the bones into their proper place
Mimicking his own body
He tied the bones together with Buffalo sinew
And he then smoothed them with Buffalo fat
On top of this he then padded some clay mixed with Buffalo blood
And then stretched over the entire frame
Buffalo skin taken from the inside of the Buffalo.

With his mannequin in front of him
He smiled: “Not perfect, but it’s pretty good,”
Poking a bit at some of the crooked pieces
Perhaps he could have thinned it out here
Or tied it a little better with sinew there
So he picked up the man he had made
Blew smoke into his eyes, nose, and mouth
And he came to life
The Old Man asked him if he’d like to sit by the fire
Where he puffed some more on his pipe
And then passed the pipe to the man and said:
“I will make some more,”
And went to collect some more clay
To make some more men.

All day long Old Man worked
Forming more bones from clay
Putting them into the fire
Carefully taking each bone out of the fire
And tying them together with Buffalo sinew
Patting on Buffalo fat to smooth them out
Then a layer of Buffalo blood mixed with clay
And finally stretching Buffalo skin over the entire frame
He sat every one of them down by the fire
And blew smoke into their eyes, nose, and mouths
And left a very big pile of broken bones
Beside the fire.

So now Old Man had some company
Men to hunt with, to sit and smoke his pipe with
To talk with, and they all lived
In his teepee and another teepee he had built
He enjoyed the new life so much
That he began to get lazy
And never threw the broken bones into the river
Like he had intended to do
Every time anybody came or went to the fire
They had to pass by the big pile of broken bones
And this became quite a nuisance to them
They would trip over them frequently
Causing the pile to fall over
Which then had to be picked up and placed neatly again
Each night the wind blew through them
Making the most dreadful of noises.

By this time A-pe’si the Coyote had returned
And he walked around
Inspecting everything that had been done
While he was gone doing whatever it was he was doing,
He didn’t much like the men
And stuck his nose up at them
Saying to Old Man:
“Your handiwork has a little bit to be desired,”
But Old Man knew A-pe’si and just laughed.

A-pe’si also pointed out the pile of bones
“Surely you could do something with the pile of bones here
Why don’t you make another man?”
“Alright alright, I will make more men,”
So Old Man and A-pe’si went to work
Clicking and rattling the bones
As they tried to piece them together
Then tying them all together with sinew
And using Buffalo fat to smooth them over
Adding clay mixed with Buffalo blood on top
Then stretching skin from inside of a Buffalo over it
When Old Man had started
He knew only of man to make and that’s what he was doing
But at every moment he did something
A-pe’si would come and change it a little bit
And so back and forth they went
Until it was done
And they both stepped back
Looking at what they had created
Old Man lit his pipe and thought
It wasn’t what he had created before and was skeptical
Yet Old Man still blew smoke into its eyes, nose, and mouth
And the woman came to life.

A-pe’si and Old Man worked all day
Tying together the rest of the broken bones
With sinew from the Buffalo
And covering it with Buffalo fat to smooth it out
Then molding it together with clay mixed with Buffalo blood
And finally stretching over all of the bones
Skin from the inside of a Buffalo
And after they finished each one
Old Man would blow smoke into its eyes, nose, and mouth
And each woman would come to life.

When all of the bones were tied together
And made into women
Old Man said: “When I made the men
I set them all by the fire”
But as Old Man and A-pe’si walked over to the fire
The women all began to talk amongst each other
A-pe’si smiled and was very pleased with what he had done
And Old Man shrugged his shoulders and lit his pipe
And sat down at the fire and began to smoke it.

So it is known
That even to this day
If you have a fire around
The men will all prefer to sit by the fire
And smoke their pipes
And the women will all gather together
And talk with themselves
To this day it is not known
Whether this is because of how the bones
Clicked and rattled
Pieced together from broken ones
Or because A-pe’si,
Who is a noisy animal by nature,
Had a part in their making.

part XXXXVII