Moon at Midnight – Part XIV (day 1988)

(part XIII)

I was with Blackfoot
I knew that before I had seen them
I was in their land, after all,
And Frank had told me I would most likely run into them
Or at least see evidence of them
Luckily he had mentioned
That he had a good relationship with them
And I could easily use his and Amy’s names
To start with a good foot with them.

As I walked with them to their camp
One who introduced himself as Moon Cow
Asked me a few questions about myself
And relayed them to the first man I had met
Who I learned as Mountain Chief
He asked me what I was doing with Frank
And also why I had gone,
“Such good kitchen!” he laughed
I guess they were fond of Amy’s cooking
And regularly stopped in to see how the family was doing
Frank had told me they always have space
In their front lawn for a camp of Blackfoot.

When we walked in to camp,
Moon Cow led me into a big tent
With fresh Bison hides hanging beside it
And a young woman arranging things inside
For us to sit down comfortably
Moon Cow relayed questions to me
And then interpreted what I said back to the others
I could tell some of them
Could understand what I said too
By nodding of their heads when I answered
And Frank had said he didn’t speak Pikuni.

They asked many questions about animals I had seen
And if I had come in contact with any other tribes
Many questions about various Armies
And if I had heard any news of their movements
The whole while women would come in with various plates
Of what the group had killed while out today
Before they had found me
I could sense there was something happening
That they didn’t quite lead me on to
But I knew that things were getting hostile
Between them and the various soldiers of allegiance
Coming rather quickly into their hunting grounds
Calling it their own
The Lakota had been sending runners to implore their assistance
Fighting the United States Army.

I kept myself awake
Long after I felt I was starting to fall asleep
Somebody threw a warm bison pelt over my shoulders
And led me kindly out of the big tent
Into a tent a short walk away
Where my pack awaited me
I could see the big swollen moon clearly
Lighting my doorway and inside
I could tell I was safe for now
I wasn’t worried
Mostly because I knew the integrity of this tribe
Instinctively, when I first met them,
They were friendly people.

part XV

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Hades Reproach (day 1906)

I went to the cliff on a twenty third Thursday
A hole in the sky was my overturned beetle
Who did arise from the galley below
Hades riding high with his ninety nine henchmen
Calling on the world to dispense with all destruction
Guilty was the verdict as the stallion roared
Twisting through thin pines with a mighty shine sweat
Chasing down destroyers of a fruitless life
Standing tall and proud without a clue in Hell
So consumers continued down thinking everlasting well
Little did they know Hermes made his call
Down down down did they all quickly fall
Weighed down with all their spoils rusting inside out
Burning all with fright as they clutched real tight
Olympia laughing now: seven houndred heard well
Deafening screetch of every stallion rider’s call
Thunder in the night as they took their last bite
Thunder in the night as seven houndred took flight
All around screams as seven houndred struck down
Systematic reproach to every vacant soul
As dusk settles in and so the storm it slows
Children survey souls floating all around
Sweep away the dust with a conscious thrust
And with the backs of ninety nine civil men
Everyone is handed two slices of bread
And sweet mother Gaia lets her hair down low.

A Different Song (day 1848)

In my time of need
When I was growing strong
How could you say I was all wrong?
As I walked up to you
To ask a favor from
How could you sing a different song?

Like a feather that lives so long
Along the beak of a strong song
You were wisdom that we all needed
This last song to gather seed.

As I whispered to my friends
That we had stumbled upon truth
How could you yell upon your lungs
What we had already sent away
And claim it for your very own
Brought home as our one deluded messiah

Like a feather that lives so long
Along the beak of a strong song
You were wisdom that we all needed
This last song to gather seed.

I had two ounces in my pocket
You had traded me for my soul
Which I now carried forever more
Saying I was free in every deed
And on my lasting journey home,
So locked in your greedy empire I,
It was all unfaithful truth and a silenced song.

Like a feather that lives so long
Along the beak of a strong song
You were wisdom that we all needed
This last song to gather seed.

A Different Song by Ned Tobin

Asked to be An Angel Again (day 1813)

I was asked to become a guardian
Down low, down low, in a bottom of mud.
Too late, I said,
Coughing and excusing myself;
Toxicity had taken control
Of my asthma, uncontrollably
Letting my lungs flank
Sides of this yellow pole.
I smiled nicely
At the man who said something,
But to him, I wasn’t listening,
I was to busy snoring.
Excuse me, I said,
Under my breath
And a fly came and landed
Above my head,
So I moved on again, up high, up high.

Dirtbag Scumbag (day 1812)

Dirtbag scumbag
Roll my eyes into this guise
Made-up offending
Ruling this land
And let it be that we don’t care
For what sure aren’t feeling
And there’s a long line
Waiting for tattoos at
Minivan alley.
This ol’ destroyed board
Traded for a pinstripe man
Waiting down the alley
From hunger land
That never came:
Gone too far.

Trying (day 1811)

I know I should take the bait
Take a long lineup of hardship
And exchange it for matching shoes
With couples pillows
And a constant strain
On the middleman
Who religiously writes me, nicely,
Every two weeks to tell me it’s OK
And leaves me wondering
What I had once thought
Was a romantic idea,
Because IKEA has enough assemblage
To make my choice just hard enough
That I won’t mind inspiration
Now filled with a cacti,
Leaving little room
For an inspired thought
That keeps me thinking I’m trying.
And I am trying.

An Ode to Sebastião Salgado (day 1651)

Your truth shall not lay untold,
A liberty demanded by your lens.
Spread far, to a billion souls!
And left them telling more.

This sacrifice you’ve made,
These injustices you’ve witnessed,
Have scarred you deeper then we know
And left you far from home.

Yet you have challenged yourself to be
A man to change the world!
A man who walked, sympathetic in thought,
To capture truth, indefinitely.

I know I’ve seen but little of what
It’s taken to make the view,
A tree or two, a holocaust,
Amazonians who eat the sloth.

I recognize the commitment required
To flap the shutter again,
I know desire that trumps all hells
To keep thy foot aloof.

For without your alert eye
Trained towards this land we all call home,
Surely we’d all have remained
Ignorant till the day we die.

So be thy grace as you continue,
Be the majesty we step into each day,
A glory we call on friendly terms:
Home, our land, our people, our soul.

 

Sebastião Salgado Genesis
Sebastião Salgado Genesis