I was influenced by a caveman
A landscape with two carved rocks
And fire to keep me awake at night.
We were inseparable
Two rhinestones in a yellow cup
Dead blind in middle earth
Losing daylight hours
In our metronome;
By a better man.
Home again, paid again
Leaving marks upon little stones
Giving a poem to memory
On a midnight string and there you are
A stonemason and a better man.
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.
Alone is what to be would be
If I were out at sea
Amidst the waves and blowing wind
Setting my sails aglow.
Alone is what the songs would sing
Should I not hear your voice
That sang about morning chores,
Music to my ears.
But alone amidst the evening’s set
Should never find me awake
For dreams take me floating away
With ten friends upon adventure.
Yesterday I was a man
Today I have no sin
A better man,
A bigger name,
Confessed and over spent.
Am I awake?
I’ve pinched myself
I see with my two eyes.
Yet here I sit
And selling ideas
For a much bigger plan.
I’ve left my full moon walking the shoreline, skirting the tides that flush out madness awake and away.
Can your heart feel the holy trinity at rest?
Rocks I picked up and felt cursing through my palm left light stains upon my fingerprints I had washed thoroughly before opening my eyes. I laid down and felt the uncomfortable massage upon my twisted back and hoped the pain would soon ease its way back toward the crashing ocean cooling my pride.
Here, from my breasts, a light slowly eroded my choice.
Lightly brushing my consciousness were scattering rocks and squawking seagulls rummaging the midday sun like a busy squirrel exercising it’s memory.
I was gone, and this is what was left.
Smooth charcoal edges coated a tingling memory
That laid beside a warm body glowing.
It took foreign dust on antique chairs
And unraveled a long robe onto a cement floor
With cold toes and blue lips.
And at once, the abrupt end of this ceremony,
Captured by a small jagged and a little dot,
Returned to the inanimate wall
Struggling to stay awake.
This is my awake art.
This is breath and stretching loudly
While pouring everything strong
Into a collapsed set of lungs
To be prepared for an avalanche
Of oncoming strategies
Set to dazzle
Even the most magnificent of
Wooden keg soapboxes.
Return my mouth of suffering;
Return to a place where a brook lightly flows,
Where footsteps – delicately laid –
Digress with foggy mountain hillsides
Tangled deep amidst rose bushes,
Willow whips, cedars wide and pine needles fallen.
Return my mind to awake and aware,
Where fluttering wings present
Gusts of wind amidst tiny chatter from illustrious nutcrackers.
Return me to my home –
Nestled among wild things,
For ohana lives there.
Namaskar, Namaskar, Namaskar.
I fall awake into the absence of your hands,
Shaking dust into stray beams of sunlight
As I whisper back and forth
With my memory, so strong.
I pull your innocence into my heart
In every deep pull of Chardonnay
Quietly fluttering my anxious wings,
Slowly settling into unheard of figures
Delicately drawn by grand gestures
On blank slates of dust.