Biggest Blanket (day 2606)

Run away to me today
My mountain sends you songs
Birds of all colours sing
Water keeps running on.

For you, I’ll bring the biggest blanket
Wrap you when you’re cold
For to keep you up so late
Your star to shine so bright.

Find your path brings the lightest toes
For here shall be all you need,
A warm hearth, an accepted heart,
A hand around your waist.

And as your presence keeps me aligned,
My support your stepping stone
Watch here as we two shall grow
Unquestionably what I want to know.

She’s Death (day 2529)

She’s got magic in her hands
And death between her lips
She sings every night a song
That makes me miss my ship
I don’t think I’ll ever send away
The blanket I had specially made
For every day as I sit here
I wish I’d found another lover
Who’d play to me sad sad songs
I could write down to remember
And out I’d go, apart from death
Reaching madly for sunlight.

For a Northern Girl (day 2152)

Beautiful was my aphrodisiac
And spring was my season
– Edges of my reason –
Campfire held the setting sun
In a Hudson Bay blanket
– Letters of the banquet –
Shadow upon our wall
Patchwork had the little seams
– Hands of you and me –
Until later, what remained
Dusty boots and a little ring.

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXIII (day 2037)

(part XXXXXXII)

The first night we stayed up with our fire
Sitting close to each other
Wrapped in our blankets
Willow sang me some songs
Chanting and singing in pikanii
Sometimes I would pick up on the words
Words I knew
And I would join her
And we sang to the little sliver of a moon
That came out and shared itself with us.

We were woken up by our horse
Who came over and started to lick our faces
Quite an interesting way to be woken
But it worked,
And before I knew it
Willow had some warm nettle tea
Ready for us to sip on
As we warmed our bodies
From the evening chills.

I walked over to the cold creek running close
And washed myself
Invigorating my life force at the same time
By the time I got back
Willow had had some roots she had gathered
Which she gave me and said: “Eat this,”
And some meat
We ate silently
I told her I loved her singing last night
She smiled and told me she was asking the gods
For a safe passage on our journey.

By the time I slung the blankets back onto the horse
Willow was ready to go
And we began walking West
Down the spine of the valley
And up the far side,
When we came to the peak
We looked out
And it took both of our breaths away from us.

What we saw was not the great plains Buffalo
But a massive herd of Elk
Grazing and minding their own
Very leisurely
We sat there at the peak
For quite a while
Snacking on leftover meat
From breakfast
Just watching the massive herd
It was pure delight to our eyes.

part XXXXXXIV

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXIII (day 2027)

(part XXXXXII)

As Willow lay on the ground motionless
Both Moon Cow and I put two more arrows
Into the belly of the mama bear as she stood up
Which shook her enough
To make her turn around and start walking off
With her baby now
In front of her and moving away
Moon Cow motioned to me to tend to Willow
And he slowly followed the bear
Putting two more arrows into her
Before she finally collapsed some distance beyond
The edge of the clearing.

When he came back to us
He had the bear cub by ruff of its baby neck
I was minding to Willow
Who didn’t have any cuts or bruises
That I could see immediately
But she was whiter then a ghost
And not responding to me
Knocked out I could only guess
By this time, Lily was up and out of her bed
Very worried about her mother
To keep her busy
I asked her to clean up what the bear had knocked down
And if she could, a cup of tea for her mother
I took some of the sweet mint leaves
And rubbed them together under her nose
Which slowly brought some colour back to her face
Her breathing became more dominant
And her eyes opened
And the first thing she said was
Is Lily ok?

I smiled at her and said Lily was right here
Who came over and lay down next to her mom
With a blanket in her hand
That she wrapped around the two of them
Clearly shaken and trying to be brave
I asked Willow if anything hurt
She said she couldn’t really tell
So I started with getting her to wiggle her toes
Which she was able to
Then I asked her to rock her feet slowly
From side to side
Which she was able to
I then pinched her toes
Which she said she could feel
So I declared she was going to live
And everybody laughed a little bit,
Including Willow
Which immediately made her wince in pain
Pointing to her stomach.

Through a process of poking and prodding
I eventually concluded that she had broken a rib or two
I was relieved (and so was she)
That when she next peed
There was no blood in it
We both knew what that would mean.

We decided to take the day
To decide which direction we should go
To Frank and Amy’s, where they had a warm house
And all the care we could ask for
This was still about a two days walk
If Willow wasn’t going to be able to ride a horse,
The other option was to head back to the village
Which would be about a days walk from here
Maybe two, if it was really hard for her to walk
Moon Cow proposed we make a sleigh
For her to ride in
But I knew that that would be no more comfortable
Then her riding the horse
And Willow agreed with this
So we decided that walking
Would be the smartest route for her.

By the end of the day
Willow was able to walk around
In moderate comfort
And we could definitely see the bruising starting to form
On her left rib area
Where the bear had collided nearly full charge.

(part XXXXXIV)

Moon at Midnight – Part XX (day 1994)

(day XIX)

I slipped in to camp quietly
And set the horse loose
Moon Cow was sitting outside his teepee
Waiting for me
And as I sat down next to him
He handed me a blanket
And asked if I had stopped to watch the sunset
I told him it had changed my life
And he nodded silently
Taking a long inhale on his tobacco pipe
And handing it to me.

“What will you do?” he asked
Pointing to the moon
I knew he meant my heart
I fished out my little arrow
From my breast pocket
And told him that everything was already answered
And that I was still staying the winter
If I was still welcome in his home
He said I was always welcome in his teepee
Unless he had a girlfriend
Joking a little bit at the white man’s ways
Then he nodded towards his sister’s teepee
“She is expecting you now.”
I looked and noticed
That Willow was standing with her door open
Firelight dancing along the grass
As she looked straight at me
I walked over holding her gaze.

She held the door open for me
And when I reached her
Stepping to go past
Into the warmth of her teepee for the first time
She reached out her hand
And touched my forearm
To look me in the eyes
Learning the story of my soul
I looked back into hers
And gave her the story of my soul
And I gave her my soul
When she had learned it
I reached out and touched her
And pulled her closer to me
And held her there
For a very long time.

When she looked up
She had tears in her eyes
And said to me:
“I am yours now.”
And I looked her in the eye
And said as clearly as I could,
“Willow, I want to share my life with you
I want to provide for you
I want to protect you
I want to grow stronger with you
I want to bed with you.”
And she smiled her Wild Willow smile
And said again:
“I am yours now.”
And I repeated back to her
“I am yours now, too.”

This time she leaned in to kiss me
And I kissed her back
Until I heard a noise
Coming from inside the teepee
And I looked over
And it was Lily River
Smiling back at us
With her big eyes of joy
We all broke into happy laughter together
And Willow invited me to sit down next to her
On her bedding
And Lily brought us two cups of tea.

day XXI

Moon at Midnight – Part V (day 1979)

(part IV)

The waning gibbous that night
Had nothing impeding it’s projection
Into the palm of my hands
I sat for a long time watching
It’s shadows across the meadow
I recognized how colours, now dull
Made for an entirely different landscape
I understood new energies
That floated about in midnight glow.

I feared reaching out, touching tufts of grass
That set aside momentary worries
I feared moving should it startle
What slumbered in the vicinity
I feared making a sound
For it should surely echo for ages
Like smoke signals at daybreak
I feared breathing to vigorously
Should my heartbeat change the hour
To a warmer beat.

I sat cross-legged
With my blanket closely wrapped around me
Slowly hunching over into my sleepy legs
That wanted to sit aright, erect
But my slowing thoughts calmed by thy moon
Let me feel comfort in falling backwards
Into the fur covered ground mat
That awaited my simple slumber
Assurance guided me there
When I reached for my nearby pack
An unreasonable yet simple reassurance.

I awoke with the same comfort I had fallen asleep with
Yet yearned for more time with that powerful moon
Watching the fire curl around its victim
Provided some of this amazement
And as life slowly flooded back into my body
I accepted the passing evening’s mystery
With an abundance of life all around me
Eager for my wandering pathway
To lightly pass through, eager eye open to all
Eager heart open to adventure
The journey was in every moment,
Not to be held for singular moments.

With the familiar motion
I swung my pack comfortably upon my back
With momentary shifting
Aimed to soothe each grumbling bump
Night’s slumber had produced
That, once assembled,
Found me beyond
What I had previously called my home,
Once again upon this road
Through magnificent giants,
Expansive ferns, soft mosses,
Sprouting mushrooms, drooping lichen,
And countless birds singing me hither.

part VI

20160227-shawnigan-lake-forest-ned-tobin-14

Moon at Midnight – Part I (day 1975)

There was no moon at midnight
And my road was clambering on
I saw what appeared to be shadows
But from what direction I could not see the source
Nor could I understand their movement
For my breath was beating strongly
Inside my mind that couldn’t sit still.

They say whenever you’re lonely
To hug a tree in the woods,
That everything will be better
Once you listen to the wind through leaves.
But my footsteps weren’t taking me there
My trees were full of eyes
That growled when I got too close
My fire had died down to a whisper
Which danced away upon every breath
That beat so wildly inside.

I tried turning my back to the fire
So I could let my eyes adjust to darkness
Cold dampness swept into my chest
That left my fingers clinching at the dirt
I sat cross-legged on ash
That was surely trying to make it’s way
Up the inside of my leg
Like slowly crawling worms
With no direction home.
My fingers felt like dust
Long gone into a night with no end.

Slowly my eyes began to make out a hue of indigo
Through the trees that crept ever closer
With a faint scent of a silhouette
That began to sing me a song
Reminding me of Joan Baez singing acapella
Which always led me to Bob Dylan
And one of his nearly alarming harmonica solos.
Stars began to blink at me
Through gusting fog that sped
As fast as the dying harmonica sounds.

I could begin to see markings
Upon the bark of the nearest Douglas Fir trees
Bark so thick that my hands impulsively
Rubbed each other
Acutely feeling dusty skin on the back of my hands
As life began to seep back into them,
Shocked one too many times
From the dark night that lay behind.

I pulled my wool blanket closer
Remembering I am a warrior
I am made of two hard feet
That carry me on through a winding
Needle covered path
Weaving past lagoons and over boulders
Over roots and upon grass
Sometimes lost and always home
And rusty feathers settled beside me
Wishing me goodnight, so I fell asleep.

part II

20160418-morel-hunting-port-renfrew-bc-canada-ned-tobin-19

To Be Ready in thy Soul (day 1725)

I wish I could reach out to you
Hold out my warmth in arms
I’d be your blanket wrapped around
To keep thy soul in tight

I wish I had the strength to grow
As the tree grows up and down
I’d have protection under me
To shade thee from heaven’s rain

I wish I was wind beneath
Your sail so taught and ready
My breeze would cool on warmer days
And speed thee through thy storm

I wish I had a bent back
Worn from thy service to thee
I’d be rags to keep thy feet
From ever touching hard ground

Coffee Outside (day 1702)

I dream of a woman that will some day come,
Who will lead me outside, first thing,
Warm cup and blanket in tow,
And a feeling inside so deep
There’s no leaving now.
There’s no leaving a woman who holds on as I hold,
No fear of a feeling wrong, danger done,
Only growing compassion as I’m sipping,
Tangled up in conversation that has me
Growing weary of everything else;
A haven from the snowstorm and I’ve got a warm fire,
And most else all fades like the blizzard that blows.