This Moon (day 2266)

This moon is alive
It howls with coyotes
And burns with fire
It sings through maples
Blowing softly in night air
And it dances beside stars
That wink as they move.
This moon has brilliance
That squeaks through cracks
Carefully laid to catch
Spiders and light.
But this moon speaks not a word
Lays not a sound to an ear
Because it is alive in night’s embrace
Way up high beyond reach
As a symbol to charge
What hasn’t been remembered.

On the Run (day 2256)

I am an outlaw on the run
Hear my voice see my gun
Find new horses at every ranch
River is my daily refresh.

Each night campfire is not lit
Though I lament not having warmth
A bedroll isn’t much sense
One eye open all night long.

I am an outlaw on the run
I hear coyotes calling every night
Starlight is my campfire light
Moon is my memory of home.

Mountain paths take me forever on
Guided by the sun
Constant watch for food that moves
I am an outlaw on the run.

Coyote Song (day 2242)

Like a warrior’s window
I have taken my bold chance
Sent my spear forward, spinning
To make my impression
In your days ahead,
Gypsy on a river boat.

Set idle by your fire
In an old wooden rocking chair
Watching tomorrow set away,
My spear slows down to rest;
River dances away.

In earnest I ask
Which old coyote song
Begets a lone call from you tonight?
For fear makes me
A sentimental man
As lines running through
An old hickory handled spear,
Rocks in a river bed.

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXIV (day 2038)

part XXXXXXIII

“When I was young
My father would take Moon Cow and I to Plains
Same place every year
And we would sit in same spot
Watching great Buffalo
Migrate through
Dad would tell stories
Of previous hunts
Or legends his father had told him
Explaining to us where Buffalo came from
And why it had been given to us
Now, we no longer have Buffalo
That my father spoke of
And it saddens me that Lily River
Cannot sit here
Listening to your stories
Of where Buffalo comes from
And why we respect Buffalo
I don’t hate White Man for this
Though it is their doing
How could I hate the natural way of world
Speaking to us so?
We have shared this land many generations
Hopefully many more
But our people have always listened
Listened to stars, moon
Trees, rivers, creeks,
Coyotes howling at night
Those are Gods we take
And those are Gods who speak to us
So, too, shall we let Gods lead us now
In this time of change
For change is what we always have
Season to season
Moon to moon
We listen
And change led us here
How can I worry about change
So strong I feel in us now
change like we have never experienced
Land is changed now
It is not our family at war with other families
It is all of our families coming together
To find a way to stop big change White Man brings
Do you think there will ever be a time
When land has changed so much
No more Buffalo
Whole valley of Elk we see here
So vast and so plentiful
So many there are less trees in the forest
Do you think land will have
Buffalo no more
And Gun grows as plentiful
As Elk here before us?”

part XXXXXXV

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

Rolling Along (day 1941)

A long way from home
And two coyotes howl into the night,
Pale moon’s looking me in the eye,
And I don’t got no campfire going tonight.

A saddle’s a lonesome companion
But this trusty steed’s sure good to me,
Four hooves and a long mane
And my dusty trail goes on.

A valley’s spread is my eager eye
Around every cresting corner,
Naming trees and flicking bees
And I’m just rolling along.

My Land | Chapter VII (day 1175)

At night we would all have our tents and sleeping places set and sit around a small campfire. Making too much smoke and light would mean alerting the people we didn’t want to alert. A smart choice.

The coyotes would howl every night. Coyotes and wolves. I hoped they were coyotes at any rate. They never came close though, they were always off in the woods in the distance corralling some innocent prey.

It’s funny thinking about the way nature works without human intervention – naturally this is part of the reason why I chose to head west. In New York ground was ruined most likely forever (or at least scarred) from human’s intervention. There is always a scramble, an urgent scramble to the top, for the most, to accumulate all the wealth, riches, property, land, gold, clothing, food… It’s different understanding the true necessities of life.

The coyotes don’t live with luxuries like leather boots or cutlery or fat bank accounts and they get along just fine. Us humans though, we feel it our duty to posses planet earth and declare it a free for all.

The waste, the abuse, to be entirely honest is there even much beauty to go along with it? I find it hard to believe such transformation of the land is healthy for mother earth.

One thing I enjoy on the trial is the amount of time I have to sit in the saddle and watch the wilderness float on by.

[note: to read the full epic track my land]

Wild Coyote Howls (day 436)

When you got freckles like that
There ain’t nothing going wrong
The devil himself
Has got eyes that long
And the world that spins
Skips a beat as you dance
When you got freckles like that
There ain’t nothing going wrong

When you got hips that move
Like a good girls should
There’s bound to be a groove
That lasts so long
With hands held high
You can touch the sky
When you got hips that move
Like a good girls should

When you shoot that grin
There’s a wild coyote that howls
Like mother natures sin
It’s good to dig deeper
When it lasts like a memory
Clutched to the bosom
When you shoot that grin
There’s a wild coyote that howls