River in My Bloodstream (day 2413)

Listen to the raindrops
Finding my way home
A whisper in the darkness
Memory now long gone

Can’t listen to the rhythm
Rabbits in my ears
Folding up our broken stream
Holding out my hands

River in my bloodstream
Paddling my way home
Setting out my darkness
I grew up here again

Swimming out past midstream
Dagger in my plan
Rugged from the north land
Leaving there my heartbeat

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.

Moon at Midnight – Part XV (day 1989)

part XIV

I woke up to two angry voices outside my tent
Slowly my eyes adjusted to where I was
And what I was in
I noticed there was a second bed spread inside my teepee
That looked like it had been slept in
In the center, a small fire was burning
With a wrought iron pot starting to steam
I had hoped that tea was on to boil
I reached my bag and pulled out a piece of jerky
And snacked on that as I watched the fire jump.

Shortly after the voices died down
Moon Cow came inside and smiled at me
Saying: “Man Who Sleeps Long”
I smiled, offered him some jerky, and said it had been a long night
He agreed
He asked me if I had understood the conversation last night
And I told him that for the most part it was lost to me
I remembered that every so often
During the evening
Moon Cow had nicely leaned in to describe just enough
For me to understand what the conversation was about.

I stepped outside to relieve myself
And sitting cross-legged just outside the door
Was a young girl with long braids
Who had been waiting for me to come out
Since before daybreak
I could see all of this in her eyes
As they danced when I appeared
I didn’t quite know what to do
Or how to communicate with this cute little creature
So I grabbed a little scrap of leather
Clarinet had shaped into a heart
And gave me as we said our goodbyes,
And handed it to her,
When she understood what she had
She immediately ran away.

I watched as Moon Cow carefully dried his hands
In the fire that was burning
I can only guess he had already refreshed himself
In the creek that rolled close by
He said I was in luck
Handing me an egg and an ear of corn
“Not quite like Amy’s kitchen, is it?”
I tried to balance the hot egg in my hands
While pealing it.

Now the little girl reappeared
Looking into the teepee cautiously
Then taking three quick steps to me
With something in her hand
That she laid beside me on the bed I sat on
And quickly running back out the door,
Moon Cow told me it was his sister’s daughter
And it was his sister who he was arguing with this morning
Who was trying to tell her daughter
Not to sit outside and that I was danger.

“What now?” I asked Mountain Chief
After he summoned me into his teepee
“You run.” He said matter-of-factly
Looking very sternly at me
I stood there, not really understanding what he meant
Still with Moon Cow’s niece’s little arrow
She had given me in my hand,
Trying not to recall some horror stories
That had circulated far and wide
Of some Blackfoot torture methods.

After what seemed like a very intense two minutes
Mountain Chief broke into hysterical laughter
Along with everybody else that had gathered
Inside of the teepee
I didn’t quite understand
But he put his arm around my shoulder
And walked me a few steps away
Seated me on a mount of skins
And passing me a pipe to smoke
And a bowl of burdock tea,
I had been judged and passed.

part XVI

Ringing in My Ear (day 1771)

My delicate isles of sandalwood veins
Cure the goldest of sunrises,
Shaking wet last evening’s remains
With a cold cusp of fragrance and
Tracing spirals around my useless keys
That mingle symphonically
With a harsh ringing in my ear;
My dear lover, I meant to tell you.
And now I am gone.