Tag Archives: East

Four Winds (day 2230)

I want to be your cannon ball
Your matchstick in the night
I want to shown you everything
Is made just as it should.

For when wind blows to cool you down
A blessing from the North
And when our morning sun does rise
A blessing from the East.

When a tear falls from your eye
To rest upon your lip
A signal to me, your shining star
To be at your evermore.

Like dew drops on a morning leaf
Your heaving breast shall show
Your heart so strong and beating free
Is still about your soul.

When a bird calls to you upon its way
A blessing from the South
Your eyes, I watch, closing to this day
A blessing from the West.

So if your fright shall hold you back
Into my arms you’ll fall
To be at last, as I’ll guard you,
The guardian of my soul.

Four Winds by Ned Tobin

Window Drops (day 2171)

Along the ways of window drops
A bird flew out the nest
Cloud came to my very door
And my hair lay flattened down.
Yet every signal
East be at it’s back
Signaled me to rise above
What midnight I had not looked back.
Nor did my animosity
Rumble to a stop
A grinding halting dusty jalopy
My chariot of grim time.
True, each dirt splash lay bare
The deeper grit of sand
Which held my flower to my nose
Thus, bow down low I dearly bade.

Inevitable Spring (day 2099)

My inevitable spring
Slopes Eastward from here
Awakened by long train stops
Eclipsing my moon
Which cannot bare to withhold
Another day without you
But without silent winter
I cannot let go of autumn
So carefully pruned
As knitters of cocoons
Lay under aurora borealis
To watch Icarus
Climb as a nighthawk
Like my midnight winter moon
Alone again
Lost in a scape of twinkling
And gravitas bound.

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXX (day 2014)

(part XXXIX)

Before noon we had one eight point deer
It was such a beautiful animal
That we all sat for a while looking at it
Hunched over on our heels
Tall Pine’s arrow went in
Right above the left front shoulder
As we opened it up
We saw he had hit the heart perfectly
By evening we had slung it up
In a neat cache for our return
And we went around to familiarize ourselves
With where we had put it
So that we would be able to find it
On our return.

The next morning we were off at first light
Further East to see Amy, Frank, and Clarinet
As it got closer to darkness
We decided to find some food
And camp the night in a nice covered area
Among the great pines.

Moon Cow recognized where we were
This was his old land that he knew well
And he guided us towards Frank’s place
With relative ease
We had come at them from the West
I had thought we would still be well North of them
And would have to head South for a good long time
But as it turned out
We were only about three hours North of them
And we were at their door by nightfall.

They were all very excited to see us
And had much news and stories to tell us
About the Summer they had had
And news of the U.S. Army
For being isolated as we were
We hadn’t any news of their movement
They told us that many of the bands
Were signing treaties
Some of them were forced to sign at gunpoint
While others were just too tired
To fight anymore
So they signed and moved their people
To the land appointed them
There was nothing good coming of this whole thing
We knew it, and so did they.

I told them of our own village’s attack
And Frank told me that he had heard of a rogue group
Of miners who had done the same
To a few of the homesteads they had come across
He wasn’t sure if they had hit many other villages, too
But luckily, they hadn’t found their house
So they hadn’t heard or seen any sign of them
I could see that Amy had a bit of worry in her eye
As one usually does, living so remotely
And really vulnerable to renegades like that
I knew that it was a conversation they had had
And surely one that would continue
The older Clarinet got.

part XXXXI

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXI (day 2005)

(part XXX)

Willow’s best friend was named Mercy
Mercy’s man’s name was Long Arrow
And he was one of the most skilled hunter and tracker
I had ever hunted with
By now I had learned enough Pikanii
To be able to communicate on a basic level
As we walked – Long Arrow, Moon Cow and I –
Through the forest hunting
They were both mostly silent
Making subtle gestures and wild bird calls I envied
But when they were feeling like sharing
They would point and teach me words
Of things I wouldn’t learn
Sitting around inside a teepee.

At our new home, Mercy and Long Arrow
Would join us around the fire on many evenings
Long Arrow was less of a story teller then Moon Cow
But it was nice to have him around
And we all became very close to one another
They had two boys
That were a few years older then Lily
And it was clear that one of them
Would become her man when the moon spoke so,
The eldest was Runs Wild and the younger was Big Moon.

Life was good here, and I felt like I belonged
More so, I felt like I had a part
In keeping the family together
I was helpful, strong and eager
And in a family who lives off the land
That is always a benefit
Plus, I quickly became pretty good
At hunting with a bow
And was able, most days, to bring home food
The others also accepted me
At first I could definitely see them wondering who I was
And what I was doing there
But eventually they all knew me by name
And smiled when they saw me, not scowled
It definitely helped that I was Willow’s man
For she was loved by everybody
That much was clear.

I often wondered to myself
If this was the answer to my journey East
That had started the year before
Before I had met Amy, Frank and Clarinet
And before I had met the Blackfoot
Before I had met Willow, Lily and Moon Cow
It seemed so long ago now
So much of a lonely journey
That was now so much past me
But there was still something inside of me
That called me further East again
I wasn’t quite sure what it was
Or why it was
Only that there was something that I was missing
That I kept seeing in visions
And I knew that it was only a matter of time
Before I journeyed further East
To meet who I knew I was to meet.

part XXXII

Moon at Midnight – Part XII (day 1986)

(part XI)

It took me a long time to get over the loneliness I now felt
Each step was an effort of motivation
My heart wanting to turn around and embrace the kindness
But I knew I had to go on
I had kept their names in my pocket book
So I could write them
And they had also given me the address of some friends
That lived East, that I might come across
On my long journey.

The weather was starting to get colder
But still very early in Autumn
So I had quite a while to make it to where I was going
The question of where I was going
Did definitely come across my mind many times
And in conversation with Frank and Amy
I had learned the distances of some of the towns
I would be approaching as I made my way East
You know you’re getting close to a town
As trails become more worn
And paths get wider
Signs of civilization everywhere
From freshly knocked down trees to garbage thrown aside
Carelessly.

It was nice to be walking again
When a thin layer of sweat started to heat me
I remembered the little spots easily
That had so been tenderized by my pack and walking
Funny how so quick a body can forget
When it’s not being put to use
None of the pains I had felt working the axe
Inhibited my walking,
Though I instinctively reached for them
From time to time.

I spent most of the day walking at a rapid pace
Trying to get the most out of my peaceful mind
Still with a fresh set of feet and a bushy tail
I barely stopped for lunch
Just quickly finding a soft spot
And eating down the delicious food Amy had sent with me
I held a small piece of dried moose in my hand
As I walked, taking small bites and savoring the flavor
That made the edges of my mouth water uncontrollably
It reminded me of being a kid
And shredding dried jerky to put into our lips
As if we were chewing the real tobacco
A habit I never really did catch on to.

part XIII

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Moon at Midnight – Part XI (day 1985)

(part X)

When we chopped the last block ceremoniously
I told Frank that I would be leaving the next day
His face immediately showed me
How much he had also grown fond of my presence
But we both knew that any longer
And my presence in the little house
Would be too well felt
And each day departing would be harder and harder
Though I suspect he knew less of this then I
For he wasn’t much of a wandering man
As I had become in these days.
He initially put up a fight
Talking about the oncoming Winter
And for me to be reasonable
I smiled through it all, and remained firm.

Amy made me a lunch pack
With enough dried meat and fruits
To last me a few weeks
I was eternally grateful to these kind folks
Embracing me, a wandering stranger,
Who came upon their doorstep one clear day
With open hands and a smile.

When I was at the edge of the forest
I stopped and turned back and waved
And they all waved back at me
Amy, Frank, Clarinet, and one of the dogs even barked
I had left Clarinet an old photograph
I carried in my breast-pocket
For her to remember me by
I gave in to my desire to turn around and wave
As I could feel them all hoping and wishing
And watching for me to do so,
A friendly and nurturing gesture I could admit
I walked most of the morning silently
East.

part XII

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Moon at Midnight – Part II (day 1976)

(part I)

I woke to complete silence
Yet my knees screamed louder the murder
When I shifted them from slumber
Half crosslegged I had fallen backwards
Into sleep that left smoke trails
Through my dreams.
My nose was hiding itself from the cold
I looked searchingly at the fire
I could feel wasn’t even hopeful.

My pack was close enough
So I knew where matches were
But kindling rested beside my axe
Yet to be shorn from its whole
So were the tea bags that would slowly ooze life
Back into my cold frame
Easily forgetting the eyes of last night’s terror.

I made it a habit not to look back
When I walked away from yesterday’s camp
You don’t need that to remember what’s already known
Like folded socks in the side of my pack
I was well kempt and had a full bottle of water
And the industrious chipmunk
Was happy to see me go
Understood by the sounds of his chatter
That followed me along a path
I was making with my compass pointing East.

My first few steps always remembered
What yesterday so easily forgot
So I stopped and untied my shoe
To clip my nails that were growing healthy
It’s much nicer to put on warm socks
Then cold and wet socks of the first light of morning
And my pack jingled merrily
As I swung it back on.

Scanning the vastness was hard to comprehend
What had alarmed me so easily
The night before,
What creatures our dark mind magically creates,
And now looking back at me was salal so thick
No ghost could sneak through
And my heart reminded my mind
To believe in thy safety one thousand times again.

Slowly my breath found it’s groove
Steadily flowing with each footstep
My packs new bumps settled itself softly
And the world began to expose itself to me
With every step a new angle
A new tree fallen sideways
A slug neatly stepped over
An unidentified toadstool
A river softly gurgling somewhere in the distance
An obstacle I’d have to traverse.

part III

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Edges (day 1911)

Off you go, into the North
Leaving me here all wrapped in alone,
I see the tender wind a blowing
Guiding you on your way.
All around green leaves are turning,
At first in yellows at the edge,
Then before I know to check my season,
Fully entrapped in brown as vivacious earth below.
This makes me think of how you’ve taken
Over these delicate edges of my heart;
At first you were sweet wind blowing
On a sunny, summer afternoon.
Then you started to set my edges
To warmer shades of home,
Until at last, I fell, expanded,
Into this palm you call forever.
And all the while, I’ve always trusted
An unerring cycle of our earth;
North to South, East to West,
Forest trails from here to there,
And as I turn my inner eye
(Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer)
I realize no matter the colour of the sky
It’s nothing, unless you are the colour of my home.

My Land | Chapter II (day 1125)

It wasn’t long before I could see the dust kicked up in the distance from the pack I had been following. I knew they were hurt and could see it in their movement. They moved quick but I was moving quicker.

My long barrel could have taken them all there and then, and really it should have. I hadn’t time to be wastin’ away from the stead as I was.

I thought of simple things as I headed uphill; my fire stoked oven, hard chair, dust particles changing the hue of the room to match my lonely heart.

From here I knew a trail that tracked the edge of the ridge along the length of the valley. Before we were half way across I would be upon them with a vantage point to pick every single one of them off before they knew where I was. I was a fast shot, even with my long barrel.

I wondered how Tim and Casey Johnson were getting along, just East of my trail, just over the ridge. My trail ran North-South. I had come from the North and was heading South following this rogue pack of wolves that had taken two of my lambs. I was born a tracker, and these were my lands. The wolf was my birth sign, but my lambs were my right.

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

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