That leaves me happy
To have found flight
That took me
Placed me upon this
Magic carpet ride
In the morning
After Sara had fed us all we could eat
We were again on our way home
With slightly lighter packs on our backs
Leaving such a warm and friendly place
Always makes one feel a bit homesick
For their own special people
Their own family
I knew that both Moon Cow and I
Had home on our mind
We had a happy jump in our step
As we made our way through the forest.
That morning when we were stopped by the creek for a drink
We saw two Elk come up and have a drink, too
We knew that there must be more around
But neither of us could handle carrying any more on our backs
So we just sat and watched them drink water
Saw them communicating with themselves
It’s hard not to project human emotions and feelings
Onto animals that you see
Are they in love? Are they romancing?
They are probably just thirsty
And their instinct led them to water…
Peaceful animals and very quiet.
When we started to recognize our home trials
Our spirits became much lighter
And we were practically skipping along carelessly
When out popped one of the young scouts
Right in front of us and scared the willies out of us!
Moon Cow started playing around as if he was shot
And the young scout named Beaver Slap
Accompanied us home as Moon Cow shared stories with him
About how we had come by the meat we carried on our backs.
Willow and Lily were expecting us
And as we came into the village
They came over to us and gave us hugs
It felt so good, even after just a short time
To hug Mercy and Lily again
It is hard to explain the goodness one feels inside
When such a thing is experienced
I guess all I could do was squeeze extra hard
Like a giant bear
And hold them extra long
And laugh extra deep.
When Willow came back into the teepee
I knew instantly something was wrong
Actually, I think I knew before she came back in
But when she did
Just one look at her and I could tell that
Something horrible had just happened
Then I saw the blood
And she was incredibly pale
She fell into my arms
And I comforted her as we sat on the floor
She lightly sobbed in my shoulder.
I sent Lily over to get Mercy
When Mercy came in and saw Willow
She knew what had happened immediately
And began to comfort her
Mercy went and looked
To see what had come out
So we knew there was no immediate danger
But the bleeding still had to stop
And that was a worry.
By the next day,
Willow had stopped bleeding
And the colour was returning to her face
Though she was still sad and distant
We both were
I sat and lay with her a lot in those days
As she rested
And noticed her looking nowhere often
Something I had never seen her do before
She usually just stared at me
I think she didn’t understand my hair colour.
It was nice to have Lily around
To comfort her mother, too
She was a great little mother for us
I knew Willow had really wanted the baby
To prove more to her family
Then to me
That she wasn’t less then nothing
Since her first man had passed,
Something of pride,
But I also knew that Willow had so much to be proud of
One perfect example was Lily
Who silently provided for us
As we all comforted each other.
After five days of bed rest
I must have changed the rocks in her bed
Ten times a day
She enjoyed it, so I was happy
And she was looking much better
As was the cough nearly gone
I was happy to see
She meant the world to me
And we gave the little moccasins away
To Runs Wild’s wife
Who was now expecting a baby as well
They were both very happy to have them
And they were also very happy to see
Willow walking around and looking better.
The land Mountain Chief had decided to camp at for the winter
Was full of buffalo and other small game
Looking for cover in the trees for the cold season
The flat land wasn’t too nice for them
We teamed up the neighboring camp of Blackfoot
Who’s chief took Mountain Chief’s sister to bed
Seeing all of the riders together
Gave me a chill up and down my spine
But it was beautiful to watch the skilled riders
Chase the buffalo down a buffalo run
Jumping to their deaths
Must have been houndreds of them
To skin and to smoke.
Moon Cow and I set to work at once building as many
Smoke houses as we could
In the fashion that I had first built with him
A few moons ago now
Some of the other people dug giant but shallow holes
Which they then put sticks beneath
Then a makeshift frame structure
That they layered buffalo onto
And on top of this
They lay the hides they had just skinned.
It was a massive undertaking and some days
I would ride up to the top of the cliff
And just look at all the people below working
Imagine how the buffalo had jumped with the stampede
Each day I would do at least three loads of newly smoked meat
Back to the camp we had
Wild Willow had set a home close by
Open air but many hides and blankets to keep us warm
Through the whole night
That we lived in while we were working
It was nice to have her warm body
To sleep next to every night
It was food for my soul.
Every night both of our people
Would get together around a large fire
And celebrate the harvest
The bounty we were all so thankful for
To keep us through the winter
Everybody was happy, laughing, dancing
I would watch Willow and Lily
Dance around with all their sisters
As the drums kept beating into the fresh night air
When she would come find me
She would be covered in a fine layer of sweat
And exhilarated by the night
I would join her at times
Trying to watch the other men
To see how they danced
So I could learn and feel like I belonged more.
When I would wake
There would still be smoke coming from the fires
But more importantly
Smoke would still be inside our smoke houses
That Moon Cow and I had stoked
Before we had gone to our beds
I would add more logs to each one
And when I returned to camp
Willow had special tea for me
With fried buffalo and eggs.
It was a lot of work
Which I enjoyed
I definitely wasn’t as skilled as the others
At cutting and skinning
But I was good, and fairly quick
And my good knife definitely helped me
Some of the others used modified axes
That seemed to work fairly good
It was a city for those long days
Bustling with people here and there
Trading and helping
And I met many relatives
Ever curious who the white man was with Willow
It was clear that she was loved by many
And I could also see a few jealous Blackfoot
Looking at me, dressed in a mix of leather and cotton clothes
Wondering what I had that they didn’t
But Willow had told me this is just their way
That she had turned down some widowed elders
After Lily’s father had passed,
Content to help her brother and care for Lily
I wondered which ones.
Would you be a heart that will call out?
Shoes so familiar
Like eyes closed into sunshine,
And memories that float into this blank space –
Too happy to change it –
For we’ve started to understand
That tomorrow never comes,
And all we can hold on to
Is the ball clanging around wildly
Inside what we close our eyes to guard against.
This isn’t a memory,
This is pure unabashed and secret dreaming…
A love that screams to come out,
And I’m walking through the madness
With a hope to one day find my way out.
As the sun kisses my face
Your blossoms shall kiss my nose –
Fill my eyes with butterflies
And leave me singing songs.
And when I walk up to my shins
Amongst your thriving throng,
My toes shall catch your hearty stems
My fingertips you’ll reach to kiss,
And leave me lost in harmony
Like I’ve once felt before
On a sunny day out at sea
Where my mind remains happy, forevermore.
It makes me sad to think of lonely people,
Especially in a big city.
A city so big that for every lonely thought out there,
There’s an equally lonely thought going right back out.
That for every lonely person out there,
There is another lonely person
Thinking the same lonely things,
Wishing that other lonely people
Could be lonely with them, lonely together.
It’s sad thinking about
The rate of lonely people leaving the big city,
How if their lonely souls would have connected
With other lonely souls
– To make a collective happy soul –
How close that did actually come to be!
Imagine, two lonely souls passing each other on the street!
Perhaps just one more lonely thought
Would have been enough lonely thoughts
To summon all the lonely people.
How many lonely people must leave the city,
For other lonely people to take notice?
Is there a lonely person packing their tiny car up
With all their precious lonely memories stuffed inside
Leaving this lonely city right now?
Flatness of my heart
Oscillates up and down,
Up and down.
Up and down.
And up it goes with happy hopes,
Then down it comes,
Weighted against odds.
I use my Phillips screwdriver
To manage the extent to which
My heart goes up,
And my heart goes down.
Like full stops
When I’m out beyond the breakers,
My heart has water-wings
And a soothing buoyancy.