Two (day 2568)

Drove into a rainstorm with two passengers to my right
Had a conversation about two things on my mind
Two stop lights later I heard two loud sounds I knew
Two old friends of mine I hadnt seen for two whole years
Two hours later I had two beers in my hand
Two more for my two friends,
Two more for the road
At last I saw the two lights I knew as my own home
Two horses there greeted me, standing next to two pine trees
That’s when I was startled by two owls calling out
One from the East, the other from somewhere North
Two steps into my door, I met my two dogs who
Grabbed my two hands and made me feel at home
Where I sat at one of my two chairs
And shared dinner for two with the woman who I do care.

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.

Pastoral Views (day 2241)

Take me for a ride across
Sloping countryside
A river bend, pastoral views
Anglican church cemeteries.
Imagine if we could have
A baker’s dozen head of sheep
A flock to tame and feed with our
Four acre rolling range.
Our horses would be roaming, too
With healthy pasture grass
A good life for the lucky few
We’d ride bareback in play!
On Sunday’s we’d clamber over
Through the forest trail to
An ocean beach a short walk away
To laze about in deep rich red sand
In search of sea life washed up
Amusement for our childish minds
Every day till never end.
Then, towards the eve
We’d find our way
To our favourite perch where to
A book of tales would remind ourselves
How rich a life we do lead.

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 XXXXXXII (day 2036)

(part XXXXXXI)

As Spring melted the snow
I could hear the mountains calling my name
It was like the wind
It would just come into my ear
And I wouldn’t hear anything else
Except my name
And a direction it would come from
I asked Willow if she could hear it
But she said that she didn’t
She said that she had heard
A similar voice in her ear
At a different time calling her
Neither of us really knew what it was about
Never had anything like it before
But we did admit that it was intriguing
And she told me she had never
Felt so much like going for a walk about
As she did that Spring.

When nearly all the snow was gone
And the moon was new
Willow and I decided to head
Directly into the mountains
To see what we would find
Lily River stayed with Mercy
And she was old enough now to mind herself
No doubt she would sleep most nights
By herself in our own teepee.

We decided we would only take one horse
Pack what little things we needed on it
Particularly some warm blankets
As it was still cold at nights
Lots of dried foods
But Willow knew all the Spring food
We could get in the woods
And I had my bow and arrow with me.

We decided that we would stay well South
Warmer, and the direction the whispers came from
The valley we soon discovered
Was in full stinging nettle bloom
And we picked there for a day until
Our fingers were stinging and our spare sacks
Were full of the tea for us to drink.

part XXXXXXIII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXV (day 2029)

(part XXXXXIV)

Two weeks after Willow had been run
She was feeling good enough
To go back out and try the passage again
So, we packed up
And headed out in the same direction
This time we passed over the woodland
And made it to Amy & Frank’s
Within four days of riding
Very slowly
For it was still a little bit tender
For Willow to ride for too long at one time.

Amy, Frank and Clarinet were ecstatic to see us
They had a new baby boy named Jack
Who Lily of course fell in love with right away
So Lily and Clarinet played house
With the three of them
Taking extra special tender care
Of the little baby Jack.

Willow and I enjoyed the baby too
And I could see that she was thinking about
Having our own little Jack
But we didn’t talk about it
We were too distracted with conversation
Willow and Amy got along really good
I was happy to see that,
And Moon Cow, Frank and I
Mostly worked in his garden and shop
Helping him with some of his projects
We made poles and fixed some fences
Milked his goats and churned the butter
Fed the chickens and chopped some wood
Sharpened some axes and shooed his horses.

Every night we felt like a family
All sitting around anywhere we could
Eating what Amy and Willow had made
They were both interested in exchanging recipes
From each other’s minds
Willow always had so much to share with Amy
About herbs foraged from the forest
Willow learned so much from Amy
About things like flour and pastries
I could see her eyes expand
Watching some of the techniques
Amy did with her oven.

part XXXXXVI

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXII (day 2026)

(part XXXXXI)

As Spring shifted into Summer
Everything began to come into full bloom
I decided that I wanted to go to see Amy, Frank, and Clarinet
See how they had been getting along
And also get out into the wild
Explore a bit
Both Moon Cow and Willow said they wanted to come
And Lily also wanted to come
Everybody knows that four is a great travel party
So we were all set for a journey.

Spirits were high as we began
Each of us riding our own horse
Lily having been able to ride a horse on her own
Quite well since before she could walk
Though would usually ride behind her mother
When any distances were covered
This trip would be her first major one
On a horse of her own.

We didn’t want to push too hard each day
In no rush, and more then enough food for all of us
For the whole trip
With Moon Cow and I such good shots with the arrow
We expected to mostly catch fresh meat for dinner
We slept under the stars
With a close fire keeping us warm all night
Something that Moon Cow was very skilled at doing
It’s not easy, you know
To keep a good fire burning hot and low all night
With fresh wood scavenged from the grounds.

Willow was up before me
Gathering some water and heating up some meat
Leftover from the night before
And had gathered a few wild fruits
That were in the pasture we had stopped at
Strawberries mostly I saw
But some stinging nettle
That she wrapped the meat in
And some mint tea she was boiling
From where I lay watching her
I fell more in love with her, easily,
And just as I was starting to get a bit aroused
We both heard a sound coming from the close bushes
She looked at me and I at her
Worried what it might be
I instinctively reached for my bow
And sensed that Moon Cow had too.

When the bear cub broke into our clearing
I knew the mama bear couldn’t be far behind
I was immediately awake and circling around wide
Trying to find the mother bear
Moon Cow had went the other way
When suddenly
I was face to face with the mother
She was standing on her hind legs
Not at all pleased that her cub
Had found us
And that she was now face to face with me
And her baby wasn’t behind her
Before I knew what had happened
She was charging me
I tried to sidestep it behind a tree
Which I did, forgetting to shoot my arrow
The mother kept running
Charging right at Willow
In the center of the camp
Still by the fire minding the food
Moon Cow was there, he had heard me jump
And as the mother charged
She received two arrows into her neck
But kept charging anyway
Bowling right through the fire
And knocking willow about 2 meters backwards.

part XXXXXIII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXII (day 2016)

(part XXXXI)

On the third day we left
As always, it was hard to leave Amy, Frank, and Clarinet
But it was necessary
For I could see that Moon Cow and Tall Pine
Were eager to return to the family
As was I
I missed Willow and Lily.

The first night we camped it was very cold
So cold, we woke up with a layer of frost on us
This made me a bit grumpy, and of course stiff
But soon we had a fire going
That slowly warmed our bones
We made some warm tea
And had some of Amy’s world famous jerky
She had so kindly given us,
Stuffed our pockets as we departed ways!

We walked all day
Expecting to either see our cache
Or hopefully another large animal
But neither we found
It was a bit unnerving because the land we were in
Didn’t remind me of the land that we had left the cache in
But Moon Cow and Tall Pine both said this is where we left it
So I trusted them, they had never been wrong with such things
It took us until noon the next day to find our cache
Which was exactly as it had been left.

Just as we were pulling it down
Tall Pine, who was off a little way scouting
Saw himself a deer
So as Moon Cow made a sled for us to carry our meat home
Tall Pine and I dressed his deer
This was going to be hard work
To pull the meat home
So I suggested that we might send one of us home
To get a horse
Moon Cow thought for a while
Pulled the sleigh a little while longer
And said: “You know, this isn’t such a horrible idea after all.”

We sent Tall Pine to run and fetch Moon Cow’s horse
Which he returned with by nightfall
We walked all the next day with the horse
Leisurely
And made it to the camp by nightfall
Just in time for some delicious soup
From Willow
She had received some fresh buffalo meat and
Saved it for us, for our return
As a treat for us
The perfect welcome back
From the woman who holds my heart.

part XXXXIII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXI (day 2015)

(part XXXX)

I know that Frank appreciated having us there
To help him chop wood
He wasn’t prepared for so much help
So we only had two splitting axes
But everybody managed to stay busy
Stacking and carrying and loading and unloading.

On the second day at their place
We could feel a great rumbling
And knew it could only be the buffalo stampeding
So we immediately made our way
Out of their valley
And in to the next
Where there was a migratory path
The buffalo would always take
We sat atop the crest of the valley
Just watching them there
Thousands, movement as far as the eye could see
What a beautiful thing to behold
Frank was happy to have sure food all winter.

We only took down two buffalo
That was all the meat that Frank needed
It wasn’t smart for us to carry on our backs
Meat from this far away to our own village
We let Tall Pine and Moon Cow pull the bow
For it was clear they mourned not being able
To have their buffalo run this year
It was beautiful to watch them ride
Frank’s stud, bareback
Into the buffalo, fearlessly.

Tall Pine got the first one
Which landed with a thud and a big pile of dust
He then hurried back to us
Jumped off and before the dust settled
Moon Cow was off with a hoot
To get the wind in his hair again
I could see him smiling even from where I sat
As he wove his way into the herd
Bow cocked and sighted:
Thud… dust.

With four of us dressing the buffalo
We had them quickly on a sled
Being pulled by the horse
And were on our way back to the house
Excited to celebrate the luck
Frank knew better then to offer us his moonshine
But he had plenty of tea
Amy made us the most delicious bread
And we had a mighty feast of it
Afterwards all of us had to undo
Our belt buckles
So we could sit comfortably around the fire
Clarinet included!
It was nice to be with such kind people
And to have helped them such.

part XXXXII