Tag Archives: Summer

Sunsets (day 2252)

Sunsets have come again
Chipping paint on my front door
Paint paint paint some more
Let me go ol’Loony bin
I’m growing wild to my back steps
It’s summer come to hem me in
Picking out my rooted joy
Chip-o-way-o-chip-a-maw
Returned again with knuckles raw
Scuffed it up till fingers bled
A little grass to dull the pain
Watching sunsets come again
Call me in the morning sun
Call me in the morning
Call me when it’s to dark again

Roan Short Tail (day 2124)

In the great time of y’or
When my Grandfather Thick Neck
Roamed these wild lands
His deer were thousands strong
And each Autumn they’d collect
From all four corners of
His vast kingdom
He had roamed all Summer
And would gather near
The great Big River
To Winter in collective warmth
The power was in their numbers
It was impossible for predators
To attack such a strong group
And in the darkest days of Winter
They had fellow deer
To remind each other
Of the bountiful Summer days
Coming soon again.

Mule-Deer watercolour painting by Ned Tobin

I Cannot Believe in More (day 2097)

I cannot believe
What continually turns me around
I’ve got ten thousand wounds
Pierced through my broken soul
I’ve spent every summer
In the winter of my heart
And the coldness always warms up
What has forever been alone
I pull apart my chest
To reveal my ancient glacier
Upon which my survivor
Wags back and forth his tail
I separate every bit of sunlight
From creeping darkness setting in
And I’m left with an aggressive snarl
Cause I’m out looking for more.

Jon-Jon Wood Oak (day 2085)

These days are long, my son
The grass hardly grows
And we must be keen and aware
To find what has been left
From the summer’s growing
See these cat tails?
They will do you very good
But the birch, poplar, and willow
Those will do.
For we are not the only ones
Looking for sustenance
In these cold, blizzardy days
No, let this be a reminder
That when the food is plenty
In the warm summer days of green
To eat and eat and eat some more,
For winter’s sure to come again
And we survive, oh, we do survive
We are survivors on what has been stored
During the summer days of green.

Moose watercolour painting by Ned Tobin

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXVI (day 2040)

(part XXXXXXV)

Upon returning to our village
We had a feast with the Elk we had taken
With anybody that was around,
When we had returned and word got out
That a giant herd of Elk
Were two valleys to the North West
A large hunting party left
To see what they could capture.

Lily was so happy to see us
Of course
But she also had a bit of pride to her
That we hadn’t noticed before
I could tell that she felt good that
She had been able to take care of herself
Without the help of parents
We asked her if she had spent every night by herself
In our teepee
And she had said that she would have
But Mercy had been so excited
That she was going to stay with them
That she had no reason to stay by herself
Her blooming heart couldn’t let Mercy down
Besides, she said, Mercy has the best cooking.

As the summer progressed
We noticed Lily taking more and more time
On her own
She liked to wander the forest
And would bring home
Some very unique herbs and medicine
That her mother had taught her so well to find
It made Willow very proud she was
Taking an interest in the medicine
But also worried her going off alone
A mother’s natural tendency
But I also knew that anything could happen
Unexpectedly while out
We wouldn’t know where she was
And having two people together
Increases the chances of survival should an incident occur.

We shared our worries with Lily
And asked her if there was anybody
She thought that might be able to accompany her
I recognized the look she gave me
Was about as pure as it gets
Imploring me with her beautiful eyes
If she really had to
I understood it was hard for a young girl like her
And made a silent vow to myself
To go out with her more often
Like I so often did with Willow
We also talked to Moon Cow about this
And he too made it known
That if Lily ever needed a companion
To count on him, always
With this, Lily smiled.

part XXXXXXVII

 

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 XVI (day 1990)

part XV

Every day I would wake to Moon Cow
Cooking eggs he had found
The air outside was still holding on to summer
But one knew it was going to be changing soon
And the comfort of the heat was welcome
Moon Cow would always smile
And comment on my inability to get alerted
By sounds in the night
He’d say: “Did you hear the wolves last night?”
Or something similar
And of course I hadn’t heard a thing
Comfortable as I was.

I learned Moon Cow’s niece
Was named Lily River
But I affectionately called her Little Arrow
One day I was sitting cross legged on the ground
And she pulled Moon Cow over to me
They both sat down joining me by the brook
And asked him to ask me for her
“What is this name you call me?”
I explained what Little Arrow was
Pulling out the little arrow I now kept in my breastpocket
She smiled and blushed
And I pulled at a tuft of grass
Tossing it playfully at her
Moon Cow just laughed.

The day after I had the meeting with Mountain Chief
He left with seven men riding with him
To where, I could not know
And Moon Cow just shrugged his shoulders
So I didn’t pry too much
I asked Moon Cow if he thought
We could take two horses and give
Amy, Frank and Clarinet a visit
I suggested we take Lily River with us
To meet Clarinet, and he agreed
So we set off for a full day of touring
Bareback, on three horses.

Frank met us at the front door
Amy in the kitchen busy with bread
And Clarinet always close beside her
I don’t think Frank recognized me
But he knew the horses and looked a bit worried
Once he saw me his furrowed brow
Turned into the widest grin
And he laughed his friendly and warm laugh:
“Amy, guess who just rode up?!”
We dismounted and gave our greetings and gifts
And introduced Clarinet to Lily River.

Neither could talk to each other much
But I knew Clarinet had respect for the Native child
As I had hoped, knowing Amy and Frank,
And that made me smile
For the Native folks of this land
Sometimes didn’t get the respect they deserved
As humans sharing the land
With Europeans and their firesticks
Clarinet wasn’t a shy kid
And a bit to my surprise
Lily enjoyed some of the little games
Clarinet made her play around the house.

We enjoyed fresh bread
As I told Frank and Amy about my story
Of first meeting Mountain Chief
And everybody laughed when I told them
How he had known their jerky by smell!
With this, Frank pulled a few sticks for us
And we sat their drinking tea and nibbling on jerky
Enjoying each other’s company.

I asked Frank if he needed any help
While he had two extra men around
And he put us to work for a few hours
Lifting bales of hay up into his hay loft
And walking a few of his ditches with him
Clearing branches that had fallen
We enjoyed the light work and helping.

Amy made us an early meal
Of boiled potatoes, carrots, saurkraut
And a few more preserves
I kept almost laughing looking at Lily
Who was looking at the food
And not really knowing what to do with it
Never having eaten with utensils before
But she was a quick learner
And she copied us quickly.

We made it home by dusk
Lily’s mother, Wild Willow, was happy to see her home
She was beautiful,
And I could only smile when I saw her
I could tell she had been a bit worried
But Moon Cow just laughed it off
I’m not sure why I didn’t take Frank
Up on his offer again
For me to stay with them
Except that I liked learning the way of life
The Blackfoot kept,
They were also family now
But I did promise to return
Before the Winter came.

part XVII

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.

Summer Camp (day 1905)

Summer camp is building up
Splashing heard all day
Toadstool hunts and little bugs
Campfire wood, evermore.

“Cannonball” yelled at every chance
Footsteps on the dock
Drying towel potato salad
Midnight on the run!

But lazily as a summer bee
All fun will come to end
Like worker ants in a line
Arrows shall be carried home.

Dusty Boulders (day 1857)

Take this blood and run it along an irregular line from here to there, for there is no longer a fountain of youth screaming for more sticks and balls; left for dead there is only a pulse of electricity surging away into a stream of monotony.

But where does each screaming echo fall?

Twisting it’s way through sandstone crevices along a dried river basin, footsteps led aimlessly uphill in search of a higher plateau that might offer a view of the future, or lead to a three feet wide round door of periscope and a three strands of hemp rope holding a dangling sign that read: “Welcome. Please come in.”

If all was lost, there would be no now, for now is not lost as a pinch can accost.

While large maple leaves unfurled to beckon in the Summer, a slow and sweet amulet of sweat rested nicely between the bosom of naked pixie, casually watching the dried river splash over dusty boulders.

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