When skies blow clouds
And grass sways side to side
I feel your heart pull
About a time that’s past
I remember, I do!
I watched you lift your brows
To the sky each morning dew
And sunsets captured a feeling
Of what it was to be you
And now we carry on
Taken, but not forgot.
When skies blow clouds
You had a golden hour approaching
I wrote it down into my never ending
Then I sang a song that held each note too long
And dusted off each missing string.
Well and gone was each memory
Tucked into a case, sent off to sea
So my carved music making machine
Led me down the worst wrong street.
Oh you, you, you dug more sand to cover my toes
Coldness that I couldn’t attribute
Soaking bone my today castle
Over sunsets of towards a never end.
I slipped in to camp quietly
And set the horse loose
Moon Cow was sitting outside his teepee
Waiting for me
And as I sat down next to him
He handed me a blanket
And asked if I had stopped to watch the sunset
I told him it had changed my life
And he nodded silently
Taking a long inhale on his tobacco pipe
And handing it to me.
“What will you do?” he asked
Pointing to the moon
I knew he meant my heart
I fished out my little arrow
From my breast pocket
And told him that everything was already answered
And that I was still staying the winter
If I was still welcome in his home
He said I was always welcome in his teepee
Unless he had a girlfriend
Joking a little bit at the white man’s ways
Then he nodded towards his sister’s teepee
“She is expecting you now.”
I looked and noticed
That Willow was standing with her door open
Firelight dancing along the grass
As she looked straight at me
I walked over holding her gaze.
She held the door open for me
And when I reached her
Stepping to go past
Into the warmth of her teepee for the first time
She reached out her hand
And touched my forearm
To look me in the eyes
Learning the story of my soul
I looked back into hers
And gave her the story of my soul
And I gave her my soul
When she had learned it
I reached out and touched her
And pulled her closer to me
And held her there
For a very long time.
When she looked up
She had tears in her eyes
And said to me:
“I am yours now.”
And I looked her in the eye
And said as clearly as I could,
“Willow, I want to share my life with you
I want to provide for you
I want to protect you
I want to grow stronger with you
I want to bed with you.”
And she smiled her Wild Willow smile
And said again:
“I am yours now.”
And I repeated back to her
“I am yours now, too.”
This time she leaned in to kiss me
And I kissed her back
Until I heard a noise
Coming from inside the teepee
And I looked over
And it was Lily River
Smiling back at us
With her big eyes of joy
We all broke into happy laughter together
And Willow invited me to sit down next to her
On her bedding
And Lily brought us two cups of tea.
I awoke early with Moon Cow
To ask him if I could take his horse
I told him I was going
To go to see Amy & Frank
See how they were setting into autumn
I had hardly been able to sleep
My mind was racing and ignited
And I definitely didn’t want to
Step on any feet in my new family
How could I know?
I only had vague introduction to their culture
And could only have my own reference
With the culture I was brought up in
I wasn’t naive enough to think
I knew how to fit in just yet,
Accepted as I was.
I hoped spending the day with Amy, Frank, and Clarinet
Would answer many questions for me
Being with them filled me with so much gratitude
So much love and respect for the family unit
But this was different
Than family life of the Blackfoot
Would Willow and Lily homestead with me?
How far ahead of myself I had gotten.
They could tell I had something troubling me
Amy said: “Joe, I think the full moon is on your mind.”
I kind of looked at her surprised
Using the moonlight last night talking to Willow
I had only noticed it but not taken much account
She was entirely right
My mind was in the moon
And with the birds, and bees,
And coyotes howling in the night.
So Frank and me cut wood
And Amy made us sandwiches
And all four of us drank fresh milk
And enjoyed the early afternoon sun together
I learned that Amy was pregnant with their second
At the same time Clarinet learned
She was startled with the news
Playing as she was with a doll on the patio,
She just sat there with her big eyes
Looking at her mother
Probably as many thoughts going through her brain
As I had inside of mine.
I left with enough time
To return by daylight
Trying not to rush myself home
For I knew that I would be expected
But still so many thoughts going through my mind
Before getting home
I stopped at one of the bluffs with a view
Of the entire valley basin
And watched the sun set
With glorious reds and purples and oranges
That gave me every answer
I had ever asked before.
As your sweet rays
Flutter over horizon’s edge
I wonder quietly about
Do you speak the same words
I speak out to you?
Oh, how we could live happily
Should the moon join us at noon.
Where is this spot that exists between dream and reality
The viscerally imaginative soft stuff
That shakes shaggy ground free of complaints
And sunsets clear morning’s dew
From cobwebs shining as if testing new approaches
To similar corners, similar filters, similar dreams
That sit still and recoil while inhale meets exhale
And spring meets autumn
And one meets two
And a shoe gets worn through by impermanence of space
That’s always been growing up and chopped down
And eaten and fed and counted and weighed
And slotted into a spreadsheet marked with scales
Ranging from zero to ten with a save button
That creates multiple redundancies.
When the only request is for a tiny piece of convenience
For just one moment.
And in a flash,
With feet firmly planted securely on uneven ground
And hands held out in wide Namaskar to this beautiful world
A little droplet of rain shall fall perfectly
Upon a freckled upturned nose holding thoughts
Of a sunny day and all the rays of life shall shine down
In abundant warmth like a ticking clock
Chiming in at every quarter hour.
I asked you in an earnest voice
If the weather had been nice –
A windowless entrance into your mind
A sunset in the sky.
And your sunglasses gave you away
On this sunny side of our street
Where I ventured just one other guess
As to where your lover had been lately.
To which you looked the other way
And left me holding onto your
Glass purse now splayed on the floor.
A prison I could only guess,
As I collected quite the mess
In shadows and eye liner pens.
So I turned back into my coffee
That was more straight then you did seem
To let her cursing steam away
And the news was getting cold.
Tide’s rolling home
I cried a sunset
Into my hands,
I wished a star goodnight,
I heard the whisper
Of a willow
In night’s softest blow.
And then a form
Like magic appeared
Before my open eyes,
To tell me of
A far off land
That I should visit soon.
But to my surprise
My far away eyes
Began to fade like sun,
And my soft start
Began to slow
As night I did behold.