Each Quill (day 2772)

The eyes of terror struck into
A faithful servant in pain
What must be done, owner’s duty
Calmly, one cannot relent.
Each quill, each sliver,
Each painfully removed
To help a faithful friend in need
Until those eyes return to softness
Playfulness again,
A friend once more returns,
Tail wagging, trust returning,
Companion to the end.

Ode to A Young Dog (day 2679)

Your breath gets me
A startling reminder
That even though
Your dear to me
Your still a scoundrel
For games and fun.
Your ever presence
Ever eager eyes
Inquiring of me
For hidden treats
Of hidden adventures
Of pats and scratches,
For your wagging tail
And the little noises
I’ve known from you
Ever heard from you
Makes me warm dearly
To the fun your heart
Touches my heart
Where I wish could stay
Beside me, all days.

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.

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

20151027-mt-fromme-ned-tobin-12

Orca Sighting (day 1642)

A little moment
I stopped to see
A pod of orcas
Across from me

“Starboard!”
The captain said
I leaned and looked
Found sun instead.

Ho! They played
Above, below,
From every direction
About the sea

Whips and whacks,
Breaching blows,
Whipping tails
And splashing bubbles

Just as they came
We sailed on past
Our ripples crossing
Diverging paths