I was born a leopard
Faster then lightening
With a fierce bite
Family has answers
And I don’t travel in a pack
Let the moon crawl
As each spot upon my back
Snarl in the pale light
This is a silver ghost
And I don’t listen to whispers
Forget we are dancers
Paws in the sand
Rooting like trees
Leaning as the wind goes
And I don’t run without answers
I carried your tobacco pipe
Like a diamond on my mind,
Two puffs and a closed grip
Ricochet all security
Through the back door:
And we pass it on
As night songs
From a holy tent with a view
That lisps night skies
Through dreams of a far off land
But hold me, hold on
Hold the flowers
Growing here so wild
In the palm of your hand
Until it stains your closed grip
The colour of my dream.
I used to think about the night
I met you, streetlight
Long walks through midnight frost
And my left arm to my heart
So here’s my reflection in a pool
Dancing with pillows in my eyes
Shade my numbness with all that’s lost
And whisper to me softly
Just as every star.
As I sat crosslegged in the little clearing
Hidden as I was, deep within the forest
Heading East to the land of the Old People
I wondered about the faces I might see,
Faces of the men and women who would greet me,
Faces of the children playing in fields
And fields growing with the vigor
Only well cared for fields of tender hands can grow
I knew I would find
In the land of the Old People.
Beside me was a little patch of buttercups
That skirted the edge of deeper forest
Fallen logs and fir needles of this land
I could still hear the brook I had crossed
Calmly gurgling in the distance
My canteen still cold from its fill
My belly still churning from its fill
My fingers still wet and a cold
Only fresh mountain water can give,
A cleaning happily taken
Where I had let my bare feet soak gently a while.
My eyes scanned into the forest
Of an age I guessed ageless
Not a stump to be seen
Finding geometry in naturally fallen trees
Trees standing so tall my guess couldn’t reach
Moss covering so gently
I envisioned the industry nestled
Deep within the safety net of moss
That lay about thickly covered forest floor
Fungus’ mycelia layer hidden well
In healthy circles around the Ancient Giants
Old Man’s Beard hanging low
And spider webs zig-zagging
With its delicate fibers of care.
My pouch was always on me
No matter how far from camp I wandered
So as I moved away from my opening
I felt instinctively for my tools
Stepping over former soldiers
Rotting as life continued its circle
Through the efforts of decay
My soft crunch avoided the mounds
Finding edible mushrooms was easy
This early season of harvest
Upon edges of clearings I’d find strawberries
And blueberries and salmonberry brambles
So thick I’d get high
Feeding so heartily on such sugar
I knew it wouldn’t stay forever.
Fire starting was an economy no man could do without
No sane man that is,
For plenty of nights I’d been cold
In pure darkness of deep night,
But this night I had supple moss
And accessible wood dry enough to start
A warming dance in my blood
Soon the coals were hotter then the wood
That burned inside their whispers
My bed was simply a roll
The hard ground was something I was used to
I carried soft fur of a bear
On the top of my bag
Which I’d lay under my roll
To soften each night’s cold
My dream of a sheepskin
I had read about in books
Of old foreign herdsmen roaming
Highlands of Scotland
But I with my simple roll
Laid out on the ground.
There was no moon at midnight
And my road was clambering on
I saw what appeared to be shadows
But from what direction I could not see the source
Nor could I understand their movement
For my breath was beating strongly
Inside my mind that couldn’t sit still.
They say whenever you’re lonely
To hug a tree in the woods,
That everything will be better
Once you listen to the wind through leaves.
But my footsteps weren’t taking me there
My trees were full of eyes
That growled when I got too close
My fire had died down to a whisper
Which danced away upon every breath
That beat so wildly inside.
I tried turning my back to the fire
So I could let my eyes adjust to darkness
Cold dampness swept into my chest
That left my fingers clinching at the dirt
I sat cross-legged on ash
That was surely trying to make it’s way
Up the inside of my leg
Like slowly crawling worms
With no direction home.
My fingers felt like dust
Long gone into a night with no end.
Slowly my eyes began to make out a hue of indigo
Through the trees that crept ever closer
With a faint scent of a silhouette
That began to sing me a song
Reminding me of Joan Baez singing acapella
Which always led me to Bob Dylan
And one of his nearly alarming harmonica solos.
Stars began to blink at me
Through gusting fog that sped
As fast as the dying harmonica sounds.
I could begin to see markings
Upon the bark of the nearest Douglas Fir trees
Bark so thick that my hands impulsively
Rubbed each other
Acutely feeling dusty skin on the back of my hands
As life began to seep back into them,
Shocked one too many times
From the dark night that lay behind.
I pulled my wool blanket closer
Remembering I am a warrior
I am made of two hard feet
That carry me on through a winding
Needle covered path
Weaving past lagoons and over boulders
Over roots and upon grass
Sometimes lost and always home
And rusty feathers settled beside me
Wishing me goodnight, so I fell asleep.
Each shoulder I shift, shuffle,
Creaks with passion left un-stoked.
A winding splinter soaking
In the full moon’s setting sun,
A twisted root dancing
With leaves of another season.
Little whispers call out my name,
And it’s feeling a lot like rain.
So this path goes on,
Leaves fall to the tune of a breeze
And guesses punctuate each heave
With uneven ground, frolicking madly
Amidst pebbles and sticks
That grow wilder, fonder,
Of screw-top frameworks
Settling into the pocket
Of our toiling shuffle, softer.
How alone can alone be
When tapping at my window comes
A shadow with two fingers saying
Come out with me to sing and play.
Alone these moments of my heart
Listen like an alert lark
Shaken with a little limb
That has one leaf still hanging on.
And ever in my mind, alone,
I find a whisper calmly saying
You’re ok now, you’re home with me,
Alone here as alone can be.
In a passage of my minds disguise
I float little waves
And carry on in nature’s ease,
I don’t dare look too far.
But as sweet whispers carry over
Tender ruffles of my mind
I hold a little longer to
Pencils I’ve had perfectly sharp
That count with each hash mark
Dear boldness I’ve become.
A sloven machine
A soft machine
Calling at the moon
As sun sets lavender
And calm doves
Whisper in desire
With faint sound clouds
Of my heart
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.