With one big bolt
To a partner pole
At this joint
Square and capped
Around the pole
As a fire I torch the way
Alight into this night
Burning each timber
Amber lays my path behind.
I take apart
Each sliver of wood
Placed into my path
I bite and lick each crack.
But as wind doth die down
As kindling wanes at the hearth
Gentle doth my folly go
Slowing each flicker
And midnight’s roe fares well.
Campfire is my tool tonight
Warmth from evenings bite
Fuel for cooking suppers worth
And entertainment to watch
Flames licking exposed wood
Yet untouched by char
Coals shifting, popping
The hottest part,
Eager to grow ever closer
To other matching embers
And edging me evermore
To fuel my campfire tonight.
There’s nothing quite like starting a fire
From the very kindling you’ve gathered
Shaved flakes of fresh wood
Because woodsmen don’t use paper
To start their fires.
Each piece of wood weighed and measured
To match each flames intensity
For in its time that fire shall get
A new piece as its fuel.
Handling an axe isn’t a light days work
It’s sharp, and heavy,
And you’ve really got to swing it hard
I you want any work done at all,
For your fire to get nice and tall.
Then as night sets in, darkness itself,
Warmth from your toil and support
Comes bellowing out
In calculated intensity
From within the fire you’ve set
And worked as a good night beacon.
Mountain Chief was very interested
To hear what news Frank had to share
He had made a trip of his own
To meet with neighbouring Chiefs
He had already made contact with
That lived relatively close by
He wasn’t surprised by anything
As he had heard a lot of it already
He still had the rogue miners on his mind
He told us that after we left
He went to visit the location
Where Tall Pine and I had caught up
With the rogue miners
He said when they had got there
There was hardly anything left of the bodies
Eaten by the scavengers already.
Every day we felt winter coming quicker
And before we knew, it was upon us
It was colder then the usual winters
On the traditional land we had stayed last year
But luckily we had kept all of the furs
And blankets to keep us warm
We were surrounded by trees
That we had taken logs, branches
And even busied ourselves cutting a few
So that we could burn it all winter.
All in all, though, we were all happy
We had food, heat, and love
It was nice to be with Willow
She made me a very lucky man
And it was pure joy to watch Lily grow
Exploring more and more on her own
But always with those big eyes listening
Moon Cow was frequently in our teepee
And it was clear how much he loved all of us too
And Long Arrow would join us frequently with Mercy
Who was as much in our teepee as Willow was in hers.
It was a different life,
I reflected upon this often
How much different it was
Than any life I had ever dreamed
Could I ever have guessed this when I started East
Almost two years ago now?
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.
This sunshine in my sky so high,
Oh Lordy, sit down and sing me a song today
I’ve got little dancers raising glasses in my heart
And the whole town’s coming down
For a good ol’ knee jerkin’ jamboree!
Have you thought about bees on a Sunday?
Bending fullness of a flower top
Slowly wrinkling it’s cheeks saying: ‘Hi!’
Waving lazily in the afternoon sky
Cause Oh Boy! I’ve sure got some cheer!
You know, I sure know this old barn door,
And today there’s nothing more I could want;
Squeaky hinges and drying wood,
And the smell of it all goin’ back to earth.
What’s happening to my soul? It’s a damn good day.
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.
This takes time.
Your neck scratches
Twist heroin like
Spirals towards starlight.
Your heavy steps
Nick solid wood,
Pick pocking veneer
For random acts.
Your tight lips
Close proud moments up
With smeared lipstick
That’s left on
Too many strangers.
This takes time
To get this way,
And it takes time
To step out.