Crossed my eyes
Spoke to me in a language
I’ve only heard
Amidst the trees.
When my vision
Reached its peak
Audible and tangible
I knew my day
Had just begun.
So as the crow flies
Back and forth
I wobbled through my daily mirth
Stuck inside my sunrise
With soup and spoon
And steeping tea.
There’s a funny bone in my heart
That keeps twitching when I wake
When I’m alone at the start of days
Trying to understand
What took you from my open hands
To the rocks outside my door
And every one I see out there
Says the same thing back to me
A blankness that hadn’t yet been made
Close spirits in the sky
That rumble back and forth aloud
Language I cannot translate
That takes me back to my awake
So silent here I cry.
These trees have begun to speak in many languages
To my ears that are listening to silence.
Each time Orion shines, Owl begs for a lover
While my tears dry upon my cheek
– Sap dries upon each tree’s wound,
For no wound is too deep to heal
– Though frost strikes into depths I cannot feel anymore.
Dog enjoys this silence, he hears it all
He hears what I cannot hear
Though my eyes they fight fire with his.
I leave my footsteps alone
And find a new way home, trees lead me there.
This treeline I never made yet live upon every day
Grows against my territory like Winter against Fall,
I have not become used to it
Eagerly entering into the darkened shire
With my heart freely beating against my lips
That keep pace with a dog, yet fearless
And listening to trees lead the way.
Winter was cold and long
But we had each other and lots of buffalo meat
So what else could a person ask for?
Moon Cow would very often come over
To our teepee and we would all talk,
Moon Cow being the interpreter most of the time
We would go walking when we could
Through the snow following tracks here and there
It became a game on the nice days
On the cold days it was a chore
But there is no other way
When you live off the land.
I spent a lot of time learning Pikanii that winter
A lot of my white man words
Neither Willow nor Moon Cow could comprehend
Things they just had never seen
They had a beautiful language
That spoke mostly of what was important
They were all eager to learn my language too
So they could prosper with the traders
That would return in the spring.
The family grew accustomed to me
Seeing my familiar face around
And as I learned new words
I would usually surprise them when I would comment
On something they were doing,
Or just friendly greetings, smiling as we passed each other.
Willow didn’t cook as good as Moon Cow did
But Willow had a wider vocabulary of herbs and spices
That I greatly appreciated
Especially when it came to fighting off colds
For Willow also knew medicines well
She taught me how to identify many
By sight and by smell
And I would accompany her when we would wander about
Looking for roots and bulbs through the winter
As treats for our palette.
Lines have been written down the back of my neck
Ancient scrolls, unintelligible
In a language spoken when men and women
Lived together in deep respect and love
My throat has begun to burn
The ink has started to bleed
Where once was smooth innocence
Crawling with anticipation of the turning times
Return to a fantasia built upon sorcery
Filled with myth so blood-soaked and deep
Memories flood the virgin landscape
And the Oracle speaks once again