Joy of Life (day 2827)

What windows open up my mind
To whom I speak so soft?
What vision is, I cannot say..
For laughter washes all
Into a valley of design,
Making each symbol remain the same.
Seeds of which photosynthesize,
Cracks amidst the soil,
Teeth so eagerly chattering,
Rain so vibrantly,
Gaia, she knows all secret things
Our eyes are not our only sense
Oh Joy! Oh Life!
Cometh my way.

Goodmorning (day 2814)

Today the sun came out
It spoke in a chant
That told me the history
Of every breath of air I could breathe
Which I collected at the base of my toes
And exhaled through the tip of my tongue.
The sun came out today
And shared itself with me,
Uncontrollable
I sought laughter and joy
And freshness
Only evening’s rain could bring
And I smiled
And said “Goodmorning.”

Big Speak (day 2663)

Apathy ranked high
In a list of long morals
That ruled the Big Speak’s ritualistic world
Visions confused as actions
Daylight confused as laughter
Dogs barking at parked cars
That swam away in a sea of surfboards.
The mothers cried
But held their tongue
For their culture had been shifted
Into bravery, brutish endurance
Ending in self-righteousness
So tightened by affirmations
Conflicting with daylight savings
While observing from a park bench.
But don’t tell lonely
For the Big Speak’s confused
That rhetoric means engagement
And slaughter means community.

Looking (day 2364)

I look for you in everything
With or without wine
I can see pointed toes
Within black socks
Pulled up to the middle of your calf
And black hair
That I’ve never been able
To reach out and touch.
No heartbeat says maybe
More than your eyes
Working chopsticks
Can reach into mine,
Yet laughter didn’t mean
What I had hoped
As I sat up late
Mixing fables
With my loneliness.
So twist away,
Reach out with flexed fingertips
Where I don’t belong,
And allow me to linger here
To sort out my other side
And remember
The smile that set me free.

Stay the Same (day 2237)

(him)
As I step into forgiveness
Where do your soft touches go?
Sun drops touching our ground tomorrow
Oyster magic on our table goes round
Sounds of a midnight loon.

Stay the same
Stay the same
Stay the same

(her)
I am not here for your darkness
Like a widow in her healthy garden
I will step softly into light
A letter from a stranger I did not know
Tears still seem to fall.

Stay the same
Stay the same
Stay the same

(him)
Will you lift your eyes to meet me
At your sandstone arched wooden door
Will I have to forget you
Blind shall be my stepping stone
Close my eyes and see no more.

Stay the same
Stay the same
Stay the same

(her)
Like your kindness as you enter
My heart is woven ever faster
Than my feet can henceforth take me
Softly over meadow floors
Flowers in my hand remind me.

Stay the same
Stay the same
Stay the same

(him)
Then I shall not ever let you
Go a day without more laughter
Go a day without my song
I cannot say without this flutter
I see soft horizons ever after.

Stay the same
Stay the same
Stay the same

(her)
I shall depart and let your laughter
Be the log jam of my spring
So that soon my winter prior
Shall be our summer blossom orchard
I shall hold on.

Stay the same
Stay the same
Stay the same

(him)
In your absence let my letter
Touch your breast pocket in tender softness
Let my vision hold your mind
As my strong hand shall press on
Ever yours, ever yours.

Stay the same
Stay the same
Stay the same

Moon at Midnight – Part XV (day 1989)

part XIV

I woke up to two angry voices outside my tent
Slowly my eyes adjusted to where I was
And what I was in
I noticed there was a second bed spread inside my teepee
That looked like it had been slept in
In the center, a small fire was burning
With a wrought iron pot starting to steam
I had hoped that tea was on to boil
I reached my bag and pulled out a piece of jerky
And snacked on that as I watched the fire jump.

Shortly after the voices died down
Moon Cow came inside and smiled at me
Saying: “Man Who Sleeps Long”
I smiled, offered him some jerky, and said it had been a long night
He agreed
He asked me if I had understood the conversation last night
And I told him that for the most part it was lost to me
I remembered that every so often
During the evening
Moon Cow had nicely leaned in to describe just enough
For me to understand what the conversation was about.

I stepped outside to relieve myself
And sitting cross-legged just outside the door
Was a young girl with long braids
Who had been waiting for me to come out
Since before daybreak
I could see all of this in her eyes
As they danced when I appeared
I didn’t quite know what to do
Or how to communicate with this cute little creature
So I grabbed a little scrap of leather
Clarinet had shaped into a heart
And gave me as we said our goodbyes,
And handed it to her,
When she understood what she had
She immediately ran away.

I watched as Moon Cow carefully dried his hands
In the fire that was burning
I can only guess he had already refreshed himself
In the creek that rolled close by
He said I was in luck
Handing me an egg and an ear of corn
“Not quite like Amy’s kitchen, is it?”
I tried to balance the hot egg in my hands
While pealing it.

Now the little girl reappeared
Looking into the teepee cautiously
Then taking three quick steps to me
With something in her hand
That she laid beside me on the bed I sat on
And quickly running back out the door,
Moon Cow told me it was his sister’s daughter
And it was his sister who he was arguing with this morning
Who was trying to tell her daughter
Not to sit outside and that I was danger.

“What now?” I asked Mountain Chief
After he summoned me into his teepee
“You run.” He said matter-of-factly
Looking very sternly at me
I stood there, not really understanding what he meant
Still with Moon Cow’s niece’s little arrow
She had given me in my hand,
Trying not to recall some horror stories
That had circulated far and wide
Of some Blackfoot torture methods.

After what seemed like a very intense two minutes
Mountain Chief broke into hysterical laughter
Along with everybody else that had gathered
Inside of the teepee
I didn’t quite understand
But he put his arm around my shoulder
And walked me a few steps away
Seated me on a mount of skins
And passing me a pipe to smoke
And a bowl of burdock tea,
I had been judged and passed.

part XVI

Sweat Tea (day 1840)

Into my sweet tea
I felt there was an empty spoon
And you came along so soft
To help me with my sugar,
And here your golden laughter
Took a shining to my smile –
A power I was helpless to,
A Queen in a beggars hand.
And if my sorrow had a strength
It would be a sweetened song,
It would be so round it had no edge
And sugar would be my pun
For my sweet tea is clearly running low
And my spoon has turned to fun.

Sweet Tea by Ned Tobin