on the occasion of Lance’s birthday.
Gerald Schwartz sang:
We are the brass locusts, as tides wane/ and the air is rich/ with what would rather be forgotten;/ and hard on the moving/ on these changing winds/ we are the eternal locusts sounding our sharp despair:/ This rasp of autumn, this rasp of heat,/ metal of prophecy but not of peace,/ awl in the ear to make us/ bondsmen here,/ brand in the flesh of mind;/ beneath the beat/ of sun, of light rain, of dazzling/ earth/ we lose the visioned,/ the encompassing eye;/ we are the brass locusts boring into the noon/ speaking for the alien/ and all to come:/ the fools lift their heads,/ remembering cold,/ regathering wisdom,/ as the sun grows old. …… The Very Best of this Earth-Arrival Anniversary to you! Cheers!
Lance Henson sang in reply:
I saw beetle…
carrying a piece of moonlight toward a secret place…
fish waiting there…
in the lighted water, out of our Great Mother’s womb,
weaved into this patterning of life,
where Sundance and peyote songs thread into war and sorrow…
laying these burdens at the door of peace…
hoping someone is home.
we are home.
thanks for the honoring.
Silence is heavy
As it carries all its loved ones
Ones whose silence lives in the water
Ones whose voices begin and continue in a language
We have yet to learn
It sings in the between breath of the newborn
It weeps with the hearted ones whose prayer is the dawn
And the last breath of a child and the last breath of a
Mother and the last breath of a soldier
is followed by silence
We see our silence
Not as we knew it
And we wish to return to it
Though we are too changed….
From the dead zone texts
Poem number five
17 December 2016
The river sings….as always
As all rivers….
The ones who nurture it…
It remembers you
In its flowing canticles of joy
It carries the grief of all who suffer for it
You who have bathed in it
Anointed now by its one prayer for you….
It flows for the ones who have no voice….
Their silence eternal…
Healing the broken shadows of man….
For the water protectors of standing rock
25 November 16
I burn silver sundance sage….I burn red homeland cedar….
I send the ashes..
From a feathered tip
Toward the massacred
Who are everywhere…..
From the stronghold
Memories meet one another on the way
Without knowing who they are
These are the times of passing….
Here are the lives that have returned
Who cannot remember their eyes
Blinking in the darkened forest….
Listening for their hands that are crawling toward
Where they left their promises…
In a broken sleep
Of moth flight…..
9 June 2016
Running in your veins…..
In a sacramental night
In your dawn misted breath
As you pray….
Wholeness all around…
Tsistsistas for Panther
25 May 16′
From the dead zone hymnal
Vanishing in the void
Shadowless in our breathing
eyes closed as we listen to the
Vacant as rainless sky
Blood on the pale stones
A river has no name..the sound it knows of wind
It’s singing self..
It’s long memory
Bereft of longing..
Full of human invasion
Rests in its essential movements..
It is possible for a river
To sing inside a soul..
It is you..
For berta caceres
From the stronghold
5 March 2016
The first few flakes cascading
As small messages over the garden…
Having shapeshifted out of an Italian sky
From a swirling wind of tumultuous joy
The acidity of America still strong I’m my senses….
Now in this quiet
Transformations of sorrow and frozen rain
Passing through the window glass
To sit with me….
Shivadom maheo neh nameho….
On the frozen plains
28 November 2015
Gabors smoking room
“Creator pity my beloved”
You found it in a rusted can of earth and worms
In a hollow birch tree along a foggy river…
In the wintered whisky breath of a Chippewa
Walking toward the oblivion of a white city….
In the eyes of a woman sitting in tall grass….
In the half blindness that allowed you to see further
It gave you words forged in motions not used by common man….
Made of a crows wing it gave you flight
Made of a Bears tooth it gave you a singing in an undiminished voice….
Made of rain it gave you love….
In the windy light snows ….among the rusty dawns of desert
And sorrowed plains….
For Jim Harrison
28 March 2016