Pierced the universe with the beak of a woodpecker
The warmth of its circumferring flowing through
The sage beneath me into the earths tremoring face….
Tasting its shadow in the shallow of a still river….
Knelt on my knees in the middle of a street…
Looking into the eye of a dead sparrow
The eye clouding in grey gathering ringclouds of farewell….
Held an eagle wing toward the enemies of the earth
Blowing from the wingtip the ashes
Carried the bones of Mistah….
The marrow of ghosts buried deep in its cavernous memory….
Of dog soldier prayers….
And Cheyenne fires that have no flame….
From the stronghold
16 May 19
Remembering the inward dreams that don’t go away
The small silences of early morning….
The wanderer in me now
Among the warrior uncles of my youth….
The porch light of those summers in Oklahoma bathed in circling moths
Shimmering as heat over the wheat fields…
Shimmering in hard life and peyote moons….
A grey heron….
Standing on one leg
In the still spirited waters
Of twelve mile point…..
In the rain just now
The smallest stones on the shoreline light their lamps….
Every morning the same songs unsung
Hang from the trees where the owls sleep….
Soft songs melting through the leaves
The fragile leaves….
Hiding among the death masks
The still open hands….
Over which a song I have dreamt all my life
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
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
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
carrying the last piece
toward a secret place
fish wait there
in the weeping water….
©2014 Lance Henson