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
Diffused light…these hours before morning….
The silent room rings its loneliness ….
of a child’s toy bell….
Without you ….
Fingerprint on the balcony window
Your footsteps waiting in the hallway…
For dawn to bring me here…
The calumet poems
For my grandparents
Dawn disguised as sorrow
Stands before the wintered plain
A wolf track fills with snow….
Shaking its shimmering being
From the solitude of flight….
The badger watching….
Mahago domiutz ehiwoh
(Walking badger said this)
What has arrived out of this silence
Secretly kept….silence of tears…
Silence of years….
The one who has slept to waken to the shining you
A shining so pure so alone….
Standing now by an ancient road
Made of blood and stone….
This glass dream that sounds of rain falling….
This dim recognition
Where emptiness folds itself into everything…
Watching from a distance….
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′
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