Stars untether the boneless night….
There is a room where outside its smiling windows
The shackled skeletons break free….
We have borne winters soliloquy as beggars
In a field of blinded goats…
Wandering the burnt landscape among
The names of charred
She is spinning the wheels of rainfall
in a dress of fallen names….
Placing them in a leather glove….
For the next one to wear….
*mistah – Cheyenne word for ghost or great horned owl
From the stronghold
Soft rain embraces the flowers with its silence
Night rings its ancient bells after
The lightening strikes….
All around light that has hidden in clouds
Opens its eyes….
Looking for you….
For our mothers
12 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)
Waking to a yellow poisonous sky in Paris
A dark kitten purrs softly on my hotel window ledge….
I cross the early empty streets toward a taxi….
Heavy fog at gateway
Small rabbits running across the tarmac….
In the airport lounge in San Francisco hours later
Sipping an old crow and seven…..
Later in a rainstorm in a phone booth
I light a cigar….
Drifting toward a waking dream….
A white field of broken skulls in Yemen
The only darkness the holes….
Where their eyes were…
Lines from a revisited image
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….
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.
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