On your Birthday
29 June 2k9
…a poem you have always liked.
I dedicate this tonight for you Gayle, with all of my love.
I believe in miracles.
I stomp in mud puddles.
I let the wind have my hair.
I believe in love,
so I learned to dance from laughing Raven.
The sight of pavement still makes me cry,
so I carry a piece of bright blue chalk
to speed the passage of my feet.
I have seen cunning Fox abandon fleeing Rabbit
in the running swiftness of a hunt;
transfixed by the sight of a triple rainbow
we stood alike panting, rooted by sheer wonder.
I know the words to Imagine by heart—
I am not afraid of them.
I speak Coyotes secret name. I call to her
through braided runes of driftwood smoke
rising up to the Spirits; in the hushed night,
our song to sister Moon is a love ballad, a feral lament.
Once I met wounded Bald Eagle, long exiled from the sky,
who had only one wing. He lived in a round, steelscreen
cage to keep away chatty Magpies and jeering tourists.
Caught in the constant wind tugging at him,
forever whispering to him,
a piece of ivory down
floated from his ruined flank into my palm.
I carry it with my bright blue chalk.
If you can live without flying
I have stood in mute, salt despair
as human thunder rolled through a forest;
Goblin-greedy poachers had shattered mother Bear.
Her spirit left forsaken—
through boles of witness Red Cedar and Spruce,
floating woeful on raw, autumn mists.
There are days when I am a stranger
to my family, to my tribe, and I see Raven soaring.
Blackwing trickster above our concrete forest,
I see Raven soaring—
there rides my spirit.