Restoration in the Woods

trail with light

The woods can restore,

our balance,

our sense of who we are,

whether we are young,

or old,

trails can make sense,

or can make us wonder,

about the beauty,

instead of the chaos,

a huge oak,

can give us strength,

we can stand upright,

marking our time,

aware of,

pieces coming together,

heart as one,

while always realizing,

there is a Creator,

and He already knows,

the trail we are taking,

leaves can whisper,

“It will be alright”.

Breathe deeply.

  Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

Poetry © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

image from google

Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain

1840 - 1904
                                                 1840 – 1904

Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain, also known as Chief Joseph, was a leader of the Nez Perce Nation. He lived during the time where his people were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands. After a series of broken treaties, and broken promises, a band of about 750 people left the area, and were eventually headed for Canada to join Sitting Bull, or at least to live in peace, as free men and women. They were pursued by the U.S. Army, which became known as the Nez Perce War. It wasn’t much of a war. Cannon fire was used against men, women, children, and old people (several times).

They were pursued 1, 170 miles over a three month period. More than 150 of the people were killed. Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain, was reluctant to fight the war in the first place. He surrendered in order to save what was left of his people. They were less than 40 miles from the Canadian border.

The best book I have seen on this topic is by Kent Nerburn. He is an excellent writer, but he also tells the story from the First Nations point of view. He shows the humanity and compassion of the Nez Perce. If you are interested in history, I highly recommend it. The first two chapters are some of the best writing, of any kind, that I have seen.

A few quotes by Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain:

 It does not require many words to speak the truth.

You might as well expect rivers to run backwards, as any man born free to be contented penned up.

The first white men of your people who came to our country were named Lewis and Clark. They brought many things that our people had never seen. They talked straight. These men were very kind.

I hope that no more groans of wounded men and women will ever go to the ear of the Great Spirit Chief above, and that all people may be one people.

War can be avoided, and it ought to be avoided. I want no war.

All men were made by the Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers.

quote from chief joseph

Blessings to everyone (both brothers and sisters!), and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google/quotes from brainyquote


Our hands touch, inside the bowl,

covered with butter and salt,

is that the last piece?

Our eyes meet,


our hands frantically search,

you grab the last kernel.

“I let you have it”, I say smiling,

 popping some more,

“What’s this movie?”,

you mention Jimmy Stewart,

back with a fresh bowl,

I lean over,

for my reward,

you whisper,

“this is a good movie…!”

Who cares about the movie,

all I can see is your face,

covered with butter and salt.

 Poetry © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree


from myuctv

When archeologists find our bones,

when we’ve been in the ground,

ten thousand years,

will they discover –

the ancient words,

of love your neighbor,

love your enemy,


and it will be given?

I wonder,

and I long for,

those ancient words.

Will they discover the word,


Poetry © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

image from google


Golden Eagle 2

There is strength in these feathers,

there is courage in the flight,

there is vision in these eyes,

to see…..

No wonder the people,


the Creator’s warriors,

instinct to hunt,

only for food,

decorating themselves,

putting on,

the strength,

the courage,

and the vision,

to see……

and always,


taking care,

of their own,

men and women,

families covered,

with feathers.

There is strength in these feathers,

there is courage in the flight,

there is vision in these eyes,

to see…..

Poetry © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

top image from pinterest, bottom image from google

The Rain of Sorrow

pouring rain

Historical Microfiction About First Nations People in the 1700’s

Note: If you are grieving over the loss of a loved one, or have grieved recently, please do not read this. I would never want to cause anyone more pain.

There was the good kind of rain of course, the kind where young couples would snuggle closer, and fall back to sleep. But that’s not what this rain was. This rain was the kind where the clouds hung low, heavy with the weight of it, where the air was thick, and refused to yield. At times the heavens were released, and the rain pounded the village, only adding to the feelings of foreboding, and sadness.

It rained, a cold rain for days. It was too warm to snow now, yet it was still cold enough to be miserable. The people were miserable but not because of the weather. Cricket in the Meadow was sick and it appeared to be her heart. Just like the clouds hanging over them, they felt the weight, the sorrow of it, and at times their grief was released, in great torrents, when no one expected it. Many wept.

It had been two weeks since the birth of Redwing’s baby. There had been two weeks of joy and happiness. There had been singing, and several of the men had brought back fresh food from hunting. Sky now realized her mother had not been giving into the pain, so that the joy of the birth would continue.

After two weeks though, Cricket in the Meadow collapsed. She and Sky had been visiting Bull Elk, and Holds the Fire, and their family, when it happened. Cricket in the Meadow stood up to leave, when she grabbed her chest and fell. They did manage to carry her to her own lodge where she was attended by a number of women and men.

That’s when the weeping started, and the pain, and the grief that seemed to never end. They were losing her, and did not know what to do. Sky, was not surprised but was grieving too. She knew her adopted mother was a tough person, but the two of them had talked a lot for the past two weeks. Her mother had prepared her well. Still, the pain was intense. The clouds rolled in and the rain began.

Their lodge was filled with people during day, unless someone wanted to be with Cricket in the Meadow, to speak with her privately, only for a few minutes. Two Wolves said he wanted to be the keeper of the fire, and with the help of Songbird, they began the difficult task of keeping stacks of wood dry enough to use. They began using lodges that had previously kept winter supplies, in order to dry out some piles of wood.

Four days after she had collapsed, Cricket in the Meadow stopped talking. When that happened, the people gathered quickly to her lodge. Those that could not fit inside the lodge stood outside, using buffalo blankets as protection against the relentless rain. It was love that brought them there, and they wanted to be as close as they could. Several hours later, Cricket in the Meadow stopped breathing, and her spirit soared into the heavens. She was being held at the time by Sky, and by her side was Thunder Speaking, who also considered Cricket in the Meadow, his adopted mother. In fact, who did not consider her their mother? They all did.

The grieving was intense, even though they had been expecting the end. The rain poured, but gradually it lessened. It seemed like never before had the people cried so much at one time. They loved her, with a great love, and they needed to let all of creation know it.

It seemed like a long time, but at some point it did stop raining, and Standing on the Mountain moved through the crowd. He briefly mentioned, in a gentle way, that they needed to prepare her for the burial grounds.

During the preparation time, the people made themselves ready, by changing into dry clothes if needed, and by pulling their hearts back together, long enough to function. Two Wolves and some other young men were asked to build a large fire in the middle of the village so that the people could sing some songs later.

They did carry Cricket in the Meadow to the burial grounds. There were no speeches. A few expressed their love, but most remained silent. It was their custom to sing back at the village, and when they returned there, they gathered around the large fire, in a circle.

redwingRedwing’s newborn was fussing, so she took her into their lodge to feed her, as the people began singing. They started with the “Goodbye Song”, which was sad, yet beautiful. As the people continued singing, Redwing was only half listening. She was still filled with the joy and wonder of her little one. A song came to her, and she began singing it, but it was not a mourning song. It was a song about…..spring!

Something urged her – prompted her – to stand up and share the song in her heart. It was a song about new life! She had never felt this way before, but after the feeding, she covered herself, and stepped outside the lodge.

The people were quiet now, and standing around the fire. So she sang softly at first, and then as her confidence grew, her voice got louder. The song went like this:

Spring, spring is coming my people….

my people….

Spring is coming to our hearts….

Spring is coming to the earth….

Spring, spring is coming my people….

my people….

 And that is how it went. She repeated the song twice, and at the end of the song, she knew what they should name their little girl. She held the baby close, and whispered into her ear……your name….. will be “Spring Song”…..

Blessings to everyone, and PEACE! 

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google

Lakota Lullaby

Lakota Pipes

If you’ve never heard the Lakota language, or First Nations music, this short video has both. It is a lullaby, and a paraphrase of the words are, “go back to sleep my good son, the night is a good night, go back to sleep”. There are other versions out there but I liked this one because of the combination of music and video. There is also a beautiful flute solo in the middle of the song. Just beautiful!

Blessings to all of you, and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

image from pinterest/video from youtube

A New Life in the Village

from pinterest - mother and child from the Crow Nation - photograped in 1908
from pinterest – mother and child from the Crow Nation –                                photographed in 1908

Historical Microfiction About First Nations People in the 1700’s

It was a difficult labor, which began early in the morning. Redwing was quickly surrounded by her friends and loved ones. Holds the Fire, who she now called “mother”, was there with Bluebird. Cricket in the Meadow, and Sky came running when they heard the commotion. Redwing was not only in pain, but her water had broken. Through the contractions Redwing was praying, she said, “I was never good with this part.” Holds the Fire, quickly responded with, “Daughter, none of us are good with this part.”

Hawk in the Sky was there too, but he had no idea what he could do, or should do. He hated seeing his wife in such pain. He felt he was of no use, but Holds the Fire assured him that being there, and holding his wife’s hand, was really all that she needed. So he did hold her hand, and spoke gently to his wife. She loved him for it. Once in a while he would go outside for some fresh air, and to get more wood for the fire.

village at duskWhen Cricket in the Meadow examined Redwing, she found that the baby was in the wrong position, and could never be born in this way. Her daughter Sky launched into action in two ways. First she took out her sack of herbs and mixed an herbal drink, that would help Redwing to remain calm, and it may even help with the delivery. Secondly she began praying, this was going to be a fight and she knew it.

Several women came in and out of the lodge, so word spread quickly that the baby needed to turn. Their love for Redwing turned into prayer. The herbal drink did help Redwing to relax, but did not put her to sleep. Cricket in the Meadow began talking to the child softly, through Redwing’s stomach. They all believed that the child could hear them. Then she began massaging gently Redwing’s belly, so that the baby would move into the right position. They all knew that if they were to put a hand inside, Redwing would most likely get a terrible infection. Sky, and Cricket in the Meadow, took turns talking to the child, praying, and massaging.

After hours of this, they knew time was of the essence. They did not want the child to die inside of Redwing. Sky, began to make smoke so that their prayers would drift up into the heavens. What else could they do? Cricket in the Meadow suggested to Sky that they needed another herbal drink, but they would have to be very careful with using the right amount of each herb, or it could do more harm than good. So they both measured out the herbs, and then double checked them again. They were exhausted, so they wanted to make sure they had it right. herbs from google

It was after the second herbal drink that Redwing felt the baby move in a big way. What a relief! The baby moved one way and then another, until finally their head was in the right position. A short time later the child’s head began to show. It was Sky that helped the baby the rest of the way. It was a girl! A beautiful baby girl was born! Sky, and Holds the Fire quickly wrapped the child to keep her warm, and placed her on her mother’s chest. Both mother and father were weeping from joy. No matter how many times they had seen it, they were all amazed at the miracle of a child being born.

No one saw her, but Cricket in the Meadow, quickly retreated to the other side of the lodge, holding her chest. This birth had taken a lot out of her, and she was in pain. She started having visions of her dead husband’s spirit. She wondered if she would be joining him soon, but she said nothing. She did not want to ruin the joy of the moment.

Once the child started feeding, everyone relaxed. Hawk in the Sky and Redwing, had several names picked out but could not decide at that moment. It was not long before Redwing drifted off to sleep, being held in her husband’s arms. The other ladies left the lodge, exhausted and happy.

Sky did notice Cricket in the Meadow, was especially tired. Was that a cringe of pain? She quickly asked, “Mother? Are you alright?”

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google unless noted otherwise

Walking in the Storm


Why did he like walking in the howling grey?

wind throwing the snow,

pushing his body,


ice pounding,

telling him,

he did not belong here.

It was a challenge,

longing for warm coffee,

and a book,

he walked instead,

wanting to hear,

His voice,

there were no flowers,

to distract,

it was all a battle,

where was He?

what was He saying?

he wanted to hear,

wanted to understand,

to make sense of it all,

the storm was the best place,

to find the answers,

not the easiest,

but the best,

he stopped walking,

and listened to the storm.

There it was,

he could hear the voice now.


it was a quiet voice,

in the midst of the howling,

he breathed deeply,

in the middle of the pain,

and suffering,

he knew,

that he would be safe,

one day,

it was all a matter,

of finding the peace,

regardless of the battle.

It all made sense now,

and he would keep seeking,

to hear the voice.

 Poetry © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google

The Bus Driver

bus with ramp

Contemporary Microfiction

He was retired of course. He could never live on this salary alone, but he loved his job. More than anything, he liked working with the people. He had taken the job to earn grocery money, but now he saw it as doing his part to help others. He grew to love the people. Most people would call his riders “disabled”, but he didn’t. He saw them as people first, not being defined by their limitations. Joe Cappelli was a blessed man, to be able to do what he was doing, and he knew it.

Every day he had a route and picked up only certain passengers. They mostly needed to go to doctor appointments, sometimes to dialysis, or to the county health center. But he also took them to one of his favorite places, the library. Each one had a caregiver, some were appointed and some had family members taking care of them. The family members always had the toughest job on earth, trying to take care of their child, pouring their heart and soul, and all of their energy, into taking care of someone else. Many were frazzled, or emotionally drained, and needed to take care of themselves more.

As he drove he would often talk to the caregiver, giving them words of encouragement, and reminding them to not forget to take care of themselves. But he always talked to the patients as well. Some people had the terrible habit of ignoring patients, even at the clinic, or the doctor’s office. When they did, he burned with anger. He would restrain himself, but he would say something like, “You know Bobbie can hear you!” or “Why don’t you talk to Sarah, she’s sitting right here.”

Sarah Chung brightened up his life. He loved this nine year old, with the smile that would melt the hardest of hearts. She was so alive! Her parents had abandoned her at birth, presumably because she had Down’s syndrome. Twice a week he would take her to her appointments and to the library. She loved books! He also liked her caregiver, Emma Sanchez. Emma was about his age, and she had a great personality. She was originally from Peru, and he loved her accent. She was well…um…pretty, to say the least! He and Emma became good friends.

He wasn’t sure if he and Emma would ever become lovers, but he loved being able to talk to her. They often went out for coffee, or to the movies. His wife and left him years ago for someone else, and he realized Emma was bringing healing into his life. He trusted Emma like no one else.

Another patient he grew to love was Scottie Thompson. Scottie was a fighter. Everyday Scottie fought MS (multiple sclerosis). At fourteen Scottie had more courage than most grown men he had met. Scottie also had kidney problems and he took him three times a week to dialysis. When Scottie’s health began to fail, Joe spent his off hours at the hospital. He would talk, and read to Scottie, mostly from history books, because that’s what Scottie was into, British history in particular. Scottie’s family grew to love Joe, and often told him to go home and get some rest!

Joe was reading to Scottie about Charles II, when Scottie slipped into a comma, and never returned. It was only a few days later, when Scottie was gone. Joe cried like a baby. It seemed like all the grief he had ever felt but had never let out, came to the surface, right there in the hospital waiting room. Emma was with him, and it was her love that pulled him back out of the pit of sorrow, over the next couple of weeks. Joe remained good friends with Scottie’s family over the years. He was often invited for dinner, and loved his times with them.

But over the years this type of experience occurred again, and again. Joe poured his life into people, and he was loved for it. In fact, he became the most popular, and loved bus driver in the city. He won civil service awards, and would always say, he didn’t deserve the award, he just loved helping people.

The mayor gave him the key to the city, and gave Joe a Lifetime Achievement Award, when Joe finally did need to retire because of his own health. There’s a plaque in City Hall to this day, and it says:

In Memory of Joe Cappelli

An Ordinary Man

Who Loved People

and Made a Difference

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google