Seeing Clearly

I’m not sure when it was that I could see clearly for the first time. Yet the mountains showed me so well of how I was formed, my spirit taking shape. I began on this earth reaching up,

my hand almost touching. I wanted to touch the clouds. There were wings back then, but my brother and sister hawks were not made yet. It was later I was given a physical body.

It’s amazing what you can see…. in the mountains.

Poetry and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

The Wind River People

In the days when wolves were still the Elders, two of the forest creatures sought their advice. They were Hawk in the Sky and Songbird. Yes, they were birds but the two of them were so very different they could not understand the love they felt for each other.

Hawks you see are not friendly to other birds. Yet when the Elders met with them, their direction was very clear. An Elder female wolf spoke it best. “It is good and natural for you to be attracted to each other…..continue as you are. Be at peace and be committed to each other…..”

This mystical union produced a great number of children. Eventually and over time some of them became humans or close to it. And this is how the first humans were formed, running wild and free, some having wings and filled with the winds of heaven.

This was all along the Wind River region, the birthplace of all creatures. And by the way, most leaders in those days whether wolves, hawks, or humans were…..female.

The Elders could see very early on that females were usually smarter, and much less prone to violence.

And the hawk on my shoulder tells me this natural order will soon be restored. Men having ruined the Earth, and in their violence….destroying each other.

Writing and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Rocks Falling

Rocks falling shattered into pieces, suddenly a quick moving shadow flickers,

gliding through the trees, and I realized this spirit was tribal

a story of heartbreak and prior glory, never malicious

yet standing her ground, a firm foundation.

I wasn’t afraid, simply nodded

acknowledging the presence,

the smell of wood burning

lingering in the air,

and crow feathers descending

floating through the trees.

Poetry and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Playing in the Woods

When I was a kid and into my teens, I played in the woods a lot. I was in the creek, walking the trails and there was a swing attached to the largest tree I had ever seen before, or since then.

I was very spiritual and loved historic Native American culture and Asian views of the world. In fact, I have always loved other cultures, people that are way different than I am. I’ve never lost that. My favorite academic pursuit is not writing but anthropology.

I couldn’t find God in church though. Where was He? It wasn’t until many years later that I had a personal experience with God, in the traditional sense. And I ended up clearly on the right culturally and politically.

I didn’t stay there though. Over time I began to see things that were “off”. Disturbing things really, like the way they treated women, and racial prejudice. And there was always a condemnation of others, anyone different than they were, even other Christians.

I changed spiritual directions due to tragedies in my life. However, I also became a much more open, non-judgmental person. I’m no longer a Republican. I left that mess years ago. And an evangelical church is out of the question now. That’s no longer a part of me.

I care a lot more about people now, still holding onto the core of who I am. I love and respect all people (except for bullies) I still seek to be spiritual, while loving other cultures!

So there you are! Or rather here I am!

Thank you for being here!

P. S. I still love to play in the woods.

Writing and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

The Survivors V – We Belong

A fishing line, complete with hook and bobber flew into the air, landing finally into the water with a plop. Then Grey threw his into the air, with his good arm but his line didn’t go nearly as far. He was still nursing wounds from being attacked by wolves.

They had followed the creek which flowed into the river. The river water always seeming to hold a deeper yet softer song.

“I can’t believe you thought of fishing poles and a tackle box! Is there anything you don’t have stored in the lodge?” Grey was a lot freer with conversing ever since their talk yesterday about sex. Brie explained, “It all came from my Grandfather’s place….wait….I got another one!” she started reeling it in like a pro.

That made 3 for her, to his 1. All of them trout. After she dehooked the fish and dropped it in their bucket, Grey asked, “Do we really have 2 years’ worth of food stored?” Brie nodded, “Almost, thanks again to my Grandfather. His cabin is about 20 miles north of here….in bear country.” “I got one!” It was Grey’s turn now.

After they had enough fish, they sat and talked for a while. Baby Bluejay was awake but still quiet, tucked in her harness. When Grey asked about her tribe, Brie hesitated and looked sad. “There aren’t any tribes….not anymore.” He hadn’t thought of that.

“There’s something much more important than our bloodlines though”, Brie said with a serious look. “I’m a Lodge Maker. I learned it from the Mandan. And you? When were you going to tell me, you were a Bow Maker?”

To be honest, he had forgotten to tell her, but how did she know? Brie continued, “Do you realize how important all this is? We are starting over you and I, and we belong here! A Lodge Maker and a Bow Maker brought together, that’s not just a coincidence.”

Grey was thoughtful and nodded silently. He sighed and when he breathed out he added, “We have to get rid of the guns anyway…. they’re not safe around the children….”

Brie just looked at him…. with a sly smile.

Writing and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Thank you so much for reading!

The Survivors IV – Guns and Sex

From the Apocalyptic Journal – 83 years from now.

In the foothills before the mountains, the earthen lodge wasn’t even visible. Even the cooking fire could be mistaken for mist from the stream, flowing into the river. In the lodge baby Jay was sleeping.

“Ok, the shotgun is ready!” Why was he yelling? All he had done was cleaned it, now wiping it down with an oily rag. What was it about men and guns? Ridiculous. He didn’t realize it, but Brie was thinking the same thing.

They sat outside, across from each other in the morning sun, today was weapons cleaning and inventory day. He reached for a .38 caliber revolver to clean it, the kind the police used in the old days. He loved the way the chamber spun.

“Grey…” She had taken to shortening his new name and he loved that…. especially when she said it softly, like now. He looked up, putting down the .38. “Can I ask you a personal question?” Uh oh, he thought. This sounded serious. He nodded and she asked, “Why haven’t you made a move on me?”

He looked perplexed, “Made a what??” “Made a move on me….you know….S.E.X.” Did she really need to spell it out? It got worse because she continued with, “When you first saw me, isn’t that what you thought about?”

He looked at her silently, which for her was excruciating. She waited.

“No, not at all”, he said flatly.

“What then?” she asked. He shifted and recrossed his legs. “I was thinking, thank God for a human being that was alive and well!” Tears welled up in his eyes. “And I was thinking, thank God there is someone I can talk to and not go insane. It took me 4 months to get out to this wilderness and I hadn’t seen anyone!”

Ok note to self she thought, this guy has a heart, not like the slime bags she had known. A few tears did make it down his cheeks, but he wiped them away quickly.

That night was the first night they slept next to each other. Nothing happened, but they both felt a need….just to be close.

Writing and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

The Survivors II – Bluejay

From the Apocalyptic Journal – 83 years from now

Wolves howling in the middle of the night could be heard through the thick walls of earth, wood and more earth. The smell of lavender smoke permeated the air of the lodge now, attempting to overtake the odors of blood and sweat. He never knew a woman could sweat like that.

It had been a horrible night of pain, and yet baby Jay was here now, Bluejay was her full name. “That’s beautiful…” he whispered, when Brie had told him. He had never seen Brie with a more contented, peaceful look on her face holding her daughter, wrapped up and warm. Brie was a tough woman, but he liked this softer side of her.

He had been right there through it all, and was beginning to clean up. She protested, “I’m so sorry….I’m too weak to…. He told her to rest. “I got this.” And he meant it. She took hold of his arm saying, “You did good tonight, thank you….” He simply nodded.

In the morning he went out to dedicate the afterbirth as instructed. It was Brie’s tradition, a tradition of her people, to thank the earth. He walked outside noticing the dew in the air. Picking a strong looking aspen tree, he mumbled what he thought may have been a prayer he heard once, a long time ago.

He stopped. What was a prayer anyway? Something was in his heart, so he just poured that out instead, silently. At the end he crossed himself, it was all he knew really.

The wind took hold of his hair, and a sense of peace enveloped him. He thought the hills seemed more alive today. Did he dare allow himself to feel joy? He took a deep breath and let go. Brie was right…..everything would be healed eventually, and the animals would return.

Suddenly, a smile of conformation began to spread over his face, when he saw a herd of elk not far away….

Writing and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Note: This is a special Thursday post due to your requests! So cool.

The Sky Began Breaking

The sky began breaking as a few persistent snowflakes descended mixed with rain. I carved another arrow, while My Love shifted slightly in her buckskin, placing more wood on the fire crackling.

The horses next to our lodge, snorted their steam, anxious to return to the valley. I knew it would not be long until our band of brothers tracked our food in the snow. Then bows pulled in breathless silence….

I woke up with a start, sitting up realizing it was all just a dream……with the one I love breathing quietly next to me. A picture of beauty and peace.

Yet I could have sworn I heard……the thunder of hoofbeats in the distance…..

Poetry and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Note: This is fiction, and poetry.

Winter Vision Quest

It was winter when he left the reservation. No one sought a vision in the winter, but he did, he needed to. Maybe vision wasn’t the right word, but he was searching for cleansing……some type of hope, anything really. Despair and vodka had taken their toll. It was good to be in the mountains again, even with the snow. And he smiled noticing how slow his mule was.

He had everything he needed, the mule, a good rifle, his bow (that he had made years ago from the finest oak), and a small lodge with blankets. He knew he was also carrying grief for his people, the poverty and sickness slowly killing them…. yes a vision is what they all needed.

Days later, with a fire going….. the vision came in the smoke and flames. He saw his people being reborn. It was spring and everything was blooming. The people were strong and happy…. not sick at all.

He knew he must take this vision back to his people, to encourage each one. The end of all things…. was not quite not yet.

They would all live again.

Writing Copyright © 2015, revised 2020 rivers renewed, image from Pinterest, Crow Scout taken 1908

Note: This was not written initially about the virus, but I think it applies today.

Whispers of Lakota Song

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Perhaps it was the Lakota Song drifting over him, whispering in the middle of the night, when he was a child, a sound of singing,

blessing his dreams, from the tall grass…..that soul filling call, to touch the clouds, whispering in his ear, in his heart, the core of who he was.

He could always write the river, so maybe that’s why he was born loving the colors of our earth, with prayer feathers,

and wild horses running strong. It was poetry, after all.

Poetry, and Image © Copyright 2020, ancient skies

Note: I was born in the desert, not far from the Rocky Mountains.

We were too far south though, to hear the Lakota Song.