Transgender

Colorado? Her world tilted when she heard the news. She felt sick. Weeping, she looked out her window. No birds could encourage her this time, no matter how hard they tried.

What should she do? What could she do? Drive out there? Take a bus? People there needed to be held, needed to be seen. By someone that cared.

After washing the tears from her face, she noticed the sun beginning to set behind the apartments across the street. She went for her coat and hat, determined to find some of her fellow transgender friends downtown.

Dear God…” was all she could say as she walked out the door. She would hold someone tonight, and they would cry together, whispering “I know…. I know….” giving each other just enough,

courage

to make it

another day.

P.S. Hate and violence towards the LGBTQ community is getting worse in our country. Black transgender women are the most murdered group of people in the United States.

I stand against hate, and I stand with the LBGTQ community in Colorado Springs. If you don’t like people that are different from you, including the transgender community, please consider not following.

Much of this hate and violence is from the far right, starting with rhetoric.

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be resharing works of fiction I’ve written about transgender women. And maybe Emma will stop by to protect us, by extending her wings.

Poetry, Narrative and Image © Copyright, 2022 rivers renewed

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Emma on the Border

The French cuisine was exquisite along the border. Emma reached for her steak knife, cutting deeply

into the honey glazed chicken, as she was bathed in the soft glow of candlelight in a quiet corner of the café. The meal reminded her of a certain general who always wanted her, honey glazed

The plan worked.

show ‘em a little leg, have him caught in a web of a beautiful seduction, and before he could be her champion… she called forth the wolves,

he learned his deadly mistake as he quivered on the marble steps. She had towered over him

another Nazi leader decimated,

eliminated,

then fertilizing the moss covered soil that would one day carry Allied tanks.

Emma poured herself another glass of wine, smiling sardonically, looking at her reflection in the shine of her steak knife. Then she cut deeply again into the honey glazed chicken, while a wolf howled in the distance.

She would never be the victim of anyone.

It was 1941. Or was it?

Writing and Image © Copyright 2022 rivers renewed

Emma on the Train

If the spirits of the poets are subject to the poets

then the spirits of wolves are subject to the moon,

and Madrid never gave away any of her treasures

because there were too many vampires

in Belgium,

night clouds cascading

into dark poetry.

It was 1941.

Narrator: Emma wrote these notes on the back of a napkin, while taking the train to Paris.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2022 rivers renewed

The Legend of Holds the Fire

Perhaps there have always been healers and seers among the People, but one in particular is still talked about today. All the People could see she was a very special child from the moment she was born. To this day her mother says that when she was born, Holds the Fire sang instead of cried.

No one understood the language, and some said it was an ancient one from when the People were first created from the Earth.

When she was 3, Holds the Fire ran to the injured Songbird, when she was attacked by a bear. At first, Holds the Fire was pushed away, but she snuck through the crowd and touched Songbird. Everything changed from that moment. Holds the Fire’s beautiful brown skin changed to red and then orange, glowing as if embers from a holy fire.

It was in her hands. Healing was in the hands of Holds the Fire. Songbird, who had been screaming in agony and fear, immediately calmed down. Healing washed over her as waves from the sacred lake. And Holds the Fire spoke in that ancient language again, the language no one could understand.

When she was older there was much work to be done. Rattlesnake bites, war wounds and emotional trauma took their toll. And no man was brave enough to ask her to marry. Maybe she didn’t want that type of life anyway.

To this day though…..all the People know….. she is their Mother.

Writing Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed, image public domain c.1900

Note: I’m bringing an early Christmas present today! This is brand new. Merry Christmas!

Singing to the Corn

In the days when wolves were still the Elders, and when there were not many horses yet living on the Plains, the People moved west, to grow their food and for sunlight sparkling in rivers that sang.

And Buffalo Bird Woman would sing to the corn, touching tenderly each stalk. Her gentle ways, her heart for the Earth produced an abundance of food, making the People very happy.

The Earth loved Buffalo Bird Woman, and some say she is the first human….. to ever grow pumpkins.

Poetry and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Note: Buffalo Bird Woman was a real person, and she really did sing to the corn, however the rest is fiction.

The Seeker

Prayer smoke ascended into the grey sky. He hadn’t expected the rain and it was difficult to keep the fire. Yet his plan worked of bundling dried leaves and twigs in plastic before he left.

As the sun set, the rain fell harder then suddenly stopped. Night songs began, including tree frogs and an owl. Was it worth it to come out here?

He had no choice really but to reinvent himself. So many fragmented pieces. He gathered up what he could and sought the wilderness.

Was it wrong to not care about his culture? Breaking off a piece of dried spinach, he realized it probably was. He refused to stand in line anymore though, walking into the abyss.

It was the dawn that brought deliverance. He peeled back his wet sleeping bag like layers of skin, knowing he would have a different name today.

The sun would bring a new life…..and the healing would begin.

As he stood on top of the mountain.

Writing and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Note: This is about a First Nations man seeking a vision as part of his culture, and seeking healing for himself.

Storm in the Night

Blackfoot Lodges c. 1900

Lightening cracked open the sky, and thunder shook the earth again. The storm was on top of them. Most of the men and women were outside now, even though it was the middle of the night. The wind was getting stronger and was playing havoc with the lodge flaps, so the people were busy closing them, tightening the lodge poles, and gathering in what they could. Anything they could not grab was tossed into the air. Children were crying, mothers were screaming, and the men were busy giving commands that nobody heard.

A few of the men tried tending the panic stricken horses. Herding them into a small space worked well in spite of the noise. Another crack, and more rumbling from below. It seemed as if the earth might break open with the shaking. The men stayed with the horses as long as they could, until the hard driving rain forced everyone inside.

No one could sleep. Young lovers took advantage of the time, parents held their children, and some worried about the damage to the village. Would the horses return? They would have to wait until morning.

There was one person that was not awake or asleep. He went to live in the spirit world that night and left his body behind. Lone Horse had been an old man, loved by all the people. He had wisdom from the Creator, and usually after a council meeting people would say – “Lone Horse thinks….” or, “Lone Horse says…” Now there would be an empty seat at council meetings. It was a great loss for everyone.

His wife, Cricket in the Meadow, would not find him until morning. They had been married for more than fifty years, and the people would worry if she could survive the loss. Her health was frail, but fortunately there was still the sparkle of light in her eyes.

Their one child died at a young age from the fever. They carried this pain for the rest of their lives, but it gave them both a vulnerability, a sensitivity, that brought out love in all they did. The people would wrap their arms around Cricket in the Meadow, holding her tight, enveloping her with their love, for as long as she needed. They would get through this somehow, together.

Still, it was a dark time.

Writing Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed, Image public domain

The Legend of Wind Walker

Many say her spirit still lives on the mountain, and some have seen her spirit when the pine trees are bending. She’s an ancient presence.

Her breath to this day carries power in her songs. And her name was changed in the days when the sun became brighter, from First Woman….to Wind Walker.

It’s true she mourns her people in her songs, yet even more she sings of the healing of all nations. The victory of the Earth, over death and destruction.

Do you hear her in the wind?

Poetry and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Acadia Returns

The fog hovered low that evening as he stood silently in the sand listening to the waves. The rhythm washing every scar of the day, the worrying.

Rocks made smooth from the ocean, he thought about her and that he might even smile, until he needed to zip up his jacket a little higher. He relit his pipe, and as he walked home he watched the sand,

surrounding his boots and then give way again and again. He pulled his hat down further due the chill, and he thought of the lamps he left on in his cottage,

and quilts hanging over chairs, and a steaming, hot cup of tea.

He wondered if her ghost would be there again.

Either way, Acadia would always live

within him.

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2021, rivers renewed