a howling whirlwind of rage
she lost her why moments before
causing bodily harm as she throws herself
across my face
a tiny foot greets my ribs
she reaches for the bottle
a deadly grenade at a time like this
lullabies fall on deaf ears
snuggles are met with resistance
but i secure my hold
leaving her only the screams
eventually she huffs
and rests her head on my shoulder
her little hand patting the center of my chest
i can’t believe i lost her pacifier
21 June 2016 *Dedicated to my wonderfully sweet and rambunctious niece.
They hunt buffalo different today
from South Dakota through Wyoming
they chase them with helicopters
ATVs and 4x4s follow at speeds never
reached more than a hundred years ago
when they were so often shot from trains
now they are being culled under license
with the governments approval
The hunters say there is nothing
like watching buffalo fall when shots
go home one after another much as arrows
did when they were for food not sport
what do hunters do with all that meat?
What do they do with that shaggy hide?
Why did this way of life have to change?
Will any of our heritage ever return?
Will these dead buffalo grow wings
from those large, once shaggy bodies
when the old Oglala medicine man
fresh from White Creek Reservation
begins chanting them on their journey
to the arms of the Great Spirit
while the Six Grandfathers weep over…
I created this blog a little over a year ago with the intention of writing poetry and posting daily. I’ve definitely accomplished some of that goal, although I have slowed down a bit as posting a new poem everyday became a little daunting.
A lot of life has happened in the last year too: my beautiful niece was born, I became a certified ESL teacher, did some traveling, organized a very successful fundraiser for the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association, turned 30 and really experienced some eye-opening events. I also learned that while life can absolutely be a source of inspiration, it can also definitely stump a person. I hit a couple of months there where it was easy to avoid working on or posting anything, but then I read this article by Wil Wheaton which then led me to this book which then prompted me to ask myself some questions.
“Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
I started asking myself why I felt the need to keep my writing separate from my artwork (I had incorporated writing into my paintings successfully before); would I really be OK knowing I might not ever make a living off my creative endeavors; and where did I feel I was spiritually and emotionally.
While reading The War of Art, I realized that the work I do doesn’t come from me. I am only a vessel. During this time I rediscovered my tattered copy of Black Elk Speaks and ended up giving myself a goal: dissecting, sketching and creating a body of work (writings and paintings) around the themes of spiritual connection, “circles” as the “power of the world”, and the idea that our creative work comes from a bigger source.
“It was the power from the outer world, and the visions and ceremonies had only made me like a hole through which the power could come to the two-leggeds. If I thought that I was doing it myself, the hole would close up and no power could come through. Then everything I could do would be foolish.” Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux 1863-1950
Now, I’ve elected to do the Blogging 101 course again this year. It really helped me focus last January and I think it’ll end up being a great starting point again this year.
The ups and downs of 21st Century life as a disabled dad. This is an honest account of my successes and failures and what I have learnt from them. How my disability has shaped my future, my neverending journey towards acceptance and a little bit of sarcasm and humour along the way. I have been battling Chronic Pain for 16 years and have made small steps towards living life again. I'm not after sympathy or pity, but I hope to encourage others and get a few words of encouragement myself along the way. Life is for living, pain or not make the most of things!