This Journey I Walk

I strive to learn, to listen, to feel, to see

Hear the magic in the wind, feel the love of its embrace
The gentle murmur of the trees filling the forest
And hold in your heart the cool shade they provide
Behold the colors of rainbow in the beacon of flowers
Hear the chattering of the butterflies flitting about them in peace
Contrasted by the boisterous scolding squirrels in their ever running work

Hear the magical whispers of the earth mother drifting across this world
The heavenly sigh of the dusty dry ground as the first rain drops fall
Feel the joy in the clouds as they drift across creation
Laugh with the noisy cries of baby bird as its mother comes home
Take pleasure in the chance meeting of a new friend
Share the pain of the loosing of an old one

Let this world excite you, stir your soul with newfound awareness
The startling cascading rumble of windblown stones rattling on the roof
Heart stopping strike of lighting and thunder in an otherwise clear sky
The unintentional slip down a muddy bank into the cold clear waters below
Shudder in the rapture at the howling of the wolves on the mountaintop
Cry in the passion invoked by the sunset’s last gleams

An abundance of patience, for all things living or not
This is the only true secret, and with this I find success
Forever embracing the simple offers of life, and each instant of time
Holding sacred all around me, letting no moment be lost
For the journey is made only from the single steps combined

Steve ‘Easy’ Whitacre September 13th, 2007

Vision Wisdom

Fire dancing with shadows thrown against the black of the night
Dancers from ages long past enter the circle and begin the song
Images leading me back and forth from the far past to what is yet to be
My mind searches as the spirits dance

Drums cadent to the heartbeat of the great mystery
Rumbling echo’s rebounding from canyon walls
The winds carry my dreams, fresh from the sweat of lodge
Sungmanitu tanka (the wolf) rests closely at my side

Guarding and guiding as always, wolf leads me on my path
Showing me the time of the old ones, and the wisdom that they have
I see them now, just as they were, though much of time has past
The vision clear, I begin to hear, the wisdom that they pass

They talk of life and love of all, they tell of mothers blessed
They show the people spreading out, across the land so vast
From common source, they venture forth, brothers and sisters all
And with them all the animals, the feathered, furred, and scaled

There are no nations, clans, or guilds, just life in Mother’s embrace
Black, white, or red, they’re all the same, no difference in this place
They all want peace and happiness, their children safely raised
And walk these lands with wondering eye, hold close to mystery’s face

I see it now, my people drift, from truth so long held dear
They abuse the trust; waste gifts so fine, all mostly out of fear
Fight for power and control, false dreams of what is life
And in this fighting, loosing all, all gone in endless strife

The vision fades, the drums grow still
The dark of night returns
Dancers drop to cold hard ground
Dragging breath from cold night air

And I left here, to shiver and cry
Remembering all that was…….

Steve ‘Easy’ Whitacre September 28th, 2007

Gentle Gifts

Gray sky rolling above me as the light of this new day appears
No laughter from the birds, the whole of the world is stilled
Once more the clouds shed their gentle tears
The land drinks heavily of this mystery sent dew

Puddles replacing dust, proving irresistible to little feet
I turn my face to the sky, feel the gentleness of the mist
It washes away all of my cares, my heart fills with happiness
My spirit lifts like the now awash crops
Life renewed and rebirth clean
And I lift my arms and call out thanks

For this simple gift of rain…

Steve ‘Easy’ Whitacre September 28th, 2007

Earth Mother

Life pulsing through her caressing hands
Lands covered by a richness of harvest, fertile with bounty
For a time measured deep as the oceans, just as infinite
Complexity, as to the single grain, adrift in the sands undulating through desert wind

Plan simple, harmony and intricacy abound
Duty, her life’s meaning, exists to provide
The soul of her, her life and wisdom, riding on every breeze
Her mercy and strength evaporate, beaten down by her children’s abuse

Man’s creation reigns, devastation, disease, greed, hate
Disease of raw invention, industrial death our fate
War, meaningless demise, self-fulfilling extinction we create
Draining rivers dry, exploitation without care or need

Ever loving, tears mostly gone, she allows her children choose death
Feel the last gentle wind, her own breaking final breaths
From her pain filled eye, a final tear doth glisten
Aching sadness in her, knowing we bring our own end

Why do we not know the way, she has told us, is telling us now,
If only we would listen…..

Steve ‘Easy’ Whitacre December 4th, 2007

Circle of Soul

Sacred places
Held close
Forefathers live within
Guise of envisioned ghost

Dwelling within this spirit
Holding so we can come see
All the beauty of these lands
Where we all can wonder free

Bones turned to dust
Forming new layer upon the earth
New people walk upon
From this we are granted birth

This spirit place, held most sacred
For here is the people’s heart
No path can lead us from it
No distance keep us apart

Soon my time will finally come
When I join with all the others
My soul carried to the spirit lands
So that I may live once more…

Steve ‘Easy’ Whitacre December 4th, 2007

To Remember

This night we sing the old songs
And with this we remember
Remember all the things we have lost
Remember all of the things we need so much
The flute rings with the sounds of the wind
Much as the transient passing of the birds in the sky
The drums bring the sounds of distant thunder
Much as the Buffalo rolling across the prairie
The voices blend together in the song
And the wafting smoke drifts up from the campfire
This gathering is good

The trek to this place was long
This place where the grass is green, the water cool
Father Sun now gazes through the corn tassel
An Eagle’s call rings out across the evening sky
My eyes close and I listen to the breeze
This gentle wind moving over the hill
Bathing me with both peace and warmth to my spirit
And bringing the gentle whisperings the old ones
Faces of old friends drift past me in the gathering darkness
And moving among them the pale spirit images of my ancestors
This gathering is good

I move to stand before the mountain
My gaze caught by the images scratched into the old stone
Images colored by soot and dyes
The old ones have left this faded record
This record left to be read and remembered
Read and remembered by the people to come after
I see my own fingers reaching out
I see them gently tracing the curves and lines
Feel the need fill me, the need to know
To know the painter, know the story
The need is good

The night swirls, the sounds fade
My fingers are stained
Stained by the colors of fresh paint
Paints prepared from the plants and the earth
I feel beside me a man stands
A tall, bronze, and bare-chested man
Painting this year’s story upon the mountain
The images growing in the evening sky
These once old and faded images, now fresh and new
The meaning, once forgotten, now clear and important
Understanding is good

The people move around me
People clothed in woven fiber, animal skins, and the feathers of Eagle
My hand holds a flint point
The point is thin and finely made, ready for hafting
Its keen edge surprising, the balance good
The color of the stone shows it came from far away
My eyes close again, remembering the old ones now
The stone warms my hand as I remember my ancestors
My grandfather, with his dark eyes full of experience and wisdom
He guides my hand across the point saying, “It is not difficult to make, I will teach you”
The memories are good

My grandmother smiles at me
“Come sit by our fire, share our food
It is a good life we have here, we have much”
I feel the need, the need to learn much
To smell the grass and trees, the water and smoke,
Hear the children, animals, insects, and wind,
Feel with more than touch
See with more than eyes
Learn and understand with my mind and heart
I begin to know
Knowing is good

But I need to know more
Need to know all
“We will teach you, but that is enough for now.
It is better to fully understand a few words, than to
Half understand many” the old ones whisper
My need is strong, but I respect the ancients
“May I come to your fire again?
I will bring a story from tomorrow.
Will you tell me, remind me, bring me those things forgotten?”
“You are welcome to our fire, welcome to share our wisdom my son”
The future is good

And a new day begins
And my fingers are stained
Stained by the colors of fresh paints
Paints prepared from the plants and the earth.
And again beside me stands a man,
Tall, bronze, and bare-chested,
Painting this year’s story upon the mountain.
I gaze at some of the old images,
Remembering the voice of my grandfather
Telling the tales and legends of long ago.
I give the painter another bowl, another color.
The vision is good.

And the end of the chant sounds.
The songs quiet and die,
I open my eyes and rise.
Tomorrow I will dance again
Wearing the white buffalo pouch
Inherited from my great-grandfather,
Made by his great-grandmother.
The sounds of the one fill me,
The night owl calls, the wind whispers,
The time to dream comes.
Dreaming is good

Below is our village,
The smoke of the fire and the sounds of life drift up over the hill
All rising on the wind, rising to the Great Spirit.
The People prepare for the celebration of harvest,
So thankful for Mother Earth and Father Sun,
So thankful for full bellies and children who laugh,
So thankful for the gathering, the song, and the dance.
The drawing is finished, another year recorded
We silently gather the brushes and paints,
Then together start down the trail,
The new day is good

I stop and turn to look at the mountain once again
To look at the many drawings on this monument,
The great history of the People in this sacred place.
The man turns his head and speaks,
His eyes fall on me as one well trusted,
His voice rings familiar and reassuring,
“Are you ready, my brother? “
I nod and we turn again to the trail.
The wind stirs my hair, awakens my soul
The sound of the voices lingering in my mind,
The bond is good.

And so the wheel turns
I gaze at the stone wall before me
At ancient paintings and petroglyphs.
The watchful spirits of my relatives surround me.
I am honored to be one in a long line
A line reaching from ancient past to distant future.
The wind stirs again,
Bringing the smell of wood smoke
And the voices of family and friends.
I remember and I understand;
Tonight I live again.
And Life is good

by Steve ‘Easy’ Whitacre July 17th, 2006