The Moon of Black Cherries

Wishing to be more than I am
or other than I am
or being not complete with the living
that is now mine
being afraid that I am not completely
doing what I am
is crazy now
and always was
and always will be
such verbs, such verbs as these
where shall I beguile myself to?
words what words make the difference
between being and being not?
corralled by my ideas I have seen a horse
follow me through a field of grass
without stopping to eat because I
held before her nose a handfull of dry weeds
everything that I can learn, that man with his mind
can learn, must first have been unlearned
once before, in the journey from the prairie
to the city
the most advanced of minds
is only best
at doing with a machine the tasks
the heart was once at home with
I feel tired and dissolute
the cries of children arguing distract me
I think of Yellowstone
of grizzlies
and dusk
a famine of the heart
is what we know
not only the prisoners of 2nd Avenue
but also we who bring our city minds
to the grasslands
there are images that pin my heart
to circumstance
blood spurts from the past
release me
ask me what am I doing
with my hands posed before this typewriter this machine
in adoration? no – simply in ineffectiveness
living in smoke, we are haunted by a dream,
by shapes moving through the cloud
painted warriors riding in and out
we would be them we say
we have not even a candle
hungry for truth, any truth
we have no clothes
no horses
and there is no land left
to travel on
there is truly nowhere left
to go –
is this the truth
we seek?
last night I had a dream
I have had so many
I was on my pony
riding north and east
each day was new
the land unending
I could have travelled for
had I wanted
each day grass
for the pony
cool to drink
to ease my hunger
and skins
of antelope
and deer
and bison
and elk
and all the four
footed creatures
of this earth
beside me
“Where are you going little one,”
the grandfathers asked me
“I am going to the hills, O Great Ones,
“I am going to the hills, the Black
Hills, to dance with my enemies the Crows,
under the waxing light of the moon,
the Moon of Black Cherries, under the
yellow moon”
for all that has been before shall be again
all that was is now and always will
there is nothing that lies forgotten under the grass
our dead shall be avenged
for the victors die of poison
and our dead, grandfathers, our
ancestors, have feet of grass,
bones of air
skin of clear stream water
with their sharp eyes they watch me
© Mike Bond 2012
First anthologized in On The Mesa (City Lights Books)