THE GATHERING OF EAGLES
and on the first day the vigil fire was lit
mingled with ashes saved one full year
from fire to fire unto this, the fourth
gathering of all races in the seeking
union with all hearts that beat as one
Yellow Horse stood tall and lean
in praying all directions he told his story:
"Upon the dying-bed I did enter
the Happy Hunting Grounds
with all of my relations
& they would not speak to me --
I asked them why.
They told me it was not my time I had to go
back for there was one more job for me to do.
And I returned through the healing ways
of good Medicine Woman."
elders from all races were invited
to share in cultural wisdom 'round the fire
& on the evening of the first day
came thunder Beings loud and full
encircling our camp, raining buckets
tents were freed from stakes and sought to fly
& there within each small sheltered space
from the storm without, we looked within.
and on the second day the runners came
the Jornadas de Paz y Dignidad 1992
running from Tok, Alaska they had come
500 campers joining them in their last mile
to circle 'round our vigil fire and pray
for their safety and the safety of this Earth
Yellow Horse with a new vision in the storm
was visited by three men and he named two;
Sitting Bull and Black Elk came to give
back the missing sacred color - it is Brown.
three sweat lodges are built and tended
throughout the night & day for all to know
the womb of Mother & the letting go
of all that would bind the human heart
of this the Indian drum does beat
the rhythm of two legged & of four
while KILI radio station of the Lakota
announces they have won a restraining order
for a grasshopper control program.
and on the evening of the second day
the elders are called for a traditional meal
i recall my Bear Mountain quest three years ago
when i was very straight and bluntly told
"No one calls themselves and elder...others do."
the sun sets in bits & pieces in the Black Hills
between tall pines & teepees, lodge poles pointing
to this star or that...
pride and on the third day the runners leave
they names are endless
oh how they hide from us...
love is not earned
it is memory of something
we want to do better.
they are running all the way to Mexico
to meet the runners coming from the south
the whole of Turtle Island to be covered
and in this very time of world summit
first meeting to determine how
the healing of the Planet will occur.
Yellow Horse in vision sees planes
coming from the west & from the south
& fire erupting from great cracks
in Mother Earth
& time is short but we are all still here
in rational & heart to seek & find
a different way for all of us to live
in harmony, in dignity with ourselves & others.
the grandmothers stand to speak
one by one in voice of deer and eagle
they are calling, calling all the children of Earth:
"The human can live through hunger, pain,
homeless and sorrow...but lives not long
without spirit seeking Great Spirit."
on the evening of the third day all
were counseled to early bed as our last day
would start before the dawn.
and on the fourth day the call came
"Get up! Get up! Each and everyone!"
& so we came in groups and ones
around the vigil fire we all waited
in silent prayer, anticipating
in misty fog we sat and waited
for our holy man returned but for a while
& said we would not begin
until the sun shined in force & full.
nature had decreed our vision to be held
within our camp around our vigil fire
& so we sat in silence for a time
until one young woman with her humble words
asked permission with her young friends
to chant the African song of loving Earth
others joined & other chants were sung
even "You Are My Sunshine" became
a prayer of peace
& lo & hey & ya! the sun did come
but only after one young holy fool
reminded us that God by any name has humor...
one by one we gathered up our stones
brought from all the corners we had come
to carry up the mountain there to build
a new Medicine Wheel by diverse tribes.
in one big wide circle we all stood
Yellow Horse inside gathering from the ground
bits of Nature for his medicine bag
told us one by one
to place our special rocks
marking circle & the four directions
& then he gave the final message from his vision:
"The third man I did not recognize
& so I asked his name & this he said,
'They are carving a mountain of me...'"
and none were there who did not know
the story of Crazy Horse.