About Jodey Bateman Pablo Neruda Translations by Jodey Bateman Contributors Abuela Musica Jalapeno Peppers Children’s Page Finder Submissions

The Gathering of Eagles | Poem


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 
lightening arching 
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... 

 they names are endless 
 oh how they hide from us... 
 love is not earned 
 it is memory of something 
 we want to do better.
and on the third day the runners leave 
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. 

- Sam Hill


to Sam
to Moongate

..... .... ..... .... ..... .... ..... .... ..... .... ..... .... ..... .... ..... .... ..... .... ..... .... ..... .... ..... .... ..... ....

Link to this page

Highlight the text and copy