Still Life

by Starwind

Wednesday night
Running late
I noticed the sky was an odd shade of yellow
And started looking

I arrived to get Robin (late)
And emerging from the car
I found it
An enormous double rainbow
From horizon to horizon
Surely an omen, and a really good one at that

The drive to Twilight, as usual
Was peppered with anticipation
Arriving (late) I was afforded the opportunity
To be still
To truly Arrive
To breathe in the Mountain
The trees
The chipmunks

The Work was deep
The Work was true
The Work was
Good Medicine
And it was over too soon
Far too soon

The glowing moon grew
With or without our Dance
The Pearl of Wisdom
Reflected in our spirits
Sparkling in our eyes
A treasure beyond worth

Packing the car (again)
Hitting the road (again)
The drive home was slightly melancholic
Until I started watching the sky

The sun was setting
The moon was up
The clouds were shredded
Like a milkweed pod
Swollen to fullness
The Work was released
Each tiny seed
Tossed to the wind
Trusting the spirits to carry them
To fertile ground
Safely home

The sky swirled
Colors swelled
A tiny patch caught my eye
Glancing eastward
Another tiny patch of color
The sun, glowing white
Much like the moon had
Smiling, watching us dance

I drove
And I watched
The rainbow form
Bracketing our work
Before
And after

Still life
Pearl with Rainbow Frame

(October 12, 2011, Moon in Aries)

The next fire

by Chris LaFond

Burning away the failures of the year.
two years, really, maybe more.
Beehives, empty of bees
Yule trees from seasons past
Tomato plants and squash, stricken with blight
the dross of life quietly accumulates
Before I know it, there are
Mountains of trash
that I’ve been clinging to and
Saving beyond any usefulness.
Now the fire takes it away
on a warm fall day.
I face my failure and I feed it to the fire.
Flame cares not for successes and failures,
it hungers for both equally and consumes
leaving me free to learn,
free to be here today.
Tomorrow I will seek the next fire.

Comfort Kills

by Asherah Allen

After hearing Andras Corban-Arthen recount a story during a workshop he led at Rites of Spring 2009, about having attended a New Age conference where he witnessed the white participants engage in what they called a “Native American Sun Dance,” I was inspired to write this piece in response. Growing up in Colorado I experienced a potent presence of Native Americans in the culture, the land, and as friends. This poem is a response to the co-opting of traditions that altogether happens too often with little regard for the wishes of the indigenous people from whom the ceremonies are stolen. It is my prayer that all people may find a way back to their own spiritual heritage, however mixed, while respecting the wishes and traditions of the native people whose land they currently reside on. When traditions are chosen to be shared outside cultural boundaries, I pray they will be honored, held in their integrity, and not profited from.

Comfort Kills

This madness cannot be named
I just heard of a “Sun Dance”
performed in a hotel lobby
a chandelier for a pole
with ribbons and safety pins
not to be punctured into flesh
but to be safely pinned into expensive clothes
I remember my friend Eric
Injun Eric as we liked to call him
as close to a full blood Arapaho as a modern Indian could be
I remember him lying
on the couch in the warehouse
that lay smack in between the
East Side and West Side
Inca gang boys
While they were busy
shooting coward bullets into flesh,
pretending to be warriors,
Injun Eric lay there
limp and humble
as we applied the juice of tenderly chewed tobacco
into his Sun Dance wounds
Holding moist towels to his forehead as
he went in and out of fevered consciousness
though the ceremony had ended a week ago.
His wounds were not infected
his soul was another matter
Half of his soul lingered in the sacrifice of flesh
he offered to Spirit, his family, and community upon the Earth
while the other half lay rotting in a modern world
with no appreciation of what he had undergone
Painless sacrifice
is not sacrifice
it is the pure hubris
of ill begotten attempts at
touching the sacred
succeeding only at drowning
in the stench of comfort.