In celebration of feathers -----------------------------(1993) Lawrence A. McFadden






i feel

the wings

of the great

feather spirit

beating like a drum

inside my heart

and

as i begin

to hark

a lark

crosses

the horizon

on the wings

of my tears


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i

am

a white man

of greatest sorrow

at the edge

of the open woods

in my soul

the land

is owned

and the earth

is breaking glass

my vision

jerked

to the sky

just in time

to see the hawk

fly

and the spirits

soar

far above me


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i listen

there is no wind

yet the leaves rustle

with the beating

of wings

the motions

are just breaths

of the trees

waving at me

to come see

the nestling mother

of you

and me


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look there

fluttering

from the sky

of clear blue

and turquoise hue

with soft

whimpers

of morning

a

feather

arrives

just as i

break fast

and step

into

the new world

shining

in a drop

of dew


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i must go

my mind explodes

from the view

of many scattered

feathers

and as i chase

to gather

the broken wings

my feet

are lifted

into the air

and i go

no where

yet i am falling

like feathers

twirl

in the wind


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once

in the gray light

and in the sight

of the closed

eyes

of trance

there came again

the sound and dance

of the bones

of bears

my great white

feathered father

of crazy cloud

that night

there rose

in my dreams

of wrath

the red moon

of the eagle

path


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i died

where i sat

and was buried

in my lap

lapping at

the water that

ran from my lips

as my whiskers wet

chin to chest

and spilled the rest

in the nest

of my crossed legs

and i began to rot

in the dampness of dusk

and my thoughts

became the feathers

some wife now uses

for dust


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at

first

i felt the fur

of the paws

the cold wet nose

of the nuzzle

guiding me

to the awareness

of where

when then

leaving the world of words

i rambled into the woods

on all fours to the moon

of the bears

now

i just hold a feather

as i dream

to frolic once again

with the bears

of the moon


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i give

my wife my life

for beads trinkets

and feathers

not to guide me on the roads

for the roads are paths of strife

not to guide me through the night

though feathers are candles

of light

i give

my life my wife

for beads trinkets

and feathers

to walk with the trees

to talk with the rocks

to fill my fathers sky with dreams

and my mothers earth with love

i have no need of want

nor the want of need

yet i hear my grandmothers

and my grandfathers from

in the ground

calling to me to free

the great grandchildren

of my soul


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the pipe i smoke

brings peace in prayer

to the closed eyes

of chant

the many feathers

are the many times

i cried

and swallowed hard

the earth

rants and raves

the brave

have always silently

offered many tears

in sacrifice

before the chosen

time

to die or fight

the pipe

i offer in prayer

to you who know

the true sacrifice of life


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bison skull

beneath the hooves

of prairie skies

i have deep sorrow

red feather

time speaks

through the language

of clenched teeth

when the first chill

of winter

wraps

around my guts

with the hunger

pangs

of the white

man

in the skin of kin

i leave my clothes

in the sidewalks

of bones

to go

to the home

of the buffalo


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arrows

the red man

walks

in my dreams

tomahawk

bronze skin

of blue light

crystal fire

star bright

i dance

with the bears

to a yellow moon

spilling

the laughter

of empty skies

falling like a feather

in my mind

i see

crazy cloud

in the wink

of a cacti


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the buzzards

knew

when i flew

i was done

waiting

to join the sky

under the stars

i walk

the path

of my ancestors

sacred space

of time

or place

to the rivers

that once swept

my soul my grace

to the sea

of swirls

moons and pearls

through this world

of believe


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no one

sleeps

next to me

tonight dog gone

her

she is no stranger

to all fours

from behind

on the floor

her song is no longer

once more

stop

red hawk

who will be

of dreams

alongside moonlit

streams in a pool

of poems

i close my eyes

and see

you awaken next

to me


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broken wing

i

will not go

so long

as the grass grows

and the mountains

make the rivers flow

to those who know

there are no windows

or doors

i offer tobacco

and light my bowl

of crushed souls

to sing the songs

of broken wings

i still cherish

the winds

of

where

my wishes

have been


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broken wings

a

feather

touched ground

the eagle screamed

the earth cry

i heard

a spirit sigh

the

silence

is both

weapon and shield

to the warrior

healer

grace can be seen

with lowered eyes

i journey

in

inner light

silently holding

the fallen

feather


_________________________________



i

live

within

the bars

and windowed walls

my bed a stall

my thoughts penned

i struggle to bend

and not break

each day

i mend

for the sake

of my heart

and i

cleanse

my spirit

of the reckless

spark

and soar

on the breath

and soul

of the wisps

of wings


_________________________________



red hawk

i

heard

the thought

with no words

in hooves of thunder

came the plunder

of younger

eyes

the quicker

stalk

the sharper

tongue

of twisted lies

only those

who cries

from living

inside

can survive

outside

where the snow

is falling

like

feathers


_________________________________



feathered arrow

i drink

from the fountain

of my grandmother

buried

in the ground

of my grandfather

where i too

belong

in thanks i

return

the gift

of the fountain

spoken

with the voice

of a mountain

the whisper

of a heart

being blessed

with the words

i love you


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broken wing

i

am

nothingness

once again

skeleton

and bones

in a heap

of earthen

slumbers

yet a light

shines

from this

numbskulls

eyes

when darkness

comes to fly

i take flight

in dreams of sight

wildly flapping

with all my

might

one hand clapping

and one hand laughing


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the clouds are floating

in from the sea

feather lightly

ghost people are chanting

in the cornering winds

of the prairie

the mountains are still

moving at will

and all of those

with self imposed halos

honoring greed gods creed

is crippling earth's destiny

great white feathered mother

of red moon

kiss me

give me dignity

help me carry the broken

wings of sorrow wings of fate

wings of strife wings of faith

in earth's resurrection

point me in the direction

of heaven


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my hands

are clearfull

of feathers

my eyes

see

myself falling

like a feather

i feel

the pounding

of the earth

from the drums

of native tongues

and i hear

the sound

beating in my heart

i start to chant

a warrior's dance

singing the rumble

of the thunder

as the sky

quietly

sighs


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the red moon

rises

through the ice

crystal clouds

somehow

the chill is broken

in breaths of vapor

a snort of winter

freeing my lungs

of the sweat

from the last of summer

and long shadow appears

in the fleeting glimpse

of the tree outside

my window

as the many spirits

scurry up the trees

and frolic

to the ground floating

upon the falling

leaves


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seven crows

from the woods

of my soul

to the swamp

below

crossed the golden

corn in the yellow sky

of the harvest sun

set

while i walked

to the dogleg bend

of triple trees

a cross of roads

and deep water fences

to be soothed

from my heart

cried why

the stump

of the trees

are still

as restless herds

in the night


_________________________________



my white skin

is like the glasses

that shield the eyes

from the glory

of suns

and daughters who

slip their hands

into mine

and stand as one

with no desire

to rape the sky

or torture the land

to build a house

on land that no hand

had ever had

command

so friends can visit

and talk

behind the backs

of so stupid a woman

and how vain a man


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dancing bear

the bones dance

too

the red moon

sings of freedom

in the swirls of souls

the fear of spirits

heard in the mountains

of thunder

tongues

little word

circle the altar

in feathers of hope

kindles the fire

to a stillness

in the view

through

time


_________________________________



the power of glory

where words

journey

is the medicine

of kindness

shown in darkness

of reason rises

each day

to take flight

in

the gentle peace

of wisdom

come