Monday, May 24, 2010


By Theresa C. Newbill

The original inhabitants of British Columbia know it well,
they’ve heard its cry when the amber sun retreats over
liquid swellings, on fire with pools of motion...

Tsâl-agayû'nlï ~ "Old Tobacco", medicine man fills his pipe.
Sunnayi Edahi,
"The Night Goer, " travels…
Kalona Ayeliski! Kalona Ayeliski! Kalona Ayeliski!
it arrives...

Sage from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota,
slips into a wood burned box. Old woman’s hands caress
the free flapping of wings; for this nighthawk, there is no

Sacred mountain symbols leave only blackness. The message
arrives too late. Red tailed hawk soars over domesticated
land, presenting few obstacles to the wind. Inverted figure
in clear water

calls on the wild with urgency and yearning. Old woman
means to enjoy solitude, but the proud beast rises and falls
all around her, gliding through pathways of rock formations
and herbs grown for healing.

In her admiration, she sees its cleverness, feels the spirits
of those who died violently in the mixing of human blood with
Earth Mother. She stops to study the mechanism of its flight,
briefly, fascinated, marveled

at how well integrated parts work together. The spiritual awakening
is gradual, cautious and conscious. Her eyes begin to see the
passing of light as her mind enters itself, startled by the creatures
of hills and the serpents in their lairs.

They call to her, pointing out critical elements in a process
that will come full circle tonight, yelling out “I am here and I
count!” The shrieks echo through canyons, she is humiliated
by the expression.

In her attentiveness, a feeling of desperation leaves her
impatient, devastated, as she withdraws. It’s the kind of
exploration within the matrix that brings about intervention,
where all subjective positions

have credibility, and truth. In this intermediate space, all
life creates, relives, restructures; develops into a spontaneous
attunement with nature, one that brings about authenticity
and emotional availability.

Old woman strives for self-protection, but she has losses to mourn,
mainly her own. You see, the Raven Mocker has claimed her
soul in the deepening shade. This lord of nature knows the nobility
of days,

but who counts on eternity in days? Cherokee witch
composes a chant of open verse, repeated, and repeated,
quivering of pure repose, visiting the Lakota tonight.
Errant note to all the seized; old woman whispers to herself,

hoping she is overheard and remembered.

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Theresa C. Newbill is a is a self described free spirit and former elementary school teacher turned writer. Her work has been widely published in various print and online magazines and she has received numerous awards for her writing.


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