Tended by a devotional heart
Your tender-strong hands
Wrestle beauty from
The blistered earth
A Joseph lifted from
The deep well of knowing
Set dancing as leaf and petal
Pollen-drift and broken stone
Hear the spectral banners snap
In the wind
Merciful green to the gold ‘n red
Your fierce eye keen
To the indivisible moment
Generous hands provoke
Fragrance and fruit
But in the deep harvest
At your alchemical touch
And our quicksilver is found.
Leaving shoes behind, dervish-like
You step through the hidden gate
Of your garden
Into the secret one, nearer still
Where everything is
And everyone will be…
Hear the tattered banners snap
In the autumn wind
Hear the birdsong you alone
You will entirely know yourself
As lover and beloved.
While losses to our orbits of family and friends seem to shrink our world of known relations, sometimes it opens us to the creative universe of the unknown. Our town bears the recent loss of a beloved friend, a son of Hermes, who nurtured a heart-full practice of and regard for the arts, and especially for those who bore them in trouble and in joy. Although he never let arrows fly across our range, he intended to do so, and his sincerity in this regard left it simply to be a matter of good timing. Along with others, I share a notion that he’s not done with us yet; that this sudden departure allows him to work and love in a more comprehensive orbit. Godspeed and thanks for the rain, dear friend; we’ll let an arrow fly here for you.
Twilight fell into night and a full moon rose with an amber-red glow, like firelight from a wood stove. Our mountains are burning ‘neath a sky that’s forgotten how to rain. A spring-killing drought leaves a deadly thirst among the highland natives. At the Shire, our smoke-reddened eyes and nasal stings are brought by ashen winds from the Cohutta Mountains northwest of us. We all know what it means, and all the more so, when we lack for words. Midnight, and high in the sky vault, an indifferent moon glows cold ‘n white; its fullness, a cruel parody of our emptiness.
In the Archer’s Lore rainmakers would cast a skyward arrow to breech the high-hidden river, reluctant to share its life-giving wealth. The art may be lost on our modern frame of mind, but we’ll craft suitable arrows just in case, and pray for rain.
Orion stalks a chestnut fattened moon; his bow is tuned, his arrow nocked, he watches for the wide angle that invites the shaft of Ash home to the Mark––the One which only he knows. Shire deer drag their heavy shadows from the Autumn-thinned woods, into the moon-flooded meadow. Their obsidian eyes wordlessly comprehend the alabaster orb, as they breathe the intoxicating night air, scented with blended fragrances of musk and rust.
Bitter sweet October, you’re a melancholy artist who, stuck with a fit of madness, slung a bright harvest of color across the land. We’ll stroll through your galleries, remark on your genius, then misapprehend the blood price of your hand.
Summer’s spell is nearly broken, as the northern earth gives up another sun. Golden Rod bids a silent farewell, while our overturned shadows trace the polar paths of winter. The Horned Owl is already making plans with the full moon, disturbing the sleep of Hummingbirds that still linger. The treasury of green is sealed in wooden attic vaults, stored in cooling root cellars, and opened only with hunger’s master key.
Capricorn will greet the sun in Madagascar, they’ll swim together in Shark Bay then dance in Rio, before tiring of each other’s company. Till then, we’ll fix an arrow on the string of the waning moons, and bust the seals of chestnuts where winter’s sun hides.
The drawn bow opens a threshold held between left hand and right; where potential trembles, an arrow rests. Can the archer hold the patient ground as the tension ripens to that undivided moment of surrender? Will he loose himself into the dynamic stillness of being from whence the art emerges? The unwavering eye looks ahead.
The humid and hot breath of Summer is trailing south, as the nightlong cool-downs, and the pensive Bush Crickets with their Autumn song, ignite old memories of childhood poets, river bluffs & travel. Even now, Yellow Poplar leaves have begun the turning; in their golden conclusions they fall, lighting up the forest floor.
Spiny green husks swell between the serrated leaves of a big Chestnut standing deep-rooted before our home. Her kind were brought from Asia to soften the sad loss of our own in-kind native. She’s preparing a big feast this year, and the impatient squirrels can’t help but sample the season filled nuts, “green” as they still are.
Homage to you, bearers of arrows, and to you bowmen, homage! Homage to you, fletchers, and to you, makers of bows!
Friction generated light streams from the galactic sky this week, an event worth losing some sleep over. Since the Sky Range at Nowhere Shire trends along a wide North/South axis, were given a fair view of the late summer star field.
We’ll be watching, and while Perseid sows the smoldering seeds or casts the burning arrows, we may let the nightbirds fly up-range, joining this interplanetary conversation.
Archery is a visionary experience involving far more than the eye. Maturity in the art is evident as the student moves from eyesight to insight. As she brings more of herself into the praxis, the archer claims the range looking through the eyes, rather than simply from them.