Will you trade words, earth wanderer? Know the dark ways
that harry a man down, squander resources, break minds
beyond hope; mix words, riddle the stars,
curse the very land that wastes all. Speak, brother
of the leaf and wind, rock and sea, let them see what is –
eye-spent drifter without hearth or kith. Can you read
the signs, break bread among the warring tribes, teach
children the natural ways; bring back the wisdom
of the deep seas grace. Why trouble the sky
with your lies? Speak plainly, cunning one, else walk away
into the darkness of your kind. Trouble not the elders,
nor the little ones who must survive. Would you learn the lore?
Know loss beyond redemption? Enter the bloody fray
where brave and coward alike fall before the ancient truth?
Then follow the taloned pride of the Eagle to his rocky lair,
the night-winged Owl as she stalks the moonless realms;
know the language of deer and panther in their innocence.
Unlearn hatred, walk free of spite and terror alike. Cast
your eyes against the broken ways. Give us back the face
you had before the cry of flesh and a woman’s death.
©2021 S.C. Hickman