Audio · Poem · Poetry · Tai Chi

Fair Maiden

White leather sown with straps and beads,

Braids woven in feathers

Though fair skinned,

I am a Native maiden,

On my path winding inward.

The forest tangles

Yet opens its vines and limbs

As a cave mouth, 

Where I enter, greeted by a wolf and a hawk,

Guides to an overlook.

Wolf at my side, the expanse opens up.

I fly with Hawk, 

The wind drumming my face

To where the dance is, 

The drums, the rattles.

Wolf and I dance. 

As the Fire strokes my hair.

Drumming, chanting, whirling.

I whirl my arms skyward,

Embracing air. I am small,

For the twisting air makes night a shape,

Looming before me, it asks if

I am ready to die.

I stand bold, warding off Death. 

Fair Maiden to the North, 

South, East, and West, all directions.

Night Dragon breathes Fire, 

But I ward off Death in the fumes.

All around the drums beating

In my heart, steady beats, strong.

I stand like granite.

I am the chanting, the dance.

The songs open to me 

The words I need to know

As I emerge from the rage

Of Night, asking for my Soul, 

Of which I have many,

One for every element.

The elders sing my divination,

Their faces lit by fire and stars.

The Night Beast withdraws, 

Warded off by my Spirit,

There he rests, waiting

For another test of me, but

He’s really an Ally, 

Guarding a contract 

Written in parchment

By the Sea of Forgetting.

I am here to be reborn.

To awaken to Truth

And to lead others to their sacred gardens,

Where Fear makes their beasts

And where they greet Death

As a passage to their Spirit Name.

And emerge as warriors,

Gifted with arrows, feathers, and drums.

 

© 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard

Image: showing me at a martial arts competition

IMG_0559

 

 

 

 

 

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