by Jnana Hodson

neither the breast of the universe
nor its brain
come, walk / swim / fly / squiggle
beside me
with indirect ancestors

and remember how Mastodon and Mammoth warned
“without creatures larger than yourselves
you’ll be more fragile and exposed”

how Elk say, how Moose say, how Bear say
the Elephant, Camel, and Caribou, too
“you need to be overshadowed by breathing larger
than your own construction, your own imagination”

how Whale say, and Sea Lion
“you extend the wounding in your soul
with inexhaustible hungers you pursue
on the sea of your starless night”

for someone be courteous, then
for the children
the brothers
the sisters
and a few wise elders,
may still enjoin the Old Feasting
if we ask – here, in time –
blessing, the ancestors come forth, also

I tell you, we’re guests
who earn a welcome
or harsh consequences

but listen
trust the saints

those larger than yourself
showing full respect, honor
and those smaller, the same

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Copyright 2015