Poems and Essays

Table of Contents:

Poems by Eaglecrow (Larry Walker) EagleCrow@msn.com

  • The Tempest
  • Some Thoughts on my Grandfather
  • Soul Cry
  • Wings
  • Come See!
  • Monday Morning
  • It’s Back
  • A Poem to My Daughter
  • God’s Breasts
  • Grief Man
  • My Friend

Poems & Essays by WinterFox (Cliff Buchanan) WinterFox@GatheringOfCircles.com

  • Wannabe
  • The Pipe That Would Not Light

Essay by Francine Barrett (Summer Sun) Fran_Barrett@email.msn.com Shamanic Journey of Saturday, August 9, 1997.

Poems by Eaglecrow   The Tempest

The tempest thunders all around.
My body aches from the weight.
The shining beams illuminate this place, Promising more.
My wings grow tired. I’ve soared so long.
The gentle wetness pours over this carcass,
Welling up from within
Washing away the invaders
Refreshing — EagleCrow

Some Thoughts on my Grandfather

I spoke with my aunt today. It seems my first cousin has claimed my grandfathers violin for her son.. I hope he appreciates what he is getting. I wanted it real bad. This will be all right in time. I never met my grandfather. He passed away before I was born. I am grateful to my aunt for the stories she tells about him. He was an accomplished musician. He won the Louisiana State Fair fiddling contest, playing his violin with only one arm. Lost his arm in a hunting accident as a boy. He liked to play music and sing. He was a schoolteacher and I’m told he worked calculus problems for entertainment much like I might work a crossword puzzle. He was a hunter too. He hunted the woods of central Louisiana for all manner of game to put on the table. He liked to laugh and entertain. He had a terrible temper I’m told. He would go into rages and look out if you were around when this happened. I miss this man I never knew….but I do know him. His blood flows inside me like a river and keeps me very much alive. My own love for music and the healing I have experienced over the years from the music that I play are gifts from him. His struggles are my own struggles and his wisdom is mine too. His rage, his joy, his tears and his laughter are deeply imprinted in my genetic makeup, in my soul. We are connected, him and me. In many ways I am just like him. I honor his life, This grandfather. May my own life be as worthwhile as his and may it reflect the values he held dear. Ho!!! I think that I will visit my aunt soon and learn a little more about this man and me. EagleCrow

Soul Cry

I feel this boiling up thing. This energy down in my bones. What is this stuff? This intensity, this longing is killing me. Dead. Sure as shit. My body’s burning. Hot. Deep in my chest it boils and boils. Just keeps on. Where’s the doorway? Where the fuck is the doorway? Do you feel this? Have you been here, too? Parched. Dry. Hot. Blazing Heat. I,m thirsty….I’m so thirsty. Great Wind! Come! I’m calling to You. Shit! EagleCrow


I circle out from this place. Circling. Ever widening. Searching these heavens. Searching. Searching. Each orbit a growing distance. Now and then my wing brushes something. The One. Perhaps. The faintest of touches. And with that subtle touch Once again I know that I am alive. EagleCrow   Come See!   Come on in! Jump in to this place. Take a dive into this well of grief and sadness. This pit of insanity. There really is nothing here to fear. The sadness here hardly overwhelms. Come down into this deep water, this wetness, and take a look around you. Can you see the beacon? That flickering light? Walk over to it and discover the man you were born to be. EagleCrow

Monday Morning

Monday morning. Good morning! Today the energy will flow unrestricted. Burning! Cleansing! Making new. It has a home here. This energy. Always has. Today I’ll get out of the way. Burning! Cleansing. Making it all brand spanking new! EagleCrow It’s Back   This burning in my chest is here again. Welcome! Fire, blazing, turning twisting upwards Scary as shit! But I ain’t running this time. I ain’t labeling this time. I ain’t trying to fix it. Just is. Boiling, churning round and round. Is this what being a man feels like?


A Poem to My Daughter

Have I really lost you?
I wish you could love me like I need to be loved.
I need hugs.
My insides feel alone and empty if I don’t hug.
I know.
I know what it’s like.
You don’t want me to know but I do.
I know.
How horrible it is to grow up cold inside.
With no one to trust.
With no one to hold you
With no one to hold you.
With no one to hold you.
Always on guard.
I loved you in the only way I knew.
Not at all. I’m sorry.   EagleCrow

God’s Breasts

I’ve drunk warm milk from the full breast of the Spirit of God I have smelled her sweet womanly smells. Warm, caressing, nurturing Filling me, satisfying my soul’s hunger. Whole, wholeness, completeness, healed. Whispering sweetness in my ear Kissing me, touching me. Completing me. Happiness, Joy, Ecstasy… This is good. I‘ve drunk from these breasts often. Over and over again I have. And so it goes. Eaglecrow

Grief Man

This well is deep.
It’s dark and it’s empty.
It’s wet here and tears flow freely.
It’s scary.

Hey! Is anybody there? Hey you! Is anybody in here with me? It’s dark. I’m alone and it hurts in this wet place. Something moves through me. Like a mist. Swirling around. Turning, turning, twisting around. Hurting me, squeezing tight. Yes, I’m scared. I’m very afraid of this. Sometimes I can hardly stand it. But, I ain’t gonna run from it. I ain’t quitting. And I ain’t gonna chicken out. I ain’t tryin to fix it or make it go away, either. I ain’t tryin to wish it away, pray it away, think it away, or ignore it away. I ain’t runnin to and fro’ lookin for the answer to it, And I’m not interested in any friendly advice or some miracle of God to make me feel different, think different or act different or improve my outlook, or correct my misconceptions about it. This is where my soul lives and, Goddamn it, this is sacred! This is who I am. This is where my Light comes from. Can I tell you about this? I need to tell someone… Don’t say anything. Just nod your head and know this with me. Eaglecrow

My Friend  

I’ve watched him struggle from time to time wondering when that would end. He’s stumbled some, but he’s kept on walking toward his light. He has this light bright burning, shining out from within that lights up all around him and gives warmth and comfort to those with whom he shares; his family, his kids, his friends… A fine man, that one, with the fire inside so clear and plain to see. Fire keeps him going, you know. Creates this pressure there in his chest and his gut. Sends him out questing to seek, to learn, to live, to love. He wears this rough exterior; one that he fashioned and created to weather storms. He made it out of the other men he knew in his time. But he has another power that shines out from the inside. And this one has no concern for exteriors. This one is he himself. As for me, I’ll take them both; that outer and inner, because this man, and one hell of a man he is, is my friend. Eaglecrow

Poems by WinterFox


They glared at me with jet black eyes deep set above red hawk shaped noses and called me “White Boy.” Not in so many words but in their actions and body posture. Here, at a powwow on the reservation, I was a minority. It did not feel good. Perhaps, I am beginning to feel their pain and suffering. This was many years after I began to walk the “Red Road.” My teacher was not Native American. He did not have a red skin. But he taught me to respect “all that lives” and to acknowledge that “all lives.” In the sweat lodge we asked for help from the creepy crawlers, the four-legged, the winged ones, those that swim, the plant kingdom, and we acknowledged the mineral kingdom as sentient beings. We asked the blessings from the four cardinal directions and from the mystery or direction within. As I listened to these teachings I felt as if I had heard them before, knew them already! It made much more sense to me that “we are all related” and that Spirit is in all of Nature than my white middle class Baptist upbringing. I soon began leading sweat lodges and gatherings such as these and people were getting some healing and …so was I! And as I leaned into what I thought was the Native American Spirit I heard another unfamiliar name …Wannabe. I was a WANNABEE! I was stealing the Native American tradition and trying to act like I was an Indian! I soon found out that many Native Americans did not like “whites” such as I using their ceremonies and symbols in the white culture. However, I learned there were two schools of thought in the Native American camp. One felt that the whites had taken their land and their culture, even their language, and that their religion was all they had left. On the other hand, some felt usually the elders, that it is time to share their philosophy of life with the world. In fact, they felt it was mandatory in order to save Mother Earth from what mankind was doing to it. I am in agreement with the elders. I feel the “Red Road” is a good and true path and I choose to follow it. It is but one of many good and true paths. Therefore, I am proud to be a “Wannabe.” I say if a man holds his religion and spirituality close to his heart, who can take it from him? I say if a sweat lodge is conducted with good intentions and respect, how can it be done the wrong way? I say if a pipe is offered in respect to Mother Earth and Father Sky, and prayers are spoken from the heart, what does it matter if the pipe was passed on from a red man, a white man, or bought in a store? So, if I am to carry this label of “Wannabe,” let me carry it proudly and …let me carry it to my grave. WinterFox


by Cliff Buchanan for my son David and the winter solstice 1992

No Exit

No Exit   Blackness… blackness… blackness… All around… blackness. I can’t see I can’t hear I can’t feel anything but tears running down the face of my soul. I am in depression. That’s what my therapist says. But it feels like I fell into a dark, black pit with steep, slick, rock walls and there is no way out. Trapped here, in this place for all eternity.


I have been here for some time. In some ways it is comfortable to be nothing to see nothing to hear nothing to feel nothing To be IN DEPRESSION But for some reason (I didn’t do anything) the darkness is lighter and getting just a tad brighter. Why? I don’t know. It just is, I notice. Now there seems to be a light. I can see a light. It appears to be at the end of some sort of tunnel. It must be for someone else. I don’t deserve a light for me. I didn’t do anything. Yet, it grows brighter and … yes, has my name on it. It is coming for me. This must be the end. Eternity has come. I sit and wait for Eternity. But eternity does not come. It only beckons. It is beckoning to me. What? I must reach out to embrace Eternity? I have to put forth effort and action? OK. Just this once. Since it is the last time. Here goes. Well, that stretch made me feel a little better. I wonder… I wonder if I reached out, really stretched out with all my might if I might break through.


It is uncomfortable now. All sides, above and below are pushing in. There is no where to go except toward the light. I struggle, I reach, I kick, I scream. I’m not going to make it. I can’t breath. I am stuck here forever. I move, slowly at first, then it is a little easier. I can navigate, I can move toward the light. It’s easier It’s easier Here I go!


Where am I? Everything is so bright. I can’t see. Now my eyes are adjusting. I can see familiar things. I can smell smells I have smelled before. I hear voices. Voices I recognize. Someone is touching me. Someone gentle. Someone whose hand I have seen before, felt before. I am back in the land of the living. The land of pain. The land of love. The land of feeling both pain and love. This is life. I am aware. I feel…again.   WinterFox

The Pipe That Would Not Light

My name is Cinnamon Lightsong.
In the here and now is where I belong.
I am a Pipe Carrier for the Rainbow Clan.
My task is to serve when and where I can.
The Rainbow Clan is made up of people like you and me,
Who want to hear with their souls and see all they can see.
One Healing Hearts weekend, ‘twas my job to smoke.
The pipe just wouldn’t light!
This was not a joke!
Oh, what a fix!
Oh, what a mess!
I tried to light the mix!
I did my very best!
I reached down to my gut.
Became a hollow bone.
Let Spirit come through.
Felt right at home.
I passed the pipe anyway.
No one seemed to care.
I humbled myself completely.
Laid open my soul to bare.
It took a pipe that wouldn’t smoke for me to pass the test.
It took a pipe that wouldn’t smoke for me to shed my perfectness! Winterfox – September 24, 1994

Essay by Summer Sun Shamanic Journey of Saturday, August 9, 1997.   Dear Cliff, this is the feedback you requested regarding the Shamanic Journey of Saturday, August 9, 1997. I see a cave in the side of a mountain or red cliffs while the drums beat a steady rhythm. Upon entering the cave, I walk downward on a trail. After a while I come to a river and on the shore or beach area a canoe is waiting for me. I get into the canoe and start to paddle up the river. This is a wide river of light with diamond-like points of light on the water. I call it a river of light. It is a beautiful, serene river and there is not another soul on the river and only trees along the bank. After paddling for a while I see a sand bar and a grove of aspen or white birch. I know that is the place I am to go ashore. I find myself sitting in a grove of trees looking and searching for my power animal to appear. I see a hawk circling and think, aha! this is my power animal and this will be impressive. Evidently the hawk is only a messenger for what follows. After another period of waiting, a large bird circles about me overhead. At first I cannot make out a distinct shape or color. As I ponder the color it turns white. The word condor or corda flashes through my mind. Then another portion of my mind states another syllable needs to go with conda. I think the bird may be an anaconda. (I was informed later that the anaconda is a snake and I really don’t care for snakes. They frighten me.)   I am transported by the bird to a hilltop. In a valley below is an encampment of teepees. We fly to one particular teepee. It is covered with a lot of Indian symbols. The flap is open and inside sits a heavy-set older woman dressed in Indian clothes. She sits cross-legged on an Indian blanket. She wears a long skirt and a fringed shawl around her shoulders. Her hair is streaked with grey and falls about her shoulders. She has a round moon face, very pleasant, with the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen. She is of the grandmother energy. My question at the beginning of the journey was, “What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life?” The grandmother tells me I am to work with the spirit world. This really shocks and dazes me. I enumerate all the reasons I cannot do that. Then I wonder if I have gotten into someone else’s shamanic journey by mistake. Maybe I do not belong here. Every time I give a reason as to why I cannot do that, she only smiles sweetly and tells me I will remember and that the white condor will help me as needed. All communication is by telepathy. She simply sits and smiles sweetly. I continue to argue that it is impossible for me to assume the task she has given me. She tells me that my name is Summer Sun and I have worked with the spirit world before. She presses the issue by telling me it needs to be done for the tribe. I have no idea what tribe she means. Again she presses the issue and informs me it is my duty to the tribe. I begin to cry. With tears rolling down my cheeks, I again tell her I cannot do this thing she asks of me. Again she only smiles and assures me I will remember how and the white bird will assist me. The drum signal creeps into my consciousness signaling I am to return to the circle. This is when I began to cry hard and feel myself trying to stifle the sobs. I beg her to let me stay. Mentally I scream again and again I do not want to return to earth. She only smiles and tells me I must go. Somehow I manage a return trip shortly after the drums stop. I resist opening my eyes and feel a strong urge to assume the fetal position. The group slowly begins to assume an upright sitting position while I continue to feel the urge to curl into prenatal position. I note my rapid breathing and pounding heart. I am completely devastated by having to “leave” the grandmother energy with a task so overwhelming. I tell Cliff and the group of my journey through the tears. I am unable to stop crying. I feel both foolish and stunned and want to hide. Somehow I make it through the telling. I am as limp as a wet cloth after attempting to verbalize what I felt and thought. Someone in the circle suggests I look up condor and winged serpent. Many loving hands reach out to touch me and give me comfort. Later Cliff has me speak with Carol Dawn who had a similar beginning and now works with the Navajo.   Affectionately & Respectfully, Francine   P.S. I’ve done some research on this and feel that it was a white condor. I now understand the near death experience better and why people don’t want to come back but feel duty bound to come back. The book “The Way of a Shaman” is giving me validity for the experience. I’m open to all suggestions as to how to handle this and what to do with it.