Lemurian City of Ladies

A Lemurian City Built in Memory of Christine de Pizan

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Song of the Stars-Part IV

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Part IV

  Tonight, one of the adults had come to Star Singer begging her sing the Song of Soul Sisters.  Star Singer knew that Sweet Water mourned the loss of friendship with her Soul Sister, Many Kisses and her husband Great Magic.  Born but moments apart in their parent’s’ separate tipis, it was almost inevitable that both Sweet Water and Many Kisses would love Great Magic.  Sweet Water knew that Great Magic loved Many Kisses most deeply; so, in love for both of them she had stepped aside.  In fear Many Kisses had tried to sever all friendship between the three of them. 

Sweet Water understood Many Kisses’ fear and bore neither grudge nor anger towards Many Kisses.  In truth, she mourned the loss of Many Kisses’ friendship even more than she grieved for the friendship of Great Magic.  Sweet Water feared that she would never know either of their presences in her life again, and spent many nights alone in her tipi numb in her loss. 

Winter Moon had comforted her as best he could, yet, he realised that the only healing must come from Many Kisses and Great Magic. 

One of the greatest warriors of the people, Great Bear, loved Sweet Water, yet he feared she would never be able to be happy with him alone.  Great Bear’s twin brother Standing Bear and Great Bear were ever inseparable. 

Sweet Water understood Great Bear’s hesitancy and loved him more for it.  She had become one of a group of women that Great Bear took not as concubines, or wives, but as their protector.  Everyone knew that to hurt one of Great Bear’s Ladies would be to face the wrath of both brothers. 

Star Singer was especially gentle with Sweet Water, knowing that she mourned not only the loss of her first husband in an unnecessary battle, but the fact she had borne him no children in all the years of her marriage to Snarling Dog.   

Snarling Dog was well known for his impetuosity and ugly temper and had been killed after an argument with an Ogallala warrior from the West.  The two had been arguing about a trouble-making woman called Takes All. 

Takes All had played Snarling Dog with her wiles and had pried him from Sweet Water’s side with sweet lies, and empty promises.  When Snarling Dog had nothing left to give Takes All had turned to another man, Many Coups of the Ogallala Peoples. Snarling Dog had fought what everyone knew was inevitable, and had argued with Many Coups.  Many Coups had waxed furious and challenged Snarling Dog.   

Snarling Dog had lost all of his friends while following Takes All like a dog following a bitch in heat.  There was no one who would stand with Snarling Dog and hand him weapons.  This was his undoing, for it slowed him enough that Many Coups was able to best him and kill him. 

While the Elders were able to order Many Coups to repay Sweet Water for the loss of her husband, they could not give Sweet Water back her mate, or her belief in herself.  Long past the time when Bull Battles would have told her she was done with mourning and was free to wed another, still Sweet Water was living in her tipi alone. 

Star Singer gently promised she would sing the Song of the Soul Sisters for Sweet Water, and held her for a time, just being there for her.  Sweet Water left with a smile on her mouth and a shine in her dark liquid eyes. 

Sweet Water was not a pretty woman at first glance; she was too often solemn and withdrawn into her Spirit to charm with wit and beauty.  Many loved her, though, for she was generous, loving, and patient with people’s flaws.  She had been apprenticed to the Medicine Woman of the Ottawa, Magic Blossoms, until she had wed Snarling Dog and joined The People, after Snarling Dog’s loss she had remained, serving this Medicine Woman, Ancient Hills, as she grew older and began to be feeble in health. 

After Ancient Hills went to join Great Spirit, Sweet Water was unanimously chosen as the new Medicine Woman, and she was loved for her gifts to The People.  Ever kind and loving, she could not only heal the body, she was able to touch the mind and spirit and begin healing there as well.  More than one person, who was thought to be incurable came to her and left with a new wholeness blossoming in them. 

Star Singer was settled on her buffalo hide cushion and had finished her final gourd of liquorice root tea.  When all the children were finally silent she spoke gently. “My dears, tonight we shall sing of the Soul Sisters; Sweet Water has begged this favour of me…” She could not finish for the cheers and shouts of Sweet Water’s name among the children.  All of them had known her loving touch in their lives, and knew her to be a good woman. 

“They were not

Sisters of blood.

Yet they were born

So close in spirit

That everyone

Accepted them

As true

Sisters of Soul. 

Apple Blossom

Was the eldest

By but moments.

Wild Roses

Was perhaps

More fair

This mattered not

To Soul Sisters. 

They knew wholeness

In their friendship

Which grew as they

Did, strong and fast.

By the time they had

Come to the Time

Of Womanhood

They were One Spirit. 

Often would the


See them, laughing

And talking together

Each knowing one

Another’s silent words.

Their bond so deep

That they wedded

Brothers, one family. 

Soon they were

With child and

Waxed beautiful

And joyous as one.

Apple Blossom

Lost her child

For it was

Born too soon. 

Wild Roses bore a son

Pride of his father.

Apple Blossom

Was joyous with her.

Again Wild Roses

Waxed with child.

Apple Blossom

Was still barren. 

Apple Blossom’s

Husband set her aside.

Taking another wife,

One to bear him sons.

Apple Blossom began

To mourn her life.

No longer did she

Eat or sleep. 

Her decline was fast,

She lay in her

Ragged tipi dying.

Never calling for

Anyone but her

Beloved Soul Sister

Wild Roses.

Who came to her

Side, begging her stay. 


Apple Blossom

Went to Great Spirit.

With her last breath

She spoke to

Her Soul Sister.

“Wild Roses

Mourn me not

I will wait for you.” 

Wild Roses

Could not

Do as

Apple Blossom

Had bade her do.

She cut her hair,

And wept

Clawed at her face

And tore her clothes.

She sang

In a sad voice

Apple Blossom’s

Death Song. 

Wild Roses begged

Great Spirit.

“Bring me back

My Soul Sister.

I am not whole

Without her

In my life,

I always seek her.” 

Great Spirit heard

Wild Roses plea.

Even He could not

Change what was

Already done.

Helpless as a babe.

Instead he touched

Wild Roses’ spirit. 

She felt a great light

Burning in her spirit.

As she watched ,

A star, then more

Rose to the heavens

Two sisters,

Holding hands


Wild Roses knew

Comfort and Peace

And was once again

Joyous and alive.

She found herself

With child again.

Twin girls were they,

Made by the love of sisters.” 

Many of the older girls, with the deep friendships of youth and innocence wept unashamedly as Star Singer and Sky Eyes Woman’s voices faded into the stars above.  One girl, wise beyond her years moved to Sweet Water’s side and embraced her tightly, in silent understanding. 

Star Singer and Sky Eyes Woman watched this magical moment, their hearts swelling with pride, and love for their People.  They were embracing as they often did, arms loosely around one another’s waists and heads tipped close together.

by:  GwenGuin (who else??)

Written by gwenguin1

October 9, 2006 at 10:42 am

Salute to a lady gone

with 3 comments

In another life, I was married for 36 years
to a wonderous person now walking
another path alone. Let us say she was
a psychologically abused child — and sought
refuge in my love and friendship;
but with the death of he parents,
she became free and needed me no more.

Her gift was preparing me for one
such as Gwendydd Emrys,
of whom you know …

I wrote this during our separation
when I still thought there was hope



In this valley there are no rolling hills
or quiet, grassy meadows.
Find no laz’ly wandering streams
nor verdant tended fields.

Nowhere an orchard, covered bridge or wall of layered stone.
Search not for a smoky finger twisting up to the pillowed sky.

If these could be found,
except in past,
there I might find you.
No, not such a valley!

“Down in the valley, the valley so low,
I lost my true lover, for a courtin’ too slow!”

My lost heart can be found in hidden glades
and gaily laughing brook.
In mossy glens and pinnacles
and heathered sandy copse.

Let me search again in flickering light and ever shifting shadows.
New hope in each softly filtered sunbeam and misty morning glow;

Hope of finding you,
on wooded lane,
braiding flower chains.
Oh, come to my valley!

“I’m so lost, so gol’ darn lost,
not even God can find me”

From a towering ascent above this
fountainhead of dewy thoughts,
flows tinkling dreams of the waterfall
in cascade far below.

As the water’s steady flow gathers strength in the narrowing cleft,
So must my lost courage and desire swell to a refocused will.

I see there a path,
a starting place,
I must reach today.
Now, down to the valley.

“You’ll not be happy until you bring it home,
home to the green fields …”

At the far distant end of my valley
there is a fierce, barren knoll.
The mystery of what lies beyond
draws slightly on my – mind.

‘round the base of this silent peak is a stretch of flowering wood.
I must fashion there a cross to bear, but know not its form or shape.

So I will dream still,
toil here instead,
seek a way to pass.
Be here in this valley.

“Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you.
It is you and you alone …”

I don’t have to search for my lost love on
old paths we traveled by.
I’ll look for whispered hints of love
in soft, caressing breeze.

I’ll gather secret baby kisses in the brush of drifting leaf,
and flutter by with the butterflies to a place of golden song.

I’ll find you where I
can never search,
land of longing hope.
Come down in the valley.

“I believe for every drop of rain that falls,
a flower grows.”

For years we walked on a measured path,
in a rocky brambled course.
I led the way, that was the right;
you followed just behind.

But what of your desire, your search, and need to build a self?
I scarcely heard your muted cry that drifted into yesterday.

We had to stop and
now I walk this
branch strewn past alone.
Help, help for the valley.

“I’ll walk with you,
from this day on.”

There is fear and doubt in my longing heart
that still echoes to and fro.
It stills the trill of morning bird
and sigh of forest pine.

On this trembling course, I cannot know, but must reach in loving hope.
For the handholds are still a bit too far to grasp without your hand.

Skill and needs are
nothing now to
want for help and care.
Be here in my valley.

“I want you, I need you, please be there.”








Written by aletta mes

September 25, 2006 at 10:05 am

Posted in Maternal Ancestors

Song of the Stars-Part III

with 8 comments

By:  Gwenguin, of course!!  LOL 

Part III

The next night the children begged for the tale of Brothers Raven and Crow. Star Singer grinned and cawed realistically at the upturned faces,

“All of you know that we are not First Man. What happened to the First Men?” She waited with dancing eyes, then the children shouted raggedly.

“Great Spirit burned them up!!!”

“Yes dears, that’s right.” Star Singer took a deep breath before beginning the Tale of Raven and Crow.

“In the time before us there was First Man, the first people Great Spirit and Star Woman made. They watched their First Children with love and pride, but there was something wrong with First Man. It seemed that they were Trickster’s puppets, and gladly followed his yips and yowls.

Earth Mother grew sorrowful as First Men did not respect Her and treat Her with love. She sent Brother Rainbow Raven to Great Spirit begging his help. When Great Spirit saw First Men digging in the flesh of Earth Mother and spoiling the sweet Tears of the Mother.

It was with great sorrow and shame that Great Spirit chose to purify Earth Mother and begin again. He called Brothers Rainbow Raven and Many Coloured Crow to His Star Lodge and spoke with them.

“I must purify the Earth Mother, and make sure that none of First Men remain to injure Earth Mother. I must burn everything and start anew. I need Ravens and Crows to carry fire to all places and watch to make sure that nothing lives through the fire.

As sad as Brothers Rainbow Raven and Many Coloured Crow were, they agreed with Great Spirit, and said yes to his request.

Who knows why Raven is called Rainbow and Crow is named Many Coloured?”

“Because when Great Spirit made them, they had feathers in all colours!!” The children responded enthusiastically.

“Yes, they were beautiful to behold, with all colours shining in their feathers. Rainbow Raven was a bit more handsome than Many Coloured Crow, as his feathers glistened and changes colour in the sun.

At the time that Great Spirit decreed, a great flock of ravens and crows flew up to Great Spirit’s Star Lodge. He gave each bird a burning brand to start the fires with.

“What did the ravens and crows do then?”

“They flew back to Mother Earth!!” Some of the smallest children were dozing in their blankets, and soon their mothers would retrieve them, and then settle them into their furs in the tipi. As they had always done, the women brought each sleeping child up to Star Singer for a kiss before taking them to bed.

“They did, and as Great Spirit asked, they set fire to everything. Over and over the birds dipped low enough to set fire to grasses, lodges, and trees.

The other animals fled before the flames, mad with their fear of fire. First Man tried to fight the fire, go against Great Spirit’s wishes, but the fire was too great and every living thing on the world died in the flames.

When the Ravens and Crows returned to Great Spirit, he looked at them with sorrow. All of their pretty feathers had been burned black by the fire. No matter what they did to clean themselves the black remained stubbornly there.

Rainbow Raven has a ghost of his rainbow feathers, you can see them gleam with secret colours in the sun.”

Star Singer sipped from her bowl of cooled wild cherry bark tea. Then she began to sing, soft and low at first.

“Before The People
First Man
Walked upon
Mother Earth.
Great Spirit
Bade them love
Earth Mother.
Treat Her with
And respect
At all times
In all ways.

First Man was
He refused
To do what
Great Spirit
Asked of them.
He dug metals
From the flesh
Of Earth Mother.
She cried out to
Great Spirit
‘Stop this hurt!’

Great Spirit
Looked down to
Earth Mother.
He saw the scars
In her flesh.
He smelled
Filth in the
Sweet air.
He saw the
Good water
Too despoiled
For any to drink.

He called to’
Rainbow Raven
And his cousin
Many Coloured Crow.
Help me undo
The hurt done to
Earth Mother.
Purify Her
And begin life
Over again.
Raven and Crow
Honour Great Spirit.

They carried fire
Over the world
Diving to start
Cleansing flames.
Over and over
They swooped
Low to ground.
Touch the
Brand to grass,
Light the trees.
Burned away
All First Men.

Raven and Crow
Returned to
Great Spirit
In Star Lodge.
When he saw
Their feathers,
He wept for
Lost beauty.
No longer did
They shine all
Colours under
The warm Sun.

Now they were
Shining Black.
They sacrificed
Their beauty to
Obey Great Spirit.
They tried to
Wash the smoke
And ash from
Their feathers.
Still they were
Shining Black
As storm clouds.

Great Spirit
Bade them stay
Become His
Raven and Crow
Were honoured.
They remained
Awaiting His call.
Great Spirit
Looked down
And saw lonely
Mother Earth.

Star Woman
Came at His call.
Together they made
The world anew,
All of the things
In the Seas,
Every growing
Tree and flower.
The Animals
Great and small.
And Second Man
Came to be also.

The People
Looked at their
World and they
Knew wonder
And gratitude
To Great Spirit.
“We thank you.”
Tell us, please
How to serve
You, Star Woman
And Mother Earth
The best we can.”

Great Spirit,
Star Woman and
Mother Earth
Knew great joy.
“Know us as
Mother and
Father to you,
Obey our wishes
Love and respect
Mother Earth.
Obey My Laws
Follow Star Woman.”

The People still follow Great Spirit’s Way, honouring Earth Mother, praying to Great Spirit, honouring Star Woman; they remember to thank Earth Mother for their food. They honour the spirits of the food they gather, the trees they use to build canoes, lodges, and the Sacred Sweat Lodge. They respect their Mother, and all the living things on Her.

To this day, Brothers Raven and Crow are honoured for their obedience to Great Spirit and carry his messages to The People. Mother Earth rewards us with Her abundance and variety. From her we get the plants we use, the animals we hunt, the waters for us to drink.

Great Spirit’s heart is full of love and pride of The People, and he brings them many blessings, and a life that is good, and happy. Every time you sing a thank you for leaves, berries, rice, or the meat in the stew, you are thanking Great Spirit and honouring Earth Mother.”

The fire was down to simmering coals, and all but the eldest of the children were asleep. Star Singer looked at all the faces, flushed with sleep and happy.

“Great Spirit, thank You for bringing The People together, and the children to my tipi, I will never be old, or be unhappy with the life You have given me.”

Written by gwenguin1

September 12, 2006 at 11:03 am

Song of the Stars-Part II

with 4 comments

                  PART II

The children began to mass around the tipi as soon as they had eaten their evening meal and washed themselves. There was nearly ten tens of children waiting for Star Singer, whispering amongst themselves and giggling in their blankets.

It was extremely rare for a woman to be given a totem spirit as powerful as Star Singer’s, but it had to be Brother Eagle, for he was the one who carried people to the Stars when they died. Yet, her spirit guide was a gentle doe, with liquid dark eyes, and graceful motions.

Many winters, as Star Singer and Winter Moon squabbled happily; Winter Moon would mutter mock-angrily, “Woman!! I am not prey, nor an enemy, save Brother Eagle for those, and let the doe come and be with me.”

She would return in kind, “Man!!! If you wish it that way, then silence your Badger totem, and let me enjoy the company of your Swan spirit guide.”

They would laugh, embrace and then return to what they were discussing in greater harmony. Normally, such an unusual arrangement, four people, all unrelated and unwed in the same lodge was not done. But, the arrangement worked so well, in many ways for these four, that it was accepted fully.

Star Singer came slowly from her tipi, carrying two buffalo hides stitched together and stuffed with fur, and a blanket that was soft and almost furred by age and washing. Her dress, legging and moccasins were beaded in blue and white, with the constellation of Star Woman prominently displayed.

The children shouted joyous and loving welcomes to Star Singer, she was know throughout The People for her generosity, kindness, and gentleness with children. There was not a child in The People that had not sought the comfort of Star Singer’s lap when they frightened or hurt.

Star Singer smiled, two crooked teeth were all she had left in her mouth, and they were worn small. She waggled her tongue at the children between the teeth, and her face crinkled with delight when the children laughed at her antics.

“I suppose all of you wish to hear the Star Woman Song?” Star Singer knew what the answer would be before she asked.

“YES!!!” Many voices shouted this gleefully. The Tradition of Singing of Star Woman first had begun when these childrens’ grandparents were sitting at Star Singer’s fire, hearing the Songs. Over ten Summer Gatherings it was always Star Woman Song that was requested first. What had begun as chance was now Tradition, and a comforting Tradition at that.

Star Singer settled on her buffalo hide cushion and wrapped frail-seeming shoulders in her blanket. The children moved as close as possible, everyone was surrounded by a glow of warmth and anticipation.

         “It was in the winters
          Before The People
          Came into being
          That Star Woman Came.
          She saw Mother Earth
          And thought her lonely.

          All praise Star Woman.

          Star Woman spoke to
          The Great Sprit of this.
          He agreed, Mother Earth
          Needed children to love.
          Together Great Spirit
          And Star Woman
          Fashioned The People.

          Brother to the wild things.

          From the dust of the Stars
          From the Oceans made them.
          Gave them life with
          A warm breath from
          White Tatanka’s mouth.

          Awaken, Great Spirit’s children.

          Blessed them with
          Plenty, and faith.
          Set them in a good land.
          Made us caretakers
          Of our Mother Earth.

          Walk softly on our Mother.

          Great Spirit spoke to them,
          ‘Care well for your Mother,
          Love her, keep her happy.’
          I will watch over you,
          And shine upon you.

          Great Sprit’s first promise.

          In times of great trouble,
          I will return to you,
          And never abandon you.
          You are my children,
          Born of the dust of the stars
          And the tears of Mother Earth.

          Heed Great Spirit’s words.”

As Star Singer sang she pointed to the heavens, blanketed with innumerable stars and worlds. Often, she would draw in the soft dirt; figures of Star Woman, Mother Earth and Great Spirit, then draw the stars that were Star Woman.


Written by gwenguin1

September 8, 2006 at 9:17 am

Song of the Stars-part 1

with 2 comments


The People had met for their Summer Gathering at this place as far back as could be imagined. Trickster’s Lodge was the perfect place, it had good hunting, fresh water, plenty of space and firewood.

Trickster’s Lodge was a massive up thrust of volcanic rock towering over the plains and forest below. Legend said that Trickster, in his great vanity, had begun to build a tower to reach the Stars and trap Thunderbird in the lodge he had made.

However, when Great Spirit and Star Woman saw this, they knew that Thunderbird should never be a prisoner. Together, Great Spirit and Star Woman turned Trickster’s Lodge to stone so that he would never trap Thunderbird in his lodge, and to remind The People that vanity was foolish, and dangerous.

Star Singer was ancient, perhaps ten tens of winters old, she still made the trek to Summer Gathering, and was revered for her wisdom and generosity. She still stood straight, and could walk all day and not complain.

She had outlived three husbands, and four of her children had gone to be with Great Spirit, her grandchildren’s’ children were beginning to wed and have children, so she never suffered for food or a warm lodge in the winter.

In the summer months, Star Singer had a fine tipi, near the Chief’s tipi, with two granddaughters bringing her food and water every day. During the daylight hours she slowly, carefully painted the Star Songs on a white buffalo hide that her eldest grandson, Many Wolves, had given her.

At night, however, she was in great demand by all of her People. Star Singer knew all of the Star Songs, and would sing until moonset, if she were asked. The children would gather at Star Singer’s feet, everyone sitting on their own hides, and wrapped in blankets against the dewfall.

When they were all comfortable, and relaxing, Star Singer would begin, in her rich voice she would sing to the children, and draw in soft dirt to illustrate the Songs. She used a fine stick of Ironwood that the old Chief had gifted her with many winters ago.

That was the winter that his firstborn son, Bull Battles, was stricken ill and everyone feared they would lose him. Star Singer had sat by his side, nursing him and singing the Star Songs to him in a low voice. Bull Battles eventually recovered and went on to be a great hunter and wise leader.

Bull Battles’ father, now an Elder, was called Sun Shadow, his brother Winter Moon was still the Shaman, and the Shamans of the other clans all bowed to his wisdom and advancing age. Sun Shadow had traded with Western Desert People for the Ironwood stick to gift Star Singer with.

They had arrived at Summer Gathering a scant day ago, tonight children would begin to gather around Star Singer’s tipi, awaiting evening and the first night of many spent stargazing and asking questions of Star Singer.

This year, Speaks Loudly, the youngest son of Hunting Hawk, would be going on his first real Hunt. Star Singer was not surprised at his behaviour about approaching manhood. He had been boastful and goaded by pride since he first began to speak. Time had only worsened this, and it was common knowledge that Speaks Loudly would never be a Chief, or even Hunt Leader because he was so prideful.

Hunting Hawk’s eldest was a daughter, and while this could have been bad medicine for him, the daughter, Sky Eyes Woman, was born with blue eyes, that had stayed blue as she grew up. The big medicine of her blue eyes made Hunting Hawk well liked and he earned the respect of the Elders and Chiefs.

Sky Eyes Woman had begun to listen to Star Singer when she was barely two winters old. She would climb fearlessly into Star Singer’s lap and lean her head to a withered breast.

Sitting thus she not only heard the Song, she felt it too, and it moved her spirit greatly. She begged to study with Star Singer, and Hunting Hawk could not say no to his adored daughter.

So it was that Sky Eyes Woman spent her childhood living with Star Singer and being her acolyte. Sky Eyes Woman was blessed with a clear, high singing voice and it blended perfectly with Star Singer’s.

She knew that tonight the children would beg, as always, to hear of Star Woman, and see Her in the sky over Trickster’s Lodge. Star Singer knew this also, and spent her day in quiet tasks and sipped on hot tea made of liquorice root, honey, and dried elderberries.

The Medicine Woman, Rising Moon, had taught Sky Eyes Woman how to make the liquorice root tea, and Sky Eyes Woman had added Star Singer’s favourite, the elderberries to make it even more palatable for Star Singer.

The bond between Star Singer and Sky Eyes Woman went far deeper than simply teacher and student, and woman-to-woman, their spirits were as one many times, and together they had big medicine, good medicine.

Winter Moon was heard to say, “The good medicine of Star Singer and Sky Eyes Woman is so great, it has blessed all of our people.” Daughters were expected to marry, yet Sky Eyes Woman had remained unwed, preferring the company of Star Singer, Winter Moon, and Winter Moon’s son, Falling Stars.

For a long time, people made bets as to when Sky Eyes Woman and Falling Stars would wed. Both parties were nearly ten and ten winters old, old to be unwed, and childless. Within that circle of four agreements had been made.

Sky Eyes Woman would indeed marry Falling Stars, but not until Winter Moon and Star Singer could live together, as neither child wanted to leave the Elder they loved deeply. Star Singer and Winter Moon loved one another, but neither wanted to forgo the autonomy of living alone.

They tried very hard to get along for love of Falling Stars and Sky Eyes Woman, but they were both too old and set in their ways. They were happy in their arguments, never loud or angry, no, their fights involved much laughter and teasing.

As the winters rolled by they had mellowed, and now were dear friends, that could share a pipe and fire in companionable silence. The past winter they had all lived Star Singer’s fine lodge, the camaraderie and love almost palpable in the firelight that danced on their lodge’s walls.

Now that summer had come, it would be time for Falling Stars and Sky Eyes Woman to wed, when they could retreat and be the two of them only for a time and not worry after Star Singer or Winter Moon. At Summer Gathering, many hands vied for the honour of serving Star Singer and Winter Moon, so they would be well-cared f0r.

Posted by Gwenguin

Written by gwenguin1

September 7, 2006 at 10:05 pm

Passibly Old

with 2 comments


I was late for the mornin’ palaver, (broken gate hinge needed fix-up)
so missed some of the warm-up
to gittin’ Chester and Tommy Lee
a flappin’ arms and grittin’ teeth. (they be fishin’ buddies)

“she got to go cus her boy says so!” (lot of words for Chester)

“Them Wilson’s been up ta ridge fer
two hunart years passin’, an’ if Jess
hear the wild goose call to move ta
flatland –
well, his opinion don’t weigh much” (he lost to Jess in wrestle match)

I stood there lookin’ blank, and Squire
opinioned I should be filled in so as ta
pick sides er wander off. (Seems Squire playing judge)

Came to be that Auntie Bess had
received a letter from young Jess Wilson,
who had moved the city a spell back.
He wanted her help in packin’
Granny Wilson down to be put in some nursin’
home fer carrin’, now that old Gus
was planted in the garden rather then
tuther way ‘round. (Jess didn’t come atall fer burin’)

Now likin’ Granny or not was not important,
any more than carrin’ for that boulder in
the middle of the road – just was. There
never had been a time ‘memberin’ when
she wasn’t rockin’ on the porch of her cabin
first light and after stars were out. Never did
nuthin’, said nuthin’ or hurt nuthin’ (so I’ve been told)

“Ain’t like we’ll miss her none.” (Fercus was young and didn’t count)

“Maybe yer mom will be next smarty” (won’t own up to that)

I listened for an hour or so and found
that there were as many sides as people,
and none quite the same – but seemed
a tilt toward there being something wrong
about removing a person from the only
home they had ever known.

Then the Parson ambles by and acts
like he knows everything that’s been said.

“Anybody ask Granny what she wants?”

Now Auntie Bess give out a hee-haw
from over the wash tub works – and
pretend Judge Hawkins look sheepish. (think he was nappin’)

Everyone turns to gaze at the porch,
knowin’ Granny has been hearing every word,
or hearin’ nuthin’ fer bein’ plumb deaf.

Parson calls out, “Well Granny –
you want to stay here with all yer friends,
er go down to that nice city place?” (Granny quits rockin’)

“Hear they have regular meals, ‘n nurses
to fuss over ya, and a fine bed with sheets,
‘n a TV goin’ all the time, ‘n Bingo playin’,
‘n indoor plumbin’ too.”

Granny leans over the rail and points
her shakey walkin’ stick at Will. (he runs the store)

“An’ whose goin’ ta watch the town fer ya?”

She sits back down and starts rockin’ again (chair never stopped)

Just then young Jeb Barlow brings Granny
a plate of fixins and a mug a cider.

“How long ya been doin’ that?” asks Chester

“Couple a years since Granny alerted Will
that my brother Ben was a thrashin’ ‘bout
in the creek there that Sunday.”

“Yeh, I remember her whackin’ that railing
something fierce – thought the windmill had
broken a gear again.” (Tommy looked strange)

“and Bess has been doing her washin’
fer ever too – says she feels safe with
the kids playin’ in the yard there with
Granny rockin’ watch.” (Squire speaks up)

Then folks start sharin’ how other towns
have problems with petty thievin’,
and fightin’ dogs in the street,
‘n kids just lazin’ around the store.

Then Tommy Lee makes a speech –
standin’ on the boulder with a thumb
in his shirt. (Get’s a nod from the Parson)

“I don’t know what old means, I guess –
I’m not up to what I used to be doin’,
but don’t plan to just do nuthin’ – be nuthin’.
I learned ta read from my Grandma
‘n know she would withered away without
doin’ her part with cookin’ and fixin’.
So I guess it’s a question of getting’ rid
of all old folk – or appreciatin’ them all.”

“Maybe them city people are just afraid
of thinking about dying.” (Chester just lost his pa)

“Maybe with all those ‘lectronic gadgets
they’re already dead inside” (Fred appeared from no where)

“Hey Granny. You ain’t shkeert a dyin’
are you?

“Not yet!” (She’s smilin’ first time I remember)

“Hey Parson – what ya have to say?” (Squire just Squire again)

but the Parson is already down the trail –

I show them a note he had scrawled
on a piece of bark.

“All or nothing at all”

Must be in scripture some where.

Written by faucon

August 18, 2006 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Maternal Ancestors

Grandma Simple

with 5 comments

Mary Honora Muller nee Sullivan was born in Genoa, Nevada, USA in 1888. Her one goal later on was to be the oldest living native Nevadan – failing by two month when she died in 1983. She did not marry until thirty-one years old, so I did not know her until she was ‘totally old’ – a shrunken, gray lady with knee length hair and quirky ways. Even in her nineties she chopped her own wood and rode a bicycle everywhere. She supported herself (raising two sons alone) by taking in laundry and hand-ironing shirts for those who cared about such fineries – six State Governors among them. I’m afraid her grand children didn’t give her much respect, and my dad never speaks of here at all – don’t know why.

Imagine having experience the first airplane flight and also seeing men walk on the moon. Remembering when electricity was not considered safe for home use and figuring out how to bake cookies in a microwave. Having letters from friends who had died in five different wars! Being so afraid on her wedding night she hid in a closet until 3 AM. Consider not being able to read from age 14-23 because no glasses were available. Picture a small home with over 8,000 books in it when she died – in seven languages self-taught, though even her sons did not know…

for she never started a sentence with ‘I think’, and never said a harmful word about any living soul, and never knew much love, I guess –

as she had never learned how –

but conquered everything in its turn just because that is what living is …

so much I do not understand – too late to ask.

I never saw you cry – rarely heard you laugh; but I saw you dancing in the garden once when you thought you were alone …

and I burned those love letters like you asked, grandma

every one …

Written by faucon

August 15, 2006 at 5:11 pm

Posted in Maternal Ancestors