Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud

Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud: Clean!

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: August 6, 2009
Awarded: August 6, 2009

I could see, that he was thinking,
and knew, I should not be there
but, there was such a sickness inside me,
such a need, within my heart.

Why I kept wondering,
had they, sent me to this place
so far, from what I knew
no water, to cleanse my spirit.

Seventeen winters, I was
thinking I, was a grown man
hiding here should be easy
far, better than the schools.

The shadows around him were deepening
yet, I could not pull my eyes away
I knew, there would be trouble
they would say, my duty I neglect.

This strange dry place drew me;
filled with mystery, and power
today, was the first time
I had seen, a living human here.

Plenty of odd creatures,
snakes, lizards, scorpions, and such;
shifting whispers of ancients
that those others never seemed to hear.

It was scouting that first brought me
searching for my own kind
trying to find their hideouts
then, reporting signs to Sarg.

The sands were blowing gently,
adding to the dark,
tiny stinging grains, of living thought
the very mountains moving, with each gust.

Why, was he so still, how could he ignore
the heat had been suffocating
and he, had not once broken sweat
not even a shrug, against the ants, and flies.

Chills hit my spine, my bowels turned to water
a soft lilting tune, gentle as a flute
seemed to rise from no where
surrounding me with memories not mine.

Slowly, silently, his head turned
he looked deep into my eyes,
one hand lifted, pointing to Father Sky
above, there was Eagle, drifting like a dream.

Down came the other hand, pointing below
capturing the Earth, sifting it through his fingers
allowing the winds, to return it to the ground
old lips pursed, to continue the tune.

Placing both hands beside him, he stood
turning full to face me, he beckoned me to come
though my legs trembled, forward I was pulled
tenderly, he reached out, and touched my head.

Do not fear, child of the forests, were his words
kin we are, though distant, your Peoples
have walked these hills before,
listen, to their whispers, as they welcome you.

Those things I learned that day, are mine;
many, will never be told beyond my dreams
who I am, there is no question
Creator’s plan, I will always obey.

A child, who thought he was a warrior,
learned a simple truth that day;
killing does not make you brave, nor does dying;
it is the living, and the life you live, that makes a difference.

Clean I was, without water, though that, he showed me too
in those ancient canyons, that to unega brought such fear
tracking my own was wrong, hunting them into the ground
no, not one movement to report, was what I told to Sarg!

… as told by my grandfather