Saturday, October 04, 2008

Elegy for Jacob Bighorn

Lakota Man
(for Jacob Bighorn, d. Oct. 4, 2008)

There are many languages.
There are many colours.
Our rainbow leads to a pot of gold
upon which is written:

Allah'u'abha, Allah'u'abha, Allah'u'abha.

These are the magic words.
These are the chanted psalms
for this day, for every day.
These are words

like confetti, strewn by scattering angels
as you join the winged ones
blessing the weary world.

These are words offered
like the scent of smoke from sweetgrass,
like incantations heard as though from a distant room,
from a sky become water and back again.

Jacob, you climb that ladder
with the ease of a hunter,
with the ease of a master gatherer,
filling your strong arms with bouquets,
garlanded by Ridvan's messengers,
trumpets blowing the new pageantry and party:

Jacob is arriving, is breaching gates
carried by tears of pearl,
tears of joy wept by all these willing ones,
those whom you brought to story,
those whom you brought to prayer
and the power of the chanted incense,
the song you shared through the beating drum
of your stalwart heart:

Allah'u'abha, Allah'u'abha, Allah'u'abha.

Whom will you visit, in the dream world?
With whom will you tarry, offering words
and worlds, wisdom? Whose will be this
benediction, memory carrying us from here
to you in the spirit world, and back.

Pray for them, as they pray for you.

We're praying, Jake, we're singing,
good neighbours here below and there above,
rousing the chorus of forever more,
Jacob, yours forever more in this vale of love.