Monday, March 2, 2015

The Land of Bones

Through gates of wisdom we, 
most hopefully, step.
It is time for the dream of our life 
to be coming true,
for the being of all that we truly are
to flower.
Why wait?
Time is fleeting, faster 
by the hour.

I passed through the valley of elm and ash,
their branches entwined to form a protected path.
At the end of this path is the portal
to the land of bones.
I have the feeling
I am not alone.

Internally, I am shown,
where my journey lies.
I must cross this littered landscape,
with a seer's eyes,
find and pick up 
a backbone, a wishbone, 
a funny bone and
a hollow little bone*-
only the ones that are my very own.

Perched on a quaking limb,
a single prodigious egg sits in a nest.
I hear it crack, and then my quest
is blessed.
A thousand cranes lift up, into the sky.
I am granted the gift of Wonder,
and put it in my pack.

There be spirits here,
and there is no turning back.

Raven sits before me, huddled on the path.
She speaks a single gobble-cry to me,
then turns herself into Flight
without another sound.
Her flight path has teachings in it
for who we are:
citizens of earth,
grounded, yet sky-bound.

When she lands on a topmost scrag,
she points her wing into the forest dark.
I quake, but have no choice,
my inner guide informs.
When I pass through that dark Night,
I emerge into the morning light
It is frightening:
Nothing will ever be the same again.
It is liberating:
Nothing will ever be the same again.

When Raven calls to you, 
and points her feathery wing,
listen closely for the
message she will bring.

*Indigenous people believe these are the foundations of our being: backbone for strength, wishbone for dreams, funny bone for essential humor and a hollow little bone, for trust and faith in the Great Mystery.

It is also believed that all women came from the elm, all men from the ash.


  1. I really appreciate the way you have woven cultural threads throughout this narrative.

  2. Thanks for the note showing the links to indigenous beliefs in your area. I would have loved the journey anyway, but it's neat to see you belong to those traditions--or they have adopted you. To be gifted, guided, frightened and liberated/resurrected is the perfect journey asleep or awake. I hope that when I see the Raven wing pointing I will have sense enough to pick up and go.

  3. there is a bit of magic in this...when the raven calls we must listen...or we would bode well to listen...though the path may not be easy...and things may never be the same...

  4. The indigenous peoples of the Canadian west coast have long fascinated me, Sherry, particularly the Haida, but I must admit I saw more crows than ravens in the Vancouver suburbs.
    This is wonderful poem.

  5. The poem is a stream of realization flowing steadily and touching all the souls on its banks...humanity needs that blessing to possess that backbone, wishbone, funnybone and that little hollow bone...I LOVE the expression "prodigious egg"

  6. Okay, now this is my favorite of yours. I pick a new one every so often. This is mystical, enthralling, beautiful. I fell into the dream immediately, hypnotized by its prophecy. May the blessing be realized.

  7. I talk to the crows that crown the sitka spruce outside my door. not sure if they pay much attention to my squawking, though ~

  8. When the raven leads the way, one cannot go wrong in the following! When the raven speaks, it is wise to listen. I enjoyed this one, Sherry.

  9. The hollow bone is the tricky one I think... the quest continues! My post today is inspired by one of your previous poems, many thanks for the inspiration Sherry!! Always a delight to read your posts.

  10. Yes. I would listen if the raven spoke to me but they are very timid birds around here. But very beautiful.

  11. As frightening as that moment might be what a privilege to be chosen to receive the message. Wishful thinking is of course our dearest hope that we will find the right way eventually. Stunning as always Sherry.

  12. you have tapped into the indigenous way of weaving words too - a remarkable poem with sounds for added sense of being there - crack of prodigious egg; a single gobble-cry

  13. The natural world has so many gifts to give, of wisdom, endurance, beauty. I try to read the signs, always pay attention to the crows.

  14. Love the way you wrote it.. nothing will be the same again can really be experienced either as a frightening thing or an exciting one.

  15. Oh I love a path like this. The 4 bones was an intriguing and interesting, I feel that the spirit speaks in your poem

  16. And there be much wisdom and wit and knowing here...i love the verse which plays with the back bone, wish bone, funny bone..i love all the images and yes, i think we all have a guide we just need to learn how to find them...may you always soar xo

  17. No you are not alone, I am on the path--but you give me the information and images I need to know what is happening. What is my full flowering? I travel the path, occasionally blazing it minimally so as not to harm and not to ruin another travelers desire to discover for themselves. When they follow the raven.

  18. Loved the last stanza.. indeed the raven brings a message to which we should all listen :D
    Beautifully penned :D

    Lots of love,

  19. Oh the raven - yes the raven - a beauty this one Sherry ... to follow to into the Mystery...

  20. I love the symbolism of bones, especially backbone for strength, and how nicely you weaved the indigenous culture into your poem.

  21. I love the wisdom of the raven and valleys between ash and elm ~ I am keen to listen to the message ~ I too enjoyed this one Sherry ~

  22. I particularly find the last part powerful Sherry. Ravens could be an indication of good omen of sort. The entire piece is like a throwback, the culture and traditions of indigenous people should be understood.

  23. What a fantastic journey that speaks to the frailty but also strength of life. The Raven an excellent choice for this prose.

  24. I love the mystery of that valley of elm and ash. It reminds me of something out of Dante.

  25. Wonderful path I followed in this beautiful piece.

  26. great poem, love the chant-like rhythm it contains.

  27. Oh Sherry once again I am mesmerized here in your words...from the beginning...why wait the gathering of the bones....fabulous belief behind the raven pointing the way evan as fear overcomes us yet we must go onward toward our journey and dream. I look forward to raven's call!

  28. Ah it is wise to listen to the raven as it does carry a message. I have to say I do like the wish bone as it is symbolic of dreams and the dreamworld. One that I can relate to and the funny bone is a good one as well as humor lightens the journey. A friend of mine told me the ancient ones like to be entertained with stories and poems and they also believed that dreams contained signs to the waking life.

    Another great poem my friend..

  29. "I quake, but have no choice,
    my inner guide informs.
    When I pass through that dark Night,
    I emerge into the morning light"

    its all about trusting in the adventure:
    I enjoyed this flight of fantasy very much, so much truth,so much inspiration

    have a good Sunday and thank you for dropping in at my Sunday Lime

    much love...

  30. I like the connection "a single prodigious egg sits in a nest." with you, and the whole transformation happened to you in the forest; how the raven's cry you listen, hearing the wisdom..Great traditions, roots entwined in your poem with human responsibilities before nature!

  31. The cultural beliefs are so well narrated here in the poem...just wonderful... ^_^

  32. Beautifully woven, my traveling friend. Several places called to me to stop for a moment, sit and listen. And the raven, oh yes, the raven.


  33. The slip/slide rhyme at the end of each stanza works beautifully with the content. Another fantastic poetic ramble imbued with mythic lore and symbolism - replete with wonderful layers and nuances to contemplate along the way.

  34. A wise one and a trickster to guide you. A very interesting path to be put on. Great imagery.

  35. Reading it for the second time Sherry...what wise and heartfelt lines....

  36. Indigenous people always have such a wise way of looking at our existence. Love the way you incorporate their view of our origins and our paths here. This was such a good read.

  37. I had to read the poem aloud a couple of times because I love the sounds of your alliteration, ending rhymes, and internal rhymes. The beauty of the sound adds to the beauty of the imagery.

  38. Very beautiful, Sherry. I love your imagery! So rich and full of life :) I liked your note at the end, too.

  39. Oh... I am so eagerly waiting... Very nicely written!


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