Some say that when you find a topic that catches your eye, you will write about it in different ways once, twice, thrice, maybe nine! Here’s one I’ve written as prose and now as poetry. Each time, it is the memory that I wish to convey.
An elder speaks in solemn tones:
In spring when leaves are full
and bark slips away,
select a stalk of devil’s club.
Cut it to fit your grip.
Carefully peel the evil thorns.
For a season, cure the naked staff.
Use a shoulder blade of a deer,
to bone it smooth and dense.
Wrap your handhold with rawhide,
string amulets of beads and hips.
Quietly, take your walking stick
through the river’s shadowy thickets.
Listen as the inner spirit speaks.
Feel your walking stick’s magic
as the evil spirits steal away.