Shoshone Muse

Return to the place where You began

and know it for the first time

said the Muse of the hills

She of stone, witness of weather

Keeper of the ways of time

whispered deep: Feel and weep

Let your tears paint the earth

with salt and sweet release

to merge in sand, soil and rock

Be grateful

Life is your work

You, maker of art

need only master certain skills

before you can walk away

While  I, Keeper of Time,

stand here before sun, moon,

and seasons

constant, harsh and soft

wearing me down

to scoured bones of stone


Submitted to: Poetry Potluck



Filed under Poetry, Travel

6 responses to “Shoshone Muse

  1. trish wentling

    Imagery captured my senses. Beautiful writing!

  2. Thank you Trish – the bones of the earth were visible everywhere in Shoshone National Forest, whether as vertebral ridges, or yawning faces with expressions hard and wise. Most haunting of all were the full figures of people – not frozen, since the shadows cast by a rising or setting sun appeared to make them almost breathe. Perhaps they do. I’m sure I heard a sigh or two…

  3. Amazing what we can see if we really start to look more with our emotions than with our eyes.
    Our fav cove where we used to walk seemed to change after every winter. The rock face (to me) held so many Native american faces in them and every spring due to winter storms, and freezing temps, more of it would crumble away and yet, new Native American faces would appear. Amazing!
    This reminded me of that, beautiful prose from your broken pen.

    • Hi Daydreamer! Yes – isn’t it fascinating how new life is born – even from rocks – I love your description. You reminded me of Elk Lake in Victoria, B.C. where we used to live. Every day the lake did the same thing – it wore a different face, depending on the light, the weather, the season – and sometimes I felt spirits hovering just above the water in the evening. One night I heard them chanting and swore I could hear their paddles dipping into the lake as they chanted. I ran outside, hoping to catch a glimpse of ghostly figures… much to my surprise, there were Native Americans on the lake (not ghosts – these were very much alive people) in their massive hand-carved canoes, chanting as they worked in synchronicity stroking, dipping, pushing against the water – maybe 12 men to each canoe. It was thrilling to watch – I had shivers going up and down my spine. What a wonderful sight! I ran down to the water and jumped into my own canoe, paddled for all I was worth, trying to catch up to them – but they were way too fast. Even so, it was a magical evening. Thank you for sparking that memory.

  4. Aww what a wonderful memory, too. I have a photgraph of this cliff face somewhere and will try to find it and email it to you so that you can see for yourself. If not I have a short video of it, too, but, I don’t think it shows as clearly as the photograph. Like yourself, I think everything is alive, including even rocks and stones. I did an entry a while ago called Water, wind and stone, too.
    Such a pleasure to meet a like minded spirit.

  5. Remarkable, isn’t it?..these faces in stone, what a lot they’d have witnessed as they watched the seasons go by. ..centuries perhaps..On how many thousands of nights would they have struck up silent conversations with the stars, sighing hopelessly at the foibles of human beings, mocking our ignorance and then perhaps praying for our deliverance with their compassionate hearts. Standing there, in their stoic stillness, patient , proud and constant. Thank you for this poem. it really makes one reflect.

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