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Old 05-09-2010, 05:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1
Default James Riley's Collection

Hello. I came to this web site for help figuring out what kind of personal music playing device I should buy (posted in the “’Community Center’ ‘Introductions’” Forum). I saw this “Song Writing, Lyrics and Poetry” forum and thought I’d share some of my poetry. My pseudonym is “Charlie Cloud” and I used to post on Autumn Leaves but the owner, Sondra Ball, died. So I thought I’d put them up here. I don’t know how to write or play music. If anyone wants to put these to music (if they even can be) then I’d love to hear them when they are done. Maybe make me rich. LOL!


There is a birth of heart through weathered stone
Beneath the raptor’s nest alone
It belly-crawls it’s way back home
Over sand where we once roamed

I caught that heart in my glowing eyes
On it’s way to your demise
You see it too, now from the skies
Telling itself “I’m special” lies

Your brown-peace eyes on raven loan
Your meat and horn and brain and bone
Pray “Leave my skull on the Yellowstone
To feed the seeds that we have sown”

Well, it must have heard our silent cries
For what that silver tip had shown
For you maintain your earthen ties
And with the seeds, that heart has grown


I’m sitting naked on this hill top
In the center of a valley of kings
Three hundred thousand weak
I wonder
As we’re tilting toward the sun
Am I the only one
Who has come
To welcome


There is a lake high up in some mountains
In the land where the ghosts of the Sheepeaters dwell
It is directly above the center of our Mother Earth
In a place called Colter’s Hell

The lake receives dark forest walls
Once covered with snow and ice
So much it has, that in the Spring
It gives not once, but twice

For in the Spring to the rising Sun
It spills both day and night
Shortly after leaving though
The course cuts South and right

Then right once more, toward the Pacific
Through the Columbia and Snake
Go watery mountain messages
To the greatest of all lakes

And in the Spring to the setting Sun
Another spill goes forth
In equal time to the other side
Though heading right and North

Then right once more, toward the Atlantic
Through the Missouri and Old Man River
Go tons of silt and sediment
Fertility delivered

Each spill will set upon a course
Then quickly change its mind
First East then West, and West then East
But trailing love behind

For Isa Lake is where begins
The endless journey of a loop
Above, below, and on the Earth
It is a wet and Sacred Hoop

Not unlike the wedding ring
You find upon your hand
The waters hold the Earth as one
It is a marriage of the land

So place your hand in any ocean
Let your lover do the same
Feel the traveled snow and ice
The forest walls from which it came

Feel the ocean grab your hand
Feel it hug the Earth
Feel its cold insistent tug
Feel for all your worth

Through the salt and through the brine
Through the lapping of the waves
Through the endless keel of time
And all of Nature’s ways

Now you are the water
Both with hand and heart
Now you feel your lover there
Having never been apart

While this may seem a metaphor
It is very real
For when you touch the Sacred Hoop
All wounds of distance heal


No longer wild, no longer free
Domestic, you belong to me

But that sparkle in your eye
Makes my ownership a lie

No matter what that we have done
You are still another one

I know this now in empathy
As I watch your tragedy

Up the ally on your way
To where you’re going to die today

The smell of death and anxious fear
Now you fathom what is near

The bellows of the ones before
Who’ve past beyond the cold steel door

Still not sure, you stay in line
Past the gate a false light shines

If it is the worst to be
Time permits you fight or flee

But now the noise and sight to greet
A head-knocked friend slides at your feet

Any chance that it won’t be?
You look around most desperately

Too late, your Sacred Hoop spills on the floor
Down the drain to ever more


When you get older
You’ll discover a flaw
You’re sorely lacking
In tooth and claw

You’ll also find
You’re pink and bare
You’re sorely lacking
In fur and hair

But wobbling atop
Your tiny frame
You’ll also find
A great big brain

If properly used
It will suffice
To make some cloths
And a great big knife

Then you can trek
‘Cross Colter’s Hell
And return to us
With stories to tell

You’ll also return
With wisdom learned
From those who live there
On Her terms


Owyhee silence is the song of my bones
So deep, so low, so dark, so slow
It beats the sweat out of my hide over days
Stinging, burning, it pulls, tugs my ears up, over, out in front of my head
Searching for sound
Leading me, pulling me, toward that abomination of desolation, that civilization
Away from the sound of myself
Get me to that distant cloud, that I might hear breeze in the sage, rain on a rock, thunder, anything;
Quick, before I speak!


Only by making me ask how you could be
You cracked rock and made me happy
You actually had me looking at the man I called dad
I saw his eyes
Not long enough
But once at least

I should have smiled for him to see
Before he died
But he knew then
I smiled then
If only inside

And he’s not dead yet
He knows now
I smiled then
If only inside

I wonder if your still there
Holding little boys not otherwise held
If so, I bet you could hold a man now
Cradle me tree


I'll falter no more in declaration of this
This, the vision before me
All my fears have traced away
Here, where I have seen thee

Just south of the East Fork
On this Paiute sacred knoll
Over rock and rabbit brush
The Earth is hot and whole

There is no grief in heat of this present sense
In this, the August Owyhee
With forsaken waves of desert air
Peace is here, and within me

I tremble not in this sound around
Here, the silence caught
Atop this high and holy ground
Is the pitch that I have sought

I free my tongue to your pure blood
Your Sacred Hoop's sweet flavor
Above, below and on the Earth
Your fleeting rain is savored

And given here, your spirit soars
On breeze of sage and grass
Where Life and Death from tilted bow
Hurl scent of heaven past

Once more, ten thousand square miles
To the Big Springs crystal fountains
There, the Independence Range
And over Jarbidge Mountains

Fly atop the Shoshone sweep
And the Blue and the Grassy headlands
To Nevada's Santa Rosa reach
Up and down Owyhee Canyons

My heart grows huge and near as strong
Pray I earn my name
Please, save this sensing very long
That my children have the same
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