The Shaman’s Dream

Lightning bolts struck my oars
As rowed the seven-colored sky
Seeking a cure.

I sprang from a bolt’s rib to vault the moon; steadied
On the tree’s top-most,
Star-whittled branch.

My feet became talons; my scalp
An iron cap.

Wings spread from the cap’s well-etched brim; soaring

I rose amid sea-rounded spirits; plumage
Changing shade and shape.

These spirits whispered chants; preened
My crest, vowed to remain
In the skin of my drum.

I vowed to rise when rain fell
From the sheen of their bones; wear cloud-grey shells
They offered.

When thunder woke me,
My soaked cap scented of pine;
Blood caked my hands.

Shadows of wing, talon and beak
Had reshaped mine.