Tuesday, August 2, 2016

SPIRIT SPEAR By Lisa Galloway

It arrived in a modern day crate,
This warrior's spear, that didn't suit
An urban apartment, especially with
Such a barbarian, such a brute.

The warmth of the wooden shaft,
With generations of symbols decorated
Faded into chill of death
In 'hunter's' hands its honor berated.

"My God," he said in a reverent whisper,
The reverence never touching his soul.
Admiring eagle feather adornments he'd
Never earned, just bought, honor he stole.

Each bead attached with a prayer,
To the spear's shaft meant for an honorable man
Tipped with skillfully napped flint
That he hadn't worked with his own hands.

Hands that had never created –
Never honor wrought,
Never protected a family,
Or a life and death battle fought. 

Never protected a frightened child
Or stayed a woman's fears. 
Never put food on a table
Or kissed away a baby's tears. 

He just brought them into the forest
Wreaking senseless, dishonorable death
For just the sport of killing
No prayer o'er the animal's last breath.

Outside in the air, his brother watching
And learning frivolous, deadly deeds
The so-called hunter practiced
On pelt-covered dummy in the weeds.

Striking between the dummy's eyes,
That were as dead as the 'hunter's' soul
His brother thrusting fist in air
As if his sibling were warrior bold. 

Again and again his brother cheered,
Envisioning the death his brother would wreak,
Would never learn honor, meaning, respect
Or the animal's forgiveness to seek.

He grabbed up the rope of the make-believe beast
And dragged it across the ground
The spear rocked it, thudding into its neck
Animal spirits cringing at the sound.

Cheering each other the brothers fought
An animal that couldn't fight back
Just as the live ones in the woods
Were outmanned and outgunned to be hacked.

It's just a game with the human beasts
Bringing death to whatever life
They encounter in the depths of the woods
Without apology or prayer for bringing strife.

While the 'hunter' had honed his skills
In his yard with the dummy beast
(More sensitive than he or his brother)
It was there that his hunter's luck ceased. 

In the forest with living creatures
He felt the spear warm in his hands,
Thought, finally, it's coming back to life
But prey seemed impossible to land.

Though he threw true, the spear would veer
Off wide and miss the kill. 
One buck so close, impossible to miss
Spear lodged in tree; no blood did spill.

The buck ran off never to be
Seen for the rest of the hunt.
And after two days, the hunter snapped
The shaft over his knee with a grunt. 

He cast it aside, and left the woods,
To go home and retrieve his rifle
And the spear glowed and healed itself
Awaiting a warrior who would not trifle

With its mystical powers bestowed upon
Its tip of flint and shaft of ash
Beneath the detritus it slipped
Awaiting a warrior not so rash

Who lived with honor and respect
For every living thing
When such a person came into the wood
The spear for him or her would sing. 

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