River of Rage

Some years ago it was necessary to accept and embrace my personal beast within (an ongoing process) thereby bringing a level of balance to the whole. Diving deep and with words streaming onto paper without hesitation … it was a day of miracles, spirit gifting and strong healing.


Swift, deep and dark runs the River of Rage.
Bless me now,
    cleanse me with sweetgrass and sage.

Come, dear Grandfather and lend me your knee,
To sit ‘neath your wisdom while learning to see
– how the water roils down to the great cavern keep,
– where what lives there is sullen and never asleep.

Please tell me, Grandfather, in words warm with love,
How must I now raise this worn creature above?”
Grandfather sat tall in his old cane back chair,
‘side the window that looked on eternity there.

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From my place at his knee, I looked into his face,
While his slow, quiet voice said, “It isn’t a race
– to bring up what lies in those caverns within,
– filled so richly with lessons the Medicine wins.

Be kind to it, child…the great beast living there,
For it feeds on what you send down river to share.”
I sat in the stillness, head still on his knee,
Feeling loved beyond words as he sat there with me.

His face was warm gold in the window’s soft glow,
And with rustle of skins, his hand raised toward me slow.
As he lifted my chin to look strong in his face,
He said, “Must you know more, child, while here in this place?”

“Grandfather, I must know one thing ‘fore I wander,
On back to my home, in that life over yonder.
Will it come with me willingly into The Wheel,
To confront and caress it, and bring it to real?”

Grandfather’s full love flowed warm down over me,
And I knew his next words would lead me more to see.

“Dive deeply, my child, in the River of Rage.
Swim strongly and free from the old mental cage
That envelops us, binds us, and holds us so taut,
When it needn’t be so, as it’s only for naught.

It waits for you there, in a way most surprising.
The love it feels for you is raw – no disguising.
This beast is so lonely, and wants to be with you,
To integrate, balance, and sing praise for rescue.

As you rise in the still-pool, within the dark keep,
Adjust to the dark – you will find it asleep.
But not so! For the glint of its eyes will bring light,
To this darkest of places, so far beyond night.

Red scales shine like fire licks, low glowing as embers.
Its wings rustle soft as it fights to remember.
The snarling that greets you is loud, long and strong.
Fear not, child, run toward it. You’ve done nothing wrong.

Midst stomping, fire-breathing and tail thrashing, too,
Burns a flame in its belly, a longing for you.
Climb swift on its body, ride high on its back,
Wrap your arms ‘round its neck, steer its head toward the track.

Toward the still-pool you entered, you both must take flight.
You’ll know it succumbs when its scales cool to white.
Slide into the still-pool, merge quick with the River.
Push hard and break water to see the great sliver.

Grandmother Moon shines on The Medicine Wheel.
The goal for both travelers to rest, share and heal.

The large, lonely beast rises slow from the deep.
Curled warm in the wing down, the warrior’s asleep.
Dirge walking, exhausted, its scales glistening white,
It centers itself in The Wheel, on this night.

On waking, the warrior finds joy in the knowing,
The center is won, and the Sacred Fire’s glowing.
Ancestors are present, the Council is High,
Much work to be done, child, for morning is nigh.”

Swift, deep and dark runs the River of Rage.
Bless me now,
    cleanse me with sweetgrass and sage.

~erb 2010

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