Week Fifty-Two: Audio.

Track for Week Fifty-Two is available for listening, concluding The Year of the Buffalo.

1 Hand

The Ninth Hand Regenerates

Is a result
Is the reconciliation
of thought to deed
Of this world to that world
Of yours to that outside
And that woody grove
outside to that of yours
To mine
To ours

The trees bending
The wheat ascending
A sweat lodge
A house of stone
and mud

and the gaping sky
all show
all are
the perfect show

The Good Knowledge may not be counted
It may not be quantified
Except by those who diligently
By those
Who make bread
From stone
And gold
From lead

and they
count in silence
grinning buffalo grins
with this kind of pure, bright honesty
that shames the wicked
the greedy – those Ugly Sorcerer Kings
who shroud themselves
in gild and gloss
and speak in jilted tongues
Work is their undoing
Work here is understood
To mean labor
To mean sweat
You know

No wealth goes to heaven
But real gold does come
From it

Gnosis is born
When the symbols are stripped
Of all but the purest form
The angels all go wingless

And yet
They fly


The owl upon the bough
That hangs upside down
In the underneath, in the skies above
Hails from five horizons
One for each of the cardinal four
Plus one
His name is Hermetic
He heralds
the end of night
which is ignorance
and the hate-filled heart

But ignorance
Is the best place
To start



the everwar and all that rage
are going to melt away
are melting away

The everwar and all that rage
can't disprove the sweetgrass sage
that brushes your horns

that brushes down
your horns


Here my right hand
is almost blue for the cold
My left all knucklebone
But upon that bone
A ring doth make it gold

Four horizons, yes
But more than four:
There’s five

And upon that starry point
A tower
Once trapped me
A tower does arise

But from the snow’s
Mournful glory
Out of the misty morn

Patience, patience, patience

Out of the dewy darkness
Yes, from shadow
She returns
From shade purple
There: she’s reborn

A patch of blood
A whiff of sage

Patience, patience, patience
I have lain with patience
Sat with such patience
so a diamond hole has burned
my skull
and split my forehead
so I am become again

Each man births himself
With knowledge
Each one is born
or dies

upon his choice
upon his deeds

is born or dies

a cycle
I don’t mind it
a cycle
she comes to bear
And bearing
Makes it worthwhile
The worth
Upon my shoulders
The earth

As I stare

Patience, patience, patience
Just one whispering breath
from her rose lips unsealed
Returns me to this place
That I have not left
For three days and three

Unable now to drum
Tired worn
For I have drummed
And drummed

Eyes squinted at the snow
Snowblind squinting
At the sun

Eyes stared down groves
of dying doughboy smiles
of graves popping from the ground
like tulips
like roses
like snowflakes fall
till I have taken the road
to Babylon
and back again
dripping want of wealth
and power
and lusting
after lust itself

Knowing this all has been
Inside my mind
In the past but born anew
From hunger, from rage
From thirst to this my age
I’ve grown afraid to move
for fear of the bones withal

No illusion now
This drummed up daughter
This maiden of the sun
There she stands
That liberating
Bloodied one

Whose face I shot
On a bet from the Sorcerer
Whose face I could not stand
To see

That countenance
Wide open
Not beautiful
for no beauty is so terrible
as the face of that which makes us

that is she
that is she

In sunlight
Is moonlight
In moonlight
Is the sun

I am that I might be undone
and in my undoing
give forth this lodge’s thrum

that’s rung in my ears
and hummed and hummed

Drum back the
Drum back the
Drum back the fallen ones

But to finish it
To be done with it
To sweat out the hardened
To reconcile
To heal the left hand
Is not easy

when one is too tired
to drum
and one’s bones too weary
to stand

from guilt, from a wounded hand
from cold, from a wounded hand

This thing has been the end of me
That much I know

She repeats
as she comes

Patience, patience, patience

I’m nearly unbelieving
Nearly but not so
Now she kneels to one knee
Now the other one
Her head above of me
She kisses my blasted hand

One kiss
for the beast’s eyes
One now for the beast’s great heart
A third then for the beast’s
Soft ears
And again for the beast’s
wise pelt
Then again
A fifth
For the beast’s
Will to stand
That will
To rise again

There are no killers
There are only boys
There are no victims
There are only the low
And lonely

And so I will sing
So I will sing
As you drum the bones
to war
that special war
Take your hands
Both of them
And drum

Drum back the dead bull down

There are no victims
There are no sins
There are only lovers
And lovers grinning
Cheshire grins
Of pacifism
Of wild wisdom
Burning out old sins

And of the lovers
The best are those that hold
There are only whims

The rich are made for dying
as the poor are built to rise

There are no chieftains
There are no kings

and so I will sing
as you drum
I will sing

Drum back the earth, do plow
Drum back the dead bull down


Each kiss
Makes a finger
And each finger
Makes a grip
I am armed again
and hands
are made to work
and drum
and war
Ours the special war
That gives life


That reconstitutes
Those alabaster
Like leavening
Does the dough

One at a time
They rise
First the skull
Then the spine
Like a snake
The hips
The thighs
The wide shoulder-bones
To the drumming sound

a bony Babylon
but one that speaks
a stony Byzantium
but one that lives right now

to the drumming sound

Shake these bones to life
We shall set them loose

Quickly now
As the noon draws nigh
Let’s release
the drummed back schism
those bones that once were shorn

Which point shall it go for war?
Against princes?
Against the east
The west
The south
The north?


That is not
his war

There is yet a fifth point
Occluded now by the long
Shadow of the sun
In which stands
That Sorcerer
who hides
from the raging bones

His hands outstretched
He still now demands
That you bow
And bowing
your fealty show

The tower beyond him

For now
We have released the bull


This glad war is fast won
For the Sorcerer
Is a shadow
The bull runs through
Heedless on its course
To the tower

Which truly
Must be
Its enemy

Its running is a roar
Its roaring
Shakes the earth
Shakes the snow
It runs toward the tower
And upon the very moment
Of the sun’s rising to the
Noon-Bright hour

Yet the tower
Does not fall
For the tower
And the bull


My eyes do see
Now my hands
Cross over my breast

The sweat
Drips down my face
As I emerge from the lodge
To stare

There is no tower

Just a sloping ridge
And the sun
At an angle
Seems to bend it

And upon the ridge and horizon
A white-clothed buffalo stands
As regal as any peacock billionaire
As wise as any sage
As great as any king
As sure as any man

At my left foot
A knife
At my right
A satchel
And a rose
is my heart
and my heart
is my life

When I cannot go on
It works
And makes me
Again and again

I rise

and I say

and I sing


An eye can be a prayer and
I am civilized; thou are beastly so
Thou are beastly eyed and lustful, lost
I shall come to know you thus
And from this we shall turn to blows

One hand takes the other
I raise them to the sky
Beyond, the buffalo’s breath
Rises, and in the air
Burns white hot
Smoky spirit from the beast’s
Great mouth

And the same rises
From mine

As I drum
I sing
and thrum

My heart's beating is a throne

Drum back the dead bull down
Drum back the dead bull