“The Hills and the Apache”
The hills and the Apache
A Poem by Coyote Poetry
An old poem when I was seeking who I was. Written in 1992.
The hills and the Apache
I had a bottle of good tequila. A bag of some fresh lemons.
I drove for three hours to the California fault line.
Do some free-climbing and drink till I didn’t give a shit.
On my walk into the mountain.
An old Native American begin to walk with me.
He looked at me. Told me. “You have come a long way.
Learn so little. I want to sit with you. Maybe we can learn from each other.”
I told the man my name. My name is John. Just a soldier trying to forget.
The old man reached out and took my hand.
Told me. “I’m an old Apache. An old man seeking friendship
and maybe we can share your magic juice. They call me White Buffalo”
I smiled and thought the man loco. But he looked safe. I told him he was welcome to
join my walk and drink the tequila.
He told me the story of tequila. “Tequila was once a plant for medicine. Could make the mind find it sorrow and pain. Now white man drink the medicine for entertainment.’
I took the old man to my secret waterfall. Hidden in between four hills. I have brought few to this spot.
White Buffalo told me. “This is a special place here. Captain Jack and his braves drank from this water many times in the past.”
He unhooked his small drums. Gently sang a prayer to the Native Americans who lived and died here. I listen to the prayer and wander into my thoughts.
The gentle tapping of the drum and the taste of the tequila made me think of people missed and lost on my journey to feel everything in life that can be felt. Faces of people gone appeared in my thoughts. I desired forgiveness for leaving so many. So many things left behind.
White Buffalo stopped playing the drum. Create a fire with some sticks and brought out a small pot. He put some water into the small pot. In a small bag he brought out some plants. I watched him break them apart and put them into the water.
He smiled and told me. “Today we will drink the ancient tea. We will watch the sun fall and rise. We will sing to the moon. We will become one with the waterfall and the mountain. We will become like the four hills. Able to take the pain and the burden of the seasons. Allow the pain and misery of yesterday to fade away.”
I drank the tea. The old man face faded in and out. He was singing to the mountain. I had dreams of my brothers. Their faces were laughing and whispering to me. “We are Okay. One day we will find us again.”
In the morning I awoke sitting against the rocks.
White Buffalo told me. ” Life is long. Easy for no-one. The spirit of your blood must come alive. Allow the anger to turn to strength. Do some good things and don’t repeat the same mistake twice. Your life must have direction. I love these hills and the waterfall. Some nights Captain Jack come to me. Whisper secrets of life and mystery. He told me. Native Americans must protect nature. We are responsible for the earth, the sky and the water.”
White Buffalo shook my hand. He gave me some stones and told me. “When anger overtake you. Hold the stones. Bring the anger into the stone and live with the spirit of peace and kindness.”
He left me alone on the cliff and waved goodbye to me. I wanted to thank him, but he disappeared quickly into the vast hills of the California fault line. I felt lighter and strong this morning. I saw the clear sky and felt a new desire to be alive. I knew greed and hate must leave my thoughts and life. I had to find a reason to be alive.
I still remember White Buffalo words. Native Americans must teach the people of this world. To protect the animal, the earth, the green and the water.. And the Children.