Wolf Moon

This song is about how white folks have trampled our continent, it’s original inhabitants, and the people we enslaved. Among other things. I’ve always been struck by how the First People had descriptive names for the things in their world – this is especially true for their markings of the time of the year by moons – I’ve only extrapolated a little.

Up among the lodgepole pine you can hear the grey wolf call
There’s barefoot children with nothing but their dreams to keep
Down in the valley where the bitterroot runs
Where the cottonwood whispers when the day is done
There’s a song you can hear when you’re lost in sleep
Someone signed a paper, someone shook a hand
Someone made a promise, never meant to stand
The past trapped in the present, tomorrow’s just someone’s plan
But the dreams song’s still here, written on the land

Wolf moon
Sailing in the sky
Wolf moon
The ancient wind just cries
Wolf moon
There’s hunger and cold
It’s midnight in the land of bought and sold

Down on the rim of the low country the waves unravel skeins
Of the broken rhymes of the dark-skinned troubadours
There’s rainbow fish in shackles, fortune tellers’ sons
On the wrong side of the locked and lovely doors
Servants sweep the sand away brought in by the storms that play
With brooms made on the lost highway by the children of ones who stayed
The stars are turning slow and long, unholy empire’s almost gone
The hurricane weaves its quiet eye toward castles in the sand


Moon of falling leaves
Moon of blossom
Moon of corn
Moon of shaking trees
Moon of thunder
Moon of storm
Moon of planting
Moon of bone
Moon of hunger
Moon of stone
Moon of blindness
Moon of loss
Moon of gold that’s turned to dross
It’s all turned to dross

Loose change in my pocket, life leaking like a sieve
I stick my thumb out and hope for honesty
The road runs ‘cross the prairie like some river seeking grace
Like a tinpan song from sea to shining sea
The mountains call, the desert cries
The woodlands sing, the marshes sigh
Ten thousand year old dance band still wheezing out a tune
The wind turns to the waiting world, the broken song remains unfurled
Waving into every moment like a dream that’s gone too soon


© Bill Harley, all rights reserved. Reprints with permission only.


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