Trotted past the four corners of the Colorado Plateau
fried along the panhandle of Oklahoma
and landed in a reservation in the southwestern corner of the state
my mind that is, traveling through stories, pictures, and dreams

Went back in time with author Julie A Jordan to the 1960’s
and heard echoes of old timers who’d been put through the wringer of change
somehow, they still acknowledged the spirit of place
possessed survival skills of ancient times
and shared what they knew with an open heart

After a good meal of such fine fare
it was my turn to burp and say thank you
I rose up to say goodbye
and left this little print in the well trodden grasslands

Theres a couple of leguminous trees in the Sonoran Desert that the locals use extensively. The first one is the honey mesquite. Its gives shade on sun beat trails, got pods good for eating, hard wood for darn near everything, and pliable strong roots for making rope.

Story goes that there was a dude who was getting ready to go somewheres

but he got to thinking too much, vacillating, contemplating, being wishy washy,

uh maybe, maybe not. perhaps after the sun goes down. but what if. well okay just one more bite to eat. procrastinating, putting it off till later, and so on.

he paused for just a little too long

by then old man coyote was done spinning, twisting, and rolling the fibers together into rope

and he hung the indecisive person with the mesquite cordage.

the end.

guess the moral of the story, if you want to call it that, is – just go!!!

Theres another legume tree that is awful hard, its called ironwood

it was the material of choice for harpoon foreshafts, hunting clubs, footballs, and bull roarers

its said that when the waters are rough in the estero, and you are paddling around in your lil balsa raft

you chew a mash of ironwood seeds, and spit it out onto the wind and waves

the waters would then calm down and be still

and you would be able to see your prey

this was taught to the Seri by the giants of ancestral times

I cant wait to try this one out, and spear a snapper or a crab

A couple of brothers, angry with their kin, left the village in the old times

and made their way across the Sea of Cortez to Baja California

they were lost, then found by giants – a couple of women giants

the women rubbed their hands, feet, and heads with the brains of whales

and turned them into giants in this manner

it is not said if they then married the ladies, or travelled further, or what?

however, when the red fruit of the pokeweed relative Stegnosperma was ripe

in the middle of summer, in june

the brothers went home to Tiburon Island

and lived __________________________ ever after

This is, more or less, what I understand to have happened in prehistory:

The squirrel gnaws through the liana

and the giant ceiba tree falls

as it kthunks

its leaves turn into fish and scatter in the rivers

flat lands rise and fall – into valleys and mountains

and the jaguar goes a walkin’

Then, we arrive at present day…

Turns out dreaming is not where its at. Its research and knowledge at your finger tips!

In this 2021 article in Botany, I learned a lot more about the Ceiba and its significance as a world tree:

Ceiba pentandra (Malvaceae) and associated species: Spiritual Keystone Species of the Neotropics

Having spent time with the Huaorani, Professor Rival of the University of Oxford is the story teller:

Rival, L. 1999. Trees and the symbolism of life in indigenous cosmologies. In Cultural and spiritual values of biodiversity. Edited by D. Posey. UNEP, Nairobi. pp. 358–362.

Hence, in the olden times

the ceiba sheltered all of life

it connected the heavens and the earth

and was mother, father, and sanctuary

outside of its zone of protection

the terrain was all flat, there was no water

the angry sun scorched and burned the earth

and evil eagles preyed on humans and other animals

encircling the tree was fear, death, and doom

it was a difficult time in evolution

There is a diagram, in the Ethnobotany of the Seri Indians book by Richard Stephen Felgar and Mary Beck Moser, of the near shore ecosystem at the Infiernillo Channel, between mainland Mexico and Tiburon Island. Figure 2.3, page 23:

What a fantastic world of mangroves, eelgrass, and mullets in the Sea of Cortez! This is my interpretation of the same diagram as above. I am in love with the estero and intertidal sands – tiny biting flies on the beach included:

Aside from the sun depicted in the sky, the lunar months of November and December are represented by the two stars of jack rabbit and turkey vulture. And that is a pack rat playing a violin at the bow of the balsa reed boat.