The Rattle on the Tail of Things
I can do my poet’s best to invoke the rattler’s lithe body on the cooling sand—to pacify her with her own beauty. But we would still have to watch where we step. There would still be that rattle on the tail of things that shamans follow into the less obvious reality circling this one. And there is still that panic some men feel in the face of wild beauty— toughening their skins against it as if they earned all the world’s scars. Like those who replaced living forest with a stumped land where no shadow longer than their own might fall. The cedar has no way to protect itself, but old stories from the Columbia River tell how the rich-fleshed salmon there have a little of rattlesnake’s poison in their bite to warn off fishermen who would take too much.
"Navajo Nation Wetland" by David Wolfersberger
Artist Statement: David Wolfersberger and his paintings are summer friends, sometimes seen walking the land as David feels and remembers it and wants it to be again, before fences, where people live and care for the earth and each other.