“The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.” -Pamela Hansford Johnson

————Challenge Accepted!————

Last week I prompted you to give me a person, place, thing, and a goal. Chris was the only submission and gave me “Caveman, Frozen Wasteland, Wood, Making Fire,” so here’s what I came up with:

 

Sing to me, Nodd and Tuk,

Spirit leaders of our tribe.

Whisper me tales of strength and luck,

And on the winds of history we ride.

 

I will tell you a story of the first ones, the old ones

From ages past, before your grandfathers’ grandfathers,

Passed down to us ‘tween moons and suns

From when we were many, not all together.

 

In the elder days our Mother was wild, alive

In her springtide, the Spirits ran free

And from their likeness, others derived

Creatures from majestic elk to tiny flea.

 

What youth! What greenness!

Fruit and wine did much abound

And in this verdance, Mother’s children keenest

Our grandfathers, the men were found

 

This land of plenty had no lack

And thus no need for clans, just kin

Yet, when wise ones turn minds back,

We find perhaps this was our sin.

 

I can only say we do not know

If the worlds’ turn must be the same,

Or if our coming did begin the flow.

Still, our Mother began to wane.

 

Days grew shorter, nights grew colder

Life itself seemed to have fled the leaf.

As prey does vanish, hunters must be bolder

But as we caused death, we only found grief.

 

As our numbers dwindled, we broke into pairs

One man to hunt, and his mate

Bearing a single child, as food was scarce,

And an extra mouth could seal one’s fate.

 

Of such a match came a child born twain,

A pair of boy-childs, both of good health

And though the hunter thought it too vain

His mate kept both, in spite of herself.

 

But all was not joy, as the two grew

It was soon clear they were down to the bone

To keep from splitting their hearts in two

The strongest young hunter set off alone

 

His steps were unsure, for his journey had not end

There was little to be found, the land unforgiving

But he soon chose a path, his head did not bend

For he knew nothing of hope, only of living.

 

He traveled for miles, past tree and hill

Seeing less creatures and greenery than ever before

The ground underfoot grew icy and still

And still the young hunter kept to his chore

 

Four days without food, he crossed frozen ground

He grew more certain the ice would be his grave

Still he drug along until his eyes found

A tree, on a hill, which might prove safe have’.

 

As he reached its foot, the slope seemed to grow

It stretched to the sky, yet he started to climb

Not far up, a cold wind did blow

And he felt to his bones he was near out of time.

 

He dared not stop, as he knew he would freeze

He dared not think, as he knew he was doomed

He kept in his mind, stories of Mother’s Tree

Said to give of pure life when it bloomed.

 

As he crested the top, he could see for miles

Yet could see most of all that he had been right

The tree was full dead, and for all his trials

He would freeze too, by the end of the night.

 

As if in mocking, the skies did darken

In his despair, he sank to his knees

The winds started howling, screaming, barking

He collapsed on the hillside and began to dream

 

His dreams contained flashes of pure, bright light

And falling, no! Flying like a leaf on the breeze

And with a great crash, he awoke in a fright

And fell to the ground amongst the debris.

 

Surrounded by charred wood, smouldering, smoke

The young hunter was first to awe and admire.

He understood, though she never spoke

He was given Mother’s last gift: Fire.

 

We know he returned the way he had came

To his brother, his home, and their grief,

And though we know naught of his name,

We know he became the first Chief.

 

Thus ends the tale, praise to Nodd and Tuk

Carry it with you, though times may look bad

For though the young hunter had only luck,

Luck was the best thing he could have had.

 

****Next Challenge****

I’m extending last week’s challenge. Give me a person, place, object, and goal, and I’ll turn it into some type of poetry!

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