The bull waggled his rack tips while feeding on submerged water lilies and pondweed. Lifts his branching antlers, opens his nostrils, plants still tangled on his spikes stream water that drains back into the pond. His cud, in slow chew, waddles his prestigious bell flap. There are no bears here today although their scent travels keeping Moose attentive to the rank odor that precedes Awasos’s arrival or having just passed through – if the wind is correct. Some humans emit this Bear scent and emerge from an ancestral wilderness they don’t recognize as themselves. It takes time and courage to be in relationship with this. At least, that’s what he told himself burrowed into a hide on the high side of the valley, peering through a tube, waiting for the burst, a super nova or black hole, getting to the other side.
Suzanne S. Rancourt
What is the significance of this work to you?
One of the main things I attempt with my writing is Being the power of the Natural World to the reader and thereby bringing the reader into the Natural World. Not everyone has had the opportunity of being raised in rural environments. Not all environments are safe or inviting to humans. I am simply grateful to live in a way that is similar to my early childhood. The poem, “The Rain After the Rain Is the Wind,” is a response to walking quietly and solo on my land up around the Lodge, after some intense rain followed by sun. The phenomenon that inspired this poem was actually the wind that shook loose the water still in the pines. I gave myself permission to follow that presence, and tone. By just being in the moment of creation itself, I remember other times where I felt similar; Ceremony and Mongolia’s Altai mountains with the Eagle Hunters.
My poem “Hunter” was inspired by a writing prompt that resonated with memories of rural Maine (where I was born and raised) and the ole timers that I took great pleasure in being around. Again, not everyone is raised this close to nature where we live with the Natural World and that includes the balance of food. These skills have been employed throughout my life in various capacities including the military. What is our place, as human beings, really, in the greater scheme of things?
What is the significance of the form you chose for this work?
These poems come from my newest manuscript, Songs of Archilochus. I’m healing through my continued exploration of power of place and my response to the places I find myself traveling through. Those places can be actual physical locations or a state of mind, or spiritual phenomenon/awaking/revelation etc. For some reason, I have several prose poems in this manuscript. Perhaps I have synched up with the memories of listening to the storytellers around fires, and wood stoves in general stores. The stories of Warriors and their moments that changed them forever.
What was your process for creating this work?
I may have answered that in item 1, however, to that I will add, Being. simply being in body, fully present, listening, sensing, feeling with my flesh, my gut, a moment, an inspiration, much like a photographer that knows to take the shot. We can do this as writers too if we remain cognizant of our surrounding and the impact those surroundings have on us internally. This is a skill of the writers’ craft that the more we practice the more these skills become a part of our being. As with any artist of any modality. Not all Editors get it. I’m grateful that HHR did. Thank you.
Sundress Best of the Net Nominee, Suzanne S. Rancourt, is of Abenaki/Huron descent. Author of Billboard in the Clouds, Northwestern UP, received the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award, and murmurs at the gate, Unsolicited Press, released in 2019. Old Stones, New Roads, Main Street Rag Publishing, is forthcoming Spring 2021. She is a USMC and Army Veteran who holds degrees in psychology, writing and expressive arts therapy. Suzanne is widely published. Please visit her website for a complete publication list: www.expressive-arts.com