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Soul Stance River - 10

September is aging with a cool beauty
and the Missouri seems to be hurrying the expedition
into a world of natural splendor that is impatient to strip our spirit to it's bare light,
in my silent moments of strategy I feel the birth pangs of winter in the air
and know that an emergency of shelter will soon be the crucible,
more days than not the river wind has aided the Corps of Discovery's adventure,
rarely have we had to pull Destiny along by ropes
and today I'm off the boat, hunting a fleet and mammoth goat
the pronghorned antelope, unlike the buffalo and deer herds
that have easily been in excess of 500, these shy creatures
move about in small groups, seemingly familial in manner,
a hide of short, soft white and brown hair 
which stripes the throat, and vicious charcoal horns
that could impale a man in a single jolt, none of us has ever seen such an animal,
these damn goats bolt like bullets every time I creep near
they must be catching my scent for I am stealth and camouflaged,
they are so agile and swift, unafraid to speed through the most dangerous ravines,
getting back to camp with no hooves to show for my time
I see that John Sheilds has sacked a peculiar hare,
he calls it a jackrabbit, it is a monster rabbit no doubt
20 pounds dead and can leap like a rock across water, 20 foot spreads at full speed,
we all laugh and agree this place is becoming more of a jungle than a prarie,
any moment we may encounter apes and wherewolves,
its good to see Private Shanon chuckle well since returning
from being alone along the river for sixteen days nearly starved and maddened,
the fires be hot and the kettles be kickin with the right stuff
most of us are consuming 5, 000 calories per day including several pounds of meat each,
the mission is teaching the men's' bodies new extremes, the exertion is remarkable, 
sunburn, blisters, rolled ankles, sprained wrists and backs, inadequate sleep,
mosquito bites, spider bites, ant bites, hours of tedious paddling and foraging,
no woman love, gaurd duties, chores, the stress of Indian encounters and ambush,
home sickness,
the only thing familiar to us is eachother, 
sharing our sufferings, sharing our survival,


Copyright © | Year Posted 2015

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Date: 3/14/2016 2:09:00 AM
I've been slacking on your epic, Justin. Lots of stuff going on at my house. Anyway, to the piece. Really liking the feeling of joy in this section, despite the remarkable exertion. When I went backpacking for 8 days in the Sawtooth mountains, I had similar feelings. My pants were frosted over from the night before, sister pulled a muscle, we missed our lake on the final day, and had to travel 24 miles that day instead of 12, in the dark, while catching glimpses of bear tracks.
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Justin Bordner
Date: 3/15/2016 8:06:00 PM
To share a Cause is to share the heart my friend...J.A.B.
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Timothy Hicks
Date: 3/14/2016 2:12:00 AM
What an indescribable feeling it was to finally make it to the car though, after hours and hours of feeling we weren't gonna make it. The human mind is rather remarkable in those situations. "the only thing familiar to us is each other, sharing our sufferings, sharing our survival" True words, my friend. Excellent verse.
Date: 12/21/2015 8:12:00 PM
Getting to know the wild animals must have been a thrilling addition to the explorers. Love the last two lines-wraps up the section nicely! It's all worth it! Always, Laura
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Justin Bordner
Date: 12/22/2015 1:16:00 PM
By studying, meditating, and sharing in the Corps of Discovery's legendary expedition so much of the natural world was brought to my soul, and the diverse animals and landscapes is a significant factor in the charm and courage of the endeavor Laura. One of my favorite bits of humor while envisioning and writing this epic was the "jungle" reference I made,I chuckled good with that...J.A.B.
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Justin Bordner
Date: 12/22/2015 1:06:00 PM
Yes my studious Poetess, we must keep in mind, that Lewis, had cursory, and in some subjects extensive education in astronomy, zoology, botany, archeology, mineralogy, geology, geography, warfare, hunting, carpentry, medicine, politics, economics, and cultural diffusion. Many of the men in the Mission were highly skilled, and passionate about knowledge and culture...J.A.B.