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Soul Stance River - 13

The river smells like damp cotton this morning,
the weather has been so complimentary to our exertions
frost invades the nights nicely and soft sunshine comforts our faces in daytime,
we have been averaging 26 miles per day for more than a week
which gives us fat optimism that we'll reach the he Mandan villages before November,
our sense of serenity and ease is abruptly shaken by a suspicious sight,
from the boats we notice , not far inland
a settlement abandoned to arid earth and the whispers of sullen fate,
with a detachment of 12 men
this broken place in paradise is searched
with the circumspection of armed archaeologists,
from wood and rock totems
we have surmised that this village belonged to the Arikaras,
evidently, they systematically left here, or were decimated by some terrible force,
a gutteral roar rips into my ears
as I see the most monstrous beast of my life,
it is the great grizzly bear, wicked in temper and simply petrifying in stature,
about 40 yards away Sheilds stumbles out of an Arikara sod lodge
as the grizzly emerges from it's liar, standing upright like a tower of terror
fangs in the air and claws ready to thrash
Sheilds buries a slug right into it's chest from 10 feet away
sounding like a large stone plunging deep into water
white panic stretches his face while the beast stammers for a moment,
there is no time for him to reload
and he starts running to the canoe faster than a fuse
several of us take aim and unleash a crossfire of lead
pegging the bear every which way halting it's chase
and with the speed of a two horse wagon it's running to the brush,
we forgo the hunt and evacuate to the canoes,
enough has been seen here,


Copyright © | Year Posted 2015

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Date: 12/24/2015 4:56:00 AM
Such a terrifying yet beautiful beast...awesome section here! Always, Laura
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Laura Breidenthal
Date: 12/24/2015 7:10:00 PM
I love it, Justin! Thank you for sharing it with me. You're brilliant, and I love your unique rendition of the amazing journey. ~Laura
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Justin Bordner
Date: 12/24/2015 7:03:00 PM
Continued...Incidentally, my two historical sources made no mention of the keelboat's name believe it or not, I suspect that Lewis named the main boat The Corps of Discovery, but I'm not sure, so after carefully thought I decided to name the Keelboat, Destiny, which I think has worked out quite nicely, its smart and spiritual, doing them justice...J.A.B.
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Justin Bordner
Date: 12/24/2015 6:58:00 PM
This moment, like several others within this composition is a revelation of my meditative vision. Writing this episode was a serious thrill, a stupendous vision and encounter. The reference I made to them as being armed archeologists is on of my favorites, because its a dramatic description and very accurate too. Onc more, these were educated, tough men, who appreciated culture and the wilderness with all their hearts Laura...J.A.B.