Mnemosyne, grandmother,
whose many names
are older than memory itself
enfolds herself within a Magpie spirit cloak
and spins forth a world where her
Muses bear daughters

She flies from her home
where I am forbidden to travel
Blue Lake upon Taos Mountain
through the Pueblo at the mouth
of Red Willow Canyon

Calling her two eldest granddaughters to her side,
a pilgrimage to Conifer Mountain
three Horarctic Magpies
hudsonia here in the Rockies
forage in the blue-eyed grass
walking along the grey fox-trod path
pat down by elk hooves

Good morning Grandmother, I am singing today

Juniper bush patches
quilted with kinnikinnick
orange paintbrushes dotted with
columbines rise above
toadstools and ferns
black bear stalks the wood pile

She begins to mend what is
broken but her own
we are broken but her own

They’ve never come this far
this high upon the mountain
alpine yarrow beneath the
ever changing light, a forest of aspens,
blue spruce, and bristlecone pines
she nurtures and connects
intimating a heroic form to life

Magpies are inventors via
expansive executive function
insightful passerines
‘catch me if you can’ tricksters
who create their own tools
to dig up the truth

Black beak burrows damp earth
Grandmother is making cache holes
while aspen eyes keep watch
she buries a writing tablet,
aulos, veil, dual faced masks
scrolls, cithara, globe, and compass
flashes her eye grounding memory
leaves her true gifts and looks me in the eye

Grandmother your granddaughters are waiting for the time of unearthing

The three begin to
sing one another’s songs
preparing to fly home for
Magpies, like their sisters Ravens,
recognize themselves in the mirror