I can always ride a beautiful pony
and walk through the pines
as the bell on the horse's noseband rings
in the whisper of wind through trees.
Rich fragrances carry love home
like a bird carries hose hair to its nest.
Words of love build a house of love.
Let feeling go, way out in the heart. Fly in love.
I have asked that nothing clings to your heart
as you go riding through life
filled with happiness and joy. The beautiful feelings of your love
bled the sunrise of a purple-topped sky,
above an orange-pink spray
of life in the sunrise.
My grandfather once said,
If you are lucky enough,
some day you will hear the sound
of the sun rising.
Someday, the sound of the sun rising
is what I have asked for you to hear.
May you see, and use,
what is good in life
as you go riding
filled with happiness and joy.
Henry Real Bird is a rancher and educator who raises bucking horses on Yellow Leggins Creek in the Wolf Teeth Mountains. He was born and raised on the Crow Indian Reservation in the tradition of the Crow by his grandparents, Mark and Florence Real Bird. Educated in Montana at Crow Agency, Hardin, Bozeman and Billings, he has a Master’s Degree in general education. Henry has punched cows, worked in rodeos, and taught school from Kindergarten to college level. He began writing poetry in 1969 after an extended stay in the hospital. He still speaks Crow as his primary language and feels this has helped in writing his poetry. Henry Real Bird served as the Poet Laureate of Montana from 2009-2011, and was named the 2011-2012 Academy of Western Artists Cowboy Poet of the Year. His previous collection of poems, Horse Tracks (Lost Horse Press, 2010), was named 2011 Poetry Book of the Year by the High Plains Book Awards.