The Headless Horseman of Ghost Pine Lake

August 11, 2013 at 11:11 pm (Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The Headless Horseman of Ghost Pine Lake

It was a time of war and not of peace
the beating of drums for joy did cease
The beating of war drums was heard throughout the land
and streams of human blood flowed into the sand.

It was the land that became the province of Alberta
before settlers arrived with names like Hans and Gerta.
It was the land evangelized by Father Albert Lacombe
a land where masses of buffalo did roam.
A land which was the battleground between Blackfoot and Cree 
in this Prairie far below the Arctic Sea.
The children of Gitche Manitou had turned against one another 
seeing a fellow human being as foe rather than brother.

These were the days before the great peacemaker Crowfoot arose
humanity needs his like again Heaven knows
Crowfoot that noble and great Blackfoot chief
who knew that from horrors of war his people needed relief.
Crowfoot who adopted the great Cree chief Poundmaker as his son
so that rose of Peace might blossom in the noonday sun.

But those days of Crowfoot and Poundmaker were not yet
for these were days of malice on which sun would not set.

In this age Cree and Blackfoot were at enmity
and this Lake of Ghost Pine was no Sea of Tranquility
Instead under a moon that glowed blood red
many braves from both tribes lay on the ground dead.
Two warriors eyed one another from opposite sides of the lake
And it appeared there was one more human life to take
From the North the Cree warrior shouted on his horse 
and from the south Blackfoot answered in due course.

Like knights of old
in Arthurian tales told
the two warriors on horseback at one another did charge
and both using their equine animal as a barge
in the middle of the lake they did meet
for this year it wasn’t very deep.

And in the exchange of tomahawk blows
and exchange of words between foes
the Cree warrior lost his footing and from his horse he started to slip
and the beat of his heart-it started to skip
and would continue for a slight while beating
despite Blackfoot tomahawk slicing through where his head and body were meeting.

And the Cree warrior’s head fell into the water
swept away by ripples of Mother Time’s daughter.

And it is said the Cree warrior can still be seen 
on moonlit nights when mists are keen
riding his horse through the fog  
searching for his head in the watery bog.

-A poem written by Christopher
Sunday August 11th 2013
Inspired by a tale
told to him by his father
over a campfire
at Ghost Pine Lake, Alberta
many years ago.

-This poem is lovingly dedicated 
to my dad
a great historian, a great teacher
and a wonderful human being
who succumbed to the demon of cancer
and passed away June 16th 2010.

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