Deep in the ancient redwood forest
Deep in the heart of the Redwood forest,
Voice of the morning wind in the treetops:
“Raven made you, Raven made you
Foolish men with Gods of marble,
Proud, vain men in stone cathedrals,
Raven made you, Raven made you,
Stole your voice from the cry of the eagle,
Stole this sky from the wings of the eagle,
Counting moon from the eye of the eagle,
Stole the sun!
Stole the sun from the heart of the eagle!
Trickster rent the Manitou’s darkness,
Rolled out men on the tongue of the water,
Made us a world he stole from the eagle—
This is a trickster’s world!”
That’s what the winds in the redwood chant,
Cloaked in false dawn just at dawning:
“Strive or fail, win or love,
This is a trickster’s world!
First men freed from the Manitou’s prison,
Timid, cunning, weak and frightened,
Tore down the forests, poisoned the waters,
Forgot they were born of a trickster, trickster—
Turned their fear into man-shaped Gods.”
Carnival barker, fortune teller
Did not intend to make a world.
Did not make us in his image,
But in the image of his boredom.
Only meant to cheat the eagle,
Fool the eagle,
Mock the eagle! So raven stole the sun!
Stole the eagle’s prized possession!
Raven, Raven, Raven, stole the sun!