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She, Wi Mi Ma, The Full Moon, Is Ushering Forth Change

Lois Red Elk: reverence for feminine energy isn't new; it's ancient and there in the sky

"Landscape Nocturne" by John Felsing (
"Landscape Nocturne" by John Felsing (
The moon has sure been burning bright with the commencement of another autumn and the blush of red from wafting woodsmoke in the air. Lois Red Elk has a panoramic perspective on the Big Open. 

"I am sending two poems about wi mi ma (the full moon), and life lessons she teaches," Lois writes from the high plains hard along the Missouri River, just upstream from where the Yellowstone marries it. 

We love getting reminders from Lois about how Mother Earth means more than a superficial reference for lovers of nature. 
"In the Dakota/Lakota culture the moons do not follow today's 12-month calendar; there are 13 moons and they follow the seasons," she notes. "The moons are female and correspond and work with the earth who is also female."  She adds, "September brought a moon of change, when leaves turn brown, when the plums are scarlet, and we prepare for the season of cooler weather. This month the full moon came two days after equinox, all relating to change."

Red Elk's new poem, Wi mi ma - Full Moon, was written for all women and is a contemplation of women preparing for the changing season by speaking with the moon, she says. "The corresponding piece, Moon of Change, speaks to all other life and how to prepare for the change of seasons." Mountain Journal wants to congratulate Ms. Red Elk and husband, Dennis, on their 50th wedding anniversary. —MoJo Eds
Painting by John Felsing (
Painting by John Felsing (
Poems by Lois Red Elk

Wi Mi Ma - Full Moon

Tonight she is full, abundant, with 
all her rotating power of stardust and 
hormones, an intention to pull tides, 
subdue hunger and attend to emotion.  
I don a blanket, to cover and shelter
shoulders, bare arms, full pulsing
chest, my veil of protection from dark
dangerous winds, from cautioning owl
eyes.  I stand and look to enter that high 
enduring circle for a brief, duration of
sustenance.  My opus rounded body, my
knowing elderly mind, and my quieting 
spirit are thankful for restored, balanced
energy before the snow lays all silent, 
turns soil and life into a chilly barren 
blanket.  She knows - ending of summer, 
loss of light, a slow entering into chilly
moons, silent frogs, resting stems.  It is 
my hibernation approaching from under
high burning sunlight into the lower cast 
light of another season.  Let me inhale 
the moonlight, feast my eyes and mouth 
on her fullness, lift my body to the orb
receiving radiant, circular light off the 
sun as he distances himself and honors 
this Equinox of waning sacredness.  I
will be here, contained, holding…

©Lois Red Elk
"The Moon Hangs Like Heaven" by painter John Felsing (
"The Moon Hangs Like Heaven" by painter John Felsing (
    Moon of Change

Quietly, the sky shifts from blue 
    to grey, air from warm to chilled.  
       This morning as we head south to
our place of work, Canadian geese 
        race our clouds on their last run
for the midway climate of a lower
    state. We wonder.  Their travel 
        a kind of prayer, a trusted gaze at 
the angle of the decreasing light, 
        a quiet belief in mountain draft, 
depth of forest shadows, sheen 
    off rivers and soft flow of fog.
        Inside our place of warmth, we 
watch the chickadees, that will
        stay, fluff feathers, look for deep 
nests, watch the deer put on more
    fat, grow thicker coats, gophers 
        carry off feathers, tuffs of hair 
and dying grasses for lining
        burrows.  In unison all prepare 
for the shift in energy, temperature,
    and unite with the moon of change.

©Lois Red Elk

Moon of Change is excepted from Red Elk's book "Dragonfly Weather" (Lost Horse Press, 2013)
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