Quartet in Moonlight~ 3rd Singer

Glowing Moon,

White as Bone
Sails o’er Waters…
O’er Hills,
o’er time-darkened

Gnawing the Moon down
to a crescent rind,
Eerie voices rise and whine
along Earth’s shadowed skin.

Each voice is different
yet each voice is akin.

A chorus of Uilleann pipes,


clarinet, and
penny whistle…
runs along the spine
like an intuitive missile…

One uilleann voice lifts above the chorus,
Complex, full-throated …
Wisdom winding toward us…

“I will Teach you to
Sift the Winds for secrets,
to Trust your senses,
to Go Within on stalker’s feet, and
Hunt down your worst enemy
within the darkness of your Soul!

At every Corner I await you…
Singing of Lessons unending
Noble Death
Balance between Self…
and Duty…

Walk in Beauty!

Follow the trail of the Relentless Hunter,
for no path may be hidden from My hunger!"

A clarinet note dragged out like smoke
smudged across the Sky
as the Stars dance within the Medicine Bowl…

Change unending I sing!
Eternal are Irony
… Unity!
Painful lessons and laughter I bring
to the World’s vast community.

Wise Fool,
I dance to my own heart’s beat.
I’ll hand you Wisdom on one side
…and then fall to my own conceit!

For I am both the Illusion
And the Mirror that cannot lie.

For you, oh my den mate, I sing… and
With you I survive, or die…"

As a sunset, it fades and another voice lifts
like an oboe’s sweet tones,
this Teacher’s voice drifts…

“Protection, Service and Loyalty!
My songs are as varied as my breed.
Beloved by Divine, humble, and royalty…
My great heart and spirit your love will feed,
Yet nothing
t’wixt Truth and Self
should intercede!”

At last, the whistle-like voice does ascend
while the very dawn approaches and pauses to attend…

“Protect the Child, both within and without,
and I will teach you how best to hide
if you have any doubts!

I run between the rim
of this World and the Others
Perhaps this is why I am hunted…

and perhaps…
I am simply a bit more Fae than my Brothers!
The Fair Folk and I have often traded favors…

and the Shifting of shape…
Oft-times I am little more than
a clever
against a Dreamscape…"

A reedy ululating chorus once more
these Teachers call out and implore…

“All for One and One for All!
Life is the Lesson and
Family is all that holds our freedom in thrall…”

We Sing Now!

“Strong people make as many mistakes as weak people. Difference is that strong people admit their mistakes, laugh at them, learn from them. That is how they become strong.” Richard Needham

“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.” Al Franken

They must have been thinking of Coyote or at least a similar Trickster! Coyote is Infamous for his wily ways that are just as likely to end in huge embarrassment or a seriously painful lesson for this tricky Teacher. In fact, sometimes Coyote is viewed as such dangerous company that I have actually heard someone say, “Coyote is evil! That’s bad medicine!” I couldn’t disagree more. Sure, He can occasionally come off as the Father of Lies, or lead his chosen friends into a world of trouble they would rather do without, and most times everything Coyote attempts seems to work backwards… but He teaches us through his examples some of the most important lessons we can learn in life.

Medicine in the Western sense (aspirins, cough syrups, and other medications) are meant to aid us when we are ill or otherwise physically afflicted. However, just like Totemic Medicine, which is also meant to heal us, both medicines are not meant to be taken lightly. “If one dose is good, three will get me better quicker” is a good way to end up in the hospital and the Medicine we are discussing here isn’t very different in its results if abused or treated casually. However, it can be a Lot harder to recover from such an abuse or even to find a qualified Spiritual Healer in today’s society. So tread carefully!

That being said, Coyote says that it is just as important to remember…“The person who learns to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused.”, and “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand”. Sometimes, we need to realize that we are acting or feeling foolish because we have put ourselves forward, opened our mouths, or put our oar in when we Should have been sitting silently and paying attention. Laugh at yourself, learn your lesson and let it go. Coyote is the Sacred Clown, the Wise Fool and His is the power to turn the sacred into the silly, to cross, juxtapose and then revert anything to it’s original state while still respecting everything. Like Tom Bombadil from the Tolkien epic when he handled the One Ring, His shining blue eye twinkling merrily through this ancient and powerful artifact that had caused so much destruction and death could just as easily have been Coyote’s. There is a wonderfully eternal sense of Innocence about this Wise Fool.

“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm. Colette

“Our blunders mostly come from letting our wishes interpret our duties. Author Unknown

Like the eternally beloved Wile E. Coyote, the super genius of cartoon fame, this Creature Teacher’s colossal mistakes are usually caused by convincing himself that his desire is a necessity. Most people also confuse “want” with “need”, and are often left in a haze of smoke wondering just how and why everything blew up in their face. Wile E. is forever so blindly focused on his desired goal, that he never considers that perhaps it is his “goal” that is actually the problem. After all, if he is clever enough to order, build and then operate a complex gadget, surely he could order out for pizza and wings!

He was never daunted by his mistakes though. He was willing to revise plans while plummeting towards the ground and attempt something new. His adaptability never caught him that Roadrunner, but his perseverance ensures that he will dust himself off and come up with a new plan soon enough. It takes tremendous courage and powers of self-healing to continue in the face of such odds. As Ray Bradbury once said, “You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” Coyote is the Fool of the Tarot, yet he is also the Magician for when He gets it right… there is no miracle He can’t pull off simply by using the tools at hand.

Wisdom and Folly in equal measures can be found within the Coyote soul. It is up to us to temper, guide and monitor ourselves, and sometimes the hardest thing for anyone to admit is that they were wrong. Awareness, moderation, discipline, clarity, integrity, balance, forethought and impulse control are all important issues to the Coyote. I have learned, through my own painful lessons over the years, to look at every “failed” attempt very closely for my part, what I truly own out of that failure. Tell yourself, tell others… “Man, I should never have said/done fill in the blank. That was a really bad idea. I’m sorry for what I said/did and I hope I never make that mistake again.”

Beat Fate to the punchline, accept responsibility for your mistakes and most importantly learn from them. Karma doesn’t have to hit you like a cliff’s edge you didn’t see coming provided you watch your step and don’t get carried away. Karma is inevitable, but we can lessen it’s painful impact if we have done all that we can to face our choices and their effects head on. “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~M. Kathleen Casey You’ll only draw out your painful lessons or be doomed to repeat them if you don’t look at yourself with awareness and accept full responsibility for your share of the load. A life well lived is worth living for it’s own sake. Why wait for someone else to set the example? Become the person who inspires you, and by being your own Muse… perhaps you will inspire others to live up to the best of who they can be.

Ever full of dichotomy, Coyote represents both that which tempts us most, AND developing the skills to recognize, as well as actively avoid temptations that will lead to a canyon splat! Many Christians believe that the Devil is a separate entity that can be blamed for our choice to give in to temptation, to justify actions we know are not for the greater good or even for our own good. Coyote tempts us. Coyote is that voice inside that argues with your conscience and tries to rationalize and justify your desires to the point where they sound like reasonable options. But Coyote is most proud of us when we don’t follow his bad examples, when we learn from his mistakes, and outsmart him by refusing to either give in to the temptation or place the blame for our decisions on someone or something else.

“I never make stupid mistakes. Only very, very clever ones.” John Peel

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~Pablo Picasso

“The few wonders of the world only exist while there are those with the sight to see them.” Charles De Lint

While Coyote people often learn their lessons the hard way, their amazing capacity for innocent trust is truly a gift. It is up to the individual to protect that gift by developing their powers of discernment, and living life from moment to moment making the best choices possible. Being burned by others, or even setting yourself up time after time for disappointment does not mean one should retreat from society, respond in kind to bad treatment, or actively seek to deceive or take from others as a “payback”. Like draws like, and you get back what you put out in the world so ultimately you’d only be harming yourself by such behavior, drawing more of the same into your life, setting fire to your own tail. Not everyone can look at the world with the wonder and enthusiasm that comes naturally to children. Not everyone can find the element of fun in a mundane task. While he isn’t always the best example, Coyote values these things.

Being so clever means Coyote people can be easily bored. They often work best if they have several different projects to play with as it helps to soothe their restless nature. Society often dictates that we must take on one task at a time and focus only on it until we have completed it. But Coyote finds this method tedious and restrictive. Meeting with continual failure or societal disapproval can frustrate Coyote people and make them loose faith in themselves. The Wise Coyote recognizes that their ability to multi-task is an asset as long as they finish the projects that they start. “Unique” methods do not mean “wrong” methods.

Those who have feed the wrong parts of their Coyote nature will find that their addictions, lies, philandering, and other tricks will always come back home to roost. Others, who have inverted Coyote energy will often appear to others as if they are almost literally doing everything backwards. Those who’s every attempt to help only ends up making things worse are often in the Shadow of Coyote. If Murphy’s Law seems to haunt your every waking moment, Coyote is probably trying to speak to you.

There are ways to embrace this and there are ways to reverse these effects as well. My best advice to such folk is to a. research b. to soul search and c. ask the help of those who have proven themselves worthy of trust over the years in aiding you to find a person who truly understands these spiritual dilemmas and is qualified to guide you in the changes you would need to make in your life. In my experience though, when you ask the Universe and Creator for help or guidance, the help will find you.

Whether or not Coyote is your personal Totem, His lessons are invaluable. It is all too easy to see the folly in others, to ridicule them, or belittle them and overlook the same fault in ourselves. Gossip is one of the easiest ways that Coyote catches us. If you find yourself talking about others in negative way, or even just talking about others at all…stop. Thumper’s Mom was so wise to teach him, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” For this is Coyote’s favorite snare and eventually you will find yourself swinging from a rope you fashioned yourself.

Ultimately, Coyote is about overcoming our own folly and addictions and become the Teacher we would most like to have in our lives. Choose your words carefully and think twice before you speak, three times before you speak about anyone else. Sometimes it is important to speak the Truth, sometimes we cannot speak the Truth because our own emotions color our perspective, but most of the time it is wisest to keep our own council and just be silent. Hubris, the spreading of negativity through word or deed, recognizing and conquering our worst enemy…ourselves, are all vital to Coyote. Are we seeing things clearly as they are, or coloring our desires and wishes over the reality before us? Are we so busy planning how to achieve our goals that we never stopped to ask ourselves if our goals are truly worthy?

Most people are sleep walking through their lives, not truly Aware of what they are doing or what is going on. It is so easy to be lulled, hypnotized by our own destruction and dream ourselves to be awake. Sometimes it takes a nightmare to wake us up, or we might be so slumbering lives might be so lovely to us that we react aggressively to the hands that try to wake us, preferring our phantoms to reality. Life is a series of waking and sleeping in more than the literal sense. Remember though, despite the treacherous, thankless, misunderstood and misunderstanding path Coyote people walk, above all, Coyote is a survivor with many stories to tell. Hunted, trapped, driven out by man and machine, still Coyote can be found in the heart of nearly any city thriving right under your nose despite even his own worst mistakes because…

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” ~John Powell

“To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower: Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.” William Blake

“We become innocent when we are unfortunate.” Jean de la Fontaine

“It is well for the heart to be naive and the mind not to be. " Anatole France

Potential balancing energies:

Other Canines
Cats, like Jaguar

Quartet in Moonlight~ 3rd Singer

Quinn Blackburn

Bethel Park, United States

  • Artist
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Artist's Description

A clarinet note dragged out like smoke
smudged across the Sky
as the Stars dance within the Medicine Bowl…

Change unending I sing!
Eternal are Irony
… Unity!
Painful lessons and laughter I bring
to the World’s vast community.

Wise Fool,
I dance to my own heart’s beat.
I’ll hand you Wisdom on one side
…and then fall to my own conceit!

For I am both the Illusion
And the Mirror that cannot lie.

For you, oh my den mate, I sing… and
With you I survive, or die…"

Each Who Sings Now? poem is inspired by a Nature Teacher: a tree, star, stone, animal, etc that carries spiritual lessons and natural wisdom. This particular poem deals with four closely related Teachers who chose to sing in chorus. This discussion focuses on the Singer whose voice is likened to a clarinet. Can you guess who is singing?

Artwork Comments

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