Native American Technology and Art

Shin'in Times Beyond


dedicated to Walt McCurdy and Kenesaw Jump

I am just a Pilgrim here, in the Shin'in Times Beyond,
Recently arriving, so swiftly brought along.
My Maker said " Try not to think about the valley through which you've passed,
Theres nothing you can alter Son, cause your die has done been cast."

My Maker told me "Pilgrim, some of your friends are waiting here,
They've pitched a lodge up for ya, and fetched ya up some gear.
I hear they plan to take ya to the Rockies in the sky,
To rendezvous with found brothers, and their arrival's drawing nigh."

He handed me an old parfleche that shone the hue of sky,
With green of moss, upon I'd walked, in times of life gone by.
Within the folds I found there, the skins I'd left behind,
And the pouch my Love had made for me, my Love, so dear and kind.

Also in it were my moccasins I'd put aside, with holes, and seams undone,
They were again so new, and felt like velvet when I put them on.
My old capote once worn thread bare from years upon the ground,
Was thick and red and warmed me so, as when it was first wrapped round.

I heard a thunder of hooves, whoops and hollers coming from behind,
When I turned and beheld them all, old stories came to mind.
All the mountain men I'd read of, the stories of their lives,
All the places they had traveled, the fights they'd not survived.

There were good friends among them, who had before me rode,
Up that valley to the other side without their earthly load.
To see them was a gift from God, for I had known them well,
Tears of joy and happiness from our eyes so freely fell.

They jumped down from their horses and embraced me one by one,
They looked into my eyes and said "We're glad to have you Son."
They shook my hand and gave me hugs and said "Come on lets go!"
We then rode off for Shin'in Times, in the mountains topped with snow.

When we arrived in camp that day, such a sight did greet my eyes,
There set a camp of breathless beauty in those Rockies in the sky.
The meadow they pitched my lodge in had a clear and running stream,
Which sang of love and loyalty amongst our brethren.

We took the saddles off our horses and turned them out to graze,
Then set back in the warm soft grass and spoke of by-gone days.
They said it did their old hearts good to know they were remembered,
By brothers still behind us, brothers missed, and brothers kindred.

As we talked beside our campfire, as the flame burned down so low,
I realized it wasn't very different than it was a bit ago,
When I was with my brothers, on the earth and on the ground,
And "It don't get no better !" was often heard around.

The sky was just as blue and I beheld the green of trees,
The water was a shimmering and the sweetness of the breeze,
Was just like it used to be in the place I'd left behind
When in unison we'd all say "No better can we find !"

Brothers, some day in the future when that horse is brought to you,
The one who'll carry you up that valley, when your earthly life is through,
Give him rein and spur him hard my friend, and ride him straight on through,
Cause The Shin'in Times Beyond, and us, are waiting here for you.

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© 1996 Victoria Orchard. E-mail:

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© 1996 Tara Prindle.