Drum Bum

Taos Pow-wow scene

Last Saturday afternoon at the Taos Pueblo Pow-wow »Buy This Photo!«

Can’t blame it on the Indians. I’d be happy to, but chthonic spirits did this to me. Drop your guard too many times in fifteen years and look what happens! Remember when a golden eagle snatched a tusa from the field next door in San Cristobal and ate it in the road? (Victory! Great Joy! Rodent molecules in pumping blood of eagle-thing!)

They had help. The elk, deer, bears, bulls, cows, eagles, prairie dogs, goats, sheep, horses, coyotes, rabbits, foxes, raccoons, skunks, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, and twice a frickin’ peacock in or near the places we’ve called home. Antelope, cranes, and mountain lions on our day trips. The hummingbirds that let me catch them with my bare hands when they flew in through the open windows. (Especially them!) And now I use a drum to find a house…

With a hand drum and a leather beater, I walk around the old adobe tapping out a heartbeat: bim-boom, bim-boom, bim-boom… (It needs to know we’re here and we’re alive.) When the feeling’s right, I shift into a steady, rapid bum-bum-bum-bum shamanic trance beat. That’s the power play. It’s not all dust and lard and cracking sidewalls, chilluns. Someday one may say of me, if one says anything at all, “Invisible, he sank into the sage.”

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John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. His latest endeavor is the aptly-named GODDAMN BUFFALO at Substack. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

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