Embracing Epiphanies

Rita Bourland

Rita Bourland
Columbus, Ohio,
August 04
I have three sons in their twenties and have been married for 35 years. Life is good. I embrace life's epiphanies as they come to me and pass them along in my writing.


FEBRUARY 29, 2012 1:26PM

Legend and Poem: Feeding the Beast

Rate: 7 Flag
Artist JohnnyLee – wisdomstick.com

I heard this Cherokee legend at a talk I went to last night.   First the legend and then a poem I wrote tying in some of the themes. 


Two Wolves – A Cherokee Legend

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. 

He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside each of us. 

One is Evil. It is filled with an unforgiving spirit and is prone to anger, hatred, bitterness, envy and greed. 

The other is Good. It is full of peace, love, kindness, empathy, generosity and forgiveness." 

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?" 

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Feeding the Beast 
Red hot coals
for the angry beast
in me,

I shovel, I stoke,
I keep the flames alive,

I feed the beast
with searing heat,
seeing not the
gentle stream so near,
seeing not its peaceful path
around the rocks,

my task is clear,


yet evermore it
asks for more,
and more,
until my arms grow weak,

I kneel by the shore
and weep,

the cooling water,
my cleansing tears,
 wash over me,
run through me,
quenching my thirst,
quelling the flames,

the beast cries out
with a mighty roar,
“I’ll hate no more.”
and then it's

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I'd heard the legend a long time ago, Rita, but your poem lends it another layer of depth and beauty. Thank you!
Thank you, heidibeth. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

FusunA, I had never heard it before and was deeply moved my the imagery. Thanks for you kind words.
May we all get to that peaceful point!
Amen to that, Tenderfoot.
Beautiful poem, Rita; sweet, tight, and exquisitely simple. Well said. It should be a part of a book. R
Whoa. This post blew me away. Thank you, Rita....rated with admiration.
Thanks, M.C.S.

Thank you for the wonderful thought, Thoth. A book of poetry would be a nice dream to shoot for.

Michelle, you are so kind. This poem came from some very deep feelings. It seems I do my best writing when it comes from a raw place.
Nicely done. I read the first part to my older son. He needed to hear it, and so did I today. The tears burn away the rage, for sure, and replace our hearts with peace.
So true, Maureen. I'm glad you shared it with your son and that it brought some solace.