8 Days of Love | Caught in the Moon Spell with Poet, Painter and Naturalist Coyote Thunder

by | Feb 6, 2017

It has been a while since I’ve published a series of my poems — largely because 2016 has found me making a living off of my #trailpaintings, and writing the California Field Atlas, my epic compendium of maps and paintings coming to a book store near you in the fall of 2017. It has also been a while since I have been in a creative space to contribute to the Pack. The Pack, shorthand for the illuminated, spiritual-force behind the OF THE WOLVES community, which has come to represent for me such a powerful symbol of good in the world: openness, inclusivity, conscious living, creative expression, and that I am super proud to associate myself with, doesn’t ask much but attention and love — two things I can afford. I present 8 Days of Love as a miniature epic, a drama of life from birth to death, a circle of images that – when juxtoposed with some recent additions to my wildlife catalog of paintings – invite and engage an older, wilder, more vulnerable version of you and me. I publish my poetry everyday on Instagram, and physically write all captions before I input them, and this portfolio rose out of that. Now it is collected and will only ever live here at OF THE WOLVES, a community this lone-wolf is so honored to howl with every night, to get caught in the moon spell: welcome, alive, and radiant.



I was recruited.
Handed fire. Burned.
Burned again.
with light
till I was nothing
but a stone
flying through void —
till I was everything
forgotten but
the fire in my fist.



 Poem of Two Letters 

I’ll give you symbols.
I’ll give you broken crosses rebuilt.
I’ll give you words
so abandoned
that we can’t even imagine
their beginning.
I will leave myself
in a desert of language
with only two letters
to help me survive:
one to start the poem
and one to end it
so that then we might be alone
with only the strongest words
after the rest have burnt away.



Desperate Happiness 

Old Man Coyote
young again in your rain.
Set on fire by the smile
your mouth makes
by the sad, desert moon.
The lizards who sing
ballads for our dance
and our joy
at this wilderness addiction;
junkies for blessed desolation,
we run to express
our love, and to mirror
what the old world has for us.



My words are not beautiful,
only the earth is beautiful.



The heart broken daughter
of wolves
and dragonflies
is lost on the deeply tread path
where she was put
when the last of her people
Machines of fire, far over
the horizon
were the cause of her sorrow.
Now she looks for her sisters
and can only find traces
on the wind.




I hid inside the tree —
let the roots replace my veins,
let myself only drink sunshine
for a thousand years.
I knew all the names
of all the trees
in all the forests
of the world.
My hands held the globe
and I saw all systems
as one green line —
one science was able
to be swapped for any other
and truth was simple.
It was confirmed that humanity
survives its childhood.



A raven nested in my chest —
reminded me of my one life
amid my many deaths
and my many births.
The day it left me alone
I awoke and swore
all my friends
were medicine dancers
and all my family
had always been so.



Every morning she woke before dawn
in the field of stars she loved above all else.
Here she would let her heart turn to steam,
where all the colors paraded to welcome her laughter,
and where she found her name etched across the moon.

Obi Kaufmann, one of the original pack members, is back with 8 days of Love, a portfolio of paintings and poetry straight from the sketchbook that chronicles a cycle of rapture and sublime ruin, set next to simple paintings of California Wildlife (Obi’s bread and butter). Obi will be in Southern California twice in the month of February, 2017:  the first event in Eagle Rock on the 11th, and the second in Joshua Tree on the 24th. See included images for details. At both of these events, Obi will be selling hundreds of his paintings, so get there early to find yours. Follow Obi | @coyotethunder