Elk Speaks – For Andrew by Sara Wright

In the dream
the elk’s antler
was a tree made
of bone.
Silvery tines –
tongues of flame
hummed at dawn.

“Embodied Light.”
I would use these words,
if asked to describe
my young friend’s
But words fall short
of wonder.

Andrew is an artist
writing a story
into the land
with his hands.
She opens the gate
of his imagination
as he leans into her curves
Someday their collaboration
will change lives…

With stones, willows,
sand bags,
red dirt and
underground water
his vision apparent
to anyone who sees,
He demonstrates
through love
and architecture
that there are no limits
to sustainable

Such pristine beauty  –
Desert wilderness
stretches out
in every direction…
Water cascades
down his rounded hills
creating cause for celebration
mirrored by
flourishing trees
that will one day
bear more of his fruit
as well as their own.

Frogs and toads sing
love songs…

Birds cling to
Juniper snags,
Sage green bushes
thrive in winding arroyos
scent the air
when Cloud People come .
Wave – like cliffs
startle the sky.

I come away astonished
giving thanks for
Andrew, whose star – like vision
eclipses muddy waters…
No wonder he loves the Dawn.
Here is man who
supports the Earth
each creature and shrub
and this ‘old woman’
with his own hands.

No wonder that
I see in him
a majestic Elk
and a towering,
steadfast Tree…



Not too long after Andrew and I began to befriend one another, Andrew told me the story how he ran into an elk, and emerged unharmed. Andrew expressed his dismay that the elk had died. I was struck by the incident because I have had a relationship with friendly elk at a local elk farm for more than twenty years (in Maine) where the animals were cherished and ran free over hundreds of acres that include a river. When I built my log cabin, I named her “Elk House” because elk have such a solid relationship with the Earth and yet their majestic (male) antlers reach towards the Sky…

I “ran into” Andrew who was selling fresh vegetables last summer at a little outdoor market that he initiated  for the benefit of the community. There was an instant sense of feeling connected to this young man though I didn’t know him at all.

As our friendship began to develop I realized how unusual Andrew was. His kindness, honesty, integrity, and deep humility opened my heart. As an unapologetic (eco) feminist I was deeply drawn to his ethic and ability to work with others. Only later did I begin to see how this ethic extended to his love of, and ability to work with the Earth as her partner.

Here was a man who had learned how to be a man, a man whose ability to love, nurture, and protect were priorities, a man whose ability to work so well with others makes him a shining light and a powerful example for other men to follow – regardless of age – if only they would.

If more men chose this path we would live in a different culture, one where women (including ‘old women’), men, animals, plants, and every aspect of Nature is loved, appreciated, nurtured and respected…

Andrew is the kind of human being who brings me hope that it’s really possible to topple the toxic and deadly edifice of Patriarchy… a culture that is destroying us all.

How grateful I am to call him my friend.


Sara is a naturalist, ethologist ( a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Northern New Mexico.

Author: Sara Wright

I am a writer and naturalist who lives in a little log cabin by a brook with my two dogs and a ring necked dove named Lily B. I write a naturalist column for a local paper and also publish essays, poems and prose in a number of other publications.

7 thoughts on “Elk Speaks – For Andrew by Sara Wright”

  1. Thanks for the poem and the introduction to Andrew. He sounds like a good friend. I’ve never met an elk, but, then, I tend to stay indoors because I don’t like to get the outdoors on me.


  2. when this adobe building was being built I had a piece of elk antler and a piece of chert embedded in the northern wall – I have bear hair in both the east and west, and an Anasazi potsherd in the south –


  3. Wonderful! It is so important for role models of all kinds to lead the way forward. I’ve never met an elk, but I’ve run into a few deer on my winter walks and they always leave me in awe for their beauty, grace, and majesty.


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