James Ray is a Google+ poet buddy who came looking for me.  It was grand getting connected with him again.  The demise of Google+ was a sad day for the poets who were having fun playing around with each other in it.

I asked James to share a poem with us.  He sent this heartful free-form poem as well as the back story.

James says, “I have written my whole life, but never as much and never as public. Yet I am still mostly unread. LOL

He invites everyone to check out his poetry blog.  Click on the button below and it’ll take you there.



I was told not long after I was born that upon my first crawling I made my way to my father’s chamber. I stole from his ceremonial headdress six feathers. So that is what they named me Six feathers.

Decades later I grew strong with the other warriors of the tribe. Upon a successful raid of our neighbors one of the captured women was found to be unstable. They treated her badly even among the other survivors of her village. They called her Missing feathers.

Warring between the tribes was natural, it was the way. But I had no will to be cruel. I protected Missing feathers for that is my way. From that day on she seemed to be more focused when ever we we’re together. In time my village took to calling me her missing feathers.

How long has it been now? How many sunsets have we shared together? She sleeps now and even now I can tell the trouble of her mind. I know her. I know her mind. Through the many years now accepted by The village, my mate, my Missing feathers.

She will wake any minute now, as she has done many times before. And the unrest behind her eyes will fade to the background as it always does upon seeing me. And I will once again be for her the feathers that make her whole.

The joke unknown by the villagers is that I didn’t take enough feathers from my father’s headdress years ago. She was the feathers that I needed. The wisdom that I did not have. The strength to unite all the neighboring tribes. To end the ceaseless raiding and taking of prisoners. Now our children boys and girls grow strong in the united tribes! And none know but me to give thanks to my Missing feathers.

But uncertain is our time together. For I have noticed some of the spirits that plague her lead her out away from me. How much longer do we have? How much longer before she wakes without it being her behind her eyes? What will I do then when I am truly missing my feathers?

The Medicine Woman and the Elders of the village make no promises to me. They can do nothing to exercise her demons. They say it is only I who have held them at bay all these years. The great spirits have gifted me. But our time together. I do not seek to waste any moments that I have left.

I am transfixed by her sleeping beauty. I am broken-hearted by her restless slumber. I am guardian to the feathers which I cannot keep. She stirs. So slowly her eyes open. Who shall greet me this day?

Husband? Why do you greet me this way every morning? Why do you look so troubled? Have I done something?

No, my beloved feathers. I just worried that I would have to start my day without you. I have but only the six feathers, I need you for the rest.

Such silliness from one who is Chief. But yes, if you give me your six I will give you all that you are missing.

I hug her and in our embrace I thank the great spirit for giving me one more day with my Missing feathers…

I may never get to tell the story behind this story. Because I know I’ll never finish it. I seem to be missing my feathers….

Despite the final lines of the poem, James did share the back-story for this poem.  He says, “I came across a letter to her brother that my ex-wife had shared with me some time ago. In it she told him of what finding me did for her life, the meaning and sanity it gave her.  As I did then, I told her it meant as much to me.

“Sadly the day came where she did not wake to return to me and the one who woke took her from me.  Now I’m left with only the six feathers….

Header photo credit:  “Feathered Fury” by GollyGForce via Flickr.  [CC BY 2.0]

Beautiful, James!  Thank you.


Please note:  If you would like to contribute a poem to this blog, please let me know by leaving a comment below.  I’d be happy to hear from you.

I do ask three things of my guest poets:

  • a poem of your own making that has great meaning and mana for you,
  • the back-story for the poem — what inspired you or how you made it or whatever you want to tell about it, and
  • an image that I can use as the featured photo in the header. (The last is optional. I do ask that the image you share is one you own — either an image of yourself or something that relates to the poem.  If you choose not to send an image, then I’ll go find something that works.)

If you click on this thing –> “Guest Poet Portal” you can submit a poem right now.


Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you would drop a note or comment below and tell me your thoughts.


16 thoughts on “MISSING FEATHERS

  1. I have never come across this kind of poetry before but I have to comment on how beautifully written this piece is. It does what all good stories or poems do in very quickly creating an atmospheric in my imagination which allows me to be alongside the story teller in its telling.

    To have the back story to add to the context and understanding was a rare treat which made the poem all the more meaningful.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful creativity.


    1. Hamish, thank you for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I’m so pleased that it resonated with you.

      Please do come again.

  2. Love stories are often enchanting.  This story more so because of the missing feathers.  The life referred to as feathers was good and complete.  The ending of the poem sad. Memories are what he writes from.  Seeing someone you love slip slowly away is a journey in sorrow.  

    Life has ways of disrupting what we consider the flow.  We as humans have to figure out how to make the next part of our journey as complete as possible.  Searching for feathers is often futile, and we should not waste time there.  We should not spend our time in remorse either.  

    The feathers circle, and we use as many as we need or have access to finishing our own journey.  

    How did you interpret this story?  

    Thanks, Sami

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts, Sami.  I loved the musings you shared.

      Every time I’ve read through this poem I have been moved to look at another way of seeing.  Like every good story, what you see as a result of touching the thoughts presented depends on where you are standing, I suppose. 

      Please do come again.

  3. What a rare find your site is, especially in this day of technology.  While you call it a poem – upon my reading I felt the story surrounded me and provided an opportunity to reflect.  

    James Ray’s free form – is mellow and winds a tale that tells the journey of life.  The poem shows, the reflection of not only a man but that also of a woman and their fulfillment found in each other.  

    Beautifully done and thanks for share.  

    You mentioned in your post – about sharing our poetry through the Guest Poet Portal.   Is there any specific style or type of poem that you are looking for?

    1. Steve, thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  

      The only thing I ask is that the poem you share is made by you and that it holds meaning and mana (inner power) for you.  I love all poetry stylings as ways to make bridges and connections.  

      I also ask for the back-story (why you made the poem or what inspired you or whatever you feel like sharing about how the poem grew).  The back story does add so much to other people’s understandings and very often it helps to place your audience in the same sandbox.

      Please do come again…and, hey, if you feel moved to submit a poem, I say, “DO IT!”  Playing is a good thing!

  4. Thank you all. For more than I can say. For more than I will say. For more that can be said. Thank you

  5. Sheddy Ovb says:

    I must say thank you for this article. This is really a beautiful poem.

    One great advantage of poetry is that it can encapsulate ideas in the minimum of words and also be able to lift the reader out of the ordinary and give glimpses of a more illumining reality, all these are found in this fascinating poem. It’s has really been entertaining and educating. I will definitely visit your site some other times. Thank you. 

    1. Sheddy, thank you for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I do appreciate it.

  6. LineCowley says:

    What a beautiful and meaningful poem from James Ray you have shared here. I could feel the emotions in the words and visualise the six feathers that I can only assume came from an Indian warriors head plumes. To describe a special person in your life as Missing Feathers, is just so special.  

    I feel quite moved by these words and hope that James found solace again with his six feathers. 

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, LineCowley.  I’ll pass them along to James….

      Please do come again.

  7. Julia Kossowska says:


    What an amazing poem!

    Ray James does indeed write very beautifully but how sad that it was his heart-breaking circumstances that led to this poem.

    He’s so brave to share both his poem and his backstory with us and I thank him for it and I thank you for sharing it with us.

    I also really like the image of the feathers that you chose to go above the poem. 

    All the best,


    1. Julia, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I will pass them along to James….

      Please do come again.

  8. Again thank you all.. Your words caused thoughts, gave hope, offered peace.

    To Netta Thank you again for reposting and letting me know.

    Although I live in a place that is metaphorically Covid 19 restricted I hope to one day have the restrictions lifted and journey in a maskless world.

    1. You are very welcome, James. Thought you’d like it. Hee!

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