Devil’s Tower, the Spirit of Chiha Tanka

The Spirit of Chiha Tanka
The Spirit of Chiha Tanka


Spirit of Chiha Tanka, Lakota Sioux myth of 150 years ago,

The legend—warriors believed was an unbeatable deadly foe.

Tale from the nights of a late autumn eve? This I would never know.

All I know is my search would begin the eve of Halloween; I had to go.

In Wyoming, at Devils Tower, is where to begin. This I was told,

Headed to the Black Hills in the late autumn as this story unfolds.

Last day of October, it is said the creature appears under the full moon,

If this was true, I would have his head on a stick by the next day at noon.

Not the typical fall day, but full of rain, fog, and a dampening mist,

Chiha Tanka legend in my mind, but modern weapons filled my fist.

150 years have passed, the legend. I knew it to be true. Most didn’t believe,

It was an adventure, and the fame, is what I hoped and dreamed to achieve.

Sunset, I found the forest of evergreens—base of Devils Tower of ancient lore.

Daylight faded, the night closed in—full moon, enough light to explore some more.

The night became chilled as the hours passed, with no Chiha Tanka in sight,

Suddenly the night was filled with the creature’s eerie wail. I almost took flight.

There, at the edge of the trees, the myth of Chiha Tanka of the legendary tale,

My courage, bravery, of the battle to kill the creature, knowing now I would fail.

Nine feet tall, matted hair, Chiha Tanka, the legend, the myth, was an absolute fact,

Overhead, the moon shimmered off his fangs. He lowered himself, ready to attack.

No way in Hell would I defeat such a creature! What had I gotten myself into?

Death was forthcoming at the fangs of the legend of the ancient Lakota Sioux.

Then silence, as Devils Tower changed, and the air became bitterly cold.

Stars disappeared—the stillness—no forest sounds at Devils Tower threshold.

Closing my eyes, I shivered, not from the cold mist, but from my intensifying dread,

Wondering why I was still alive, why was I still here, why I was not dead?

Slowly opening my eyes, Chiha Tanka was still there, but glimmered in the night,

One last howl of the ages, the creature, shimmered, then disappeared out of sight.

I knew now I had seen the spirit from long ago. My thoughts cleared, and it hit home.

The essence, a ghost, which happens on a late autumn eve, when Chiha Tanka still roams.

Kurt James © 2022

Kurt James
Kurt James – American Author

Where to purchase Kurt James novels, short stories, and poetry:

One of my tales on the NEW Kindle Vella: 
The Tartarus Variant: 
2019 saw the spread of the Coronavirus across the world. Then Coronavirus mutated into a different variant. Then variants such as Delta, Omicron, and then 10 other variants quickly engulfed the planet. In the year 2041, the 13th variant Tartarus became dominant. The world’s infrastructure finally collapsed – setting what remained of humanity on the brink of extinction. This was a one-man, one-dog, and one-horse’s story of survival, until Dixon Mateo rescued a girl named Alba Jesse.
One of my tales on the NEW Kindle Vella: 
Rocky Mountain Moonshiner:
In 1922, all Trent Laneetee, also known as the Crow, wanted to do was support his family. Once the state of Colorado went dry during prohibition, the most profitable way to do that was to sell his own whiskey. As Trent’s operation got larger, his business drew the attention of the Denver Mafia. They gave Laneetee an ultimatum of sharing his business and profits with the Denver Mafia or going to war with them. What the gangsters from Denver did not know – was you did not threaten Trent Laneetee.
More of Kurt James on Creative Exiles: 
Kurt James
Follow Me
Latest posts by Kurt James (see all)

Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With family roots in western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years Kurt naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt has become one of Colorado’s prominent nature photographer’s through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. His poetry has been featured in the Denver Post, PM Magazine and on 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado. Kurt is also a feature writer for HubPages and Creative Exiles with the article’s focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L’Amour and Max Brand have formed Kurt’s natural ability as a storyteller. Kurt has published 7 novels all based in and around the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using the Midnight Wind Publishing brand Kurt has also released a poetry collection called the wandering man collection - Poetry and Thoughts of a Wandering Man - (Uniquely Colorado edition) and now this collection - Poetry and Reflections of a Wandering Man (Random Thoughts edition). Kurt has also published 3 historical reference books, and one humor book. All are available in print or download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt is working on his 11th Colorado adventure tale novel “Raphael Eye for an Eye.

6 thoughts on “Devil’s Tower, the Spirit of Chiha Tanka

  • October 26, 2022 at 7:43 PM

    ((( ))) Shivering with the thought of seeing this ancient legend. Excellent work, Kurt, and a pleasure to read.

    • October 27, 2022 at 9:52 AM

      Glad you enjoyed it, inspired by a recent trip to Devils Tower. After I finish up the 3 books, I am currently writing, I am going to write a fictional book about this legend. The time frame for this novel will be set in the 1870’s.

  • October 30, 2022 at 4:41 AM

    An interesting and scary legend. Thank you for sharing this (poetic) piece Kurt.

  • November 5, 2022 at 3:00 PM

    After a reread I realized that this trip of yours to North Dakota would be the perfect Halloween trip. Jamie

    • November 6, 2022 at 6:39 AM

      The trip to Devils Tower in Wyoming, was for research for a future novel that I am getting prepared to write. The poem just happened to be little extra from that trip.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

Our cookie settings are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. By continuing to browse this website you are accepting our cookie policy.