The Shaman

Want to know something about the Shaman? 

He’s not Jesus. He’s just a guy who stumbled by accident upon the waters of eternal life. 

Making pie is not about immortality. 

It is about leaving his burdens behind. 

Getting out of his mind. 

Away from himself. 

From his sins.

His memories. 

His past. 

But his past isn’t going anywhere. 

It’s as present as the noon day sun hanging over the Pacific. 

He wakes up and faces it every morning. 

It’s his cross to bear. 

And Anna has not come to set him free, 

Nor has he come to enlighten her. 

Of this we can be certain: 

The two have things to learn from each other. 

For they are more alike than either know. 

Unraveling. 

To me this is a matter of unraveling. I have in my life been made a bundle of paradoxes and unconscious impulses. To sift through and untangle them is to unravel my stuckness — to manifest what I feel to be an immense potential at the core of my being; potential for what I do not know. But I know it is there, waiting for me to figure it out — to unravel completely. 

Begin

Begin to make moves in the direction of a strong, well balanced, drama-free artistic, literary, and musical community flourishing by the sheer effort of its members. 

Begin to walk away from the energy suckers, the phonies, the manipulators, the emotionally reactive.

Begin to extricate energy from improper circumstances and relationships. 

Begin to limit endeavors. 

Begin to hone them down. 

Begin to focus clearly and consistently on positive feedback loops. 

Music.

Beats.

Lo-Fi sounds.

Soul felt lyrics. 

Novels. 

Poems.

Short stories. 

Make money simply for the sake of existing and supporting life.

Stop apologizing for being selfish with personal resources. 

Wake up. 

Break down old structures.

Build up new ones. 

Become.
Become. 
Become. 
And begin. 

Begin where the self already stands. 

Inkling

I begin to think something, an inkling of something. Possibility. My potential capacity to actualize aspiration. I feel the edges of my unlived life and quiver at its magnitude. I begin to think I am capable of incredible feats. A life of health, wholeness, joy, and deep commitment. So what stands in my way?

Rising

I can feel myself growing with each day. 

New opportunities are presenting themselves. 

For love. 

For work. 

For art. 

I am leaving behind what distracts me. 

And working hard to face what is in front of me. 

Breaking out on my own. 

Finding a space that is entirely mine. 

Setting boundaries with people. 

Finding myself within my own field. 

Cultivating peace and inner security. 

It is my inner strength that is bringing all this to pass. 

Taking refuge in the jewel of my own heart 

And thriving there. 

This is a new world I’m treading in. 

A new world of possibilities and satisfaction. 

Of needs met and passions pursued.

What starts from within will inevitably make its way out. 

And so I am beginning with the blank canvas of my soul, 

Forging ahead with a new life. 

One grounded in love and care and strength and resilience and fluidity. 

And I am excited for the day when finally my dreams come to pass 

Somewhere there is a layer of skin I no longer need, 

A shell going back to the earth 

While I rise 

Little by little 

Into the heavens. 

Acid in my Lunchbox

I remember standing there

With the Giant Sea

And the Watercolor Sun.

My heart rattled like a broken maraca 

That fateful day when the sky looked

Like something Van Gogh would’ve painted

And two deer, a buck and a doe,

Nuzzled each other in front of me,

A squeeze of my hand 

Reminded me of Michigan

Of beach grass jungles

And sticks-made-swords

And the sound of you

Nearly inaudible inside of me.

God was a soap bubble that popped

In my brain

While the waist-high lake

Gargled and said,

The anemone of my anemone is my friend.

You were a fast fall down a steep dune,

I might have fallen on my butt 

If you hadn’t been there,

But you were the distant water gleaming

In the sun.

You were the pillows of warm sand beneath my feet;

The sail boat

That looked like a snaggle tooth

On the horizon;

The crunchy peanut butter and strawberry jelly

In my sandwich;

The acid in my lunchbox;
The twinkle of forests I once camped in.
You were the vivid image in my head
Of some electric eccentric paradise

Some desert mirage on a hot beach;

Some kid’s laughter,

And another kid’s sand castle.

You were the wind in my curls

And the song in my step.

And you are still with me.

The warmth in my sleeping bag,

The giggle on a river,

The silly groan of old stinky pups,

The crunch of dying leaves

Beneath my flat feet,

The yoo-hoo of six forest sprites 

Whose purple wings

Glow green in all my photos.

You are, if my hunch is correct,

The chip on my shoulder,

The biscuit in my tea,

The cow sniffing my shoes.

And you are the waterfall,

And you are the campfire,

And you are the pinecone,

And you are the air.

And most of the time,

I forget you’re even there.

But I remember now.

I remember you.

Digging Totems

I dug up my totem pole yesterday.

It had been sitting in the middle

Of my ex girlfriend’s living room

Gathering dust

Looking shriveled and neglected.

No one was home so I went in

With a variety of shovels and sheers

And dug and dug

Until the carpet was uprooted

And the bedrock foundation had been cracked

And dirt was seeping through the newly formed fissures.

After considerable push and pull

I unearthed it completely

Then carried it out over my shoulder

Without looking back.

There is a glade behind my house

With craggy trees, bramble

And a thin little creek trickling

Off toward somewhere.

I found a flat spot of earth

And placed the totem there

Carving a hole into the soil

Planting it firmly until it neither

Swayed nor rattled in the wind.

When finally I completed my task

When finally it stood strong and motionless

I tied a rope around it

Fastening the other end to my waist

Laughing all the while.

And I danced

And I ran

And swung like a tether ball

Around and around the totem.

I did so until the moon

Was bobbing among the woods

Like a Chinese lantern,

And the squirrels had retired to their dens

And darkness enveloped the neighborhood.

In the morning I awoke

To the sounds of birds chirping and pecking

At its wood-carved faces.

With my coffee and my book of poetry,

I sat at its feet

The white blue Sun draped over my back,

Knock, knock, knocking

At its solid walnut bole

Breathing in and out

To the satisfying rhythm

Of completion.

Then, when my knuckles tuckered,

And my wrist grew tired,

I plopped against it,

Tipped my cap over my eyes

And napped until it seemed that

My spine had fused with the totem itself,

Until there was no arguing

No quibbling or questioning

That I was anything but centered,

Anything but happy,

Anything but home.