Monday, April 30, 2012

Surrender to the Wind

Spring rain has come,
Strewn dewy petals.
The wind has taken his broad arm and flown,
Sweeping across the tall prairie grasses
And gently laying them down.
“Come,” he says confidently,
Displaying his handiwork,
Inviting me in to a place deep in the meadow,
Cool as a canopied cot.

“Come and lie here with me for a spell.
Let me blow whispering promises over you.
Let me tickle your neck and the bottoms of your feet
And airy little breaths in your ear.
Rest with me here.
Refresh yourself.
Surrender the past,
And think.

Die in ecstatic fanciful bliss with me,
And let all the rusted withered mindset fall,
Forgotten forever.
Newness is here in the dew and my breeze,
And within you.
Wisdom is there
To bring peace and wholeness.
The kingdom within
Will never insult your soul.

Renaissance woman,
Come and dance.
Let me spin you, and twirl and dip
Until you are dizzy and swooning in love
And want only to lie with me.”

-jenn long

Friday, April 27, 2012

Love Lessons

Get in line, boys!
Love lessons start today,
And this is something rare!
Usually those who proffer their wisdom
Don’t have a clue
How to hack it on Monday morning.
They turn into pumpkins
If the clock strikes twelve
And they are not back in their ivory towers.

But here is a man—
A king really,
A man among men,
A man’s man,
A ladies’ man,
Or should I say,
A lady’s?
And he knows what the hell he is doing
When he takes you by the heart,
And the hand,
And the bosom,
And the groin.

He does it by looking deeply, so deeply
In thru the windows of my soul,
And taking such careful, tender notice
Of what’s there,
And what’s not,
And ever so gently he tiptoes in, and
Slowly makes himself at home.
He listens to the thoughts and words,
But even more,
He hearkens to the heart’s status quo,
And cuts thru all the other bullshit
Like a hot knife,
Unchaining my heart and setting me free
To love him and to satisfy the desires
Of both our hearts.

Oh yes!
I’m telling you,
He’s the best.
You could learn a thing or three.
If you’re interested,
Peek through this window
On windows,
And watch how he melts me—
How he turns me to putty in his solid hands.

-jenn long

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Epic Wishing

  Chapter One

I think I saw a falling star
This morning as I walked at dawn.
The sun was not yet quite up,
But stretched out a glimmering, golden yawn
So I could see my steps.
And I with my arms reaching up
To the heavens,
My head tilted back to see,
My back arching and stretching a bit,
Yes, after all was said and done, I did feel very free.
It was then that I caught sight of it.
There as I wanly smiled in the powdery blue,
Watching the stars dance on the edge of the night,
A fiery bright streak caught my eye,
There in the corner of my peripheral sight,
And I turned myself to see it.

Barely, I caught the tail as it glimmered,
Just a glimpse of it streaking down,
But I knew what I’d seen,
And I had a wish coming,
So I slowly turned all around
And thought what I could wish for.

So much had happened in the earth.
Nothing remained at all the same.
The mantle had rolled.
The poles had shifted.
No map or landmark at all remained,
And we had not met.
There was water everywhere now!
What had once been a large mass of land
Was now a series of various islands.
Some were larger and some so tiny.
Some were rugged and some slim strands
Ribboned by streams on either side.

All the infrastructure was gone.
Roads might travel miles in both directions
And wind up nowhere,
Or disappear suddenly,
Submerged in a stale and deep lagoon.
Bridges were out, and road signs useless.
Sometimes you might have a vague feeling of familiarity,
Like you’d seen the particular locale before,
But like a dream or déjà vu,
You couldn’t place it,
Or you knew it shouldn’t be there.
And what you didn’t know was:
Had you ventured out beyond?
To the spot where it had been?
Or had the mountain moved and come to you,
Because any of that might be possible.

And I would peer into the Milky Way
At dusk and then again at dawn,
With a memory of gazing into my bowl as a child,
Seeing if the letters made any sense that day
There in the depths of my alphabet soup,
And remembering the old days
When we would watch TV.
I saw once a story about the Ancient Mayans
And how they had tracked the cycle of Venus
To five hundred and eighty-four days,
And I thought how vain modern-kind has been
That we think we are so smug and smart,
When I with all my modern education,
Can’t even tell which one of these
Distant, tiny lights in the sky
Is a star, or which is a planet,
Or whatever else it might be called?
Yet, how the ancients knew the stars
And navigated to distant lands
Filled with the treasures they desired
To decorate their lives and
Express their artistic imaginations!
But me? I’m limited to surviving,
And the stars may hold no hope for me.
Who’s to say?
They will, however, be no help to me at all in my wanderings.
Pure luck will cause my path to cross again
The lives of friends I knew before, my family
Or even my own children.

And so I kindled the morning fire,
Breathing life back into the fading coals,
Gathering some leaves and a few twiggy sticks
And one more big one that I’d found.
The little eggs I’d scavenged yesterday,
I set to roast above the flames,
And thanked God and the starry host above
For another day’s existence.
Then watching the firebrands
There at first light,
Seeing them spark out, and cool, and go dim,
Reminded me of that sight I’d seen,
And that I hadn’t yet
Wished for anything.

I took my fire stick and rolled the eggs out,
Letting them cool a bit on a stone,
And had no idea what I should wish for—
Barely surviving! There all alone!
And yet my mind was so cluttered
By old dreams and wishes from my former life:
Things I had wanted, or wanted to do,
Or to be, or not to be
As a mother or as a wife,
And so I peeled the smaller egg,
Its brown specks crumbling in my hungry hand,
And I watched the pieces falling down
Onto my hearth stones,
Into the fire pit, and onto the sand,
And I took a small bite of my toasty victual,
And I savored the texture,
The vigor, the taste,
And I licked my fingers and around my lips
Not wanting that any should go to waste.

Then I hurriedly peeled the other egg—
This with a soft, off-white shell
From maybe a turtle, or a snake?
It seemed more poached than the roasted one,
But full of flavor and I nibbled on it
As I ruminated on my fate.
What was still Real?
What was still there?
What had ever been?
What might be next?

How difficult it was to let go
Of some of the old routines I had.
I should be doing the laundry right now.
I should be cooking breakfast for someone else
Shouldn’t I, besides for myself?
Yes, it was with a rutted brain that I
Would stumble thru my days,
Trying to shake the feeling that I should be
Doing something somewhere else,
Being somewhere or something else.
Thus had I tortured myself for months,
Although, that torture was so common for me
To inflict on myself, that it somehow brought me
Comfort now,
As I struggled to do what I had to do
Just to live.

But today I’d seen the star.
And even though it meant
The star had had to die,
The old life spoke a word of hope
Croaking out from its old dead ways and superstitions,
And a part within the deepest heart of me
Wanted to believe:
“Yes! I had a wish coming!”

Chapter Two

I had been on a fool’s errand.
Just needing a few things from the store
And a few minutes of peace and quiet to myself.
            I hadn’t gone more than twenty-five miles
Away from what used to be called my home.
But suddenly the highway buckled before my very eyes, and huge
Cracks and crevices bulged and sagged,
And the car I was driving shook and bounced
And I got out and into an open place to try and wait it out.
            But for hours this went on and I watched eerily and in terror,
Trying to guess where the next sinkhole would appear and avoid it.
Sometimes it would ease for just a minute or two,
And I would look around and try to breathe
And try to calm myself,
And tell myself that everything was fine.
I would look as far as I could down the road—
The way that used to lead back home,
But the direction had disappeared,
And I had a sick and twisted feeling in my gut
That told me there would be much tribulation
In trying to go back that way.

But as I would just be gaining heart
And thinking of climbing back in my car
And trying to get at least as far
As it would take me along,
Aftershocks would ripple through,
Leaving me leaning this way and that
Trying to find my balance again
And toppling as I merely tried to stand,
And so I froze in awe and numbness,
Crying some, and sometimes yelling—
Screaming at the earth to stop it,
And vainly commanding time to cease
And more—
To go back on its natural course and
Maybe then return all things back to “normal,”
Whatever that was,
And to return me to the place where I was,
If not lively, comfortable.
All afternoon I steadied myself in a solid ditch,
And as the sun began to set,
Panic, too, set in, and I stumbled back
Across the uneven ground toward my car,
Which now lay in an open field.
I noticed the pattern of tremors was easing.
The throbbings came further and further apart
And pulsed in less and less intensity,
And so I hoped maybe they had ceased,
But peering deep into the dusk,
The road looked like a pile of rough rubble after a bomb raid.
There was no way I would try
To navigate the hazards there in the dark.
I would wait until the morning,
And so I said a gutless prayer
And had a pack of crackers
That I’d just bought at the store.

I don’t know what time it was
When I drifted off there in a troubled sleep.
I know I slept enough to dream
A scattered vestige of something,
But just about the time when I
Perceived a message coming thru,
The theme was broken by a sound
Of many waters rushing.
“Oh MY GOD!” I cried as I woke
And wondering if I was still asleep?
I hoped I was for what I saw
Was darkness upon darkness.
A dam had surely broken somewhere,
And now the pent up waters,
Brooding and contemplating their escape
For a century or more,
Were free at last,
And with a victory roar in liberty and full power,
The anarchistic waves were wiping the landscape clean.
A blast of water came behind
My van and pushed it very far and fast.
I had now no real sense of measured time or space,
But the feeling of the distance and the spinning
Took me so off-guard right then,
And disoriented me even worse,
That in my dizzy, frightened state,
I couldn’t perceive life or death.
Everything I’d ever thought right
Seemed wrong now passing before my eyes.
I think it was all too much.
I think my mind went catatonic.
I don’t know how conscious I may have been
Or how unconscious,
But of a sudden a brilliant light
Shone into my broken heart and soul,
Exposing years of idle talk and deeds
And numb, disjointed living.

Something guttural in that Vital Beam
Woke me to the very core,
And I thought, “Cruel Wisdom!
Why have you granted your glorious streams
Now as I lay dying?
Why couldn’t you have woken me
Long ago when I was young,
When I had the power to choose
And to use this knowledge to thrive and prosper?”

But the virility of the Living Glow
Loved all of me and took my woe
And I rested somehow in its bosom.
Comfort and warmth and safety were there
And more than I ever had wanted.
I felt known and understood.
I felt no lack and nothing but good,
Tho I had been, and was, such a sinner.
And so I slept,
And dreamed of green fields of peace and golden flowers
And of wearing the laurel crown of the winner.

Chapter Three

When I awoke I saw that I was truly in a field of green.
My car was perched like a wobbly new bird just hatched
In the brushy branches of a non-bearing mulberry tree.
I was crumpled in a corner, a counter-balance to it all,
Helping create a virtual perpetual motion machine—
Rocking with the branches and the car,
Waiting for the boughs to break,
And thus, the baby would surely fall.
But in Reality the lines for me had fallen in good places;
My lot was fair, and I considered myself very fortunate,
For I was alive; I think I still am,
And I thought I saw a way to make an emergency exit route
From the side window of the van.
For somewhere deep within my being,
I faced the fact that the time would come
When I would also have to face the glaring day.
I would have to shake off the denial, the depression,
And get up and live.

And so I moved with the rhythmical swaying.
I danced to the great beat of the bushy drums
Banging there against my car.
I swayed in time and
In chorus with the swinging metronome,
And gracefully, blithely made it through
And out of the open window.
I was amazed at the strength I still had:
Grabbing a sturdy branch with both hands
And pulling myself up and out, over at my torso,
Then pushing my arms straight and taut to swing down.
It made me feel like a kid again.
I remembered hours spent in the big trees
Wrapped in the protective covering of make believe,
And then my feet would hit the ground.

A new kind of wind seemed to be blowing:
Stark, and real; harsh, yet fresh.
It slapped me a few times across my cheeks
Just to make sure I was fully awake.
And I was.
I surveyed my surreal surroundings
With eyebrows high, and big eyed,
Trying to take it all in at once and trying to get the bigger picture,
Trying to understand what had happened
And get a better perspective on it all, to know where to go from here.
For a long while I ambled without aim,
Exploring the little clearing there in the brush.
Then for hours, I guess, I paced across it back and forth,
With my thoughts haunting me, accusing me of being
Clueless as to what the right direction might be or the path,
And I pled “nolo contendere,” for Truth, I did not know,
In fact, which way was up.

Sometime late that afternoon
When the shadows began to grow,
I felt a rumble in the hollow of my flesh
And thought, “I’m hungry.”
I may never have felt that empty.
And so I scampered back up the tree
To where the van still swayed and rocked,
And looked in to see if there
Was anything edible therein
To nourish my new existence,
And thankfully there was.

Chapter Four
For a few days I rationed the
“Things I had needed from the store.”
I didn’t realize when I bought them
Just how I would really need them
Until I didn’t have them anymore,
But I hoped against hope,
“There must be rescue teams coming to save me—
To deliver me back to my home.”
I kept picturing it just the way I had left it
And could think of nothing better than finding a phone
And calling and telling them where I was now.
But that was a problem
For I didn’t know
Where I was,
Or at what point my home lay,
Or if anything anywhere was left
Untouched by the show
Of force that Nature
Had unleashed upon us,
Of the apocalyptic unveiling
That had leveled the high,
That had brought up the low,
And brought the far things, nigh.

But as time went on
And the quiet grew louder,
I knew my faith would need to shift.
No one was coming to save or deliver.
I was going to have to survive all this
On sheer will.

And so I began to scavenge and forage,
Eating the tops of briars and certain blossoms.
Sometimes a nest had an egg or two,
And occasionally I caught
A minnow in the little brook
Where I went to drink.
I didn’t know if I had the chutzpah
To kill any another type of creature—
To sacrifice it for my own sustenance,
But I was getting awfully famished
And began to think
Maybe I could.

Chapter Five
Each day, religiously, I tried to travel
At least some progression in the direction which I perceived
Must be South, which was the setting in my heart
That day Catastrophe had been thrust upon me.
But I came to a sudden halt that day
When I saw brightness through the scrub brush
And emerged from the dense thicket into the light of day.
I found myself on a sandy strand of shore
Encompassed all about to the right and to the left
By a massive fresh water sea!
I closed my eyes hard and shook my head
Trying to shake off the unfamiliar vision,
Trying to see what I wanted to see there,
But even then I didn’t know why.
Was it that I wanted things to appear to everyone else
To be “right?”
Why did I care?
Or was it just that I wanted to see what I wanted to see?

At any rate, I am trying to quit pretending,
And quit shaking my head,
And quit closing my eyes like a baby,
Thinking that when I close my eyes,
I am hidden from it all,
Or that when I open them things will be different.
I took a deep draught of the Reality into my lungs,
Filling them with the crisp, raw air
That swirled about there on the shore,
And I allowed my chin to be lifted up
And my eyes to run along the lines of the water
As far as Horizon would permit me
And then I said strongly,
“I love the beach!”
And so I pitched my camp there for a day and a half.

Chapter Six

Something seemed to be pulling and tugging at me.
But something in me seemed to be pulsing out,
Still emanating an unmet need and desire.
Deep was calling unto deep, and I was very stirred.
I listened to a homing call,
And felt a cry of longing on every incoming wave.
The sounds were large, so full it seemed, about to burst and overflow,
Coming from nowhere and everywhere all at once,
And I couldn’t discern the origin.

Uncertain, still trying to ascertain
Whether I should travel east or west?
I had always had a certain affinity—
A tendency toward the safe, abstract concepts
Found in Western Ways and Thought,
But now I wondered where that had gotten me?
The Deep seemed to call to my darkest curiosity;
Enigma calling me to understand
The Paradoxia of the mysterious Eastern Poets
Abiding in the Orient and Beyond.

And whether it was right of me
Of maybe it was just what was left,
But I headed north along the curving shoreline
Into the Eastern Wilds.

I may have walked for Forty Days,
And I can’t say that I ate or drank,
But humbling was that desert shore.
Relentless Wind blew sand at me—
Clouds of burning, gritty dust
Laughed at me to scorn.
Petty voices scoffed at me,
Questioned my identity—
Which I didn’t care anymore.
The sting of their insults tore at first,
But I began to know what was worse:
The pain of an empty gut.
I actually considered building a shelter there,
Thinking to construct a protective barrier,
But thankfully, thought better of it
And kept moving out to where
Perhaps the squall would cease.

And I am glad now that I kept journeying
For when finally I rounded a jagged bend
And the elevation dropped
And then dropped again,
I rested there in a peaceful cove.
Just inland from there a bit,
There grew a grove of dates and palms,
And I thanked my lucky stars above
And any alms I’d offered up before
That had brought me such good luck.
I ate my fill, and found a comfortable rock to be inclined on,
And as I sat, I thought I saw
Something different bobbing across the sea.
I watched it from afar off wondering at it.

It seemed that it was drifting along
But slowly I saw its destination was purposeful.
Drawing nearer and nearer,
At first a blur that blended sometimes in
With the white capped waves,
But slowly a form of beauty came to view,
And soon I perceived, and then I knew
That a sailboat was approaching,
And on it was a man,
And that man, my friend, was you.

Chapter Seven

The Beginning of Wisdom~?
The terror of seeing Pure Light
Shining into your darkened house,
Exposing the hypocrisy you’ve hated in others,
And the lies that you’ve told yourself there in your dimness,
For years and years and years.
The shock of hearing the real answers come out,
The ripping back of the curtain at Oz,
And allowing yourself to think the thoughts
That have really been dormant there all along.
And the freedom of speech?
The freedom to say
What is in your heart to utter,
What your mouth has longed to spit out
For years and years and years.
But no one has asked,
And you haven’t had the courage to speak.

I saw the sail, full blown
and lovely,
Free upon the open wave.
I saw you there
Yet confident, a bit of a surly knave,
And then the conversation began:
“Yes—“I barely breathed,
And when the boat was tied,
And we sat on the sand together,
And I gave you some of the dates and palms,
An egg and some nuts that I had found,
And we began to tell our tales
Of the things that we’d been through.
We talked as friends
Who hadn’t seen each other
For years and years and years.
And then we paused,
And breathed,
And looked out together at the waves
With the afternoon sun gleaming on
Their happy crests,
And you said,
“I love the beach!”
And so we went swimming.

Chapter Eight

Funny how refreshing and yet how exhausting
It is to swim all day.
I finally waded out of the water
And plopped on the wet, sunny sand.
My legs were shaky,
And I felt weak—
Utterly helpless to defend myself
If that need should arise.

I also felt guilty for having such a great time.
I could feel my puritan ancestors
Rolling quite over in their shallow graves,
Because I had probably had too much fun.
I probably shouldn’t allow myself to have any more
For a decade or three,
For I had clearly exceeded the quota!
But exerting my body against the strong waves,
And leaping to ride them over their peaks,
And you splashing me and me splashing you,
Had worn all the worries off of my face,
And watching you enjoying yourself there in the water—
The quick-silver spray,
The tan of your skin,
Had all helped me.
I noticed my reflection there in a mirrored pool
And barely recognized myself.

The things you would ask me!
The way you would say it!
The unpredictable juggling
That kept me up in the air.
It all brought my guard down;
My answers were honest ones,
And the light in your eyes breathed fire
Into my heart.
Then you got a little wrinkle in your brow
And touched your index finger to your lip,
And seemed puzzled
Wanting to figure the angles and how they went together,
And so we talked
A lot
For years and years and years.

But you made a place for yourself that night
On a flat worn stone,
And I covered it with palm leaves,
And you helped me pick up a mat and stretch it out
There on the shifting sands.
Together we formed a tuft
And covered it with soft willow
And that night we both slept very well
From the early dark of evening
Until the break of day.

And that is when I had gone out alone walking;
Thinking; praying; seeking;
Assessing where I’d been.
How things were.
How were they?
How things are.
How? How are they?
And that is when with up stretched arms
I was reaching,
Hoping, dreaming.
And that is exactly when
I spied, with just barely a corner of my eye,
That beautiful, falling star.

And that reminds me,
I haven’t made my wish on it yet.

Chapter Nine

For several days we continued together separately.
You in the water, wake disappearing behind like a desert mirage.
Me, stepping along, often barefoot on the muddy shore,
Still looking back at times to see my footprints vanishing in the tide.
Often I could see you up ahead
Scouting out the territory,
Glass to your eye, getting the bigger picture of the new horizon,
Mapping out in your mind its current landscape, and
Wondering if it might change again.
But always in the morning and again at dusk,
We would meet and share what our days poured forth.
Sometimes you had caught a fish,
And I had found some fruit or grain.
We would munch on the crisp, whole kernels
And speculate on the rest of the world.

I had wondered if other people
Had found each other and begun
To flock together to work to live,
Or else to gather to use and abuse each other as before.
I had also tried to think what I would do if I found such a cluster—
If I should hide myself away
Until I could discern if their motives were pure?
Of if they might be base and crude?
I considered long and hard
Should I come across such congregation,
Just how my true compass inside might point me then to go,
For I had grown wary of the former systems and associations.
I had seen much corruption and pain
In the politics and power struggles
Of the world before the quake.
What affect had the cataclysm had, if any,
On the personalities and priorities of the “post-post-modern” man?

And so it was with some suspicion, I guarded my heart and mind,
But as the strands of your days and mine
Braided a loose cord of partnership and charity,
I found myself dropping my shield.
I saw you standing there by the sail—
Feet in the water, reflecting on the images there in your heart,
Deeply searching yourself
For an answer to a bottomless question.
I realized there that someday you would
Discover some solution,
For I perceived that you would keep on seeking
Until your answer came—however the resolution might look.
I could see the resolve within you
Was much deeper than the limitless quest that held your gaze.

And as I began to trust his heart—
The sojourner of Reality—
I felt an old curiosity awake in me.
As I noted his discoveries,
I felt the questions which he asked himself
Reverberate in me,
And I found myself dismissing
My initial answers,
To probe my own mind and consciousness on every level
For the more honest reality
And allowed my thoughts to explore new possibilities
And broader spectrums.
My Self was flooded like the land before me.
Ordinances I had built upon
Were washing away, and I couldn’t think for a while
Without the ancient markers there
To keep my thoughts in line.
For now the way lay out before me everywhere.
Many narrow winding paths lay out in front for me to choose.
My journey would be strange and yet, full of beauty and challenge,
But sometimes I was overwhelmed at choosing only one,
And had no signs to point me in the direction I should go,
Or just how far I ought to move down any particular one,
Before I might cross some proverbial line
And not even realize it.

But slowly I left off worrying,
And simply began to enjoy whatever path
My feet would choose.
And if I was tired, I rested a bit.
And if I hungered, food was found.
And if I was quiet, silence then.
And if I felt the need to talk,
I wrote a letter to my own heart
And answered it in time.
And sometimes I would talk to him.
And sometimes he would be there.
And sometimes I would only imagine that he was,
But even as I walked alone,
I knew that he was out there somewhere
Just ahead.
And I took comfort in knowing that there was at least
One other extant similar species.

Chapter Ten

I woke this morning early and hungry,
And feeling light headed from a partially fasted condition,
I rose long before first light
To walk along the shore,
Hoping to be rewarded with food
Along with the early bird.
The nights were dark and quiet now
Without the glare and hum
Of all the modern ways,
For technology had been all but lost
Erased by the groundbreaking surge.
But O how the stars would entertain!
Their brightness and turning so unfathomable!
I spotted the Big Dipper
And lined up the back two stars,
Drawing an imaginary line
Down to the great Polaris.
Wondering if north was even north anymore.

Then shoop! A glimmering streak in the night!
Another falling star!
Oh! How it scolded me!
I hadn’t even wished on the other one yet!
But just as I felt my conscience start to prick—
Shoop! Another falling star!
Oh! I couldn’t help but laugh!
Guilt was vanishing as actualization set in:
My greedy heart was hoarding my dreams—
Waiting for some rainy day!
I’d even considered childishly
Using my one wish for three more wishes.
Shoop! Another!
Well, there was my third one!
Had I wished for three more wishes?
Before I could wonder what I had done—
Shoop! Shoop! That was five now!
Shoop! Shoop! Two MORE! A perfect 7!

Now all of my life, I’d only seen
Two or three at the most.
Other lucky people with less myopia
Seemed to spot them all the time.
But I had never seen such a shower
Of stardust and fire,
And my heart was ablaze.
I felt a cosmic abundance of hope:
That delights and dreams and wishes
Could come true, after all.
And as I stopped to ponder,
I looked down shaking my head
And there was an egg on the bank of the stream.
I laughed again, and picked it up thankfully.
I held it high toward the heavens,
And as I was looking at it there in the starlight—
I saw another!
Eight falling stars—the number of a new beginning.

Chapter 11

The medicine man was searching.
It seemed long past the time when
Someone should have been revealed.
Someone should have appeared by now
And been seen as the one to become the apprentice,
Someone who could follow him and learn the ways
Of the healing plants and gall of fish and willow smoke.
And time was short.
He tried to turn his eyes away
From the picture in his mind.
His river of life had run its course,
And was not far from reaching its destination—
The Great Sea
Where, like a drink offering, the libation of his life
Would pour itself into the many waters.
And so it was he walked the woods alone.
He peered ahead into the open past,
Tracking his own footsteps, trying to understand.
Had he missed something somewhere?
Had disciples appeared along the way
And he’d been unable to recognize
The hidden potential they had held?
“It might be hard to discern it in the young people of today,” he thought.
Or had the obvious been too bold,
And doubt and disbelief distracted him from committing
The sacred knowledge into the life of someone else?
He had made a quiet exit in his moccasins.
The village camp had not known for weeks that he was gone.
Only when Ailment had crouched in their midst and pounced,
Did they look this way and that
For help from the old medicine maker.
But he had gone on a special mission.
Nothing else held any importance—
Only finding the Great Spirit’s trail of gifts
And the Learner who would know how to use them.

He had thought that perhaps his son
Would be the one born to take his mantle,
But his son seemed nothing like him,
And had gone outside the tribe in search of something.
The old man had never understood
Just what the younger man thought himself missing,
And he could not interpret the language of even the body
Of his own dear son,
And so their miscommunications
Multiplied, and exacerbated.
The differing perspectives that they had
And the confusion of each one trying to convince
The other to see things in their “right” order
Had pushed them apart.
He hadn’t seen his son in years,
And now that the earth had shaken and stirred,
He wondered if he would ever see
Any good thing, any future, any hope of posterity.

Chapter 12

I sat down on the sand of the beach.
I looked out at the waves coming in.
I took my finger and doodled a design in the earth:
A spiral starting out and going in and going in,
A giant snail like conch, within infinity,
Yet infinitely eternal, going in and going in,
And searching my whole self I sat for hours as the waves crashed,
The never ending waves of life going in and going in,
“And what was coming out,” I wondered.
For as the waves came inland,
Riptides unseen and undertows flow back against the grain,
And the waters return back to the deep,
And swell, and gain momentum,
And curl themselves up and force their way back in and in and in.

And I thought about how most of my life’s work seemed like the undertow,
Hidden service and unseen giving and offering the flow of my essence,
But where were the waves that were coming back in?
I couldn’t seem to see them?
Where was the return of love’s passion?
Where the reckoning of beauty for ashes?
Where had all the hours gone? And would time ever be redeemed for me?

And then I thought about the meteor shower I had seen.
Did my witness to its dying urges make me an heir to wishes?
Or not? “It’s time,” I decided, either way, “that I need to discover the dreams inside,
And I will delight myself in the Great Giver of desires and pronounce my longings.
I have the amplitude of the ages, and so I will not worry one little bit
If the first request I make be not the greatest or most important,
But that in simply making a wish for myself at all
The floodgates of understanding will raise their mighty heads
And I will learn how to aspire.”

Introspectively gazing into the depths of my spirit,
I thought I saw my deepest need.
I perceived that truly I had lived in the times of the end
When “cold love” had prevailed,
For I detected no wisdom at all, no inner experiential knowledge
Of how it felt to be warmly loved without fear of difference or shortcoming.
I yearned for the revelation of passionate love,
Of affectionately being noticed, and being interesting to someone,
Without having to pretend I was something that clearly I was not.
I had heard a saying long ago that God himself was love,
And so I spoke, “God, if you are real, and if you are really this essence called Love,
Show me then what Love truly is.”
And so I boldly declared,
“I wish for Love to capture me.”
That was wish number one.

This wishing was exhausting work!
And so I stretched out on my back,
Pressing myself down into the sand.
I closed my eyes and breathed a heavy sigh
And fell into a dreamy state of resting.

Chapter 13

This afternoon I sat up on the shore.
The day had brought forth everything
I needed for existence.
I was satisfied today.
The energies of the day were spent up to that very moment,
And so I restored body, soul, and mind.
No worries held any power over me;
No evil forebodings dared to try
And enter into that rest.
I meditated on the peace found there
In the rhythms of nature,
No hurried fretting,
No impending thoughts of action or of doom,
Just the gentle song of the waves breaking upon the shore.

And as I based myself on a peace filled soul,
My vision focused in on something borne upon the waves.
It appeared to be a good sized jar.
I waded out into the water,
Angling out to intercept it.
It was larger than I’d figured and got heavier
And harder to budge, the closer I got it to the shore.
And so its motion came to a close, lodged in the muddy brim
Where the water is shallow and the sand is thick,
And I chuckled at its oddness,
And wondered what contents might remain.

It seemed to be earthen.
It seemed to me, ancient, yet a brand new thing,
For I had never in real life seen
Such a color or texture of pottery,
Such a simple pattern,
But such meaningful design.
And I stood there holding its neck in both hands,
Wondering how I should open it,
For it was sealed there very tight,
Neither the water, nor the sand,
Nor probably even any air
Had penetrated the jar, the seal, or the lid.

And so I tried the handle on top,
Attempting to pull and twist and turn.
With all my heart and mind and strength
I wrestled the ancient urn.
I spied a stick and took its sharper end
Trying to jam it under the seal,
Thinking to prize the lid from the jar,
Wanting to hear that wonderful “pop”
As I would uncork the cap,
But the seal was solid
And stayed true to its duty,
Keeping it all intact.
And so I took my blunted flint
That I had found and put to much use
In opening random pecans and walnuts,
And with some reservation
I held it up,
Hating to disturb the fine terra cotta,
But hating worse to never know
What was really there inside,
And so I brought great force upon the side of the neck
Where the seals were firm and shattered the head
Completely off of the ancient earthen jug.

Instantly a fragrant puff of incensed air!
I detected ancient cassias, cinnamon, and healing aloes came to mind!
The refreshing aromas invigorated me—
My thoughts, my body even,
Were stimulated with an energy to continue and to renew.
I peered into the dark hollowed belly of the jug lying there beside me.
Something was folded up in there
And I couldn’t tell just what.
I stretched my hand and then my arm
Down in to try and reach it,
But just as I was able to feel the thing,
I winced at a bite like pain.
I had cut the upper side of my breast
On a piece of its broken shard.
But I pressed in anyway just a bit more
Until my grip was firmer,
And I grasped the material rolled up in there
And removed it from the jar.
I brought it out into the light,
Then turned for just a second
To my wound just pooling with blood between
My left clavicle and my heart.

I shifted my gaze immediately back to my
Perplexing, mysterious find,
And felt the soft material, rubbing it between my fingers,
Experiencing its felty, solid cloth.
“It feels like an old, old animal skin,” I thought,
And then remembered how ancient peoples had used such skins
For writing their sacred scrolls.
I untied the tasseled knot
That kept the binding there together,
And as I unrolled it
Saw a drop of my blood
Fall on its outer layer.

Chapter 14

As I unrolled the yellowed parchment,
My eyes beheld an ancient script:
Pictographic ideograms,
Oriental hieroglyphs
And I could not blink out the wonder
From my marveling questioning sight,
And considered the lettering with critical thinking,
“Should I read from left to right
Or does the sentence move from right to left
Or up and down?”
Could I come close to decoding the grammar
To interpret the message
On the scroll I’d found?

This was one thing at which I’d excelled:
Languages, semantics, linguistics, and codes.
I’d studied literature from every culture,
Their prose, their religions, the rhetoric, the odes.
And so I tried to unravel the mystery
Of whence this text had thus appeared,
And just how lucky I was to discover it.
Scientists might have sought this for years!
But maybe the earth itself had been the vessel
That had contained it til the seal of the ground
Had been split in the quake,
And now the message in the bottle
Lay here at arm’s length for me to take,
And to decipher,
And to enjoy,
And to know.
This was a treasure meant just for me.

And yet I took a hard unsentimental look at the scroll,
Considering its source—
Its origin,
And I thought it to be very ancient—
The writing, more symbolic, proto-picto-drawings, each letter,
Rather than abstract Phoenician alphabet.
And so I began to see
The desert as a backdrop to the symbols there,
With the dark inky blottings representing the things
Necessary to exist in the barren wastelands.
This was a wilderness text.
This, a roadmap for a deserted journey—
This, a signpost pointing out the ancient ways—
A survival manual for weary, yet resolute wayfarers
Who wanted both to know the good destination
And be revived to reach it.

Staring at the entire block of the writing
On the first piece of the puzzling scroll,
I realized that I would be able to come
To some level of understanding of it,
For this would be no vague abstraction
With meaningless tenses and conjugations.
Concrete pictures would tell me the story.
I was already starting to visualize the ancient markings
And the life that sprang out from the page—
Horses with their nostrils flaring;
Homes with oxen strength to plow,
Furrowed fields,
Planting tomorrows
With strong milk and seeds of
Healthy, nourishing foods.
This was a timeless text connecting
All humanity by the things we share—
The tears and laughter of birth and death,
Sweaty perspiration of work and sexuality, and breathing,
Urine, and excrement, and blood—
And then I noticed that I had somehow already changed the sacred text,
For there on the first few unrolled segments,
My own bloody fingerprints mingled into the lettering,
Decoupaging the script with my very DNA.

I had been so thrilled with the treasure of the jar,
I had not seen what a gash was pouring forth,
And when I took the time to look and see the problem,
Triage was immediately needed.
Without hesitation I took the sash like strip that had held the scroll
And stuck the tassels to my wound to blot the cut and pressure
Was applied, and then I remembered seeing a calvatia gigantea,
Or giant puffball mushroom just a little in the brush.
The spores of these were said to be a natural coagulant,
And so I walked up to where I’d seen it and pressed it hard against my skin.
Then I thought to take the sash and tie it round the puffball,
And almost instantaneously the bleeding and aching stopped.
It was getting dark, and I felt the chill of night to be approaching,
And with my arm tied in the sash, I pictured the challenge of building a fire.
But I had the ancient scroll in my good arm, and made my way back toward my campsite
And when I reached my little lean-to shelter I crawled up there inside,
And without really thinking, I unrolled the entire velum
And I wrapped myself up in it, and it kept me very warm.
That night there was a heavy dew and soaked the leather here and there,
Leaving inky tattoos in random places on my skin,
Ancient hieroglyphic stories on my most tender places.

Chapter 15

Today when I saw you,
I really saw you
With eyes that had never seen anything before,
Like someone had taken the filter off the sun
And the brightest and best rays finally made it to the earth.
They shone on you.
They illuminated you to me
As the brightest and best that the world or heaven could offer.
I felt a sensation of deep intrigue,
Wanting to know you inside and out
And wondered what had made me ever let you out of my sight.
As you sailed up that morning,
I saw you looking at me—
Squinting some to try and figure something out.
And then as you got closer
You threw back your head and laughed and said,
“What do you have all over you?”
And took the tail of your shirt still wet from wading in
And wiped the traces of the ink stains off.
Then you put your thumb into the corner of your mouth
And brought it out damp and erased a smudged mark from my cheek,
And then you touched my shoulder with three fingers from your hand
And asked me what I had done to myself to be in such condition.
“Do tell,” you said,
But I couldn’t speak.
I couldn’t tell you anything at all;
I thought I had been overcome by living electricity.
A stream of awakening shot thru me in warmth and strength and power
The moment your hand touched my body.
Nothing else was present.
Just a tremor of passion in my soul
And a quaking in my heart.

It seemed to me that every glance my way,
Each kind word, the inquisitive queries,
The interested attempts to figure me out
That you had intermittently sent along our recent journey
Had gone completely thru me,
Like a cosmic ray of energy,
And travelled to the farthest point away,
To the very edge of the universe,
Gathering momentum as they went,
And when they finally hit the place
Where they could be returned,
The inertia pushing them back to me
Was so intense that words will not describe.
But at that moment of your touch
Those forces hit together,
And every cell and every atom within my soul

I felt a complete surrender in the arrangement of my atoms,
A loosening, unraveling, completely to my core.
My head was spinning, and I could feel my heart moving,
I felt there was not a thing in the world
That I wouldn’t do for you,
And it terrified me.

You were chatty that morning,
And I loved it—
Telling me things that you had seen
And the thoughts you’d had about them.
I stared at you, doe-eyed,
Deer in the head lights startled,
And listened to your morning song
While I thought beside I heard
The chorus of the first streaks of sunlight streaming forth,
And harmony of the stars that sang in deep basses unintelligible,
The rhythmic clicks and chips and taps of universal percussion,
And horns and harps and timeless music all backing you up,
You—there in the spotlight!

What was this rolling tide of power surging thru me
I had felt a slight familiar trace of feelings,
But nothing quite like this.
This was no small, petty, jealous, greedy hoarding, one person of another—
This was large.

Chapter 16

Suddenly you turned to me strongly
With your steele gray eyes looking thru
And asked matter of factly, “So,
What’s been going on with you?”
And I was still unable to form a coherent thought.
“Are you ok?” you asked.
“Did you lose consciousness or something?”
“I don’t know,” I tried to say,
But it may have sounded more like
A cavewoman’s grunt, or some other primeval utterance.
I could only point to the lean-to.
So you came alongside me,
And with your arm around my shoulder,
We walked together til I could point again,
And you saw there the ancient scroll.

“What is this?” you began,
As you picked it up and started stringing it out
Across the topmost points of my shelter
I would feed the slack up to you and you kept lining it out,
And finally it all hung there out to dry.
You didn’t seem that interested
In where it had come from
Or how it had come to be in my possession,
But we stood together enjoying it,
Reading it, trying to understand it,
And when we got tired of standing,
We sat together and continued pouring over it—
Kept watching its movements and personifications
Coming to life on the giant page.
And the sun would dance on it, and the breeze blew it,
Waving it, and its billows would take the sentences and
Rearrange them, and mix the plots and characters all up
To make new stories out of the old ones,
And we would laugh together
To finally understand a meaning,
And we would stun with gaping mouths
At some of the tragic scenes.
We came to see the text as an ancient quilted patchwork,
Telling the stories of the families of earth—
The lives that had been lived out.
Shakespeare was there,
The epic of Hamlet,
The questions of choosing to live or to die,
The fact that that, in itself, is a choice,
The comic relief of a “louse” or a “flea,”
Of Robert Burns, or a Chaucer Tale,
The rhetorical questions of Socrates,
And all that day we sat and read,
And cried, and laughed,
And your hand was on me—
Around my waist,
Or at my shoulder,
Or pulling back a wisp of hair.

And even as I enjoyed and relished the day and its unfolding,
A hollow emptiness echoed inside
Until I thought I might cave in
If you would but touch me once again,
But I didn’t know either what
Result would be, and possibly even more catastrophic,
If you didn’t touch me again.
And so I rode out the waves of my passion—
The highs and the lows, the gentle lulls,
The breaking crashes against the rocks,
Til finally you stood and stretched and said, “Let’s find some food,”
And I rose with you,
And, maybe the scroll had taught me to speak again, or a new language,
Or maybe some part of my voice had returned,
But I spoke a simple, “Yes.”

And then in the process of standing and breathing deeply
And exhaling and feeling the blood and the pheromones
And the stardust particles of ancient days coursing thru,
My spirit was moved to intercede for me:
“She wants to know the meanings of the symbols in the writing,
And not in a cerebral,
Academic sort of way,
But in living the vibrant life
Which, the best of any literature,
Tries so hard to capture
And yet quite can’t.”
And thus my second wish was made.

Chapter 17
Together we built a campfire
And I continued finding sticks,
While you checked a net that you’d lain out.
And sure enough there was a catch,
So you brought it up and laid it out there on the coals.
It smelled so good broiling there, sizzling as it browned,
And as the sun began to set
We broke fish together.
And after we had eaten and were fully satisfied,
Something on my upper thigh caught your mind’s attention.
You put your index finger in the cuff of my ragged shorts
And pulled the material up,
And there between my hip and a tender spot just above my knee
Was more writing,
But this was not from any ancient scroll.
This was written out in a more modern type of alphabet,
And so you pulled my body out straight,
And with your eyes very close to my skin,
You began to read the poetry that you found there.

That night we lay together by the fire that we rekindled,
And you pulled the ancient scroll down
And tucked us up in it for warmth.
We slept wrapped up together,
Waking some along night’s journey,
To see the canopy of the stars turning gently overhead.
And I dreamed myself into dramas and lives that I had never
Fully understood or accurately grasped,
But suddenly I found that I was the desperate Bathsheba
Caught in a mighty snare of love for a king who was not mine.

I was Samson, without a care, divulging all my secrets
Of my strength and life force to one who had the power to blind.
I was Isaac working indentured 7 years for a “Leah,”
Willing to work a fortnight of years for the one I truly loved.
In a flash, I apprehended Emerson in his enigmatic verses,
Allowing Love, the god to have its scope, refusing nothing—
Giving all to Love, trying to heartily know
That “when half-gods go, the gods arrive.”

Where I had marveled before that one could merely so abandon
Life and children. For what? I couldn’t see; I couldn’t guess?
But now I knew exactly—
I knew exactly to the core,
What terrible passion could lie dormant in one.
“Thy name is Montague,” I muttered in my sleep,
And as some outer part of me relaxed in my dreaming state
The Truth of Love was able to break down
The hard fast prison walls of morality and ethics which polite society had erected,
And so Love came and rescued me from myself.
It dug me up out of a grave like existence
Yes! It brought me up and out of a cold barren ground.
It shined a blazing life light
Into my own deepest realness
Glaring out the people and things
That I had mutely hated,
Killing the things for me in myself and, too, in others
That I had long wished dead,
Then resurrecting for me the good, the real, the salty,
The earthy, guttural, honest Life
That had been waiting to be lived—
Waiting for light to shine on its seeds and bring it forth.

The Force of Love was humbling.
It plowed my heart and thinking—
Crumbling the hard clods of things I thought I understood.
I only hoped that it would also
Water the ground of my Soul-Self,
And that someday, something better
There might surely grow.

Chapter 18

The mornings always opened in Peace
The giant wheel began its span turning ever so slowly
The first rays of the daybreak were long and tall
And made themselves at home around my hearth
Elongating for me the precious moments of meditation and thought
But as the Day would rise up closer
Scrutinizing my decisions and making critical remarks
My shadow grew shorter and shorter
And there seemed less and less of me
The Sun hovered anxiously over my shoulder
Hurrying me along
“Better find some food, now.”
“You ought to prepare yourself for the night.”
“In just a little while, I won’t be here to protect and keep you,
And remind you of what is right.”

And so for that part of the diurnal course
I would be in a work release panic
Rushing superficially to get everything taken care of
Trying to prove myself to the Sun
That I was not a neglecting derelict
And that I had sufficiently equipped myself
For what usually turned out to be something for which
I could never have been prepared anyway

But along about late afternoon
I would feel the Great Ball of Fire
Begin to relax in his chariot
His wearying eyes focusing in on
Some other far horizon
And I would ease and take deep breaths again
I would feel that I had done enough for the Day
And so I would rest on the sandy shore
And wait for the wonderful Moon.

I gradually realized that my Self
Needed no preparation for the Night
For the Moon was kinder to me than the Sun.
The silvery orb didn’t glare and condescend
Its beams melted out into everywhere
Casting a blissful glow
The Moon never told me what I “ought” to do
And in its dusty impressionistic light
My imperfections became barely perceptible if not lovely
And if the luminous glimmers did detect some flaws
I trusted he would never tell
But rather he lived to inspire my vivid dreams

And so it was this afternoon,
That I perceived the shadows growing longer
And so I sat content, relaxing as the waves eased in and out
I noticed how trim my legs had become and how tan
They seemed indistinguishable from the incandescent colors of the beach
I thought surely this must be the exact place
Where I had been conceived
This very shoreline the place where the great creative force of Love
Had scooped me up—glittering, glassy minerals and mud
And formed the human shell of skin I wear
And then taken the sea air and the verdant green of the mysterious forest
And breathed the fire of life into me
For I could not have felt more at home
Than if I’d been reposing on the front porch
Of the house where I was raised

And perhaps today the Sun had grown jealous of the way I responded
To the Moon’s honeyed treatment
But about then its golden light shone just so on the water
And I reflected on the image I saw in the gentle rocking waves
My body was supple and strong from the months of foraging
My muscles were toned from hiking and combing the beach
And while the world had beckoned for years
With its deceitful promise of beauty from this expensive regimen or that
The sunshine and original air and crisp fresh water baths
Had put a ruddy blush upon my cheeks
And had done a professional highlighting job on my usually mousy hair
Now long and wispy from not being cut in months

I noticed my bare toes enjoying the wet sand
Wiggling freely and digging in and being
Washed and caressed by an occasional wave
The last trace of nail polish had finally been worn off
But what a pedicure it had been
Months of sanding and mud baths and cold water
Warm rocks and soaking and
Strolling through virgin grasses and untouched lavenders
Had softened the calluses and bunions thoroughly
And worn them completely away
These months of surviving had taught me truly
How to enjoy living
They had purified my life
Body, soul, and spirit,
And I had been distilled into a brand-new essence

I had never ever considered myself at all an attractive person
But as I looked deeply inside the contemplation
Of the idea that the waving reflection validated
I stopped and muttered,
“I am very beautiful.”

Chapter 19

I had sometimes wondered in my former life’s existence
Why we as shallow parents scurried our children away.
We would shell out thousands to has-beens and young wanna-be’s,
But could these joyless tutors with no singing in their hearts—
Could they really choreograph our daughters’ inner dancers?
Could hopeless metronomers inspire our sons
To discover the beats of their very own drums?
What would the tweedy walls of grey edifice arouse in our fair maidens?
What good had come of us packing our young men off
To the army or the university?
What could really be learned from a lecture,
Or what instruction from brainwashing?
Most of anything worth knowing about life
Was already encoded, the kingdom was there within us,
Lying right there deep in our souls, and the strands of our DNA.
And then there was the great ethereal ephemera that surrounds us,
Which we rarely seemed aware of,
But it tried to speak forth mysteries to us, and translate the wisdom within.

Children knew inherently how to dance!
They had the rhythm of the galaxies swirling.
We are intrinsic fighters and lovers—
Clawing and grasping and unfolding ourselves.
But it seemed to me that most institutions
Had stifled the great humanity of man and womankind,
Telling us “this” was a proper arabesque;
“This” an acceptable grand plie;
“That” an adequate or inferior grammatical construction,
But who is to say what makes a song “good,”
Or a painting “real art,” or who to determine:
“Now THIS is a poem.”
Who got to draw the lines and classify?
“Here is a great boxing match,
But this, a mere jealous brawl.”

I was glad that all the critics of the world
Now had more important things to do.
I could just picture them all huddled around a fire.
“Should we have an egg, then?”
“No! NO! Too much cholesterol,”
The others would say.
So they must be sitting around starving themselves,
Just as they had done before by being so fussy.
And so I laughed,
And then came the full moon bounding into my view,
Leaping over the hedge of trees on the other side of the sea,
I rose, too, and took his hand and up to his open arms.
I waltzed there with him, blithely swinging,
And as the night music modulated, he sat back on a cloud,
And I moved and swayed in a slow sexy samba,
Teasing him with a hula flaunt.
I heard a venerable ukulele
Ringing out a romantic lovers’ tale.
My arms wanted to billow up through my hair.
My hips felt the need to grind and jerk.
My breasts and shoulders shifting seductively
Saying, “Come, come to me.”
And so I danced an ancient dance of Love
To the cadence of the waves, to the melody of the cooing whippoorwill,
To the rhythm of the night’s soulful refrain.

So uninhabited was I in movement of every limb and sinew—
My shadow etching an umbric narrative
Against the cloudless sky,
But suddenly I felt a presence.
Someone somewhere was watching.
But the dance could not be stopped.
I couldn’t help it;
I “must finish,”
It kept calling.
And so into the motion
And the feel of freedom
And of purity,
I allowed the waves of the primal dance to
Have their way with me.

Chapter 20

The medicine man was still searching, still walking thru the forest,
Now following trails that lay behind him, obscure, he could not see.
He did not know what each next step would bring, but still he wandered,
Hoping every quiet footfall would help bring out that which should be.
Dusk was slowly setting as he stepped into the clearing,
Just on the other side the trees were large, but further apart,
And he could see the big water thru them and he saw a giant moon,
And there on the shore—a woman. He stopped and grabbed his heart.
Silently he crept up to the trees there on the shoreline.
Mute, he watched her dancing there by the water’s edge so bold.
His insides froze as he saw the ancient rain dance of his mothers,
And the forgotten words suddenly he remembered which he hadn’t heard since old,
Old times in which his ancestors would sing and drum and chant them,
Archaic now, the prayers and dancing, the timbrels, lutes, and lyres.
But they all came flooding back to him as fresh as today’s tomorrow,
And with the voice of his inner child, he joined the dance with the song:

            “Oh! The luscious flowers swaying,
Thirsty for your Love, O Rain!
Oh! How they open furtively,
Wanting your life giving sperm.
Seeds of progeny, thriving survival,
O Rain, come down and make us wet.
Make us live to love again;
Let our posterity never forget!
Never forget the nourishing moisture!
Never forget the primal dew!
That pooled and gave us milk as babies!
That washed and created us all anew!
Messy Love! Messy Rain!
Wonderful splashing, chaotic Love!
Rain down on us! Burst with thunder!
Come down upon us from Sky above!”

Oh! the medicine man cried as he sang!
Strange huge drops of salty release blooping out of his eyes.
Thrilled at the sight,
Yet grieved at the many years of passing
Since he had seen his true people.
But suddenly, he felt tears rolling cold,
Down from the crown of his white temples?
He felt them chill on his leathery wrists,
And dripping icy down the neck of his buckskin jacket—

He tilted his head back to see.
It was actually raining!

Chapter 21

Just as my dancing seemed to peak
Into a frenzied climax,
Just as I felt an internal shimmy within me catch ablaze,
Every muscle, every tendon jerked at once together,
And I fell in an exhausted, aching heap
On the sand by the stones of my fire.
And in the darkness, I heard thunder,
And a crash of piercing lightning,
And I lay there weak, barely aware of anything,
I faintly smelled an earthy rain soaked breeze,
And then I felt the dampness gathering,
Pooling up and dripping down.
I felt the tiny droplets so tender on my skin,
Like a newborn’s finger tips touching the ribs
Just under the breast as he nurses,
And I breathed it all in,
And regained a dimension of conscious Reality,
And bolted to my shelter to get out of the pouring rain.

I wondered how the downpour had come up of such a sudden
For there had been hardly a trace of a cloud
Till a wisp at the setting sun—
But that was not a rain cloud, yet this, a gully washer,
So I huddled giggling, still giddy from my dance, and then the bold awakening.
I was still euphoric and the rain made me ecstatic.
It laughed right there along with me,
And somehow steadied my shaking arms and legs.

And as I watched the shoreline
And the silhouette of raindrops,
I saw a shadow outlined at the lean-to’s makeshift door
I gasped and watched his white braids falling down around his shoulders
As he took his beaded head gear off and bowed his head and knee.

Chapter 22

We sat without speaking for ages
We couldn’t have heard the words that might have been said anyway
For the rain was pouring straight down in thundering pelts
Stomping out the need or the efficiency of utterance
Sometime in the middle of the darkness
The drops relaxed and quieted to a silent sprinkle
Still, the old man and I sat without talking.

I stared at him without fear or tension;
I was not afraid of him in any way,
Nor was there any judgment toward him;
I felt no need to size him up.
And yet, I tried to study his rugged clothing,
I wanted to understand the significance of
The beading, the fringes, the leather strap about his neck
With what appeared to be a bear tooth hanging down from it,
The faded, well worn breeches
That looked soft as a newborn fawn,
Yet I somehow I thought they must have been protecting him on his journeys
For a long time, maybe longer than I had been on the planet.
I wanted, not to stereotype him, though his clothing made it difficult,
But to see within the mountain man,
To understood how he’d survived on the land long
Even before it had became necessary for all of us to do so.
And I knew deep within a spiritual part of myself
That there was much more to him.
He had a very humbled look.
He would not look directly at me.
I would catch him cutting a glance my way
But if he saw that I was looking back
He would cast his eyes back hard
Down to the well-packed, smooth dirt of the floor of my lean-to.

About dawn the rain gave way to a saffron sunrise,
The morning was abloom with color,
The dewy drops on the grasses, and even the weeds
Shone like a million diamonds all at once.
I went to where I usually could find a duck egg, and there were three,
So I brought them back toward my hearth on the beach
Where the old man had already gotten a good fire going.
He took the eggs from me and put a large stone right on one of the flaming coals.
He spoke some words in his language.
It seemed to me about as long as the Lord’s Prayer, and reminded me of it,
And when the prayer was over, he tilted the stone
And let the eggs roll thru the ashes,
He stood and raised his hands slowly to the east,
And then made a wide round motion, one arm at a time,
Like a giant grandfather clock engaging its gears into the rest of the universe.
Then he stooped and scooped the eggs out of the ashes
And handed them to me.
I handed him the eggs back.
He smiled.
Then he kept one, and returned two into my hands.
I laughed, and sat down by the fire, amused at our little game.
I peeled one egg, and watched him peel his,
I held my egg to him, and said, “Cheers!”
He had his peeled about then, and mimicked my hail,
Then we ate our eggs together.
After we finished those two eggs,
I took the third one and peeled it.
I broke it into two pieces,
And it split almost exactly in half.
I gave him his choice of the two, and, of course,
He took the smaller portion,
And so again we raised our eggs to one another,
And he spoke to me in my language thru his ears,
“Tseers,” he said,
And we both laughed as we shared the third egg.

Chapter 23

“I am Tsa'ra-gi',” the old man said,
With an air that was both proud and yet trusting.
“I am a dying breed, for I am a healer,
And there is much in the land that needs resolution.
I have been on a long journey
Searching for one who will do what I do
For time is short for me,
But the Supreme Being has woven long strands
For the children of Kana'ti and Selu,
But there will be many more days of wandering for them,
And in those times of broken pieces,
They will need to look to the ancient wisdom,
The Sacred Formulas of medicine.”
He continued to inform me of the many prayers—
The kinds one should say before specific hunts,
So that sickness would not come,
And of the fact that he knew methods
To scourge Ailment if it found its way through the walls of the camp
He made his story go so far back into the history of his kind
That I beheld the vision of a people, living in Purity
With the Supreme Being, so that no third party was needed.
No guilt had yet plagued them or bent their heads down.
They lived without waste or lack.
Every man was a chief of his own dwelling and of his family.
Every woman a princess.
Every child beloved,
And love and mutual respect for one another
Flowed from grateful living.
But slowly, some had thought certain others
To have more powerful medicine and had questioned their own standing,
So they would ask these more knowledgeable ones
To say their prayers for them, standing in their place.
These qualities were handed down in families, until
Finally, the culture of the modern world had erased much of the old ways,
Or intermingled into theirs, and the language had been all but lost
And the medicine, too.

Then he turned to me
And said,
“I saw you dancing there last night.”
He pointed to the shoreline:
“I saw that you have the strong medicine,
For you made it rain all night with the ancient dance.
I want to know
What your lineage is,
And how you came to be in possession
Of the formula of this mystical, archaic, dance.”

I had been caught up in the rhythm of his language
And the picture he was painting there of his people’s golden age,
But I was a few lines behind him as he spoke it,
So his last stanza caught me off guard and completely by surprise.
I was still wondering if there had really been a time when
The simplicity of the people was as pure and real as he said,
Or if the nature of all mankind was to imagine that there were such ages past.
But now he was thinking that I was a medicine woman?
He was believing that I, with my moon dance, had made it rain?

“Oh no.” I said
Shaking my head.
“I am not that powerful.
Oh no,” I reiterated,
“No, I am not the one you are seeking.
I have no lineage.
I have no people.
I am nothing—
No one—
And don’t know anything!

I am powerless to help myself,
Or change myself in anyway. I cannot even pray
For myself or even wish!”
I thought of the many falling stars of late that I had seen,
And how I had barely used up any of them
So I didn’t see how I could be a purveyor of any hope
To an entire people, when I couldn’t muster much for myself.

Tsa'ra-gi' sat without expression,
Unconvinced by anything I’d said.
“I know what I saw,” he said.
“There was no mistaking
That you made every ancient step
And move of the medicine dance,
And if you are not the one to come
And help the people,
Then why did you know these magic movements,
And why did you make it rain?”

“I don’t know,” I said with both hands up,
Palms outstretched toward him
Pushing his offer back to him, and shaking my head firmly, “No.”
I was intrigued that maybe I was a descendent of his people,
But I couldn’t get it through my head that a dance could make it rain,
And yet it was very true that the rain had come from no where.
I couldn’t explain that one either, but I continued to deny.

Chapter 24

“Come with me,” said the medicine man,
As he rose and began toward the water,
“And I will show you where the mussels hide.
You will need to know so you can make the winter,”
And he kept walking in front of me, leading me to the shore.
I got up and followed him, for that did sound like something
That, in fact, would be beneficial for me to comprehend.
He showed me little places where the rocks came in together,
Just the way that mussels like it, and so they make their homes.
We gathered 8 or 10 of them, which I put in my pockets,
And then he took a stick and stuck it down into a muddy hole.
He came out with a crawfish, and he hung it on his neck strap.
He found a few more of these and we were on our way.

He stepped then slow, but surely back, beyond my hearth to the big trees,
And there he showed me some plants that he said were very good to eat.
He told me which specific parts are good in the various seasons—
When to eat the petals, when the roots were good.
He took some leaves into his hands and held them to his face,
He smelled them deeply and smiled, and then he held them up to me.
I took them and breathed also their aromatic treasure,
He told me how to make some tea, and what a good poultice they make.

I was fascinated by the wealth of his great knowledge.
I was truly thankful for the wisdom I had gleaned.
We took the things we’d gathered and headed back up to the campsite,
Rekindled the fire with some driftwood, and then he took his stone.
He placed the mussels on it, until we heard the shells crack.
He skewered the crawdads and held them out directly over the flame.
We boiled some water in a tin he had and steeped the fragrant leaves there.
My eyes were wide with amazement at how elegantly we dined.
The tasty foods so warm and filling and the delicate soothing tea!
I looked at my friend and thanked him; I thanked him for the banquet!
And he just threw his head back and chuckled and said that it was nothing!

About then I saw the old chief “relax a bit in his chariot,”
I recognized the peace in his eyes like the ease of the setting sun,
And so I asked him why it was that people of many races
Felt that only certain gifted ones could mediate the medicine?
He bristled at my question for just a visible second,
But then he cocked his head, and looked very far away.
“That is a good question,” he mused as he chewed upon the tea leaf.
He reclined back on a rock and stared into the oncoming waves.
“I guess at one time, some of us got lazy, or maybe some were jealous,
Or we second-guessed ourselves.
But the work of medicine was left up to certain individuals.
Maybe we who took on the roles should never have taken them on.
Maybe no one should stand between anyone else and the Spirit.
Maybe the work of the medicine man does more harm than good.
Maybe that is the reason that no one wants to follow
And learn the ancient ways anymore, or be the medicine man.
I have seen the numbers of our kind dwindle down to nothing.
I have seen my people quit holding the sacred truths.
Maybe it is partly because the roles of the reputed shamans
Grew bigger and bigger and bigger than life
While my people’s lives seemed dim.
They put medicine up on pedestals,
But we cannot live up to that,
And many have failed and others see
The chasm there between.
So maybe this is part of the quest for which I journey,
To understand my parting part
And, if any way I can,
Bridge the reality of wholeness and true healing,
And be a repairer of the breach
I would do just that.”

“You told me today that I had a strong medicine,” I wondered,
“But I have never learned it or had knowledge of such a thing?
Maybe there are things we have inside that we don’t know are there?
Maybe there are ways in which we can un-layer the wisdom?
Maybe the great things that lie within us can be seen and be revealed?”
I saw a tear fall from the old man’s eye, which he wiped away so quickly,
He shook his head, and again he looked far over the waves.
“I do not know how you were able to do the dance, the dance of the great loving mothers,
I cannot grasp the feelings that my heart beheld last night,
But the proof is this: it rained did it not?
For we sat all night and beheld it,
And that is the ancient rain dance,
And that is just what it does.”

Chapter 25

That night I slept again wrapped up in the ancient velum.
The old man made a pallet out by the hearth under the gleaming stars.
I was tired from being up most all of the night previous,
And fell hard asleep just after dusk and fast was engrossed in a dream.
Suddenly I felt a warm hand? In the middle of my back?
My breathing stopped and my heart pounded as I wondered what it was?
Then a hand cupped around my mouth to keep me from screaming or speaking,
And I heard a hushed whisper, “Shhhhhhhhh…”
The hand was still over my mouth, but now I felt a body.
I turned to see you straddling me, peeking out of the lean-to’s branches,
Looking out toward the glowing coals where the shaman lay asleep.
“Who is that?” you said, not liking it already,
I couldn’t help but smile to see your rugged face again.
“Oh, that,” I answered sleepily, “is just the old medicine man on his blanket.”
And in my drowsy dreamy state I reached my hands up your chest.
“Just how old is he, then?” you said without really waiting.
“Old enough to be your dad,” I said and tried to pull you down.
I could feel your body, hard and sinewy upon me;
I could feel the strength you possessed rushing there in your veins.
I knew then that you were born to be a king upon the new earth,
And perceived that truly you someday, if not right then, would reign.

You wrapped your legs around mine, and then pulled yourself down beside me.
Your eyes looked deeply into mine, searching, for what I don’t know,
But they must have seen something there to reassure them
For your arms slipped tightly around my waist and you pulled my body close.
You pressed your lips to mine as if you had never kissed another,
And I couldn’t breathe for the rush of love that coursed within my soul.
We lay there like that for hours upon hours,
Tangled together safely, two, complete and whole and warm.
And finally we slept and woke when the sun was already up and breaking,
And we looked out by the smoking hearth
But the medicine man was gone.

Chapter 26

And so we continued to lay there together,
And you began to speak to me.
I saw your mouth, so perfect, moving,
And sound was coming out.
But I could not, for the life of me,
Understand a word you said.
So I simply lay there and watched you while you talked.
I felt you pull away a bit, and rest upon one elbow,
I refocused in on your symmetrical face,
The cleft there in your chin.
I stared deeply into your regal eyes,
The “windows of the soul,” they say,
And there, I began to get a vision
Of what you were seeing as you spoke.
You had been out into the depths of the freshwater sea that day,
But with your glass you had spied me, as I came to rest on the sand,
And something about me had terrified you,
Though your words would have never told me this,
And that you wanted to sail still further out away.
And yet something else had floated your boat, moving you closer in.
 Just at dark, you had seen me there,
Engaged in my dance with the moon,
And as you kept watching me, something spoke hard inside your reins.
Most of your body, and part of your soul, was pulled toward the shore to be with me,
Lulled by the freeness of the dancing, drawn in by the promise of something intangible.
But when your mind was about made up that it was actually good
That the tide was bringing us together,
You saw another person lurking in the forest,
And you saw me fall into a heap upon the sand.
Then, an urgency in your eyes and in your loins,
Caused you to take your oars and try to row to where I was,
Just about then the squall of pelting rain hit the bay and
Pushed you back toward the deep parts.
For a while you fought it, trying to keep paddling against the winds,
But none of this was matching up exactly with your philosophy,
And so finally you quit, because you could see no end to the raining darkness.
Yet sometime in the middle of the early morning the storm did let up,
And something deep inside your spirit
Had made you
Come for me.

I had heard an ancient legend
About an eastern tribal remnant,
That once, at one of their festivals,
A miracle occurred.
A mighty wind had come
And blown a fire upon them,
And they were able to speak to each other,
And were able to understand.

Mmmmmm…I made a wish right there
That I could understand you,
That I could speak your language,
That I would always hear
Your true heart,
Your Reality,
The sincere meaning of your speaking,
For already my love was forever yours,
I just wanted you to know it,
And I wanted desperately to become someone
That was constant there for you,
And that you might see and know this was my heart.

Then as the light was dawning on you,
It slowly dawned on me.
I could see that Life had tried very hard to kill you.
I hadn’t previously noted all the battle scars on you,
But they were there from the crown of your head down even to the tips of your toenails.
Suddenly I could feel pain in my own belly, from places deep within you,
Where wounds had been inflicted, dating way back to your childhood.
Then I began to see where there were traces of fresh blood.
“People are always trying to do away with the king,” I thought.
And now the world had gone berserk,
And though this would prove to be a good thing
For you, for your kingdom would, because of this, be manifested,
Yet much healing was needed in the earth; I knew I needed it too.
But the love that I had wished for
Had captured me entirely,
And so I kept looking deep inside to see the things that were real,
And so I kept listening, and loving you intently,
And waiting for all the pieces to find a place at last.

Then we walked over to where the medicine man had slept,
The form of his body still left a visible impression in the soft earth,
And there was a rolled up leather still lying there,
So I went and picked it up. Had he forgotten it?
I looked beside it and saw some markings
In the damp sand just below it, and so I began to read,
“Take this robe. Winter is coming.
I can make another, but I want you to have this one.
I will return. My journey will bring me
Back across this path of yours.”

I rolled out the long soft hide of the ancient leather.
I held it up to look at the simple, yet striking, bead work.
Then I looked you up and down, and seeing the size of the duster,
I laid it gently over your broad shoulders,
And you slipped your arms right in.
It looked wonderful on you,
And was a perfect fit.

Chapter 27

What a powerful gift—this love
For as it continued to hold me captive
I found that my enslavement to it, inexplicably,
Emancipated me, setting me more and more free.
I discovered that it was both, truly terrifying,
And yet, it was evicting for me
Loitering emptiness, and petty fears
Which had mendicated me for too long.
My soul had gone bankrupt from their mooching,
But by inutterable methods, my return was coming a hundred fold,
For the desire for love, and the wish to understand
Rose up together like smoke from two fires,
Whirling together to form a lively pillar of fragrant incense.
Surrendering myself entirely to Love
Had really conceived the other desires,
And the humbling effect produced a spirit
That said, “I have nothing to lose,
And All to gain.”

Greater and greater the understanding spread with in me,
Interpreting for me old conversations and new,
And if someone may have said some trifling word,
Or had fired off a bitter arrow, or a fiery consternation,
And I had been hurt,
The Living Enlightenment shone now through Love,
And it rushed through every layer of my consciousness
To expose the wounds and attach itself to them
So that Wisdom could come and heal them.
I would suddenly feel fresh interpretation,
Unmasking the incomplete sentences, and the run-ons,
Then fixing the grammar of it,
So I could see that the message of intent behind the fearful theme
Was, in fact, a poetic draft of deep abiding love and care.

Critical remarks covered abysmal concern—
A fear that I wouldn’t be seen as “smart.”
Insulting jabs belied a heart saying,
“I really love you, and don’t want you to be hurt again.”
Sarcastic bites, mere children’s notes, asking,
“Do you love me? Check the box.”
Masqueraded as barbed-wire,
But when the heavy layers of the costume were removed,
The affectation projected obstreperously by the actor,
Barely whispered with the lights off and the curtain down,
“I am afraid that I will hurt you,” or was
Silent, cowering at the thought of itself being hurt again.

And so even the past could be resolved?
Time was relative, after all,
And my soul’s foundation was being girted up
So it could stand, and further, so that it could have
Something new and wonderful built upon it.
I could see it going back together in a better, sturdier way,
Reaching back thru my history,
And then the restoration kept moving
Stretching out into the realm of creation
To prepare a better future,
Not just for me, but for anyone connected
In any way to me.

Chapter 28

I watched as you stood there in the duster
You smiled and shook your head,
“I never thought that I would be a cowboy
Or an Indian, but look at me, I’ve become both!”
We chuckled at that one!
It was warm that day, but you went ahead
And wore the leather into the woods to forage,
And I saw you walking; you seemed a bit taller,
Standing up very straight, with your head up
As you disappeared into the trees.
I got the fire rekindled, then walked down
To the water’s edge. I found the place where the rocks
Come together just so, and sure enough,
There were some mussels.
I smiled, thinking about the old medicine man.
I could almost picture him, wandering, trying to come to grips
With the picture in his head, and the picture of how things were.

I thought too of how it seemed that religion of all kinds had failed.
Even the medicine man was telling that same story—
Diminishing returns, these formulae, and rituals
Unless some foundational Truth was imparted, and internalized
And worked out until it became a part of our everyday lives.
I walked over to the nest, and there were three duck eggs.
I tried to imagine you and I playing the little game that the medicine man
And I had played, giving the eggs back and forth
In self effacing silliness!
It was fun that one time, but it seemed to me that it would grow old.
I laughed as I thought of trying that ritual out on you
To see how you would react. I thought I would!

And so I took my finds back to the hearth
And set the mussels out on the rock, like the medicine man had done,
And took the flat stone out and thought to try his method of roasting eggs as well.
Some of the rituals were okay I guessed, as long as they worked!
And so I tried to remember his prayer. I wondered if it had become something trite
To the people, like a glorified egg timer,
So that the words went in one ear and out the other,
But the eggs would come out perfectly roasted.
I had tried to memorize his words,
And the love and respect I had for the person
Behind the beads and the outfit
Mixed together and I truly prayed:
“Great Being of Supremity,
Right now, your name is Sovereign and Completeness,
Your world of wholeness with nothing lacking or broken must come right now.
You must now supply for us everything necessary for our sustenance.
Your essence cannot but forgive us as we have crossed the lines,
Even as we let go of everyone and every line they have crossed with us.
You must not lure us into the Trial,
But carry us out of the camp of our enemy,
For this is your character, this is Who you are,
And it is not within you to be any other way.”

This prayer settled deeply into my spirit
And I thought how much more bold it was
Than many prayers I had deigned to pray,
And I wondered at the authors of it,
And what wisdom they may have had,
Or what desperate condition may have evoked
Such language to a god.
I got so engrossed in following this trail in my mind
That I almost forgot to tip the eggs off thru the ashes,
But I quickly did that, and looked up to see you
Returning successfully from your hunt.
You did have the look of a rugged individual,
And you smiled at me happily.

When you got down beside me at the hearth,
I stood on tip toe to give you a quick kiss.
Then I took the three eggs, and I handed them to you,
And then I watched interestedly to see.
You wrinkled your brow a bit and said,
“You want me to peel them all today, Hon?”
And I just laughed and said, “No, my king,
I will peel them for us.”
And so, I thought, the game is not a natural one,
For one wouldn't spontaneously hand back all the eggs."
But, then, I hadn't kissed the medicine man.
Maybe that had changed the rules?

Chapter 29
(the tsunami)

Today, about mid-morning
I was in the bushy tree line,
Walking about, seeing what I could find to eat
And keeping one eye open for any materials I could use,
When suddenly, I felt a chill in the atmosphere.
It felt like the bottom dropped out of the entire universe,
And I couldn’t tell,
Was it literal barometric pressure plummeting?
Or was it something else?
About the same time I heard a strange sound within the sea,
And so I came crashing out of the thicket to discover
What was going on.
To say the tide was going out
Would be an understatement,
For more appropriately I tell you,
The sea had disappeared.
Completely dry, the bed there,
For miles and miles across,
All the way to the other side
Where the opposite shoreline lay.

My first inclination, universal human curiosity, I suppose,
Was to follow the sea and wander out
To view the mysteries and treasures and even the filth
Usually hidden by the murky depth,
But I had witnessed too much footage
From far away places like Hawaii,
Bangladesh, and more recently, Japan,
And when the sea goes rushing out after its forbidden lover,
It’s gone but just a little while
And in scornful rejection returns,
Visiting the naïve shoreline with a vengeance,
Forcing itself beyond the agreed upon boundaries
In aggression and resentful hate.
And so my thoughts said, Go to higher ground.
I needed a safe place and maybe fast.
I had noticed at the edge of the thicket,
A little place there in the forest
Where the elevation seemed to rise a little bit,
And so I gathered just a few essentials
And wrapped them in the velum,
Tying up the corners of it
And heading hurriedly in that way.
Twenty minutes later I was there
And spotted a jagged deer trail.
It disappeared up into the woods
And up the mountainside.
And so I began my trek toward new unknowns.
As I was winding up the path,
I soon began to feel the grade
Of the hike in my legs, but just kept stepping,
My head bent down to find each place secure.
As my hamstrings and calves felt the strain,
Sweat beaded up on my face and arms,
But I finally made it to a little clearing.
I stopped there a minute to catch my breath
And to look back from where I’d come.
Numbed by the strangeness of this perspective,
Physically tired, and emotionally spent,
I wasn’t sure if even this height
Would be safe from the mighty sea,
So without hesitation, or any further thought about it,
Self-preservation instincts took over,
And I turn and plod again,
Marching to the cadence
Of the force that kept pushing me along
“Live, Live, Live, Dammit!”

Maybe looking back had not been such a good thing?
Maybe it never is.
Maybe I fell victim to the same lot
As Lot’s wife.
For as I continued my trudge,
I slowly began to taste the salty tears
Of this unknown trail that led upward and on,
And then a torrent of sadness and grief came pouring out of my eyes.
I hadn’t allowed myself to think
Much, or at all, about the past.
I hadn’t permitted myself to wonder about my old home,
My husband, my children, my brothers, my parents.
Where were they now?
How had they changed?
Were they even alive?
But thoughts of them came rushing headlong into my consciousness,
And I wondered if or what they thought of me?

My next thoughts were for you.
Somehow my feelings were more intense toward you
Than even those I had for the babies I’d carried in my very womb
And nursed at my own breasts.
A flashing question blinked at me, “Is that normal?”
I didn’t know.
I didn’t care.
Intense grief settled in on me
Like a big fat bully.
I had felt its mini twinges many times before,
Every time you’d left me
To go and do this or that,
Every time we’d said goodbye,
I would wonder if we would ever be together again.
For everything in this realm was so foreign and uncertain,
But this time
I had too many pressing questions running thru my mind.
Had you been on land or sea
When the sea had vanished?
If you had been sailing right then
What effect would such an event of nature
Have on a vessel such as yours?
I was too concerned about you; I knew that.
I had many questions, but nary an answer,
But the will to live had taken me captive now,
And kept sticking something hard in the middle of my back,
And kept forcing me up along the trail,
Relocating me to a place where I might be reserved.

So I kept moving up as the tears kept pouring down.
Time meant nothing to me now,
In fact, it never had.
I couldn’t tell if it had been a day or just an hour,
But I came to a place in my journey where
The tears had all subsided.
The trail widened out before me
To a restful grassy Platte,
Up on the side of the rocky mountain.
A big rock was sitting in the edge of the shade there,
And I needed a rock about then.
I lay my hobo’s knapsack down,
And myself, I sat upon the sturdy granite.
Flickers of light came thru the shadows of the leaves
Making the minerals in the stone glimmer
And appear almost liquid,
But something restored my soul,
Sitting alone there in the clearing,
And I knew how solid that was.

I breathed deeply.
I could smell a pungent faintness
Of cedars and fir here.
It smelled good.
The aroma-therapy cleared a little patch in my head
Enough so I could see again.
I spotted a rocky outcropping that looked
Just right to make my hearth for the night,
So I rearranged the rocks just a little there,
And fetched some dry moss and sticks.
I had a fire going before too long
And the smoke from the flaming sticks and branches
Was like a long lost friend that night.
I watched it in pure silence, but Old Smokey didn’t mind.
I watched him as he danced up into the night.
He didn’t say a word either,
And as the night fell quickly there on the east side of the point,
I saw the dark creep across the eerie stillness of the sea’s barren bed,
And I wondered what tomorrow would bring.

Chapter 30

There was a spring fed brook close by
And in the morning light it sparkled,
Clean and fresh and unpolluted by anything upstream,
For I found that the source of it was lying right beside me,
And the cold clear stream poured silently out
From between two rugged stones.
I had a couple of eggs I’d roasted
Down on the beach the night before,
And I added some water from the spring
Into a pouch of acorn meal.
I made myself a little biscuit
And cooked it over the flames.
Then I turned and looked down hill.
I could see so far from my high perch.
I watched a rosy aurora now spread out across the dried sea bed.
I figured the other shoe would have surely dropped by now,
But I’d never heard how long it took for a tidal wave to hit,
And with all the weirdness and catastrophic things of late,
What if the old knowledge was no good anyway, anymore?
What if the entire cosmology had changed
And even the laws of physics had been repealed?
I finally decided that I should stay
At least a couple of days on the mountain,
Then I could try to discern what to do from there.
I wished that I were smart,
And that I could have real wisdom,
To know the right things to think,
And to make the decisions that would keep me safe
And lead me to happiness and true peace and serenity.
Then I thought, “Oh, I guess that
I just made another wish.”
I knew I still had at least a few left,
But I had just lost track of the exact accounting.

That night just as the shadows fell again,
I sat on my rock looking out to the east,
And as I was thinking about you
And sitting so still,
I heard a branch crack.
I inhaled deeply, hoping it would be you.
I turned my head, quick but silently,
And there was a tawny white-tailed doe
Approaching the spring fed brook.
I froze, not wanting to frighten or hinder
And watched her tip toe timidly up.
She couldn’t see me there in her blind spot
And covered by the dark of the trees.
She made it to the waters’ edge
And nibbled on the rivulet there,
Until her thirst was quenched and sated.
I saw her belly was big. Maybe she was pregnant?
Then suddenly she turned and jumped
And disappeared into the mountain.

For the three days which had apparently been set apart for me,
I found hunger to be a stranger.
I didn’t want much food to eat,
But the water tasted so good.
And I thought a lot,
And understood many mistakes that I had made,
But I came to peace with them
And learned so many things.
Slowly I made gains in resting from worry
There on my mountain respite.
I found a spring of peace within my own soul.
My vision was more farsighted now
And clearing was the cloudiness.
The fear which usually kept its hand
So firm around my throat
Had apparently not made the climb,
So I was free to breathe and think,
And to be more sure of how to act,
And of what was really me.
Without the worry crowding me,
I saw new solutions present themselves—
Possibilities as probabilities.
Understanding promised me
That whatever agreement I would choose,
Peace was a better partner
Than contracting out of fear.
I tried to be patient with myself,
And took the time to allow
Any creative resolution to manifest itself,
And enjoyed the refreshing brook
And my days and nights in the mountain camp.

The third day, late in the afternoon
Before I’d kindled the evening fire,
I heard the branches snapping again
And turned to see the doe.
I was very close to her,
But she hadn’t even seen me.
I could have reached my hand out
And touched her velvet fur,
But I sat still and watched her
Lean her graceful head to the brooklet,
And noticed her belly was slim and firm now,
But her teats were hanging full.

Chapter 31

So now I sat,
And tried to understand
What I really knew thus far.
There had been no tsunami—yet.
I had worried and fled, and abandoned
My familiar beach for nothing so it appeared.
Or had I?
Because now I could see that the mountain clearing
Could easily be my home as well,
Maybe even a better one.
I had survived the huge catastrophe,
I could survive a “potential” one,
If it ever happened.
Yes, I had lost everything once or twice,
But the sun still came up the next morning,
And so far, so had I.

I thought of all the people in my life
That had come and gone, or been taken away,
Or that I had run off,
And I decided that the Serenity of Soul
Which I had so often sought
Had been the most secure
When it had come from within myself.
I had seen great peace in times of plenty,
And I had also amazingly been full
And glowing with its power
In times when broken pieces of shattered hope
Were all I held in my bleeding hands.

I liked it here,
And so I thought
That I would set about
To explore the mountain.
This would be good for me to do
On many different levels.
First, it would give me more time
In a place where I felt safe,
Because I still had a feeling
That the water just might come back.
Second, there might be a broader variety
Of food and material here for shelter,
And third, from this higher vantage point,
My perspective would naturally change,
And that just might be good for me, too.

So first thing the next morning,
I rolled up my little bed roll
And headed into the woods again
On another upward trail.
A part of me just wanted to go
As far as the mountain would let me,
To reach the top and to prove to my destiny
That it could still be done.
And still another part of me
Just wanted to know
Whatever could be known of the region,
By standing on the summit
And looking out in every way.

Right now I couldn’t really see the forest for the trees,
But knew if I kept climbing
I would eventually make the top.
However, I wanted to enjoy my journey this time,
Without any pressure or urgency pushing me along,
And so I walked a little slower,
And I stopped more along the way.
I walked more with my head up,
Trusting my feet with the footing.
I noticed the different kinds of trees
All growing there together,
And I spotted some of the edible plants
That the medicine man had shown me,
So I grazed on them along my trail.
The woods were still so dense here
That I really couldn’t figure
Just how far a journey it would be
All the way to the top.
But I had a sense of how quickly
Night fell on the mountain,
So I found a place to bed down
And camp out for the night.

Next morning I was up at dawn
And had a hearty breakfast—
Some pecans and pinion nuts from
The lower clearing site.
Then I rolled the ancient velum
And shouldered it to begin my journey up,
For the path was there a waiting, calling me.

I’d only gone a little way,
Humming a little tune now,
When I happened to see some faded boards
Vaguely thru the trees.
It looked like an old barn,
But I couldn’t quite see all of it.
It peaked my curiosity
Enough to cause me to change my course.
I veered from up to sideways,
Cutting across the main path,
But making my way on a lesser traveled one.
Sometimes I lost sight of whatever it was that I had seen,
But continued that direction
Until I came to the meadow’s edge,
And could finally see it all.

It was a barn! A big one!
With an old shed built on the side of it,
And so I called out suddenly,
“Is anybody there?”
I then continued quietly,
Maybe somewhat furtively,
For this looked like the kind of mountain place
Where strangers are simply shot.
So reaching the barn,
And finding the door,
And peering in to abandonment,
I stepped in and felt myself
Go 50 years back in time.
The old style machinery
And rusted tools and implements
Had not been touched in a long, long time
Judging by the rust.
There was a loft up in the back,
And I climbed a creaky ladder.
Old dry straw was piled in the corner
And strewn across the floor.
I was already thinking about
What a wonderful bedroom this would be,
When I strolled over to its window,
And there I saw the house!

Chapter 32

I froze stock still in my barn perch,
Like a hawk that just spotted a catch,
Or either like a gazelle that just heard a lion roar.
I couldn’t tell if I were predator or prey.
One side of me wanted to collapse
From the weight of living like an ape girl for so many months.
A house!
Oh God, how good a house looked!
But my other side wondered what strings would be attached?
There were always strings, weren’t there?
My eyes were not accustomed to seeing such domesticity anymore.
I could even see faded gingham hanging in the windows there.
To have a room! To have a door that would shut!
But, what if there were someone already living there?
I had grown accustomed to being alone,
And that would be “their” house.
It had taken me this long
And this much painful unveiling
To get to know myself,
And to begin to understand myself,
And to feel love for myself for once.
Was I strong enough to maintain the gains I’d made
If anyone else were there to challenge them?
I had come to terms with a lot of things I believed,
And a lot of things I didn’t,
And I didn’t know how I would handle mixing in together right now
With someone who might not see things the way I had come to see them.

But I guess I could always leave.
I had survived all this time on my own,
And I could do it again,
But I wanted that house.
I really did,
I hoped that I did not want it so much
That I would sell my soul to have a part of it.

And so I went quietly, but excitedly, down the ladder,
And crept up to the windows there on the side.
I tip-toed to peek in a high window, like that of a kitchen or bathroom.
It was a kitchen. I could see cabinets, but not much else from my angle.
I sidled around to the porch in the front, and walked up the weathered stairs.
The porch was nice and roomy, and I looked in one of the two windows there
That rested on either side of the front door.
There was nothing going on in this house, I could just tell.
I stood in front of the door, and I knocked.
What else should one do to a door that was closed?
But of course no one answered, so I tried the knob.
It swung in to a little country den that lay open to the kitchen.
There were just a couple of bedrooms beside the living area.
 I walked nervously through the rest of the place.
Here was an enclosed back porch; and there was a bathroom!
A toilet! A tub!
Oh! how long had it been since I’d had such promise of privacy!
A nice bath in a tub with the door shut!
I was almost giddy at the thought of it!

The place was clean as a whistle
Except for a layer of fine dust covering everything in the little home
Which told me that no one had been there in a very long time.

I went to the spigot
And turned the handle.
Well rats, I thought
There goes my bath.

Oh well! Not to worry!
No one cared if stunk anyway!
I wandered around,
Feeling like a little snoop.
Looking in drawers and cupboards and shelves!
I was a kid in a candy store!
I had STUFF, now!
Even if it was “borrowed.”

The kitchen had a few things that I thought
Might still be edible!
I was hoping for a twinkie! They have a shelf life of thrity years!
No such luck!
But there was some oil that didn’t smell rancid,
And a little airtight cupboard had some stuff in it that looked okay,
Even tho I didn’t know what it was or what to do with it!
There was an old woodstove in the living area,
And I thought it would be nice to build a fire in there for the night,
And maybe to be able to cook something on it.

Then I went in to the front bedroom.
There was a big dresser in there with old lady clothes in it.
I held a smocky-looking blouse up in front of myself.
It was too big for me now.
It might have fit months ago, before all my hiking and the “forage/catastrophe diet”
Had melted away most of my chub.
But it was something, and I could cinch it up with a belt or a sash.
I hadn’t changed clothes in all this time, and a fresh shirt would be really nice.

There was also a big, old-timey bedpost bed.
I cut my eyes around,
Feeling a little weird to sit on some stranger’s bed,
But sit I did!
And it was a fluffy down filled feather bed!
Oh my!
The door to the other bedroom went right out this one,
And so I opened it and peeked in.
It was a more masculine looking room,
And sure enough, had manly underwear in the dresser,
And a large, oaken bookcase in the corner.
There were some really old books, there.
Some I had read long ago
And loved,
And some I had never read,
And a few I had read, and thought were boring,
But I like books, too!

Very strange being here—
Being in a strange house—
Strange feelings—
I went back out on the front porch and sat
On the old wooden glider and rocked back and forth.
I hadn’t sat on a real chair like thing
Since I had been in the driver’s seat of my van
That fateful day.

But, I just couldn’t relax.

So I went back into the edge of the woods
And I watched the house suspiciously,
Like it might grow legs and get up like a spider and creep away.
But it just sat there so strangely.
I cut my eyes this way and that,
And wondered…
Maybe I liked being an ape girl?

Finally a realization kicked in,
And I heard a familiar voice say, “Night is coming.”
It was the Sun, relaxing in his chariot a bit,
And then I suddenly remembered that I had
Inadvertently left my pack up in the loft of the barn.
So, I stealthfully trotted back up and into it.
I creaked back up the stairs of the loft
And went back over to the high window
And looked at the house again.

“I don’t suppose it would hurt anything
To bunk in here, in the barn, for the night,” I thought.
So I unrolled the old velum,
Stretching it out over the soft, worn-out straw
And made myself a mat to sleep on.
I saw the duster lying there.
It made me think of you.
I missed you.
You had insisted that I should keep it,
Even though it fit you so much better.
It was way too huge for me,
But you said the medicine man had given it to me,
And much like the little game the medicine man
And I had played with the eggs…
You and I played with the duster.
You won for the moment and I took it,
Although I figured at some point
I would give it back to you, and maybe you would accept it.

I had been using it as a pillow.
It made me rest easy, like you were there.
Of course, I had turned it inside out,
So the beaded designs wouldn’t stick in my head
And leave painful pillow lines on my face by morning,
But I did notice that I had vibrant dreams again,
Ever since I’d slept with the duster lying close to me,
Vivid colors and explicit scenes that I seldom understood.
And so I fluffed my leather comforter up under me,
And lay there in the barn, munching on pecans, and then drifted off to sleep.

Chapter 33

That night I dreamed.
It was a dream I had been caught up in
Many times before.
Even as a child
I would search for the door to that dream,
And dream it.
I loved that dream.
I would go to the closet—
The one in the south bedroom
Where the breeze blew in over acres and acres of green wheat growing,
And pick up the living-ness of the blades of damp earthy life,
And bring their fresh scent into the ancient gray boards of our old farmhouse
And right thru the windows there on the south
To me
Lying asleep in my bed.
And I would rise in the night
And go, and open the door to the closet
And look up.
I would bend my knees down, just a little bit,
And then spring up and grab the closet rod
Like an Olympic champion,
And gracefully, with strength and beauty,
Pull myself up and over the bar and hold myself there.
Then putting one foot on the clothes rod, and vaulting myself up
Through the small square opening that led to the attic,
I would find myself in another world
Just above, and yet so far removed from the drab, colorless
Existence that we seemed to be living.

The attic realm was brightly lit,
And I saw colors there that I had never seen below.
The hues and shades were more noticeable and happier,
If a color can be happier?
And more abundant somehow?
And there were boxes and boxes of stuff in there,
And it was stuff that our family surely could have used—
Big, fluffy, soft, comforting towels,
Not like the scratchy, threadbare ones we used everyday.
There were richly patterned quilts, heavy and warm,
And there were lots of them!
No one should have to fight a cover hog all night
When here was this pile of comforting softness waiting to be unfolded.
There were beautiful items of antique furniture,
Heavy and sturdy, and so much nicer looking,
And more effective, less broken down,
Than what we had in our house.
There were dishes, ornate and decorative, yet hearty.
There were hot pot holders and pans, and big bowls and spoons,
And there were clothes—piles and piles of them,
Rugged denims and eyelet laces, wooly warm coats and scarves and hats,
And they all looked like something out of a classic magazine
That never went out of style—
Like something the Kennedys would have worn,
(If my family would have liked the Kennedys.)
Well, maybe more something the Emerson’s would have worn, then,
Or the Henry David Thoreau’s.
But these were paradigm-less treasures
That Any Human would have loved
Whatever they might semantically call it!
However the dividers might try to divide it,
This was indivisible!
This was liberty! This was justice for all!

The challenge always came in the actualization,
Because usually I would wake up from this dream
Before I could get some of the stuff and bring it down
Into my other world.
A few times I willed myself to stay dreaming,
Far after the dream had tried to shoo me back,
And I grabbed some of the things, like the quilts and the towels,
That I knew, wouldn’t be just merely selfish of me to bring down,
But as I got back to the small square opening,
I found it too hard to come back through,
And I discovered that whatever I had in my hand would vanish,
Like a rope of sand,
And I would have nothing—
As I found my feet back on the lower level—again.

Then before I knew it
Another dream laid hold of me
The part of myself that understands
Was high in the black night
Upheld by a streaming current of real force
Like an all-seeing eye,
I beheld the entire forest where I was
And the beach where I had been
I could see my “ape-girl” self
Scurrying in and out fearfully
Amongst the trees
Nothing I did seemed to make much sense
To the Greater Part of my own consciousness
The vision offered no solution
But only an honest critique
Of my current existence
There seemed to be no purpose
No attempt to look beyond the day
To a greater destination
And it seemed that without this more meaningful
Aim at something significant
All my essence would be lost
Squandered by the ape girl part of me
On scurrying here and there

I woke up with a startled cold shiver
I didn’t know where I was
After a few seconds my eyes adjusted to the darkness
And I remembered that I was in the old barn
And all the changes in the earth
I fluffed the duster a bit, and pulled it in as close as possible
To the curves of my body
Then I pulled the velum around me tight
And faded back to sleep.

Chapter 34
This morning my brain woke up
Early, right before the sun,
And I made a conscious effort to think
Before even the sun could start influencing me
With his heavy handed cajoling
There were things I wanted to do
Weren’t there?
Things I needed to do for myself
I was going to the top of that mountain.
I was so close to it now, that I could hardly see it
But it seemed to be maybe a half day’s journey from here
So that was it
I could come back and camp here later, maybe
Or continue to explore
But I wanted to know what lay all around me
And get a better perspective
On the time and the place of my existence
So I figured I would find some breakfast
And outfit myself best I could
And go

About then, I thought I heard a rooster crow
I hurriedly wrapped up my bedroll
And got down and out the barn door to see
A rather gallant looking Americauna rooster,
Perching on the old wooden gate of the corral attached to the barn
Then I looked and there in the edge of the woods
I saw his little harem
Five hens scratching up some breakfast for themselves
If their nest was nearby, I might find a pretty good breakfast too,
So I went out looking, and sure enough, I found six nice large hen eggs.

I decided I would cook these the old fashioned way
On the woodstove in the house,
So I went inside and got a fire going.
I found a pan and went to the little brook and filled it with water
Hauled it back into the house and boiled my eggs.
I ate my breakfast at the little kitchen table
And thought, “I think I like them roasted in the ashes better.”

I spent a while cleaning up my little mess,
And then got to snooping around a bit more,
And reading some of the books I found there in the man’s room
And before I knew it
It was mid-day,
I decided I better get going
If I was going to get to the top of the mountain

So I packed the rest of my eggs, and grabbed my bedroll and took off

I walked up and up and up
Enjoying every step
Until finally I was tired
It was evening
I didn’t even bother making a fire

Tonight I just sat out late
Until long after dusk
Leaning back on the soft fresh green
My head nestled in the lap of the hillside
In silence I gazed even
Into the velvet midnight
Where the stars in their vaulted canopy shone
They flickered joyfully as they turned
A bow, a curtsy
And their dance went on
Some of them stopped to tip their hats my way
Several even winked at me
As if to say
You just wait Love
The best is yet to come for you
You have no idea of
The glory that awaits
Your second life

It brought me no great
Feelings of grandeur
No giddy feelings of joy
But peace fell down
On me like a heavy dew
And blanketed me
With a secure heart
I had no worry
No sadness
I felt heavy,
But in a good way
Like a pregnant pause in life
Where a good offer has been made
And considered
And accepted

I think I want to be born again, again
And this time
I want to reinvent myself
According to the open skies of pure love and grace
I want the entire universe to be my father
The gentle starry night—my mother
I don’t want any fears to foster
My developing formation
Only the unlocked doors of possibility and hope
So I can hear and see the things that signal to me
Who I really am
The things I really love in life
Not imprisoned by the chains of things
That I have been tormented into believing,
Or the fetters of doing things that I think I’m supposed to like

I was going to the top of the mountain
My journey would take me there I knew
The only other thing I wanted in the world
Was him
The heaviness exhaled now
I stared into the night, and could swear
I saw your face there in the glimmer
I pulled in another deep cool breath
From the dark pure air of the mountain at night
I wanted him to be all right
But so much more
Now out again, the breath was gone
I wanted to taste his silver kisses
In again, deep inspiration
Filling my empty breasts to the full
I wanted to feel his heart against mine
Out again, outpouring spirit breath
I just wanted him
In again
I breathed
Slowly deliberately
I could hear the peaceful rhythm
Of my heart beating
And my respirations in and out
Easing me to rest
Out there under the open sky

Chapter 35

Long before daylight I arose,
And without eating or thinking or anything else,
I turned my face up toward the rising side of the mountain.
Sleepily I began my trek
With heavy feet that were still not awake,
And my bed rolled up and over my shoulder.
The first rays of rosy amber fell
Upon my footprints leaving the glen
And finally caught up to me,
Still making my way.
At least I knew now, which way was up.
It had taken me months to lay hold of that one.
But in realizing that, the vertigo had gone,
And many other realizations had made their way to my heart
And settled old scores for me.

And whatever now might be or might not,
I was going to transcend my circumstances,
At least for a day.
But that small gain might just be the doorway
To overcoming the smallness I saw in myself,
Once, and for all, and Forever.

And so I struggled.
The way grew rockier and chunkier
And harder to navigate,
And I would stop and look to see how much further.
And I would ponder this trail or that,
And choose one, and continue,
And as my body and my soul awakened,
I felt the Sun beating down on me—
Madder than ever today,
Burning through the thinness of the atmosphere there
And stinging my skin at times.
I could feel his adversity wanting me to quit
And stay below,
Scurrying in the trees and “preparing for the winter.”
I could sense his disapproval of my very quest.
I was a damn fool for leaving the safety of “down”
In his glaring eyes.

I didn’t care anymore.
I didn’t care if I burned.
I was going up and beyond and through the veil,
And I was going to see what lie beyond
The tear in Reality’s majestic, pious robe.
Its phylacteries were so wide that few dared
To question or even guess,
But I was going to rip that ostentatious garment
Off its back and strip it of all its dignity,
And see what it was really made of.
What was this life really worth living,
If I didn’t realize the blood and the guts
And the marrow of my own soul’s existence?

Suddenly I came to a wear in the mountain,
A place where the water would run down when it rained.
I surmised that the gully would also take me up,
And so I went against the grain of it.
And so I made my glorious ascent,
Knowing the summit was too close now!
My heart raced with adrenalin and encouragement!
I was already feeling a fresh current of air
Coming from the gusty crest,
And it cooled the grieving nicks and blisters—
The scathing stigma that the Sun’s dishonor had left on me.

Only a stone’s throw from the zenith!
Only 6 more paces,
Only one!
And NOW!
Here I AM!

Chapter 36

I stepped up onto the threshold of the rim
And took that final foothold up and over.
I felt the entire world revolving right that moment,
And panning the future before my very eyes.
I held my arms and hands up over my head in a V and spun,
Celebrating the sheer victory of the moment,
Then had the incredible urge to just rip the raggy, old clothes
Right off my body, and stand bare, and without pretense before the universe.
And so my hands went down to my waist and caught the tails
Of my faded shirt and the grimy bra beneath it,
And I pulled the whole thing right up and over my head
And threw it all down, inside-out, on the rocks lying there.
Then I pushed my shorts and panties, so baggy now and loose,
Right down over my hips, without undoing them, and let them hit the ground.
And then I began to dance.
I had my arms spread open wide, grabbing the sun himself,
And the swirling mountain air, and bending the rays, and redirecting the wind,
And looping my hands through the current,
And running, and leaping, and lunging, and pirouetting all about—
A high kick, and then a bow, tipping my non-existent hat,
Then dancing off around and back for another encore.

The breezes began to adjust to the movements of my fluidity,
Slowly surrounding me and whirling around
Until a vortex formed, and I in the middle.
And I felt the power of it and the ecstasy!
Then a sudden clap of thunder, and now a torrential flood of rain,
Falling down hard on the mountain, soaking my uncovered self,
Washing me from head to toe, and refreshing even my hidden elements.
I stood in the midst of it all and let it shower me—
My face toward the Sun, still shining as it poured,
The enormous drops saturating my dry dusty skin
And invigorating every part of me.

And then the deluge turned quickly to a drizzle
I opened my eyes to see the fresh, clean slate,
And there you are, standing incredulous before me,
Yourself also soaked, smiling playfully.
I ran into your arms, and as our dripping bodies pressed together,
Your lips touched my wet hair and you whispered,
“Darling, what have you done with your clothes?”

Chapter 37
Well, I knew your question was hypothetical, the way you grinned.
I knew it anyway, but especially when I saw your clothes coming off as well.
You shucked your tattered shirt and worn out pants,
And I looked at you in awe, such contrast your design—
Strong and state of the art.
Dazzling, like the newness of the returning dawn.
We stood together in the drizzling rain
Au natural, and unashamed.
We danced together, slowly and with form,
Moving together and apart,
Our fingers entwined,
A spin, a low dip,
And then you picked me up in your arms and carried me,
And gently laid me down on the mossy grass.
We rolled and played together.
We kissed each other tenderly,
Caressing each other lovingly,
And became one together, there on the mountain.

We lay there together into the night,
Watching the clouds dissolve away,
And the stars come gleaming into our sight.
We talked for hours about our dreams—
Sharing the things we had discovered—
The precepts that seemed right to us now
In this crazy new world,
What had fallen away?
What had unfurled
In a brand new light?

And I told you about the house down the way,
And I wondered if you wanted to go there and stay
For a little while, til we did something else,
And so the next morning we set ourselves to go.
And so we did.
We just left our clothes right there, up on the mountain,
And began our new chapter,
Me, wrapped loosely in the velum, and you, in the medicine man’s duster.
We found the little place, and I showed you the old barn.
Then we headed for the farm house.
On the way, you saw something, and took a close look at it.
It was a water valve, and you took the metal rod and turned it open.
When we got in the house, you tried the sink,
And there was water, pouring out of the faucet!

We roamed all over the house together,
Then you said, “I wonder what’s in the attic?”
And you pulled down a door that folded out into stairs,
And I followed you up into the loft.
There were quilts in there,
And boxes and boxes of clothes—
Denims and eyelets, and classic cuts
Of apparel fit for a king and a queen
(Or at least for a Kennedy!)

I told you about my recurring dream,
And we laughed to see it coming true then,
And we thought of what power the unseen realm
Has to create things into the physical,
And we marveled that we had, after all,
Met again on the mountain on such a day,
And we pondered what it all might mean,
Plopping down together on the feather bed.

Chapter 38

How silly I was, to wish on stars!
To think the Universe so greedy
That it only had 8 good desires to grant me!
How small minded I had been to try to lock
The Power of Being up with a simple key,
And to go on thinking that only a trickle of essence
Was dripping into the bloodstream of my Life.
There was vitality all around me which was capable
Of flooding my whole self with sentience.
Anything I could imagine was possible!

Unlimited wishes!
How could I have known?

But best of all to me was seeing the fulfillment
Of the primal urge that I had apperceived—
The desire for Love, Itself.

I had wanted to be the object of love.
I ached to be chosen in life as a cherished delight,
But my wish had come true in a very different way.
Yes, the force of love had chosen me
As a vessel to house itself for a moment,
Then flow through me to the heart of another
And devote myself to pouring love into him.
But the power of the great creative force
Rushing through my body and soul
Healed me, on its way through,
And brought me great wisdom and peace,
And transcended my mortal will.

But now I knew
That in passion’s rapture
Was exactly where the power dwelt—
The power to conceive;
The power to believe again;
The strength to conquer any foe,
Especially my greatest enemy, my smaller self,
The one unwilling to change.
There should be no obstacle now that would keep me
From seeing my good future become a real part of my soul,
For I had felt Love return to me through you,
And it was sweeter yet, having flowed also in and out
Of your body, intelligence, and soul.

So now I will relish my new life.
I will enjoy its elegance and its finesse,
And to continue to delight in the Life that is in me to live,
And keep myself open to the fervor and passion of Love
And its creative currents and the desires that it sets before me.
And without superstition, or worrying in the least
If I think I might have a wish coming or
Wonder if I deserve it or don’t in any way,
I will continue to wish my heart out.

 -jenn long