Wednesday, December 3, 2014
As a boy, there are just some things i don't know.
I had no idea, for example, how long nail polish lasts.
As a whim, with salt air in my nostrils, and joy on my lips
and alcohol in my veins, pink fluid transformed my toe nails
into something they had never been.
As a boy i had no idea what i was getting myself into.
That is the kind of knowledge we are just not informed of.
The flakes are still there and it has been three months.
I had no idea what i was getting myself into.
I had no idea how long nail polish lasts.
Sometimes it last longer than a friendship,
but not as long as memories.
There are still four flakes clinging to life
on several little piggies.
They are fading like the memories
but the memories are still there,
they still make me smile.
Life is a journey and not a destination.
I don't avoid the journey because it may end someday.
I am happy i had the nail polish and the memories.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
It was a long long time ago
when the animals could speak.
I felt something like a whisper,
From a forest, deep, shadowy and bleak.
The call, if indeed it was a call
Was alluring, enticing, a shadow cross my soul
Like a desperate angel fall.
It was an almost heard something,
Elusive, at the edges of my mind,
That is ever-present, daring,
By that something i'm defined.
That low whisper promised answers
But to hunt them i must dare
In the deep shadows of something,
In the woods of melancholy, despair.
I roam, oh i wander and i roam,
As the woods encroach, surround, haunt me, grey and gather
Til there is no place feels like home.
Seek and search the wood for the voice,
Deep and deeper, leaving no stone unturned,
For the voice that makes the whisper,
For that speaker i do burn.
On some days, between the whispers
I can't even hear the call.
My spirit at times distracted
By toil or by a pretty face enthralled
Is given reprieve, oh sweet reprieve
As the dark groves retreat, withdraw, disperse and leave me
To give me hope which i believe.
In these moments my walls come down,
Heart and love, sweet hope entice and enter
Carried on curves and lips and lust
Into my deepest center.
But i am a lonely hunter,
Loving the thrill of the chase
And when something new does enter
For a moment, the whisper is displaced.
The times, the sweet tender loving times
When i bask full on in warm embracing kind romance,
I feel forgiven of my crimes.
I am given a peace and ease
And i forget like a cat in the sun
As the dormant whisper goes still
That my searching is not done.
I wend my way closer to you,
Sweetest of maidens the Truth,
In deep, quiet contemplation
Far from the whisper, alone and aloof.
I think, i sit quiet and i think
As i delve, dive, decipher and scramble for answers
Midst whispers in truth on the brink.
It is a long and lonely road
On a journey up the mountain to know.
But the walk i would not forsake,
It draws me closer to my soul.
In synthesis of opposites
We often find the answer,
And i think fear of the whisper
May be my mistake, my bane, my cancer.
I reflect, sit quiet and reflect,
As i muse on my history, my fears, my escapes,
Potential pasts that i neglect,
I need a turning in my soul.
I have erected walls that none can breech
Between the whisper and my life,
Sometimes love is out of reach.
A time dawns the lonely hunter
Must own responsibility.
My heart the source of the whisper
I find inside, a culpability.
But with the call, i live, i grow and i live.
I search its subtleties, nuances, rhymes and reasons
And there is nothing to forgive.
This voice, my friend companion,
It has been open, guiding all along,
It was my interpretation
That was faulty and was wrong.
So long i have been indecisive,
Waffling, looking this way, that,
Two steps toward the whisper, two back,
Dancing both feet not in the love i’m at.
With lovers i twirl, i dance and twirl,
As excuse i use the whisper to keep my distance
Not cracking the shell for the pearl.
But this separation is false,
I see now the traps of my own devise
That have kept me moving, guessing
Failing to be truly wise.
Indecision moves within me
And i always vacilate
Between these roles i have made,
These complex categories i create.
Ideas have power, massive power
That shapes, creates, molds, transforms the very way we think
Our realities devour.
My own ideas my enemies
That subtle soft conspire to undo me
And lead me hither and yonder
To conundrums willingly.
But all of this is illusion,
A philosophical game,
When i truly hear the whisper
There is no need for confusion and shame.
In my time, in my life, in my time
This long enduring, winding, weaving, endless journey
The whisper says all will be fine.
That’s been the secret all along,
It’s just as simple, has been from the start,
That the truth is not some secret
That is hidden from my heart.
It is a long, long time ago
And the animals can speak.
I feel something like a whisper
From a grove i approach humbly and meek.
That call, and indeed it is a call
Is alluring, enticing, a light within my soul,
That voice is everywhere and all.
I can hear it now, clear as day
From within me and without, all around
Ever present and answering
It’s with my destiny bound.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
"Our minds are made up of the animals we have attended." ~I believe this is from Robert Bringhurst
We tend to love the underdog in occupation stories. In the movie Independence Day we humans come together and fight off the vastly superior technological force from outer space that is trying to wipe us out and take over our home. We set aside all disbelief that we could make a virus for their super advanced computers that will wipe them out. In War of the Worlds the alien invading species is wiped out by disease that they have no way of coping with. We like those stories. But in the real world that is not really what we support. Our vastly superior technological weapons have swept over the globe, pushing out of the way by whatever means of genocide or biological warfare we can muster the Native aboriginal peoples that are in our way. Progress must progress after all. It is usually the invading species that wipes away the indigenous species with their disease by the way. What should happen, by all logic and karmic reasons when the aliens or angels or monsters arrive, is that we should be wiped away without a trace. By our own moral system, as we actually live it, not by what we profess, but by what has transpired over human history, these superior species are within their rights to push us out of the way and wipe us out as pests in the way of progress.
We still act this way. We act as if we are the only species that matters in the Earth. There are times when death is necessary in the cycle of things. I am not a vegetarian or a pacifist, and i do believe the fact that i am alive gives me the right to eat. But, that being said, there is a way to go about that with respect. I do not for example eat veal. That is to me simply the torturing of an animal just because we find it yummy. I have the right to eat, but not to disrespect and flaunt my power in a way that tortures the beings that are lower down on the food chain. Aboriginal people knew this and they treated the animals and the plants that they ate with respect, because in a hunting world view, the food you eat is a gift from related beings. You go out in the woods and wait for the food to come to you on its time. That changes with farming and domestication of animals. We put the animals in fences and they become a commodity. They are no longer the free acting agents of their own will capable of giving you a gift... they are property.
As i said, there are times when death is necessary. We need to eat energy to survive and eating of animals and plants is part of the cycle and the natural order of things. But, there are certain things that should occur in that cycle. We should treat these beings with respect. It does not matter whether or not they have a soul or are as smart as we are, what matters is whether or not they are capable of suffering. A good hunter will only take a clean kill. Ultimately that leads to better and more healthy food as well. An animal that suffers when it dies for longer periods of time has higher levels of stress hormones and unhealthy elements in its meat. I am not saying this is why we should be respectful, but it is a side effect. We should be respectful because it is the right thing to do. We are at the top of the food chain and have a responsibility to the animals in that cycle with us.
Sometimes we need to kill animals for other reasons besides food. Sometimes, they are suffering. I remember holding my cat Ninja as the heart beat and breath slowly left his body when we put him to sleep. He had gone from a 14 pound muscular and sleek hunter of the night, to a 6 pound shell that had pain when he walked and could not keep his food down. I wept. He was my friend and my teacher and i was there with him in his last moments those many years ago. He purred. I could feel it as surely as i could hear it as he left this adventure and went on to the next one. We laid his body in a place of honor and there is moss and roses growing there now. His body has fed them and the cycle continues.
Recently, i saw an animal that had rabies killed. It needed to be done i guess. However, there was laughter and video taping and the whole thing was treated as a joke. It may have been necessary, but it should never be taken lightly. Not only that, the initial "kill" with a shovel or pitch fork did not succeed and about 5 minutes later they realized the animal was still alive and trying to move about. I was filled with rage. My people, my species bothers me on many occasions and our disregard for the other beings we share this planet with is where it is probably at its greatest.
We are a part of the great cycle, the great dance of life on this living orb that hurtles through space and time. We have minds capable of so much and thumbs that allow our thoughts to be made reality in the world around us. We need to take care of these beings. We know as children how important animals are to our psyche with the stuffed animals and the wonder children see in their pets and any encounter with an animal in the outside world. The next time you eat, say grace. Say it to a divine power if you wish, but also, and i think more importantly, say thank you to the being that put on its fleshy coat for awhile so that you may survive. It is a gift, it is grace. Acknowledge that handshake that you are given from your other than human kin that haunt the forests and the fields all around us. Say thank you to your cat, your dog, your snake or your gold fish even. They teach us about our humanity. There is a reason why serial killers usually start with animals. The killing of humans later is related, because we are all related,all the two-legs, the four-legs, the wings of the air and the gills of the sea. Get excited when you see a wild animal intrude upon the teflon coated world we live in. It is amazing. Business as usual happens in the woods.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
I was in a tent the other night and i listened, really listened to the chorus that was going on all around me. I was struck that i had not heard that song in a long time, probably months. The problem is not with the chorus, but with i, the listener. I used to journey into the woods behind my parents' house, my childhood home, almost every night to sit in awe of that song and hear the ancient and primal wisdom that those peoples of the night speak of. But, we get busy and distracted and we forget what is important. But that night, i listened with the ears of a worshipper to that song.
I truly believe that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. It is all around us and our forms and illusions are broken down in the embracing darkness of the night. We can understand things there when we get beyond the pollution of the street lamps and the computer screens. Our form is an illusion of the daylight according to Loren Eiseley, and in the darkness of a forest, we begin to melt into the universe.
What is expected of Heaven? Angels singing eternal praise to the Almighty? They are there. That is them. The chorus of the woods is that angel choir. Peepers, crickets, bullfrogs, katydids, all the people of the forest open their throats and sing of primal things, beauty that surrounds and explodes in a cacophony of praise and Thanksgiving. My soul is eased when i get out there and listen. Our stories are small in the scope of that song. It is beautiful and when i sit alone in the woods and the darkness, i am part of it. Sometimes i can not help but open my throat and allow the swelling chorus to rise up out of my own lungs.