Thursday, March 28, 2019


led by acolytes firmly seizing
                                       his elbows
  into a bright and airy loft
                                            mid-way up the
                 he shuffled, head down, eyes only
              partly open
scheduled for his final
                                                  before the
                                                                  Grand Panjandram
      seated on a canvas director’s              
                                                             draped in hemp shirt,
with open sandals, and cotton shorts
                                                 hair and beard
                                                                         neatly trimmed
                            unexpectedly contemporary
the antithesis of those cheap, cliché paintings
                                                                     that project
a sad and off-putting cement
                                                                 of disdainful power
he rose and extended a hand
                                              and a warm welcoming smile
“So…..tell me the whole story, as best you can;
                                                 I welcome you to this time and space
                        where we are now alone and
                                                                    accompanied by the mountain stream!”
well……I…I…am a little taken aback
                                                            I expected a throne, several court reporters
                                            cameras and lie detectors and a robe…..
 I hear that every time someone comes to tell their story
I can easily imagine
So….I am still eager to hear your story
                                        Well, it is a lot like a river that sometimes
               flows, sometimes stagnates in little eddies
                                                            and frequently crashes over
                                 rocks I never suspected and
                                                 never really prepared to ride
I have heard that picture many times….and I often wonder about the
                           foresight and the intuition of the story-tellers…Have they
             not read or heard about their ancestors crashing over the same kinds of
cataracts ?
the plays and histories
                                   the movies and the poems are
                                                                                 filled with warnings
                   yet we seem to think they must be
                                                                      about all the others, and not me
  It does make me sad to hear how unconscious everyone seems to be
                                                      of the real questions needing address
so… seems this story began near water, winds, rocks, trees and small
                                          with fenced dreams and aspirations
                                                                                  and neighbourhood dogs
                      barking when anyone jumped, climbed or kicked down
                                                                                those fences
mostly men with collars, badges, robes, pills or chalk or whistles
                                              hovered around the fences,
                   watching and waiting for the inevitable iconoclast
  … order to remind him of his most minute infraction…
fascinated with their duty to rescue the miscreant from the bottom of the
                                                                               water fall
                                          they designed plans, strategies, tactics and retributions
                  based, they said, on something they called scripture
unfortunately, they probably looked at scripture as fixed, literal and their
                              view included selected epithets?

                        Chafing at many of these interventions
 I struggled with their fences and their rationale
                                                            so that  there seemed to be a
                          scarlet branded “T” on my forehead….
                                                         I quickly learned it meant “truant”
and emitted waves to all others of some kind of danger or apprehension
                                                               as soon as they caught a glimpse

whether and how I added to the ‘myth’ is the focus of
                                              much of my reading and reflecting….
                              No doubt I did!
only later did I meet kindred spirits:
                                                       Heathcliff, Jane Eyre, Hagar Shipley,
                                   Hillman, Birney, Pratt, Layton, Graham and Green
and tripped over, kicked down, took a fist to fences, walls, silences and
                 that attempted to thwart this river
                                                                        by damming its current
seeming desperate for tenderness,
                                                       at each bend in the river
                             I wondered if there might be another
                                                                                    longing for love
only to be greeted by others escaping, fleeing, drowning their pain or
                                                                   seeking vengeance
                                  and in succession barely escaped
                  drowning, being captured, mis-led, and the
swamp of improbable bribes, deceptions, faux commitments and
                                           even ecclesial courts
Have you ever read that little piece entitled, Footprints?
                      Finally, I think I might be “getting it”
                                       those narrow escapes were the times when
I was being carried across the highest and the most dangerous
                                 unaware that I was the perpetual self-saboteur
                       repeating, re-inventing, re-creating and re-imagining
all those early
                                       dark nights with the
               .22, the 12 gauge, the canoe, the psych ward, the pills,
                 the cellar wailing wall,
                                                                 and the trauma
that my story was never sought
                                               prior to decisions to exclude, alienate, and dismiss
Please, accept my hand of welcome, acceptance and love,
                                                it was there all along,
                           if only you could have seen it……

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