For Those Who Fish in the Deep

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For those who fish in the deep drift

Waves crest over the frozen headlands

Folding in on themselves

Breaking into foam traces

Of a place we called home

Invisible and forgotten deluge

Votive ships into the Leviathan

Odyssey’s lost names of deities

And songs of beauty

Are shadow rivulets thinning

Disappearing into the all

 

I turn to see sun needles on my frozen footprints

Moving backwards with eyes longing forward

Like stars they sway in a black womb blanket

Motioning in the tide dead birds and seals cry

From the crack and smoke of a hunters dream

Deer still running in the otherworld from parole

Grating sand against sheep bones and oyster shells

 

I stopped looking in the sea caves and tangled lost nets for my people

Among shallow surfaces I found smoke in their blood and stolen pearl

Animated dead of this world still rising in ice towers

While our emergence from this creation myth recedes

Collecting smoky tones of pumice in the gnarled wind

 

The ancient umber womb of memory is remembering few us

Moving forward in retreat the inaudible hum of our story

Gathers spirits who comb the earth for what has kept us apart

 

Who are they

So different and so like us

Mystery of our empathic relationship to them

Weaving us together in the visionary bright world

This our final authentic struggle to consecrate our lives

Salvage and bless the earth

 

Between here and their world is our estranged stranger to stranger

Neighbor paces everyday to fill the empty space inside and out

Wears the garb of a fallen people pretending victory

Strangers rending the earth’s mantle through their shadow

Turn in your unconscious iron words for the plant kingdom

Wrap their rust in the leaf hollow of the soul

Crowds of souls who have abandoned their lives

For the platitude of rote paradigms

Delusional hearts in the mirror without center

 

To see inside ourselves is to really see each other for the first time

Rekindling our ancient shapes from the tear salted sea

I hear the deer sound in fallen snow

Plumes in the black absence of swan

Crows on black wire rant of trees gone missing

Skeleton moons in the thousand branches

Breaking light through deaths door

 

When there is no one around

There is my extinct creature I talk to

With rainy wind for a voice

It says there are enough birds for every seed

It speaks in parables of emptiness and everything

 

It says there are few who see

The otherworld through the polarities

And suddenly there’s no distance

The moons memory of our skin in her membrane

The nature of nature is birthed

from the figureheads of prows

Showering celestial cosmology

Flowing through our blood platelets

Black holes and supernova beckon

Flickering through the light

Of heart thought

 

Sometimes the original language can’t be translated

But we all should know it and once did

Slowly softly I’m letting it all in

I’m trying to tell you about it now

Through layered scatterings of diffused light

Cloud shadow on cloud adding chaos to direction

 

I know the way I talk to you makes me merge with your hunger

Quickens your senses while you wait for your bread

With the gold ring hidden inside

Bring your healing words to the humus

To the animal shadows and shallow roots

We must cultivate the earth inside us

As bears turn to clay in the cloudless rain

Hedge animals wait to cross open space unseen

 

I am the watcher through the vintage window

With green eyes whiskers mood of winter fire

I witness the becoming in the churning sky

Feral wind through my eyes

I know we have to steep in this unknowing time to know

And push into the holy weight of our lives

With a sea of conjuring words

And ritual healing knife

 

To stitch and repeat the greater fabric making

Is to change us into fitter forms

Shell of shining abyss

Burning stone

Immortal rain

Deer Goddess bursting green from the inside out

Edges of me made of pine and wild grasses

Red deer of the flaming earth

With all horned branches

Let me crouch inside you

With my animal body

With my sleepless lunar eyes

And delicate words

To the other within you

 

This is how it was and is

Before the first story of time

To live close with paradox

Lighting the cold

Through the long glacial era

With holy clown suture and trickster antidote

For the growing things of the soul

 

Feeling the silent breeze of your awareness

Across the gulf of winter emptiness

I draw near with strangers and night birds

Hands of poetry painted on cave walls

Waving you on

Animal sounds

Drawing your thoughts inward

 

Love is known by the pollinators

Those who have signed the ancient contract

To the deep and elevated places

They know that everything is undone

For the making purpose

If you don’t sow inside this garden

The seeds inside you will rot

 

Sometimes we have to turn our life inside out

Find another way around

To the whole in the middle of things

And find things that make us a child

Of many worlds

They Join different parts of us

Flint firing our spirit alive

Soaring birds in the clear sky

Know and feel how this can feel

 

This conversation is bigger than you and I

It is the celestial memory of spells

Smelted in power circles of the ancestors

The underbelly of times mist veiling the easy route

Birthed from the lost and found maker

Says we never left so stay close

The altar of my being lies every where

In your small fingers reaching

For a new branch of life

Scrying the movement of the spheres

Beneath the shimmering lake of your eyes

 

Watch the butterfly change the color of the way I think

Rest you in here with your love

Listen to the old songs buried beneath the earth

Each word a rune scattered map

To return home through your true nature

These songs wait for your soul to sing

To the solitary pine and shadowed flower

For the elders piercing dream instruction

Tilt your ears to the lantern of wandering stars

 

Terra Firma Stella Mare

Raise your spirit fathers

To the sun dancers

Shadow eaters

Death healers

Complete your turn in the underworld

With your ancient soul names

Cloud nomad

Spirit horse rider

Bird whisperer

Wind grappler

The burning dead parts of you

Are the temporal worlds leavings

Emptying out seeking new form

 

Death is a flowering time

When I am dead my words will remain

Attached to tender branches

When you dip underneath and feel them

Their poetry will live inside your skin

If you know what this means

You are moving the dream along

You are already closer to home

 

Traveling  in the circadian rhythm of internal planets

In the crossroads of sword and ghost flower and poem

I walk through this fifth season towards you

Up ahead I see an illuminated stone

Another place in the shape of a hill

There’s a bright cave without a name

Sky shale tree roots in the clouds

Holy places abandoned and brought back alive

Through the bleeding dawn

This high and deep moment

In wordless language

We use to know

 

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This Thing That Is Becoming Us

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There are broken things all around us

The earth shakes moving her arms around

All who did not love her

 

I had all I could take

In times roman numeral

Winding drone of clocks

Heavy ponderous handed

Black and white marks

Across the battery of my breath

 

You lied to me

Held me close and killed me slow

All the evening skies

That were once my own

 

I mask myself for the death inside

The old ghost of being

Each time I come across another truth

It pencils me in for a short time

Making life from the dead parts of me

 

A longing ghost I would bend the barb wire

Back to where it came from

Enough room to bend my way out

What keeps me in what keeps me out

All the things we have not mastered here

 

With our shaped voices neither here nor there

Driftwood bodies lost in the deep sea

Of memory and storm

Vermillion scrap heap of captains

Capsized in the blood

 

Some try to swim the umbilical

Back to the mother

Unravel the latitudes of mind

Blanched continents adrift

In tide pools of consciousness

Lapping waves pulse in the wrist

 

One word from her

Is a glacier of beauty

Passing through our membrane

A scent of summer croon

In a healing drone of bees

 

One word from her

Is a sonorous last cry

Lost language of our earth

A shadow across our breath

 

One word can furnish us a flower for  a swift life

Or a long oak belly down in the clay

Fertile wounds for the bones

Of all who did not weep

One word can change us into

A robin headed sapling in spring rain

 

Are we to become the words themselves

The prism of her singular thought

All things we ever forgot

The outside of the inner experience

The inside of the outer

 

There’s no going back

Until we finish

This thing that is becoming us

 

Pilots inside the deity

Riding the surge of plasmic thoughts

Moving the universe in complex laws

 

I see she wears crop circle tattoos

Beneath her robe of stars in every direction

Her voice fills the atmosphere

 

I am the mask you want to remove

And I am behind it

The shadow of your world

When you stop growing

 

The moments are in the making

In this foraging for the light

Beneath your feet and claws

Gathering starlight from the stone ribs of the earth

 

My medicine stories pass through the strata

In a river of indigenous tongues

With soul honed visions incubating an egg

In the ancestors gloam

 

They call us to be full orbs of the night

Climbing the Kiva ladder

In driving rain to blue sky manna

 

I’ve taken to holding the seeds

Of the evergreen forest in my thoughts

Hieroglyphs in my pen

For the uncharted sea of the divine

I slipped off this black jetty boulder

Swimming back through the amnesia

Reading the words in the diary of my soul

 

May we meet on the shores here

And know each other by all our eyes have seen

Blessed by the feathers of our speech

May we recognize this passage in time

To catch each other in the darkness

By our reaching light

 

In the middle of everything I hold your hand

Left behind in petroglyphs

Tattoos of the ancient soul of the land

 

Speak to us in ancient forest sounds

Spreading seed

Rain talking

A word in each drop

Spreading cloud light

Through the ground

The space of sound

The sound of space

Breaking surface silver fish

In the slow splintered sun

Shimmering dreams

In the home we left behind

A small scattering of prayer

Drumming on the mountain of stellar worlds

The Altaring Needs

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The Altaring Needs

An  altar is where we commune  with  the past, present and future – in the timeless now.

The altar acts as a lightning rod attracting the ancestors and the spirit world “all our relations” into a sacred space we have built with mindfulness.

It is a place for offerings, honoring, thanks and prayer.   We approach with respect to the mystery and its infinite dynamics.  A commitment to a spiritual life brings many initiations and winds of change that can be very challenging.  Ones spiritual journey deepens into the souls needs and ancestral lineage. It digs up buried depths of potential and unconscious worldly or ancestral patterns.  Our shadows are brought to light, for fight or flight, or healing integration.  Being spiritual means being in service this is a paradox for many, with much of the western mindset of quick gain, quick mastery and self promotion.

Objects  placed in and around the altar are related in some way to the earth, our ancestors and spirit world with its helpers..

The elements of wood, air/wind, water, fire, earth and metal with their many literal and symbolic forms – are great energetic ambassadors to host in ones sacred space.  The elements are used around the world  by indigenous peoples in their spiritual/healing work.  Plants and animals too are used  – literally as in bone, feather, fur, claw,  or in symbolic form.  The elements always interact with each other in nature, and they are the organic foundational basis of life.  All living energetic forms are in interdependent relationship to us in some degree or another.  We all come from the same source  We are related..

What is put into the alter with sincerity, integrity, consistency –  is what we get back in return.

The altars presence brings mindfulness of the bigger picture.

It is a place for ritual.  To clear ourselves, to meditate and journey.

It’s good that we are fully present  and sincere when we talk and pray out loud at the altar.  That we give our full visceral expression to the otherworld.  Spoken memorized prayer and in the moment dialogue are equally good.  It is enough some days just to give a quiet acknowledgement.

The altar is a bridge to the otherworld.  The more you infuse it with your energy, with prayer, offerings, ritual and mindfulness the more the otherworld crosses over.  One builds relationship this way.  Ones expectations can get in the way – quiet, authentic, integral practice comes with its own rewards.  It is inner-work and inner reward.  Confidence of belief is a vital bridge builder.  Build a true living altar, alive with ones giving energy,  and the spirit world will come and inhabit your space.  Relationship is everything and  it is the same in the spirit world, students of life, we  apprentice  and slowly gather  experience  that is meant to be turned into wisdom.   When the inner alchemy starts it’s reshaping  – so will the outer life reshape.  All realities are inside us as much as they are outside us.  Many get caught up in the phenomena that only inflates the spiritual ego and this is a trap.  In the end, the holy clown and coyote trickster will have its day.

What facets of life do we love most in the temporal secular as well as the spiritual?  These are the elements placed in the altar.  Ones passion is what one feels a deeper connection to.  That’s where we start, no matter how small it may seem, it is the thread to follow until bigger things arrive.  The natural world is our home and thus it implies we respect our own nest, it’s where we gather our sustenance so taking from nature daily demands responsible mindfulness.  The animate natural world is conscious ancient wisdom, our respect should be second nature.  Taking our nest for granted is foolish.  Nature is beauty, nature is teacher, nature is healer, nature is our mirror.  This again is all reflected in our altar.

Consider all life beneath our feet, all life in the atmosphere, and beyond teeming infinite.  The microcosm and macrocosm on an infinite quantum level.  This is the big picture we address, by doing so we can see our day to day life with a more clear perception.

The altar is where we interface with a consecrated space, on-going, changing, open to random impulse, emotional callings, quiet introspection.  Each piece on the alter is given energy by you, with your intentions, by your feelings of personal relationship with it.  With your designations and naming and placement.  It is a place of petition and praise.

The alter is your place of healing, grounding and centering.  Restoration from the dysfunctions of modern life.

One can implement sound, (rattles, bells, whistles) color, texture, smell of burning sage, sweetgrass, incense.  Create an appealing aesthetic to enrich the senses.  It is through senses we derive insight.  The altar is a larger medicine bag, it represents ones power relationship as well as ones earnest yearnings.  It’s a way to learn about our self and feel a deeper connection to life.  Daily attendance builds the energy of your altar and makes you stronger.  It benefits your ancestors and keeps your personal cosmology alive and dynamic.  One is fortified by interacting with the altar – it brings home purpose and meaning in a world without center.

Things change on your altar, objects are handled, assigned, talked to, removed, replaced, added too.  It’s both the micro and macro of your evolving inner world as it relates with the outer.

There is a story behind each piece on our altar.  Life is a story.  We learn best through our personal story and the story of others.  All the these stories whether embraced or discarded alter our life path.

Anything handmade by you that has personal depth association, or any gifts given to you with depth of personal meaning are potent artifacts for the altar.  Natural material is always best, including candles of beeswax.

One builds and develops over time  – one’s own personal cosmology.  The story of our mythological lives involves  paying close empathic attention to life’s subtle nuances.  This is how we gather spiritual insight and wisdom.  Returning to the altar is returning to an old friend, picking up where we last dropped off or starting something new.  At the altar we commune with our guides, allies, teachers, healers and protectors.  As with daily life what we put into relationships is what we get in return – seen or unseen, one develops vital bonds.

The altar is the axis mundi, it is the four sacred directions – our indigenous spiritual blueprint for addressing the divine.  The mystery has no static answer, truth changes, our linear time and space continuum is the causality of illusion.  Knowing this we respect the perennial unknown and are less likely to pontificate.   A spiritual ego creates subtle delusions sabotaging  authenticity.

The  word altar, how close it is to alter, with same amount of same letters, just  one vowel change  – the altar can indeed alter consciousness, acting as an amplifier to ones ritual practice.   It is a potent tool to have around, and its why many cultures have portable altars for healing, divination, offerings etc…  At the very least if an object has earned a place on our altar (but is small enough to wear or be carried by pocket or pouch) we can carry our “medicine” or power with us.  The physical presence acts as a constant reminder and is a good way to travel.

At night lying in bed, just before sleep,  we can address  our intentions and give thanks to our cosmology before entering dreamtime.  Often it’s the best way our guides can get through and convey….