THE FARMERS MANIAC

From

Lawrence A. McFadden

 

© Copyright 2004 Lawrence A. McFadden

All rights reserved

 

so far are i†††† so far as doves fly

†††††††

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

††††††††††† Go figure.Me and Zeke were driving down the gravel road.He had his camping cooler full of beer and ice in the back seat.I rode there watching out the window.The weather was a little warm for the first of October.

††††††††††† The gray skies flowed with patches of blue and light shades of pink, amber and orange hue.The brown bare trees silhouetted the sky and the cornfields showed a light textured sand color that I suppose most people think as autumn gold leftover.Some fields were harvested with deep rich dirt accenting the stubble of the cornstalks.

††††††††††† The corn looked tired with the tassels drooping and the clattering of the long slender leaves had mellowed to a whisper from the crisp sounds of August.The farmhouses began to speck with lights as the evening dusk settled.A few tractors were still working, carving dimensions of picked corn and fall-plowed fields into the night.I lit a smoke.

††††††††††† "Let us make a meal for you, let us make the deal for you, yes folks, there are 6.2 grams in every bite, so hurry your children to the food stuff stand."

††††††††††† We both said "What was that?"

††††††††††† "Don't know," I said and opened the glove compartment."Were you listening to the stereo?"

††††††††††† "No, I thought you were."

††††††††††† There was a tape playing."You were too listening to the stereo," I said."Where'd that jingle come from?"

††††††††††† "Did you ever hear of Microwave?"He said.

††††††††††† "Not if its a new group."I was confused.

††††††††††† "Well," Zeke went on, "Somebody invented a transmission something like radio.The jingle was a commercial in you head."

††††††††††† "My gosh." I said.

††††††††††† Zeke turned down a blacktop road and turned on his lights.He sped along the country road with considerable ease.The car lifted over the humps and glided softly down on its shocks as the radials tracked the blacktop.

††††††††††† The road began to break up in large chunks as Zeke tried desperately to avoid the many chuckholes.After crashing in and out of the damn things, the road ended abruptly and the car was hurled into space.

††††††††††† The OVER THE EDGE sign flashed on the dashboard.Zeke swallowed hard the last swallow and handed me the empty beer bottle.I placed it on the floormat behind my seat and grabbed two fishbowls and handed one to Zeke and put the other one on my head as we passed through the ozone.

††††††††††† "You hungry?"Zeke thought.

††††††††††† "Not really.Are you?" I answered.

††††††††††† "Nope."

††††††††††† Somehow I felt out of place.I've had that problem before, I thought.The doctor said I was just going through changes but I had the idea it had something to do with time.

††††††††††† Dr. Martin was sitting in his office chair with one leg over the other leafing through a manilla folder.He wasn't looking at anything in particular, "Just scanning the reports," he said, "Have a seat."

††††††††††† I sat down in the chair next to the desk, clasping my hands.He had a nice office with plush chairs arranged for group sessions with coffee tables and heavy glass ashtrays, along with the ashtrays that looked like metal vases that you push a lever and a cigarette butt falls through a trap door to depths unknown.

††††††††††† "How's your medication coming along?" he asked.

††††††††††† "Alright." I said.

††††††††††† He had a small bookshelf on the wall with the latest paperback assortment of personality helpers, transactual analysis method books, and some of the more self-importance literature.The bookends were cut-stone granite.I noticed one that read THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE FEMALE.That would be as interesting as Freudian case histories, I thought and wondered what it had to say about penis envy and menstural repercussions.

††††††††††† "Things at home going alright for you?" he said.

††††††††††† "I guess." I said.

††††††††††† "Good.I'd like to see you again next week.Let me fill out an appointment card for you."

††††††††††† On his desk were several neat piles of yellow and white paper.Stacked on top as paperweights were a cone, a sphere, a cube, and a pyramid.The sphere and cube were sharing the same pile.

††††††††††† There was a lamp with a small heavy base and a long, curved flexible tube that hung a rather large, florescent bulb-housing.The light hummed.The kind of hummmmm that is not noticeable unless there was no other sound in the room and someone was still listening.

††††††††††† He handed me the appointment card.I thanked him and to the elevator I envisioned myself as a brilliant, handsome, young professor whose critical dissertation CREATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS:EMOTIONAL PSYCHOSIS AND SEXUAL FULFILLMENT RESTRUCTURED advanced people's knowledge light years ahead, leaving psychoanalysis and behavior modification in the deark ages.

††††††††††† I pushed the button and watched the floorlights over the elevator doors.

††††††††††† "Me, I thought, giving campus lecture tours, receiving honorary diplomas and residencies from the world's leading psychiatric institutions. And finally appearing in Sweden to give my thanks on being awarded the Nobel."

††††††††††† The elevator doors opened.I entered and pushed the black button embedded with a white one."Nobody would believe me," I thought, "I can't even get laid."

††††††††††† Outside my eyes followed the feet of passerbyes and I heard a whisper:

††††††††††† "The letter "L"."

††††††††††† "The letter "L",!"My mind raced.There's going to be an evolution.There's going to be an evolution on earth.God yes!That's it!I'll think cosmic thoughts.

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

 

††††††††††† I boarded the bus and sat next to Jed.

††††††††††† "That was quite the conversation you had," the voice in Jed's head said.

††††††††††† "Thanks.Could you tell me why the alphabet ends in "Z"?" I replied.

††††††††††† "Sure.Ignorance."Jed said."I've always wanted to add more letters to the alphabet but no one will listen."

††††††††††† "Crowds of time will seek more."I thought.

††††††††††† Jed's head said nothing for awhile.

††††††††††† "The silence of my own life," I interrupted, "Has spoken to many listeners."My speech drifted up to the bus driver, "What more can be said that no one has heard."

††††††††††† There was an "Amen" from the back of the bus.The eyes in Jed's head glistened.

††††††††††† "You wrote that long ago," the mouth in Jed's head said "And I just now understand."

††††††††††† There were more "Amens" from the back of the bus.I spoke to the ears in Jed's head and said "My mind has been troubled for many years.Only now I seek clarity."

††††††††††† Jed lowered his head and said "You have thoughts like a cold clear stream.Are you still writing poetry?"

††††††††††† "All of the words in my soul cry with sorrow," I replied, "and my thoughts twist-up in my mind to a foolish grin."

††††††††††† "The farmer's maniac."The voice in Jed's head said."You know the crazies have always become the saints."

††††††††††† "I hope so." I said.

††††††††††† I got off at the next stop and watched the bus pull away from the curb in a cloud of smoke.I looked down shaking my head in disgust."Damn people anyway," I thought, "They never seem to leave me alone."

††††††††††† I turned the collar up on my coat, snugged down my stocking cap, thrust my hands in my pockets, hunched-up my shoulders, and walked quickly through the crisp air.I shuddered as a blast of wind came roaring down the street and leaned me forward.I listened for my name on the wind.Sometimes the wind cries out my name.The sound numbs my soul and I feel so overpowered I stay in bed for days.For the sound mocks me and I know not where it comes.Or when.Or how.

††††††††††† I noticed there were no feet to watch, smiled, and headed for the park.Underneath the street lights, Clyde started following me along.Clyde is the spirit that lives in my shadow.I felt warmer and I played with my breath vapor.I never could whistle.

††††††††††† Walking backwards, I streamed the vapor like a jet plane, slipped and fell on the ice.I choo-choo trained chugging down the pavement and began billowing the sails of a pirate's ship.I spun a turban's bourbon and began playing the pomp of a marching band.

††††††††††† Alot of feet were parading along, we got tired of exhaling, laughingly applauded each other on our tipy-toes, and I walked on letting my nose thaw.The sidewalks began to sparkle and I knew I was downtown.I walked along close to the buildings keeping all the feet to one side until a pair kept on walking straight at me.I moved closer to the buildings and so did the other pair of feet.We both stopped.

††††††††††† The right foot of the pair started tapping so I started tapping my left foot.The pair of feet did a shuffle-up-the-buffalo and stopmed a foot with a clap of the hands.I nodded with simple little soft shoe, stomped my foot and clapped my hands.The other feet did a thigh-slapping flatfoot, we joined arms, swung each other around and continued walking in opposite directions close to the buildings.

††††††††††† "Should of do-se-doed with whomever that was, ey?"Clyde said nothing and began walking ahead of me so I just watched him play on the sidewalk along with the sparkles.Flashing lights overhead glistened the concrete and walking feet became silhouetted with the florescence of dancing color.The sparkles grew vibrant as trampled trash changed shades from blue to violet and purples.The dirty gray snow no longer gave the sidewalks a gloomy presence of the coming winter.

††††††††††† Clyde followed along humming a soft tune that drifted silently on the crisp October night.The wind quietly carried the words "I am a minstrel with the spirit of the Lord," as he slowly faded into the darkness of the park.

††††††††††† Anthony Wayne was still sitting on his horse.I walked over and said hello.He just sat there with his gaze.The pale green of the bronze flowed as the image projected itself against the stars.

††††††††††† "Another monument to barbaric man."I thought and wondered if I had quoted Nietzche.I'm sure someone across the river would like to talk to this madman.

††††††††††† The wooden benches were empty except for an only man sitting over by the pumphouse.I trodded over through the snow, brushed off the other end of the bench and sat down.The peacefulness of the park became alive with the shadows and sounds of the city.Gusts of wind twirled the snow in the fountain and swirled across the square as my body grew accustomed to the cold.I felt the pause of time and rhythms of life brought a gentleness to my thoughts.

††††††††††† "I'm preoccupied with feet." I said.

††††††††††† The old man smiled."I have a talking kneecap."He said and got up and left.His words rang with wisdom.I looked after him and thought of his leg talking to me as he walked.

††††††††††† I see straight, old man." I whispered.I sat there on the park bench staring into the blackness of closed eyes wondering because I saw my nostrils and the rim of my cheeks against a solid darkness that scattered with bits of white twinkling inner galactic thought.No sense of direction existed as my wonders created myself falling.

††††††††††† My eyes grew wide as I saw myself land on a square of blackness and watching, I soared upwards towards the stars.I was far behind when a sexual impulse turned pleasure into new knowledge.I grasped this reference with both arms and clutched nothing.I thought of those I loved and instantly an incredible ecstasy swept my mind.I knew I had experienced cosmic thought.

††††††††††† I laid there, stretched out on the park bench, numb from the cold with the belief that the universe was at peace.

 

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

 

††††††††††† I awoke in the warmth of a bed.Opening my eyes and noticing my pajamas, I knew I was back in the hospital.This makes the fourth time in two years since my breakdown.I didn't like hospitals but the relief from the trauma leading up to the old man in the park was welcome.

††††††††††† I was in a private room with a white ceiling and two-toned walls of white and green.There was a brown cabinet with a drawer and an extending tabletop to eat from.A chair was by the bed and the oversized wooden door was closed though I could hear the people passing outside.

††††††††††† Suddenly the door opened and a huge black lady came in with two styrofoam cups, a carton of milk, a container of cereal, and a couple of sugar packets.She placed them on the tabletop and left the room leaving the door open.I watched, sipping my coffee, as the crippled and aged paraded past my door."Back in the V.A. hospital again."I said to myself as the nurse's buzzer clicked on the wall.

††††††††††† I went nuts in the Navy.I really didn't do anything crazy, I just got really depressed and psychotic after spending ninety-six days underwater in a submarine.Today they would say I went through post-traumatic stress but back then the navy called it a "psychotic depressive reaction" and gave me a small pension for my disability.

††††††††††† After finishing my cereal I laid back with my hands behind my head and waited till the nurse came.I could consider myself lucky.Most combat vets returning from Nam cam back with a "psychotic depressive reaction" but now the Veterans Administration says its post-traumatic stress and that this is normal for returning combat vets.How could the Government tell the public that there are a half a million veterans walking around depressed and psychotic so they gave it a simple name and said this was all a "normal" reaction to war.Most Vietnam combat veterans self-destructed so I guess the public can rest easier knowing there are fewer of them.Not like the public ever cared.

††††††††††† Around ten o-clock the nurse came in, introduced herself, and sat in the chair.

††††††††††† "Last time in here i woke-up in restraints." I said.

††††††††††† "You were peaceful this time, Albert," she said smiling, "How are you this morning?"

††††††††††† "Fine," I replied smiling back, "I slept good."

††††††††††† "What happened last night?" She asked.

††††††††††† "The last thing I remember was I was sitting in Freimann Square with some old man.He left and I sat there awhile.I guess I must of fallen asleep.I remember being really cold.

††††††††††† "The police brought you in,"she said, "They found you on the park bench shivering.When they couldn't wake you up they found your I.D. and V.A. cards and called an ambulance.Were you drinking?"

††††††††††† "Nope." I said. "I wasn't doing anything."

††††††††††† "Were you on drugs?" she questioned.

††††††††††† "Nope." I said.

††††††††††† "Do you do drugs?" she asked.

††††††††††† "I smoke, that's about all." I said.

††††††††††† "The doctor will be around to see you this afternoon," she said, "You'll probably have to stay a couple of days for observation."Then she left.

††††††††††† I laid in bed thinking what the next couple of days would be like.The V.A. doesn't have a mental or psychiatric ward here so my doctor will be just an old general practitioner who would keep me on Halidol medication and ask if I had any problems.I won't do anything stupid like last time and be committed to Indianapolis again.At most I might be sent there as part of a rehabilitation program.At least I'll get a couple of days rest.

††††††††††† Lunch came around noon.I dined on a pork chop and egg with some toast and applesauce.Afterwards I sipped my coffee and wished for a cigarette.Standing by the windows I looked out across Lake Avenue to the elementary school and beyond to the homes and houses and I began to daydream.I dreamed of a tree in a forest.

††††††††††† The tree began to fall.The majestic branches that once swayed in the wind tore through the air showering the ground with fleeting shadows.Branches crashed upon branches thrashing leaves free and splitting the dense forest.Limbs smashed against one another cracking wood and ripping large strips of bark that ran heavily to the ground.The massive trunk collided with several smaller ricocheting from breaking tree to tree till finally coming to rest against another.The two flannel clad men watched in awe as the tree stumbled.Then they dropped their axes and ran in opposite directions.

††††††††††† I turned around quickly as someone entered the room and removed the food tray.There were some grains of salt on the tabletop that I walked over and brushed off.Swinging the table back to its original position, I turned and walked out the room.

††††††††††† I got to thinking about my last time in here on the way to the john.I remembered how the door to my room was one of the kind where there was a bottom half and a top half.The bottom half was closed and locked and the top half was open.It reminded me of a horse stall and it bothered me that I was being treated as such so I jumped over the door and was on my way.

††††††††††† I made my escape through a side entrance of the building and proceeded to walk home.There was a bus stop and I suppose I could have waited for the bus but I decided to "hoof" it.Only then did I realize how silly I looked walking around in my pajamas and robe.I didn't get far when a guy from hospital security came and asked me to go back with him, which I did.From there I went to Indianapolis.

††††††††††† I made it back from the john o.k. and laid back in bed for a little nap.I had just gotten comfortable and was about ready to doze when a voice came over the nurse's buzzer.I was to come to the nurse's station.

††††††††††† I walked down to the nurse's station, told them who I was, and they said the doctor will see me now.I waited in the hall for the doctor to finish with another patient.A couple of minutes passed, the patient left, and I entered the office and sat down in the chair next to the desk.The doctor mumbled a "how are you today".I told him fine and he continued looking through my folder.

††††††††††† "Do you have any problems," he asked.

††††††††††† I shook my head negatively then I said "I have hallucinations sometimes."

††††††††††† "Tell me about them," the Doctor asked.

††††††††††† "What I can't express in words I am shown in pictures," I said, "I don't know where the voices are coming from.I used to be one of the most rational persons on earth, but I am at a lost to explain them.Sometimes I'll link two or more hallucinations together and come up with something totally different from any of them."

††††††††††† "I'm going to increase your medication, Albert.When is your next appointment with your therapist?" asked the doctor.

††††††††††† "Sometime next week." I said.

††††††††††† "You'll need some blood work done today then you'll be discharged.

††††††††††† "Thanks," I said.I was glad.

 

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

 

††††††††††† Albert left the hospital in the late afternoon and walked home.It was a long walk but it looked like snow.The air was thick and crisp but the clouds were low and full, rich with white and hung like broken lampshades in shades of gray.A parade of bare trees stood before him, down Lakeside Avenue, across downtown and over two of the three rivers that make-up Fort Wayne.

††††††††††† The gray gritty skies were the kind Albert liked the best.With snow on the ground and on the way, the conditions were perfect for the winter landscapes that Alberty photographed in black and white.And walking through the park and the old neighorhoods with the thrill of snow in the air made Albert walk slow, studying everything he saw as if it was hanging, framed, on a wall.Visualizing extra hard for something he could come back for and photograph during the snowfall.

††††††††††† He had his own darkroom and taught himself the physics and technical side of photography and had spent a year-and-a-half working a commercial, black and white photo lab in Virginia.He had worked on his college newspaper and had been photographing winter landscapes for a couple of years and had decided to make it his art.

††††††††††† He would listen to the National Weather Service on his radio and read the weather in the newspaper for any call of snow.He didn't have a T.V. but kept watch on the skies.The weather forecaters were very accurate when it came to the temperature but could only predict the major snowfalls.The gray, flurry days were the best because Albert had determined that his best photographs were taken during a snowfall.So he would wait and watch for snow.

††††††††††† There were many long nights of watching it snow, then first light Albert would load his photography equipment into his station wagon and head for the rural farmlands.Photographing barns was his first love.Geometrically a barn would photograph as a composition of four-sided shapes in a naturally-shaped surrounding.Albert's photographs showed a well-composed balance of shape and size, design and composition.

††††††††††† The photographs trained his photographic eyes to see compositions strong in design of both man-made and natural elements in a landscape.And his photographs showed the perfection of a rural beauty both technically and artistically.

††††††††††† But the photographs were of objects seen everyday and like everyday objects, they were mostly overlooked by the people of Fort Wayne.He could not sell them.This only made Albert more determined to photograph.And the more he looked the more he saw.He was a man rich with the vision of rural winter landscapes but he supported himself by doing manual labor jobs that paid poorly, yet allowed him to think freely.

††††††††††† The gray in the skies darkened.it would soon be night and this caught Albert at play.The mental images he was accumulating in his head now would still do him good in the night light.The day was losing the muted glow of the sunset and the dense clouds, ever-growing closer to the ground, grew black.

††††††††††† The streetlights lit up the old neighborhood.The snow had become particularly bright from a day of thaw.Albert always noticed the texture of the snow and tonight there was a glaze across the surface of the snow.There was no sparkle of flake.

††††††††††† The bare trees that lined and canopied Lake Avenue were lost to the blackness of the sky but there was just enough light to show the bare branches in a dark gray shade.Albert studied the tree branches closely.The branches needed snow to shape the tree with light.A well-placed streetlight behind groups of trees was what he was looking for.He would remember the location and wait for snow.

††††††††††† Albert walked composing everything he saw into photographic possibilities.He rarely shot film and did a mental editing of perhaps one hundred and fify scenes along the walk through Lakeside but nothing interested him.His pace had quickened.

††††††††††† The snow was a ruined gray crossing the bridge into downtown and the traffic ruined Albert's mood to photograph.He now wished for sips of coffee and began cutting through the parking lots of the Art Museum.

††††††††††† Albert no longer wondered about ever having a show of his photographs there.He knew he would not.The Museum showed national shows at a local level and did not try to show regional work except Amish quilts.All the shows were neatly packaged according to corporate sponsors except the regional call for entries but that show alienated the artists who were doing original work.

††††††††††† The regional show was first held in the old art museum and had 400-500 entries.It was jured and showed about 150 works of art.The diversity and originality of the works made for a highly entertaining exchange of ideas from artist to artist and theirs' was a strong pride in being chosen best of show.The jostling of ego and crazed merriment are some of the best memories that Albert had made in his long years in Fort Wayne.

††††††††††† But now the regional show is one of politics and not art.Now the artist is chosen and then is asked to show selected works.There are only 50 pieces in the whole banal show that most artists don't support since the Art Museum doesn't support the local art anyway.It's all politics and it sucks.

††††††††††† The Museum did have an Art For Sale weekend but Albert's work did not sell.So he had no use for the building that looked like a prison, smack-dab downtown, between himself and a cup of coffee, on a night that was blessed with snow.

†††††††††††

 

CHAPTER FIVE

 

 

††††††††††† "I want a cup of coffee, I want it sweet, I want it hot, and I want it now."Albert said sternly.

††††††††††† "yes sir.Immediately sir."Ratcat laughed.For someone as easy-going as Albert to demand something caught Ratcat as surprisingly funny.Albert was smiling too as a cup of hot coffee steamed-up his nose and fogged his glasses.

††††††††††† "Feels like snow outside," Albert said to anyone who would be listening.He looked around for a newspaper while he poured sugar in his cup and stirred a spoon quickly.He slurped at his coffee and looked at his reflection in the coffee cup then walked over to the corner table to gather together a paper.There was a couple of sections of the paper over by the doughnuts and when he compared sections, he found he had the whole paper, and sat back up at the counter.

††††††††††† "They're calling for 4-6 inches tonight," Ratcat said lighting up a smoke.Albert nodded and pushed Ratcat an ashtray.

††††††††††† "Headed home to get your camera?"Ratcat asked exhaling.He knew Albert roamed the streets at night and with the snow, he knew Albert's camera would not be far from Albert's side.

††††††††††† "The snow won't be right till morning."Albert replied and went hunting through the paper till he found the comics.

††††††††††† "How's your mural coming?"Albert asked Ratcat.

††††††††††† "See for yourself."Ratcat said motioning to the back wall.The mural was of Calhoun Street looking north from Washington Street. It was definitely a Ratcat painting.

††††††††††† Ratcat was one of the more commercially successful painters in town.His work sold well and his style was german expressionist with the objects in his paintings made to look like caricatures of people.His paintings had a humor to them and the colors he used was reminiscent of the color style used by the better painters that graduated from the Fort Wayne Art School.

††††††††††† He did not use colors that corresponded to the reality of the object but abstracted the colors into an overall beauty of style, form, and light.The mural was done in purples, reds and green, with the concrete of the sidewalks and buildings a gold rust.The perspective of the street was stretched short and the buildings hovered around the front view of the coffeehouse.

††††††††††† Albert knew that Ratcat, who most people called R.C., painted in layers and the mural, as it stood now, had progressed from a shaping-in of the objects as black outlines to the many layers of color that defined R.C.'s work and had yet to be added.Albert stared at the wall and was lost in thought when the bell over the door of the coffeehouse jingled.

††††††††††† The door opened and in walked Bobba-Loo.In two strides Bobba-Loo crossed the floor.He walked way back on his heels with his long legs rising and lowering his huge feet out in front while his head took up the rear.His feet would make a large arch while his head bobbed.This seemed to be a unnatural movement but it was Bob's own walk and you could detect such a walk from long distances away and up close, the movement carried him over a large area quickly.

††††††††††† He had fresh snow on his wide-brimmed, leather hat and when he unzipped his coat, snow fell to the floor.

††††††††††† "It's really coming down out there."Bob said stomping his huge boots.

††††††††††† Albert quickly glanced to the windows but the moisture in the coffeehouse had condensed on the glass effectively blocking any view outside.A surge of excitement ran through Albert's body as he slapped down a dollar bill and began to bundle-up.

††††††††††† Your're not leaving because of me?"Bob asked hurt.

††††††††††† "Nope.Gotta check out the view," Albert said reaching the door, "See ya."

††††††††††† Albert was in a hurry.He had to walk a block or two before he could see Summit Square and the rest of the night hinged on if they had turned out the lights on Summit Square or not.

††††††††††† The Square was a twenty-four story, limestone bulding that stuck in the air like a concrete basement.It was all lit-up at night and had to be lit for Albert to photograph any cityscapes.Some nights they would turn out the lights around the building, leaving the few remaining skyscrapers without the centerpiece that the Square provided lit.No lights no photographs.

††††††††††† In the back of Albert's mind was the notion that they turned out the lights to spite him personally.And with the sky full of falling snow, he wished the lights on.Anger flooded his mind to think the lights off on such a night and looking up, the lights were off.

††††††††††† The building was just a bleak gray unlit and Albert's beard filled with snow as he stared up in disbelief of how could anybody be stupid enough to turn out the lights during a snowfall.

††††††††††† "Gaddammnnnit!"churned Albert.He was in a funk.He was used to frustration but couldn't help thinking the thought that they turned out the lights to spite him.He took it down-right personal and thought of the uselessness of crying.A coldness swept through him.Lightening flashed in his mind and the roar of thunder filled his ears.

 

 

CHAPTER SIX

 

 

††††††††††† He was angry.He knew he had to cool off and was relieved when the chill swept through his soul.His hands were balls of fists that he mentally pried loose, opened his hands and then closed them again, this time laying his fingers on the base of his palms instead of tucking his fingers in.This always calmed Albert when he was angry.Somehow he always felt peaceful with his fingers against his palms and his mood was more comforting.He felt a smoothness through his body and a soothing comfort ease his mind.

††††††††††† His hands could cure him of his anger but the chill in his soul left him lonely and alone.He felt like smoking from his bowl of crushed souls and he envisioned icicles hanging from his tears of sorrow.His mind had cleared, and looking up, he grinned.

††††††††††† The downtown lights lit up a windless sky of snow in a baffled and muted glow.He had passed through West Central neighborhood and from his view he saw the downtown skyline in a muffled snowfall of trillions and trillions of flakes, each flake lit up in the sky from behind and below, blanketing everything he knew.

††††††††††† The night was white and the outline of the buldings would fade in and out with heavier, then lighter snowfall.The sight gladdened Albert's heart and he felt blissful and wise with the knowledge that again he was shown a sight that only he might see.And he delighted in watching the snowfall, which fell with a sound Albert swore he could hear.

††††††††††† Standing still in the spot that showed the downtown skyline at the best vantage of vew for a photograph, Albert visualized.He would not get his camera because the idiots had turned out the lights on Summit Square, but he would store the location of the vew deep in his memory for another time and another snow.

††††††††††† "Day or night."he thought and again, he headed toward home.Anger and bliss racked his mind often.Usually Albert blamed the Veterans Administration when something fucked with him and he was quite rational to explain just how each turn of the screw would wince him in pain but he would not explode with anger. Something sent the anger through him and not out of him.So the angrier he got, the calmer he got.He may not be able to move, gripped in an angry clasp, but he was calm.

††††††††††† The bliss would soon follow.Albert recognized this continuum and knew it had something to do with the LSD he had taken a couple of years earlier.LSD was sheer joy but the reality of the next day made him as angry then as he was happy tripping.

††††††††††† His past life was like that and the future, too.Anger would shear clear through him when he thought of the past and the V.A. and he would get really depressed when he thought about the future, but when he would think about his art and when he was creating was pure bliss.

††††††††††† But he had to stay in the here and now.Albert called this the "immediate experience".Otherwise anxiety and dread would overwhelm him and he would have to spend the day sorting through his feelings to track what the anxiety and dread would attach itself to and think through his fears with what he could piece together as reality.

††††††††††† He had gone insane too many times to stay attached to any one reality and he had to reconstruct his personality too many times to maintain any attitude toward life.This left Albert empty inside and he would fill with sorrow and loneliness sometimes.Times when he had to surrender his will to a higher power.Times when he had to allow something else to command his life.Times when he had to let go of knowing what was going to happen next and allow himself to be guided into the unknown.

††††††††††† To fly without wings, to sing with a voice strong and clear, to let your only love free was what Albert imagined, but in reality, he was a poor janitor who wrote in scribbled verse and put on paper what his mind's eye saw.

 

albert had freak flag hair and wore tye-dyes everyday. this chased all but a few ladies away. he would get discouraged with women often and just when he would lose all hope in his solitude, he would meet a lady, an angel, to renew his faith in women.

 

i did not want to be alone my words bled in the silence in my head screamed i was yelping in hell then her eyes looked at mine for the first time and spoke "what a beautiful person, you must be blessed, but you probably just don't know it yet." and my burning hell spell broke with the words only an angel could have spoke and whose love now dwells deep inside my private hell i want to kiss the lips that spoke the words that now makes my heart swell.

i have done nothing but think of her for days the thoughts are too real i feel too real a feeling we are healing our lives with the same possibility of long ago that yes one day this will of our will will one day happen to my life i can finally let go of the sorrow of not knowing the angel in a woman's heart most are dark and only a few choose the light your halo shines brightly the moon of my soul i awoke this morning with the feeling of having been told given a knowledge or probably i just realized that we will make love many times today in the warmth of the night or when in the warmth of our souls during the snows or maybe not for many years from the fear that when we make love we will love one another forever.

 

iam a child of moons rises in my eyes glistening with sparkles of twilights glow i dance the prance of a golden bear with a halo of those who chase away the shadows of faithless souls to trace the path of stardust twinkling in your lusty eyes as to what we can find with moonglow in our souls and our bodies like our lives entwined in flight angel of crystal light through the dreams we once slumbered through the loves we once blundered to the midnight sky that parts with wonder the distance of a kiss we slip through time hearts in rhyme hot breaths rolling thunder wet tongues strike our cries sing across the velvet night as in hard embrace we fall racing ralndrops from cloudless skies with the flame that only ecstasy can seek to release the beast i awake to a burning light rambllng on all fours to the woods of my soul to wait for the next moon rise and the fate of the next nights embrace with my love my lady an angel of crystal light.

 

when i awoke from the songs of the night my love was shining brighter than the hot morning sun i remember my prayer in verse returning thanks to the universe as the sacred smoke rose all the heavens now know and i can't stop smiling and dancing in my heart twirling in my thoughts and hugging every tree i see so as soon as i'm through with the mundane day i'll fly the moon to the twinkling lights to search the heavens for you tonight to give to you the gift you have given me three words that polished my soul as if i were gold

 

i waited a lifetime to show the roots of my soul now there are no leaves only barren trees i waited all winter to show where the snow goes now there is not a trace i waited all night to show the home of the full moon now there is only a hole in the shadows i waited all of a moment after you were gone to realize the true emptiness was in my arms

 

broken i opened my heart and lowered my shield to the eyes of the healer i can feel again i am real again i am healed again and again and again what does the most harm is why am i alone again in love again to want again i knew better now i do not want to be alone in my prayers i sit with a flame inside and think of you and from my unfolded hands there flew two white doves and there rose above a red moon of love

 

i find my self wandering on your shore in the calm stillnessess before the silky mists blend the shadows into the shimmering light of the moon i spoke what is an empty eternity to me in communion with what is a destiny could be and my life rose like a balloon to the night sky to be gently tugged by the string tied to my heart in part for the feelings i have for you in part for the start of my life shared with you i am as calm as the ponds in the depths of your eyes as i listen to the tide splash gently the slumbering shore of your eternal bliss

 

temple of the clouds i am hand in hand in prayer an offering of tobacco and the smoke brings the songs of the night birds singing a lullaby to quiet the cries of lovers you and i in the moonbeam dream of our lives we wait till the time time makes a vision of fate appear clear and we embrace naked with the faith of soul mates

 

i was just sitting on the moon waiting for you watching the world spin my emotions into a cob webbed ebb draped from star to star on gossamer threads your wings spread untangling i watched you fly to my side and whispering in my ear you blessed my many years with you near my life is completely clear

 

i did not math the path to bring a rock from the moon here you are a gift to the earth guardians since birth to die many times diamond is to reason a worth strong wings can bring staff and serpents to heal souls of moonstone men with the angel within i lite my bowl of crushed souls to yield as a warrior i stand bold shoulder to shoulder with any brother red white black yellow gathered together a calling song from our earth mother weapons of silence shields of mirror my brothers of the rumbling thunder altar of the clouds gentle i am man in cherished desire i am soothed by a further command to take you my angel by the hand to share in the wisdom come

 

i give my love the many moons above for in a world of push and shove i can only hold her in the hands of my heart to nurture till she's sure and once more we are apart like the clouds that cross night skies the sails of my soul follow her wings on the wind and soon we will need to rest and i would feel blessed to share a nest on a jeweled moon and embrace while the world below aches

 

the color of the moon tonight is nude through the eyes of you are witness to the river of love that glistens the soul and sparkles your eyes like a fountain i drink the stars from the sky till only your eyes remain sane while i go crazy from the downy way you pull me down on top of you the earth in the temple of our rebirth

 

the flame inside has melted me like the moon waxes in nights of shining tides sleeping by your side i thought you'd never let go as our rhythm gently pulsed the trees kneeled close to see the way our song was filling the air all night long and just about then you stopped trembling and said you loved me again as the gray early morning rain began falling asleep we laughed and the trees were grinning knowing our dreams were filling with our songs of the night

 

orange moon rising in a black velvet night i see the shadow in the darkness of your eyes window of the soul i know the charm and harm to those who dream and who cares to love i do in pools of moonlight i wait till you can straighten your halo and slip your hand in mine until the end of time

 

the pumpkin moon fell into the diamond pond i held in my arms wings of satin wands and eyes that make vagabonds long for home when you cry out for more i was sure intense and shuddered in silence as a breeze wrapped around us in the still night air a sacred moment in our solitaire yet you grew scared and weren't aware the earth the moon and all i do is for you

 

i seek from the mountains of the rising moon a peek into the stream like view of your dreams i kneel by your dark side in prayer with the watchful eyes of your guardian lives and soon the storybook view of the fantasy of love you wish to come true appears and i am a man in the moon you won't need until you learn to love reality i can be anything you want me to be

 

i dream in the brightness of the moon at the edge of the woods in the shadows of my soul voices keep telling me of your flights of fancy and all i can do is search what night is day and what day is night asleep my half-opened eyes shine rays of light in streams of diamonds that roll down my cheeks with the thunder ofmy life in the flash of light of another naked night alone

 

empty sky there is no moon stars in union with the gloom do not twinkle but the black night winks from the candlelight glow of an angel's halo in search of others souls to love to save to hold told the moon is made of gold who hears moons cry the lunatic life from the other side of the world a teardrop calls here is the moon the most foolish lover of all

 

i knew without a touch you were as distant from me as the paper moon kissing the blaze of the noon day sun and I welcome such a fate in place of the ache your absence makes me walk forth with your light light years ahead in the mercy and grace of our earth mother to search again for another love from heavens above

 

i folded the golden moon up and in my pocket with all the miracles of today to save these gifts i give them away like the others the hurt in my heart makes me stop this is not love a flutter of wings and i open my heart for you to be free as your sight melts into the night and the light of your soul but a star my heart is the broken spell of a shattered hell i had fallen in love in an instant again only to begin my life alone diamond

 

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

 

 

††††††††††† Albert reached over and tapped on his weather radio then buried himself back under the covers.He was still groggy from sleep and medication and needed about an hour in bed each morning after waking before he could pull himself out of bed.He spent the time piecing together the reality of the day and he needed to persuade himself each morning to indeed, get out of bed.

††††††††††† It was late morning and the radio said there was four inches of new snow last night.The wind was gusty and had already blown the snow out of the trees but the day called for flurries, and scenes in a snow flurry made for great photographs.Albert made a mental note of the temperature and dressed accordingly.

††††††††††† He had cleaned and set out his photography equipment before he climbed into bed so all he had to do was throw his equipment in his car and he would be set for the drive down to Wells County.He needed gas and coffee, he thought, and looked out the window at the sky.

††††††††††† If the sun shined on snow, the snow would be a blinding white.Pure white on a photographic print but Albert looked for a texture, a light gritty gray across the snow, so if the sun was out, Albert would not photograph.He did not like the way the skies looked when it was sunny and the glare off the snow hurt his eyes.

††††††††††† Today the skies were still thick with clouds and illumination from above made them luminescent from below.Perfect skies for what Albert had in mind.The clouds were low and billowy, and would appear slightly darker in shade then the texture of the snow.Both would have a look of grit, and the finished print would have the overall feel of gray and grit that Albert worked for in his photographs.

††††††††††† The grit was called the grain of the film.And the grain came from clumps of silver particles in the emulsion of the film.The silver would clump according to how the film was exposed and developed and Albert manipulated this process to get the finest grain possible of a gritty scene.And during a snowfall, each snowflake would combine with the grain to produce what Albert considered a great photograph.

††††††††††† The result looked as if the print was air-brushed with a fine mist of gray according to the shade of snow and sky.Then there would be the dark grays and blacks of the barns and trees floating on the light, grainy gray mist and somewhere on the print there would be a pure white.

††††††††††† Without the white the prints looked a dull gray, but put a speck of white against the shades of gray and presto, the grays and blacks would reference with the white in the mind's eye and the print would look balanced and completely natural.

††††††††††† Albert finished dressing and glanced out the window again for his car.The old, faded blue Subaru station wagon was parked in the lot behind the house.Albert seldom drove the car except for long road trips.The car was heavily decorated with Grateful Dead stickers in a neat and artistic way along the side windows.On the back window, Albert would scribble the latest idea for a bumpersticker on the glass with a bottle of white shoe polish.

††††††††††† Thus, he always drove with something written on the back of his car.The saying was large enough for anyone behind him to read from any lane.Albert liked to create sayings for the back of his car and the latest one read "oceans rock me still", a statement that originally appeared in one of his poems.

††††††††††† He had written political ones but he preferred a saying with a zen-like thought.All of his friends would keep an eye out for the latest "Albertism" on the back of his car and he was stopped often by strangers who would thank him and applaud the work he did with words.

††††††††††† He never kept track of what was written but his favorite one was "nomadness here".Two words that in many ways described his many long road trips to Grateful Dead shows and bluegrass festivals.

††††††††††† Theback window showcased Albert's skill with words and he prided himself with his bumpersticker mentality and he thought of each saying as a performance to the audience of the road.

††††††††††† Albert brushed the car fee of snow, loaded in the photography equipment, and went to get gas and coffee on his way south through the city.He was headed for Wells County to the southeast.

††††††††††† He had lived in Wells County and graduated from Norwell High School.He was a bartender for the Ossian Tavern in the town of Ossian for three years and still knew many of the people that called Wells County their home.

††††††††††† Albert had lived in a farmhouse outside of Ossian for a while after he got out of the navy and this was when he had taken his first winter landscapes.It would only snow six or seven times a year for a couple of days each time and Albert would return to photograph five or six days a year.

††††††††††† He would drive at low speeds down the rural roads scanning everything in sight.His eyes would hurt after about three hours each time and if Albert was lucky, he would find and shoot three or four photographs in the three hour period.Thus after four or five years, Albert had collected around forty really good landscapes of Wells County.

 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

 

 

††††††††††† Albert rolled to a stop.A stand of trees along the distant fence line had all the makings for a great shot.The fence line ran from the road out into the fields, turned right, ran parallel to the road, turned right again, and ran back to the road.A line of trees had grown all along the fence and Albert picked a group of four trees to photograph.

††††††††††† It was early afternoon and the weather conditions were prfect for Albert's black and white work.The wind had picked up, blowing the snow across the barren fields.The bare trees appeared surrounded with whiteness. Beyond the trees to the right was a woods, and to the left and beyond, stood a barn.

††††††††††† Albert fitted the correct lens on his camera and began composing the shot.With careful cropping he placed the fence line on the left along the left border, centered the trees in the middle foreground, and let the woods form the right border.Bottom right was filled with field and the distant barn in the upper left gave the whole scene a depth that was very pleasing to the eye.

††††††††††† He walked out in the field for a little ways and along the road looking through the camera till all the elements in the picture were properly positioned, and then checked for the correct exposure.He read the light off the snow, in the sky, off the barn and checked the woods.

††††††††††† As he read the proper exposure through the exposure meter, it began to snow.The distant barn began to disappear behind a curtain of snow.Albert waited patiently then shot four shots as the barn reappeared.He always made four exposures for each photograph, film was cheap, and the negatives damaged easily.

††††††††††† The flurry of snow took all the detail out of the woods and the four trees were a lighter gray as the snowflakes fell between the camera and the scene.The fence line was reduced to a line of posts trailing off into the distance and where sky touched earth, all was white.

††††††††††† Albert was in awe.He knew he had captured a great photograph and he was reluctant to leave such a great view.Everything had been perfect, and agian, just as he had begun to photograph, it had begun to snow.Then as he began to drive away, the snow flurry stopped.

††††††††††† All Albert could do was chuckle.He had begun to think of the snow starting and stopping on cue as a blessing and who was he to question the cause.

††††††††††† Like the time a flock of sparrows flew alongside the car for awhile and then flew ahead and stopped.And where the birds stopped was a view that Albert photographed.And the view was the best photograph in Albert's portfolio.

††††††††††† Or the times a hawk would be in the sky over where he would be photographing.Or when he would find way out in the middle of nowhere, a stretch of road that would have two or three great shots really close together.

††††††††††† Albert began to believe that in these stretches of roads there were sacred places and he began to believe that his work had an importance and that what he was seeing was actually being shown for him to record.He could only guess at the true meanings behind these events, but each time they occurred, he knew he was being given another dose of religion.

††††††††††† He called each occurrence a "dose" because of the similarities between tripping on LSD and the religious experience:a sharp clarity of sight, a being of oneness with everything that surrounds, an intense joy and euphoria with a huge, huge smile and a unfailing belief in love.

††††††††††† Love is what Albert felt.During a snowfall, out in the middle of nowhere, had become Albert's church and his many photographs had become his children.The trees were his disciples and each snowflake was a member in his congregation.

††††††††††† He was the priest of winter.His landscapes were visual sermons.His camera and tripod became his staff.Rolls of film, his rosary and the wintertime became his time in heaven.

††††††††††† Albert didn't believe in a God anymore.He was sure there was no supreme being.God as an object or being did not exist.There was something to believe in, and Albert knew he was shown many times that yes, there was something to believe in, but he would not believe that a thing existed outside of the actual experience.

††††††††††† A religious experience is a holy occasion, but who or what created that experience isn't necessarily an object or thing.What created the experience is a mystery and should stay a mystery.

††††††††††† Any attempt at making this mystery into an object, or being, only makes the mystery a manifestation of thought.And the thought has always been created to be all-powerful and supreme.

††††††††††† But when a person could take a mind-altering substance like LSD or hallucinogenic mushrooms and have just the same experience as a religious experience as shown by a supreme being, then logic becomes useless.

††††††††††† On both occasions, there must be a leap of faith into what a person constructs in thought as to how to explain the cause of each.Albert knew the cause didn't matter, it was the experience itself that perpetuates a belief in something.And he preferred to call this something simply a mystery.

 

 

CHAPTER NINE

 

 

††††††††††† Albert spent the rest of the afternoon searching Wells County for photographs.He drove the rural roads real slow and visualized everything he saw till his eyes hurt.He had found two really good scenes but the scenes had telephone poles and powerlines in the background, and Albert would not photograph telephone poles or powerlines.

††††††††††† He also would not photograph farmhouses.The landscapes he sought had to be of trees and barns, fields and woods.He didn't use a map but relied on chance to find what he ws looking for and there were enough trees, barns, fields, and woods everywhere to make turning down any road, an adventure.

††††††††††† He had his favorite places, sacred places he thought, and he would visualize each place according to weather conditions.If it was snowing heavily, he would wander in wonder around Wells County where the woods were thick and if it was a blowing snow, he would go to where there was wide open spaces.

††††††††††† Any view looked new when it snowed.What Albert like the most was how the snow would limit visibility.Usually a person could see clear across the fields to the horizon but given falling snow, the visibility would be drastically reduced.The ability of the snow to hide distant views made the views up close look as if the view was in front of a curtain of snow.

††††††††††† Thus a tree or barn could be seen up close with nothing but white in the distant background, making the rate of snowfall the determining factor in the field of view.And the changing amounts of snowfall accumulated would change the look of the fields, from a whisker of corn stubble to a smooth sheen of white.

††††††††††† With each snowfall came different views, so each time Albert would enter Wells County, the views would be different and new.The two views with powerlines in the background would be shot in heavy snowfall, when the background would be hidden.

††††††††††† All Albert wanted to do now was get something to eat.He was out in the middle of nowhere so he drove till he found a main road, figured out where he was, and headed back to Fort Wayne.He had a compass mounted on the dashboard of his car and all he had to do was drive north, then west and he would be back in town.

††††††††††† Albert had a warm feeling.It hadn't flurried again since his first photograph of the day and he thought more about the mystery of the snow starting just as he was ready to photograph.He knew it was a sign and like most signs he had received, he would have to wait to be shown the reason.

††††††††††† He had learned not to draw any conclusions.He could construct any reason he wished, and he had his hunches, but he knew that any constructed reason often shielded him from the true reason.And the true reason would be shown to him.He had faith.

††††††††††† He had the faith of faiths.One thing his insanity could not destroy was his faith that the future was bright, that the older he got, the wiser he got.He had lost his grip on reality many times and many times he had become delusional to the point of psychosis.He had five volumes of psychiatric records at the V.A. but he had never lost faith in a bright future.

††††††††††† Even when he was living out of his car and homeless, he had hope.Albert had been suicidal many times, but each time, he knew things would get better.The knowing, the faith, was always with him.He had his times of doubt and clouds would fill his mind with thunder. Dread and loneliness would fill his soul and he would be blinded by hallucinations.

††††††††††† Still, he had faith.There was a reason why things were like they were, and he had been shown many signs.Albert had a sense about him that insanity could not break, his insanity had only made him stronger, and he knew that one day, all would be revealed.That one day he would perhaps be healed. That one day, he perhaps would heal others.

††††††††††† What could an insane artist become, Albert would think, there are no words, there are no definitions, for becoming or going beyond the word "artist".He was lost beyond space and time but he knew he was being guided.He had faith.He had the faith of faiths.And he was glad.

 

there is a distance only the eye can cross across open fields whirling in winds and snows come and suns and moons go in single days the way only a bare tree knows how this prose arose from the winter shows of snow

 

there is a union of no trespass when the wind is still and whispers of snow fill the woods with a hush brushed upon the open fields as if a breath of murmurs surrounds me with smiles to show the gladness that i somehow sense would be calling and the snow begins falling just as I arrive

 

there is a bare tree that says 'i donít mind' to all that can be there is a bare tree that knows I care for all that should be there is a bare tree that thinks i understand the all that could be there is a bare tree that reasons i am here in all that might be

 

there is a place within places sometimes that are silent worlds of wonder in days of wind and snow crossed with roads fenced with fields and hidden in sight where only the cold of light of wind of dark of snow of dawn of dusk can go and my hands are the witness to the wicked winds that sting the naked flesh of innocence who wanders far from home only to return on frozen nights alone

 

there is a glow that shows in the cold and whiteness of the snow in my soul as the sparrows catch my eye glistening with the wind which is whistling at the winter scene that appears to be here just for me

 

there is a bond of calm when the snow falls upon the barren fields and farms and my lord of winter scenes drops me to my knees as i watch to see what is happening to me when the wind crosses the winter fields and i hold hands again with the trees

 

i want the skies to help me i want the fields the trees the winds the moons to help me i call to the woods to the rocks to the earth beneath me to help me i cry of the sparrows of the geese of the wings above me to help me i am begging the world on my knees to snow to snow to snow to snow to help me and no one knows why only i am here alone

 

two snowflakes crossed my heart and hoped to die but stopped to comfort me and i smiled a laugh so loud they melted me on my sleeve and together we flew away to the next winter scene

 

the scenery becomes the scenes in me of which i stand yet i understand my hands are not in command my thoughts are not one manís my actions have no demands and as the snow blows clear through this poetís soul the winter scenes of fields and trees open a dream

 

i am filled with wonder like a hush fills a woods with snow and i wonder like how such a sound could sound so loud with no words words only blunder to explain the wonder and when i exclaim there is no sound that fills with wonder like the sound of the snow on the wings of the wind home the touch of snow the word just melts in my soul

 

the blown snow stuck like skeletons to the trees in the sun was the blinding of white seen rural murals reflecting and beckoning as to what was the reckoning that guided my eyes and stilled my thoughts as to let what will be will be some days only a blur of possibilities other days a rapture captured

 

i traveled through to the woods filled with snow crossed the bridge of ice and dreams to the scene that swept the clouds through the trees and the flurries that i once hurried to follow only to find the flurries were following me

 

i wait at the gate for snow someplace a speck of flake to space no lack of gray and black a snowflake is all to take the fields and trees into the dreams and sky the eye makes someplace great as the scene once too gritty to relate earth and sky in grace a speck of white someplace now creates

 

iíve been through this and through this down this road and that back and forth andback and forth time after time time and again and time and again and again i go back to work with my eyes the way the light changes every hour of every day and the winter changes like night changes day day after day

 

iíve been this way before i thought before i thought what was before me i thought and tapped my compass and marked my map chuckling with the noon day sun how much fun there is in a lunch of hunches as to which ways come and which ways i go yet how puzzling though as though the scenes seem to know when i come and when i go

 

thatís perfectly natural to me to see i saw the scene many many ways for many many days before i had many many reasons for many many seasons before to me to see i saw all i could and many times i would return to return to the scene i saw before the scene appeared to me and opened my eyes to see

 

whenever the ever ever happens to me i am the winter winds crossing the frozen fields of blistering snow or i am filling the woods with silence and stillness of the listening glow of snow or so i say the ever ever happens to me peering through the gray gritty clouds heavy with loads of a hello of snow

 

i shaped the moonbeams of last winter in my hands today like a snowball of my visions and I began to sweat and almost panicked when upon opening my hands there rose from the crushed snow a flame of fire

 

the warm winds leave me frozen in time i was not chosen this winter or that i was gone this time or that in winter the warm winds leave me frozen to find only empty fields with fallow rows to show for a winter of only two snows

 

i sacrificed the first virgin snowfall of winter to keep the distance of deep blacks gray skies and true white of snow

 

the barbed wire fence that drenched with blood the task dashed all hopes of wandering past over to the trees that rose to catch the falling flakes from the wings of the sky i can only cast my eyes through the shield of fence to the fields to the woods to the sky as the wind i cannot fly as the snow i cannot go the shield of fence to the fields i must yield to the hand that commands this land the wire is easily cut but seen with a gleam my tracks through dreams i go in the warmth of my bed i hold in my head the woods of snow

 

if a snowflake could sing would the sound bring anymore noise to the loudness of the day when the clouds reach down to fill a woods or cross a frozen field in swirls of snow all alone would the ears ring louder then the sound of a snowflake hitting the ground if a snowflake could sing the wind would just whistle and the trees would rather shake free leavelessly in applause

 

when the clouds are tangled with snow and the roofs rectangles become white-sided flats of the hats of barns around which trees and fences are darned in the mirage of rural bliss there appears a sight a mural of wonder beyond the yonder there of the view that clears the mind to hear the hearts of neihbors who share the winter of yet another year

 

the morning awakes the snow shapes drape the landscape in statues of flakes and waits for the sun or someone to choose when the wind begins to create in the pause within twilight and first light dawns as fragile as a flake as night escapes the moments before become a monument forever in wait then suddenly the day breaks

 

snowflakes reel across the fields as i wheel to a stop and drop to my knees to see the snow lake and trees that crop the horizon where only an artist would have grown them there there again i figure is the sign greater than anyone could own or design by hand a land covered in confection shown in nature a perfection

 

the snow twirled like cards and stuck like shards pinning my eyes shut as if a bastard of wizards hurled an angry blizzard to mire this northern empire to quench all warmth and desire born in the cloudy gloom that looms in the unlit room deep within the heart of one too many gray days too many gray days ago i know at least if i can warm my feet and thaw my brow somehow i can continue to pursue the ultimate view of bare trees frozen fields and gray gritty clouds of muse

 

the broken wind begins to send the flakes to bend or break the sweep of trees or me my soul dusted with snow busted in the guts by gusts of white winters night alone my dreams of sight frozen in view still scenes of the winter seen this snowfall of strife seems to have always been my children in life

 

this time couldnít wait following the fate of the flurries of flakes that today makes the snow appear not falling but swept by the gusts to be calling rush and donít be late soon there will be none so come but by then the blast of winds hurried away the last flake and i was left alone from where i stood i tightened the knot of my hood and could not stop leaning to walk straight against the windblown rush across fallow fields at dusk the bitter cold was warmed waiting to create now i only hurry almost frozen towards home making haste

 

no snow yet just specks the wane of the clouds shrouds only my gaze days frozen in view to the horizon glazed with fence line and tree line stands like frost bit hands reaching up into the syrup of gray skies the wind is alive like a blade finding a way through my maze of clothing to bring the chill that grips hold the soul a cold that wonít let go of the pain that stings like a blaze this land dazed by the many days in shades of gray

 

the wind began to blow the snow like sand in strands of garland that flows and follows around the stubble of the fields now yielding only a feel and sound of the snow swishing along the ground between my boots i mutter another empty gray day and shudder with the cold of the thought told of earth sky and tree in cahoots against me i ought to sacrifice what part of my life would free the forces to again touch the warmth my dreams of a woods filled with snow to be seen once more one more time time from awhile ago

 

there was no wind after the snow of one November long ago i remembered the sorrows of my soul and the flames of my heart with a quiver of tears i walked to the river bend years lost i thought when a flock of geese sought to sleek by within reach as if to speak with the tongues of the chosen ones a first peek as to what i now seek in rhyme the winters of time

 

out in the middle of nowhere i just stood and stared at the ice coated trees whose throats would creak and squeak and the weak broken branch snap would clap clear across the fields and soar in crystal silence formed in the calm awakening of the early morn born after a storm a sojourn left worn only by the crunch of my footsteps

 

i am borne of sacred snow a crossing of white specks and bare tress of the woods in my soul conversing in wordless religions of a moment noticed a rapture captured a vision given a blessing from the church of constant search i offer a pew of views in the hold of hands the nearest hallowed tree to kneel and be healed in the scenes of a halo of snow and christened in the frozen fields in the sighs of a hello

 

white skies gray woods across corn stubble fields the crows cry in black specks mingled with the white wings floating on the winds of the horizon in a moment that begins and ends as i look and look away and walk back to the road yet i pause to look back there at the huge tree growing alone in the middle of the barren fields stands me

 

there may be a mile between me and the trees the barn to the north the woods east i grin as the gusts of snow become whirling winds twirling in the lonesome fields of corn stubble aisles for awhile and for many days the wind will rant and rave and the snow will come and go without leaving a trace someplace i walk down the barren rows alone to other places of sacred spaces places with the grace that i belong a calling song singing these fields woods and trees are now home

 

the hawk flew between where i stood and the view of the fields and woods to where the snow spewed from the gray and pink hues of the marbled sky my eyes stuck to the brown speck like a jewel on the northern windborne avenue of the flurries of flakes my heart ached as this keepsake flight soon vanished to white and i wondered who saw this sight and whose ears heard the hawk cry but mine i felt cold and alone in space and time the secret of poets a vision divine

 

along the road there are only telephone poles linked by black strands from arms with no hands crosses of soulless idols standing as the lonesome totems of faceless men in places filled with empty embraces sticks of wood on the threshold of if i could i would rip from the sod this crucifix god of civilization then to watch in the distance the very instance of a telephone pole disappearance as one by one down the line is hidden plucked from sight behind the veils of northern gales and times of blowing snow

 

i took an old gay board from a broken down barn and nailed the moon to the clouds alighting my heart like the snow in the dark and my bones shone as a whiteness the night wings sweep upon the ground till the charcoal light of morning and awakening i wish for sips of coffee and the confection that tastes as sweet as the crystal breaths falling upon my beard i notice fresh tracks had past and with a snug of my hat i take the path that takes me

 

across row after row of corn stubble gold the snow blows i am told that solitude proves why I occupy a moments space in this field a view of a sacred place of twirling snowflakes that blur the sight of the distant woods which might disappear or a tree simply vanish behind the curtain of a certain time when in the silence of trance the shades of gray are drawn and in the stillness of wind i am in awe as the trees are now in dance and the field is now a corn stubble prance i am one with all i see and i smile a loverís dream at my plight this is not a chance sight and i am warmly embraced with the love of my onlycompanions bare trees frostbite and a solitude in what seems to be

 

iíve grown lonely with the last quickening days of early winter my thoughts forever drift like the rising wind white with wings rushing across the barren fields i stand as one again with the hundredth of one a tree in the woods with arms outstretched above solitude and above the emptiness the lonesomeness i find of crowded time and in the crowds of push and shove i pray to again be chosen in time shown frozen the ultimate view i can give to you

 

there i was again smack dab in the middle of where i donít know i donít care drinking the thick arctic air in big gulps staring into the distance of the crystal clarity of ice cube eyes south of the county line east of nine mile creek for a peek into the distant views between the barns and woods where the white continues to seek where the earth is glued to the winter sky sputtering the frozen flow of wind a force in a course that penetrates deeply into me like a wind through a tree in the middle of a barren field in the middle of a sacred space out in the middle of nowhere yet i am there

 

 

CHAPTER TEN

 

 

 

††††††††††† "Don't you think your work as an artist is sacred," Albert asked Fast Eddie.

††††††††††† "I am God," Fast Eddie mumbled, "And we are doomed."

††††††††††† Albert gulped his coffee while Fast Eddie sipped his beer.Albert had made his way into town and was sitting next to Fast Eddie at the bar.

††††††††††† "If you think that something is sacred, then it becomes sacred." Albert stated.

††††††††††† "We are doomed."Fast Eddie repeated slowly.He was already drunk and when drunk, a black thunder cloud would form over his head and it would rain on his thoughts.Insights would flash in his mind, which he would share, like a diver coming up for air.He would stay drunk till his money ran out.

††††††††††† "You are God."Eddie said to Albert.Ed's head hung low between his shoulders and he looked at Albert with despair.Albert knew that a couple more beers and Ed would be uncomprehensible.Ed looked like a vulture with his head hung, a vulture waiting for his beer to die.Ed lit a smoke.

††††††††††† "I was down in Wells County taking pictures today.I got one good photograph,"Albert said.

††††††††††† "Great.I've been painting all day."Eddie replied. Ed was one of the few artists Albert knew that painted everyday. All Ed cared about was painting. He didn't care what happened after a painting was painted. He just painted, got drunk, and hoped for the best.

††††††††††† Ed was considered one of the best painters in town by many of the other painters. He had had little, if any, formal education, but was self-taught. He painted in abstract but his work was incredibly detailed, highly technical, and he was very prolific. But to the untrained eye, all his work looked the same and his paintings seldom sold. So he would trade his work with other artists for alcohol and small amounts of cash.

††††††††††† "You should of seen the frost on my studio's window this morning," Eddie chuckled."Looked just like Jesus on the cross. Beard and everything.You should of come and took a picture of it. I made a little shrine out of beer cans but after I plugged in my space heater, it melted."

††††††††††† Albert frowned at the thought of having to choose between Christianity and being warm.

††††††††††† "Do you think I'll go to hell for turning on the space heater?" Eddie asked.

††††††††††† "It's a mystery to me."Albert said."People have been damned for less."

††††††††††† "Just don't tell anybody else." Eddie cautioned.

††††††††††† "Today, right before I was going to take a picture, it started to snow.And then right after I took the shot, it stopped."Albert related.

††††††††††† Ed looked at Albert, his face in a frown.

††††††††††† "Tell me about it," Ed said rhetorically and squinted an eye at Albert."What did you do?"

††††††††††† "I took the shot and left.What should I have done?" asked Albert.

††††††††††† "I don't have a clue," Ed said, his voice trailing off into a sip of beer, "I'd like to see the photograph."

††††††††††† "It has happened before," Albert added.

††††††††††† "I'll never tell." Ed whispered.His head shook from side-to-side, his eyes lost their focus, then he passed out, face down, on the bar.

††††††††††† Albert ate a sandwich and thought about what a pathetic drunk Eddie was.They had been pathetic drunks together for more than ten years.Then four years ago Albert stopped drinking and had stayed sober since.Albert knew Eddie would have to recover from alcoholism, too, or Eddie would drink himself to death.

††††††††††† There was not much Albert could do, all the words had been said, and Eddie would have to ask for help for anything to change. Eddie would always dry out for a couple of days when he would run out of money, and he was out of money often, and he'd always go back to painting whenever he was soberly.

††††††††††† Albert had stopped drinking twice over the years before he quit. Once when he fell head first out of the cab of a pickup truck and once when he was told he was an obnoxious drunk that no one wanted to be around when he drank. But he always would hang around the bars with his friends and would continue to drink after a year or so of sobriety.

††††††††††† albert would not drink again. He had spent four years bartending and learned that alcoholics were disgusting. And that alcohol was an ugly, ugly drug.He thirsted for a beer almost daily, four years after quitting, but he would not drink. And he had stopped going to bars. After spending twenty years on a barstool, he now preferred to gulp coffee in coffeehouses.

††††††††††† Sobriety was his first priority, his first great wisdom, and this cleared his mind and kept his life free from strife.He thought of alcohol as the blood of a babylon society. Babylon blood. And he would not drink. No, he would not drink.

 

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN

 

††††††††††† Albert finished his sandwich and went to check out the backroom of the bar.It was too early for any live music but Albert was just seeing who was there. And low and behold, there sat Bobba-Loo and Cactus in the back booth.

††††††††††† "Whatcha up to Albert?" questioned Cactus.

††††††††††† "You're just the person I wanted to see."Bob said with a big smile and moved over to let Albert sit in the booth.Cactus had a big smile on his face, too, and with a pair of huge smiles shining at him, Albert knew they were both tripping.

††††††††††† "You guys stoned or what?" Albert remarked.

††††††††††† "We're just getting off on some 'shroooms," Bob blurted rather loudly, "and about ready to head up to the swamp.Would you like to come with us?Here do some 'shroooooms."

††††††††††† "No 'shrooms for me but thanks anyway.Everytime I've done 'shrooms lately, I've wound-up back in the V.A. hospital," Albert said annoyed, and added, "I will go to Dave's with you though.Why don't you let me drive.You guys spending the night?"

††††††††††† "No, but there's a full moon.I called Dave and he'd said we could build a fire.It's supposed to be clear tonight and there's nothing better than trippin' through a woods full of snow on a full moon." Cactus said, his voice rising.

††††††††††† "Yeah, a full moon with snow on the ground, staring at a fire, what more could ya ask for?Come on and trip with us," Bob bubbled and looked at Cactus, "We'd better be going."

††††††††††† "Yeah, let's go."Cactus ordered.

††††††††††† "I'll drive."Albert said

††††††††††† The swamp was a piece of land where Dave Odd lived, up around Auburn, Indiana.It was about an hour's drive from Fort Wayne and the swamp was sort of a sanctuary, a place of nature, another of Albert's sacred places.All of Dave's friends, which he called a posse, would party there and in the winter, the swamp would freeze, there'd be no mosquitoes, and Dave would usually be off cross-country skiing.

††††††††††† Dave had built a barn but lived in a small camping trailer in the woods.He had about ten acres, five of which were swamp, seven of which were woods and he had three acres of open field.There was no running water or electricity, but the place had a phone.

††††††††††† There had been many weekend parties there.The posse used the place as an escape from the Fort, and if you did not break anything or hurt anybody, a person could do about anything they wanted.A person could shed their woven scarves of society, as Albert liked to say, and really cut loose with drugs, alcohol, and nature.

††††††††††† There was a bond with the land there, and Dave had taught, by example, how to live without paying any bills, except for a phone bill.This had a profound effect on the posse, it taught them to conserve their resources and to be more responsible for how each lived.Each member of the posse also learned how to live in a communal environment, how to live with respect for the land and respect for each other.

††††††††††† "It's the snake eating its tail," Albert shouted, slamming the car door and stomping in the snow.The woods filled with the sound of two other car doors slamming, more stomping and then quiet, as all three stopped at the fire pit outside Dave's trailer.The woods filled with silence.

††††††††††† "I'll start the fire." said Bob.

††††††††††† "The fire and serpent are alike.The fire burns to nothing and the serpent eats its tail," Albert's voice boomed in the woods.There were no lights on in the trailer so Albert and Cactus started gathering wood.

††††††††††† "Like a dog sucking its dick!" Cactus teased.He knew Albert had caught a contact high off his two best friends tripping.All three had a big laugh and Bob started the fire.

††††††††††† "Exactly." stated Albert.

††††††††††† "Wow, look at the moon." Bob said.The woods filled with silence again as all three stared up at the moon.The moon was full and very brightly lit the snow, which lit the woods with shadows and shapes, and the countryside, blanketed with snow, was all aglow with moonshine.

††††††††††† And the moonshine shined in their eyes.Looking at each other would make their eyes twinkle and sparkle in the dark, and as they sat around the fire, the flames would lick their eyes with flashes of orange, as the three sat silently.The fire cracked and popped each time a thought exploded in their minds.

††††††††††† There was no wind and the flames flew into smoke straight into the air and no one spoke.The flames grew larger and larger as Cactus piled on the wood.The air around them grew warm and Cactus sat back.

††††††††††† "You'd suck your own dick too if you could."Cactus continued to tease.

††††††††††† "I'd use a condom if I was you."Bob said to Cactus.All three laughed hard and Cactus made hand motions as if he was sucking his own dick.There was a sound in the woods.

††††††††††† Albert shouted "Whoooossstheeerrre?"

††††††††††† "I am," Dave said sliding to a halt, his skiis making the fire hiss and steam, "What the hell are you doing, Cactus?"

††††††††††† Cactus replied, "We all are sucking our own dicks."

††††††††††† "Because we can." Albert added.

††††††††††† "Oh." Dave said, his shoulders shaking with laughter.His beard was full of frozen vapor and he was breathing heavily and laughing.

††††††††††† "Wanna do some 'shhhhrrrooooommmmsss?"Bob said pulling out his baggie, "I'm gonna do some more."

††††††††††† "Sure." Dave said.Cactus reached out his long arm and cupped his hand.Bob gave Cactus one and Dave two.

††††††††††† "You gotta catch up."Bob told Dave.Dave's shoulders started shaking with laughter again.All three chewed thoughtfully.

††††††††††† "They taste like communion wafers, don't they?" Albert insisted.

††††††††††† "You're not doing any are you Albert?" Dave asked, quizzically looking in Albert's direction.

††††††††††† "Not I," Albert said, "Last couple of times I wound up in the V.A."

††††††††††† Dave nooded in agreement and started passing out beers to Bob and Cactus.

††††††††††† "You want some coffee, Albert?" Dave asked, "I can make some."

††††††††††† "Love some." Albert answered.

††††††††††† "I got one for ya," Dave shouted out the trailer door, "Political integrity!"

††††††††††† Everyone laughed.

††††††††††† "I got one for ya," Bob shouted, "Bureaucratic efficiency!"

††††††††††† Again everyone laughed.They had been trading oxymorons for years and these were two new ones, two very good ones.They laughed and laughed.Stars fell from the skies as each wiped tears from their eyes.Here was the medicine.The healing of each others lives.Where love cares and is shared.A touch crazed, alive and amazed, and with grace, blessed and spirit free, dancing first limb to limb then star to star.

††††††††††† A calm overcame them and they sat in silence, watching the fire and flames paint across the space of their minds and warm their souls from the October night.A night white and in sight, clear and bright, windless and still.A night that smells of woodsmoke, breath of vapor, and so quiet the swamp screams with silence and crackling fire, popping and steaming, streaming into the night on the smoke of oak and cherry, love and sharing.

††††††††††† They were on the edge of magic.Albert with his contact high from his tripping friends had again been in bliss.And this bliss cleansed him of his hurt, his loneliness, and his dread.

††††††††††† "Tell me gentlemen," Bob beamed, "Is there an insanity to genius or a genius to insanity?"

††††††††††† "Both." spoke Dave.

††††††††††† "What's your definition of genius," grinned Cactus.

††††††††††† " I think genius is any man accepting his own fate." said Albert.

††††††††††† "Like the sage becoming the common man and the common man becoming a sage." added Bob.

††††††††††† "Today when I was taking pictures, the snow started right when I snapped the shot, then quit."Albert said in the form of a question.

††††††††††† "What do you want us to do," mocked Cactus, "Call you Saint Albert?"

††††††††††† "That's an idea," quipped Bob, "We'll call you Saint Albert."

††††††††††† "The patron saint of janitors."Dave giggled.

††††††††††† "The patron saint of dick suckers!" Cactus teased, his voice in a high shrill.

††††††††††† Albert threw a "fuck you" at Cactus and everyone sat quiet agian, smiling into the fire.The embers burned in Albert's brain like the sun through the clouds.He thought deeply about his mystical experiences and the one thing nobody could confirm or deny was the experience itself.Each person he told had their own variation as to the cause and effect.

††††††††††† Albert had his hunches and his thoughts danced in possibilities. He would not draw any conclusions because he knew, one day, the reality of the vision would be shown to him.Let them call the experiences hallucinations if they must, but they occurred, and this was happening to Albert.They could not take away the experience.

††††††††††† Hallunication or vision, Albert's mind would ping-pong against each, and he would see each experience many different ways with many different outcomes.But his mind would discard any constructed reality, and he would always return to the experience not with the cause but with the effect.

††††††††††† The experiences were effecting him in a solemn and holy way.He was experiencing religious experiences and this, indeed, was making him religious.He had begun to see the mystery as a great mystery, and he began to see his life as a path, and he was being guided down that path each day.And with each new tiny miracle that occurred was a sign that one day why would be revealed.

 

†††††††††††

CHAPTER TWELVE

 

The next sign appeared the next day. Albert was walking home from the coffeehouse in the early evening. He had a belly full of coffee on top of a bad day. The bliss of last night slowly was twisting into an anger and albert was hurrying home to be alone.

His mind had started clouding with thunder and the night fell on him with a thud. His only thought was to get home, crawl into bed, and sleep in the solace of his dreams. Tomorrow would be another day and by that time, the anger would be gone.

Albert was crossing the main street bridge, between the old west central and nebraska neiborhoods, when he heard a commotion behind him. a bunch of honking noises twirled him around, and there through the air flew a flock of geese. albert could have reached up and touched them if his hands weren't in his pockets.

the geese flew directly overhead and crossed the bridge honking and whispering with their wings. albert was in awe. his eyes followed the flock through the trees and along the course of the river into the darkness of the night.

he stood there. his ears were full of honking noises and he repeated the scene across his eyes many times. he felt warm and alive. then he hurried home to sleep.

 

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

 

 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

 

Every time Albert thought about the geese, his heart would fill with bliss. Every time Albert would see geese, his eyes would shine. Every time Albertwatched geese fly, albert soared.

 

If I believed in a god, Albert was thinking, it would all make sense.He was walking along wondering where to wander when something on the sidewalk caught his eye.It was a feather and Albert stooped over and picked it up.He held the feather in his hand up to the sky and he heard a voice.

 

††††††††††† ††††††††††† "We are each one feather," the voice said.

††††††††††† ††††††††††† All one feather, thought Albert, that makes sense.

 

The wings, the wings of his rapture were talking to him in whispers, and his mind cleared in the knowledge of being one feather.I am but one feather to lift the rock, the burden to save the earth.I am but one feather on the wings of an evolution, on the wings of wisdom, on the wings of the earth's resurrection, thought Albert.

††††††††††† I must be back on the red road, the path of sage smoke, sweetgrass, and cedar.Albert thought back to what he had experienced during a sweatlodge cermony in Virginia, and the many books he had read on Native American spirituality.

††††††††††† The sweatlodge cermony was a traditional one that was presided over by a spirit guide, a young man no more that twenty, who made sure all the preparations were in accordance with ancient traditions.

††††††††††† An altar was prepared in front of the lodge, a Thunder Altar it was called, and it represented the awakening of the participants to the cry of the earth.The earth needed to be healed as did several of the participants.

††††††††††† The woods were as dark as my dreams, Albert thought, as he crawled on all fours, naked, into the lodge.When everyone was seated, red hot rocks were placed in the center pit of the lodge, and while chanting, the spirit guide poured cool spring water over the rocks, engulfing the lodge in hot steam.

††††††††††† Albert could not breathe at first but started to chant, and as he was chanting he could breathe.Everyone gave their reason for being there like a group therapy session, and Albert's reason was to honor his grandparents, all of whom had died.

††††††††††† The ceremony continued in three sessions.At the end of each session the flap of the lodge was opened, allowing for a brief cool down.Albert was sitting directly across from the flap, a place of honor he was later told, and the third time the flap was opened, Albert had his vision.

††††††††††† He saw through the flap a mountain, the full moon, and a tree, where ordinarily there would of been just dark woods.Albert stared in awe until the flap was closed, then he saw the universe through the top of the lodge in millions of sparkles of stars.

††††††††††† "We are all one feather."Albert repeated, popping out of the trance of remembering the ceremony.He continued walking down the street as he thought about the vision fresh again in his mind.Over the years, he had determined the three images; the tree, the moon, and the moutain, were tasks that he had recently completed.

††††††††††† All three images were the central themes in Albert's poetry.Each image represented a chapbook of poems that he had written in the ten years since the ceremony.and now, he realized, he would write a chapbook about feathers.Albert felt his heart flutter and knew it was the wings of his rapture talking and he hurried home to write.

 

 

i feel the wings of the great feather spirit beating like a drum inside my heart and as i begin to hark a lark crosses the horizon on the wings of my tears

 

i am a white man of greatest sorrow at the edge of the open woods in my soul the land is owned and the earth is breaking glass my vision jerked

to the sky just in time to see the hawk fly and the spirits soar far above me

 

i listen there is no wind yet the leaves rustle with the beating of wings

the motions are just breaths of the trees waving at me to come see the nestling mother of you and me

 

look there fluttering from the sky of clear blue and turquoise hue with soft

whimpers of morning a feather arrives just as i break fast and step into the new world shining in a drop of dew

 

i must go my mind explodes from the view of many scattered feathers and as i chase to gather the broken wings my feet are lifted into the air and i go

nowhere yet i am falling like feathers twirl in the wind

 

once in the gray light and in the sight of the closed eyes of trance there came again the sound and dance of the bones of bears my great white feathered father of crazy cloud that night there rose in my dreams of wrath

the red moon of the eagle path

 

i died where i sat and was buried in my lap lapping at the water that ran from my lips as my whiskers wet chin to chest and spilled the rest in the nest of my crossed legs and i began to rot in the dampness of dusk and my thoughts became the feathers some wife now uses for dust

 

at first i felt the fur of the paws the cold wet nose of the nuzzle guiding me

to the awareness of where when then leaving the world of words i rambled into the woods on all fours to the moon of the bears now i just hold a feather

as i dream to frolic once again with the bears of the moon

 

i give my wife my life for beads trinkets and feathers not to guide me on the roads for the roads are paths of strife not to guide me through the night though feathers are candles of light i give my life my wife for beads trinkets

and feathers to walk with the trees to talk with the rocks to fill my fathers sky with dreams and my mothers earth with love i have no need of want

nor the want of need yet i hear my grandmothers and my grandfathers from

in the ground calling to me to free the great grandchildren of my soul

 

the pipe i smoke brings peace in prayer to the closed eyes of chant the many feathers are the many times i cried and swallowed hard the earth rants and raves the brave have always silently offered many tears in sacrifice before the chosen time to die or fight the pipe i offer in prayer to you who know

the true sacrifice of life

 

bison skull beneath the hooves of prairie skies i have deep sorrow red feather time speaks through the language of clenched teeth when the first chill of winter wraps around my guts with the hunger pangs of the white

man in the skin of kin i leave my clothes on the sidewalks of bones to go

to the home of the buffalo

 

arrows the red man walks in my dreams tomahawk bronze skin of blue light

crystal fire star bright i dance with the bears to a yellow moon spilling the laughter of empty skies falling like a feather in my mind i see crazy cloud

in the wink of a cacti

 

the buzzards knew when i flew i was done waiting to join the sky under the stars i walk the path of my ancestors sacred space of time or place to the rivers that once swept my soul my grace to the sea of swirls moons and pearls through this world of believe

 

no one sleeps next to me tonight dog gone her she is no stranger to all fours

from behind on the floor her song is no longer once more stop red hawk who will be of dreams alongside moonlit streams in a pool of poems i close my eyes and see you awaken next to me

 

broken wing i will not go so long as the grass grows and the mountains make the rivers flow to those who know there are no windows or doors

i offer tobacco and light my bowl of crushed souls to sing the songs of broken wings i still cherish the winds of where my wishes have been

 

broken wings a feather touched ground the eagle screamed the earth cry

i heard a spirit sigh the silence is both weapon and shield to the warrior

healer grace can be seen with lowered eyes i journey in inner light silently holding the fallen feather

 

i live within the bars and windowed walls my bed a stall my thoughts penned i struggle to bend and not break each day i mend for the sake

of my heart and i cleanse my spirit of the reckless spark and soar on the breath and soul of the wisps of wings

 

red hawk i heard the thought with no words in hooves of thunder came the plunder of younger eyes the quicker stalk the sharper tongue of twisted lies

only those who cries from living inside can survive outside where the snow

is falling like feathers

 

feathered arrow i drink from the fountain of my grandmother buried in the ground of my grandfather where i too belong in thanks i return the gift

of the fountain spoken with the voice of a mountain the whisper of a heart

being blessed with the words i love you

 

broken wing i am nothingness once again skeleton and bones in a heap

of earthen slumbers yet a light shines from this numbskulls eyes when darkness comes to fly i take flight in dreams of sight wildly flapping with all my might one hand clapping and one hand laughing

 

the clouds are floating in from the sea feather lightly ghost people are chanting in the cornering winds of the prairie the mountains are still

moving at will and all of those with self imposed halos honoring greed gods creed is crippling earth's destiny great white feathered mother of red moon

kiss me give me dignity help me carry the broken wings of sorrow wings of fate wings of strife wings of faith in earth's resurrection point me in the direction of heaven

 

my hands are clearfull of feathers my eyes see myself falling like a feather

i feel the pounding of the earth from the drums of native tongues and i hear

the sound beating in my heart i start to chant a warrior's dance singing the rumble of the thunder as the sky quietly sighs

 

the red moon rises through the ice crystal clouds somehow the chill is broken in breaths of vapor a snort of winter freeing my lungs of the sweat

from the last of summer and long shadow appears in the fleeting glimpse

of the tree outside my window as the many spirits scurry up the trees

and frolic to the ground floating upon the falling leaves

 

seven crows from the woods of my soul to the swamp below crossed the golden corn in the yellow sky of the harvest sun set while i walked to the dogleg bend of triple trees a cross of roads and deep water fences to be soothed from my heart cried why the stump of the trees are still as restless herds in the night

 

my white skin is like the glasses that shield the eyes from the glory of suns

and daughters who slip their hands into mine and stand as one with no desire to rape the sky or torture the land to build a house on land that no hand had ever had command so friends can visit and talk behind the backs of so stupid a woman and how vain a man

 

dancing bear the bones dance too the red moon sings of freedom in the swirls of souls the fear of spirits heard in the mountains of thunder tongues

little word circle the altar in feathers of hope kindles the fire to a stillness

in the view through time

 

the power of glory where words journey is the medicine of kindness shown in darkness of reason rises each day to take flight in the gentle peace of wisdom come

 

albert took his bottle of white shoe polish and wrote "point me in the direction of heaven" on the back window of his station wagon and stood back to contemplate his actions. this saying would be his creed, his belief, in how to heal the earth. if he could help people realize that there was no heaven other than the earth on which we live, people would take better care of this world, in this time, and the earth would be a better place, he concluded.

he liked the simplicity of it and the profound thought that could be derived from it. he parked his car for all to see and walked over to the coffeehouse for his morning coffee.

†††††††††††††††††††† "ever been in rapture?" albert asked ratcat as rc poured the coffee.

†††††††††††††††††††† "yeah," rc answered, "every time i paint or fuck."

†††††††††††††††††††† "maybe you should paint while your fucking." albert said annoyed.

†††††††††††††††††††† "been there. done that. i did a fucking painting series a couple of years ago. everything looked like a penis or a vagina. i even used my dick as a paintbrush but my girlfriend made me stop, something about paint in her twat. why do you ask?" rc said laughing. he couldn't keep a straight face.

††††††††††††††††††††††† "never mind. i just had a thought, that's all. thanks anyway." albert said and just stared into his coffee cup. he looked up the weather in the paper. sunny skies for today, he thought, there goes all the snow. it's gonna melt. oh well, there is no hell.

†††††††††††††††††††††††† the voice repeated in his head, "oh well there is no hell.",

and albert remembered the first time he had heard it. he was seventeen and falling asleep when this voice said "you are my son. there is no hell." albert asked back " is there a devil?" but the voice left him.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† This was the first voice that albert ever heard. it wasn't coming from his head or in the room, but he heard what he heard. at that time he rationalized that god had talked to him and albert thought about becoming a priest. he was raised catholic and thought the voice was a calling.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† albert still didn't know why he didn't become a priest. the effort never came to proclaim the calling he had heard to others. there was absolutely no desire to become a catholic priest. he was later told by a priest that albert did not need a church. there was no dogma, rhetoric, or box of words that could hold him, since albert did not believe in structures of thought.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† he was convinced that sanity was just a shuffle of papers and he lived without a reality for so long, anything outside the immediate experience was something that one could not trust, let alone believe in. if there was no hell then there was no hell, plain and simple, and albert had not thought about it much until now. until he had conceived of a heaven on earth.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† albert stirred the thought of heaven and hell into his cup of coffee and stared out the window. the hell of his own life and the heaven of heaven on earth. this was new territory to him and should he think of them as something revealed or should he just keep quiet. he needed to talk it over with someone who would listen and looking around the cafe, there was raptis in the kitchen.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† raptis and rapture, it was worth a try, so albert went back to rap.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "ever been in rapture?" albert asked.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "everytime jerry garcia sings," raptis said not looking up. she was making sandwiches for the lunch crowd and was busy. "why do you ask?"

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "i've been in bliss from a rapture," albert replied.

"and i've been writing about heaven on earth."

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "have you been nibbling on mushrooms again?

bobba-loo has some." raptis stated.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† albert knew she believed in a earth goddess so he kept going, asking, "could you believe in a heaven on earth?"

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "what about rape and murder?" she questioned.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "no. point me in the direction of heaven." albert prodded.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "oh, so you point to the earth." raptis understood.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "yeah, doesn't it make sense?" albert asked hopefully.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "heaven on earth? heaven for you maybe. not for me.

i work for a living." and with that she slammed the freezer shut.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "just thought i'd ask." albert said leaving.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

 

††††††††††† Albert smoked deeply from his bowl of crushed souls.The mood from writing his poems left him sullen.The communion with his muse and the voice found in his last poems left him with a loss.He had written strong words from his deepest heart, and this would open his soul to a flow of sorrow and he would feel the cold of snow, and sometimes all alone, after writing his poems.

††††††††††† But he liked the voice of his last poems.There is a something that speaks to Albert in a well-written poem, something beyond the words and something beyond the poet that Albert hears.This is the voice, Albert would say, and he sought not to identify the voice but hear clearly what the voice would say.

††††††††††† And Albert heard his last poems speak of the bond to the earth and the condition of the human condition.It spoke to him, in his ears, of suffering, many years of lost suffering, that filled his eyes with tears and clouded his mind with doubt.But he also heard the voice rejoice and from the sorrow came a new consciousness, a new awareness, a knowing.And this knowing creates a wisdom.And with this wisdom comes a hope.And with this hope comes prayer.

††††††††††† Albert's new poems had become prayers to the earth.The voice inside his poems was a new one to Albert and at the same time Albert recognized the voice as being very ancient.Something spoke and this pleased Albert.something outside of him spoke inside his poems and this filled his heart with gladness.

††††††††††† Albert had created something that spoke louder then he had ever written before.All because of a feather and a chance encounter with a flock of geese.If Albert would have pointed in the direction heaven, he would have pointed to his heart and his love for the earth.And he would of pointed to his soul when the sorrow flowed.

††††††††††† The smoke curled from his bowl of crushed souls and Albert inhaled deeply and laid back on his bed, letting the toke slowly release through his nostrils.Albert thought about the exhaled smoke drifting up to the heavens and how his thoughts and prayers were heard in this way.He pulled his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around his legs.

††††††††††† He hurt and did not know if the pain was psychic or psychotic but he knew he had a wounded soul.For many years the pain cut him deeply and he would cry.The tears would wash his feelings clean and he would feel renewed and soothed.Yet over the past year or so Albert had stopped crying.He thought his wounds were healing and the hole in his soul would open and close with sorrow without tears.

††††††††††† The hurt he always considered to be gut glass, shards of broken dreams between what is and what coul be.What should be would always be considered and this would and could and should would always leave Albert tortured between what he wanted and what was.And he would cry, not to get what he wanted, but because of the hurt, the tear of reality.

††††††††††† Albert thought the ability to cry had saved him.Doomed to cry is better than doomed to die.And although the hurt in his soul had crippled him emotionally, his choices between suicide or going to the V.A. hospital had been the latter because the former would have meant no hope, no future, and Albert's faith had always high hopes.He had chosen the hospital many times because he had been suicidal often.

††††††††††† Like many crazies, death was a companion and Albert had no fear of death.He considered himself to be one of the most dangerous men alive because not only did he not fear death, he had no fear of going insane.His sanity was just a shuffle of papers and death would be an end to his burden.He would welcome death any day, he thought, and he had been insane many days, so without fear of either, how could society punish him?

 

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

 

††††††††††† Albert awoke.From the angle of the sun through the bedroom window and the shadows on the wall, Albert guessed the time to be late afternoon.He buried himself deep under the covers and tried to see if he could go back to sleep.His medication would keep him in bed for another hour because of drowsiness and sometimes he could fade in and out of wakefulness before he had to piece together the reality of the day.

††††††††††† Slowly his mind began to stir and he remembered he had written the night before.The words came to him in fragments of sentences and he swirled them around in his head till he was conscious of most of what he wrote.The creative inspiration was gone now and he looked at the words in his head for some sort of staying power, some sort of distinction that would make a reader feel something.Albert always tried to move the reader to experience something; not just an idea or a thought, not just an attitude, but an actual experience of "wow," much like a zen experience of a new awareness.

††††††††††† As a writer, Albert would try to achieve a voice in his poetry but to the reader, Albert strove for a conveyance of language that was new and fresh like just washed laundry.Same old words but with a new feel and scent.In his best work, when spoken, the words would link together in rhythms of sound and flow, and dance between the ears of the listener and the heart and soul of the poet.

 

i want to hear the voice of your poetry i will not remember your name and there's no need to remember mine i will watch the walk you walk not the talk you talki will not see the image in your eyes nor seek what you are looking for i do not care what is in your head or between your legs i want to listen to the voice of your soul as you listen to mine only then can we truelyunderstand each other only then can we truely talk truely walk truely love truely see truely be one

††††††††††† From the heart is the gift of any art, albert would say, and in his work he could trace the evolution from confessional poems, through therapeutic poetry, to where the play of words become the determining factor.Not only is the poem from the heart but constructed in a sense that elevated the words to an art.There are those few poems that happen every now and then that appear beyond the abilities of technique and style of the poet.The ability to go beyond what the poet is capable of is why Albert kept writing.†††

††††††††††† Albert did not care much for a poem once it was written.He kept his best work and protected the poems from loss, but only out of an obligation to others.Most people write poems and say hear this, this poem I wrote makes me a poet.Most craftspeople will make something and say I created this object.This object makes me an artist.Albert thought such goings on as bullshit.

††††††††††† The true artist or poet creates a work for the sake for creation.Whether the work takes a moment, an hour, a day, or a lifetime does not matter.What happens after the work is completed does not matter.The work could be destroyed or sell for a fortune, it does not matter.What only mattered to Albert was in the act of creation.His ego did not make him a god for the creation, nor did his wants seek out any compensation, nor did he consider himself talented.

††††††††††† Albert knew he had a gift and he worked extremely hard to write the best way he knew how.The poetry of others seldom interested him and he did not seek out teachers.He had absolutely no interest in getting published and cared little about the comments made of his work.All he cared about is the couple of hours of creation, the actual trance that occurs constructing words into a poem.Then he was in bliss.As long as he could write, maybe once a week or once a month or once a year did not matter.The sweet spell of creation was what mattered.

††††††††††† And most of the time the spell was not so sweet.Most of the time Albert would tear into his consciousness or feelings like tearing apart an onion, not satisfied until the true essence appeared, and then with only a few words cloak what was found in language.Albert kept things as simple as possible.Four or more syllable words were seldom used.Yet in the simplicity of a few chosen words, Albert tried to obtain the profound.And every once in awhile the profound occured.This would reward Albert for his destruction.For then Albert knew that he had found a greater truth, and from this truth came wisdom.And from this wisdom came Albert's poetry.A mystical minimalist, Albert would say of himself, a little man with little words.

 

i am a poem of thunder rumble me with the light of the strike touch me

with the rain of the clouds toss me with the crack of the sky open me

 

i listened to the thunder say amen from the mountains in darkness when i saw then the twilight has been where the words end and my path begins

 

see how i am like the mountain in the way the thundersaid to be the lightning in trying always as light is always a point a way

 

twilight try to light the night i wonder why the mountains hide the stars and the thunder cannot be seen into the darkness with only a hope in a flash of light

 

the moon peeks behind the mountain peaks in stillness the light and the thunder glows in the valley below a breeze motions the leaves to free the songs of the night to sing to you as you dream

 

the thunder says i am on the mountain for a spell i can'tsee what is under the clouds yet i know what i need to cross the valley below

 

with thunder atop the mountain top the view stops my ears pop and i drop to my knees with the talk of many rocks

 

the mountain on which i stand commands my hands to hold another's hand to withstand the thunder on which i stand

 

i reached the peak the view alone i speak the wonder the thunder of where were you

 

to dance from peak to peak and hear the thunder below in blunders i hurl crosses that flash in bolts of laughter across the faces of children

 

like lightning the lost poet is lost within the lost light of the lost heart still the lost words appear near and clear to ears who hear the thunder that tears out the tears of the lost poets

 

naked and bled across the jagged peaks i tread i feel the hurt and the thunder from the birth of my soul like a woman dreads

 

my only relief is the peace i seek on the peaks of sighs in the belief of clear skies beyond the thunder and the lightning in the clouds of my mind

 

don't mind me i was hear first the mountain then the thunder and still the spell of whether or not the point of view is to overlook what is below

 

mountains of stone i know now why the peaks rise alone my vision clouds with thunder and as the lightning flashes deep inside my heart i see my spirit soar within me

 

one heart touched stone and now grows old alone for the peaks are flesh and bones and the thunder shudders come home come home and the lightning that once bolted the soul cannot be told to those who do not roam far past twilight's last gasp

 

i clapped with the thunder and threw songs at thelightning for the ground rose to my feet atop of mountains of thunder andthe rain washed my eyes to a sheen my hair to my knees and light to shine through me

 

††††††††††† Albert reached over and tapped on the weather radio.The forecast called for clear skies and warmng trend.No more snow and the sun at the end of this day had melted what snow there was.He scratched at his beard and sat up to look at himself in the mirror.He was tired of his whiskers and over the last week or so, had thought of shaving.He hated shaving but he wanted sideburns.He had had his beard since 1973 and shaving became a monumental decision.Now he will shave, he thought, now for some sideburns.

††††††††††† He grabbed some scissors and headed for the bathroom.Rummaging through the junk drawer, he found the razor he used for the back of his neck and some new blades.Over the last couple of years he had taught himself how to trim around the ears to keep his hair from sticking up from under his hats.Albert's long hair was pulled back in a ponytail and keeping his ears trim and the back of his neck clean gave him a kept look.There was nothing he could do about the bald spot and how thin the top of his head had got, but he liked the look of the ponytail.

††††††††††† Albert had visualized his sideburns to be cut one razor width apart at the chin and began hacking the hair from his chin and down his throat.He widened the swath down his throat and liking what he saw, shaved there.He kept his soul patch beneath his lower lip, and rinsing off the soap suds from where he had shaved, looked at himself in the mirror.Something didn't look right about his face.He stuck his finger over his moustache and visualizing his upper lip clean, he saw what he wanted.Off came the hair on his upper lip and there was the look he wanted.Two enormous sideburns down to one razor width on his chin.

††††††††††† Albert took his hand mirror and looking into the wall mirror, surveyed his face from all angles.His sideburns were long and burly and from the side, still looked like a beard.But from the front, his clean-shaven upper lip, chin, and throat had a look that Albert really liked.He would have to shave about every four days but that was the price Albert paid for sideburns.Albert splashed cold water on his newly shaven chin and then brushed out his thick sideburns.He looked long and hard at the white hairs in his sideburns and thought the whiteness gave him a dignified look.

††††††††††† What a great pair of mutton chops, thought Albert, and he continued to get dressed.Tonight was the monthly taping of the open mike poetry reading at the Loft and there was coffee to make and other preparations needed to be done before the show.

††††††††††† The Loft was above the Three Rivers Food Co-op on Broadway and consisted of a large, long space divided on one end by a 12x8 foot projection screen.Off in a corner room was the control room full of TV and audio equipment, and throughout the long room were video cameras trained on the podium that stood in front of the screen facing the room.The dirctor in the control room could control all the cameras from the control room.There was plently of room for an audience, of which there would be many.The projector for the screen was hooked-up to a computer which generated computer graphics to be displayed on the screen.

††††††††††† The poetry reading would be taped and edited, then shown on Channel 10, the community access channel, over Fort Wayne's cable system.The show would be aired at midnight on Saturdays.

††††††††††† Albert was the producer of the show.His duties were everything in front of the cameras and left the technical side to the volunteers who worked the Loft.Albert did all the publicity, flooding the bars and coffeehouses with fliers, putting out the word for poets and critics alike.He called the first shows Poetry Slam but after a heated discussion as to what constitutes a Slam, he decided to call them Poetry Crams because the show was as full of poetry as could be crammed in an hour's time.

††††††††††† The most asked question about the show by new poets was if you could say "fuck" on TV.Albert took a strict stance of being completely censorship-free.Anybody could say or do anthing they wanted.And in such a conservative town such as Fort Wayne, he wondered how far such a show would go.But did it did.The show aired explicitly detailed sex act poetry of every imagination in words that could not be used on the major networks.But Albert guessed that no one was watching.He had hopes that some preacher would step in to have the show cancelled.The publicity would have been great for the show and Albert had made battle plans for a censorship fight.But no one stopped them.

††††††††††† The shows had gone on almost a year now and Albert was ready to see if anyone else would put the shows together.The attendance was great.At least a dozen poets read at every show and there was always 20-30 people for an audience.The Loft organization was being given grants of money to tape the shows.Everything was great except for the viewers at home.There was no response.So Albert thought he would bow out and hopefully someone else would do the honors.Maybe take the show in a new direction.Maybe get a response.

 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

 

††††††††††† When Albert finished dressing, he again studied his sideburns in the mirror.The only thing he didn't like was the way his bare chin looked.It wasn't much of a chin and shaving his throat showed a double chin below his soul patch.His chin seemed to disapear whenever he lowered his head but Albert just laughed at himself in the mirror and finished by brushing out his ponytail.

††††††††††† He had on his rainbow-spiral, tye-dye sweatshirt and a red pair of sweat pants with his yellow bicycle cap.The cap had a large blue feather stuck to the side of it.Albert liked his clown-like appearance and after eating a bowl of ceral, he headed out the door into the night.He felt his pocket for his poems and finding them there, he hurried to the Loft.

††††††††††††††††† Albert enterd the courtyard of the Food Co-op and was greeted by several small groups of people who had assembled for the show.There was no smoking in the Loft and everyone in the courtyard was puffing on something or talking to somebody who was.Albert took a quick look around, smiled, and headed up the stairs.He was glad to see the lesbian couple Venus and Mars, the dreadlocked K2, and the moutain of a woman, Mabel.They were the best of the poets in Fort Wayne and would make the show worthwhile.

††††††††††† Tin Star met Albert at the top of the stairs."Glad to see ya.We'll be ready in 15 minutes.The coffee is already made," said Tin and then scurried over to adjust a camera.Albert looked around the studio at the gathering of people.Most he recognized from other shows.He went over to get a cup of coffee and then went over to the control room to see Wiz.

††††††††††† "Hi Wiz, looks like the makings of a good show."Albert said as he watched the computer-generated graphics displayed on the screen."Almost ready," said Wiz, "Did ya hear we got one complaint this week?"

††††††††††† "Haven't heard a word," replied Albert.

††††††††††† "Yeah, some lady called in and complained about the way Mabel was dressed.She said somebody that fat shouldn't wear short, tight skirts" said Wiz, "and you know she's right."

††††††††††† "Did she comment on the poetry?" asked albert, "Mabel sure does steam-up the camera with her sex poetry."

††††††††††† "The caller only criticized the way she was dressed" said Wiz.

††††††††††† "But that is the way Mabel dresses all the time.That and the way she wears those bondage collars.I wouldn't recognize Mabel in anything else" Albert said.

††††††††††† "Yeah.Neither would I" said Wiz.

††††††††††† "Almost a year doing these shows and all we get is a fashion critique on one of the poets," Albert said shaking his head from side-to-side.

††††††††††† "We're about ready now" said Wiz.

††††††††††† Albert left the control room and walked over to the podium. "People," Albert shouted, "we are about ready to start the show.Please be seated."He looked around and saw most of the group from downstairs were seated.the crowd was about thirty people and everyone was ready.The poets were seated around the podium and each would read one poem in turn, taking turns until an hour was recorded.This structure worked really well because the viewer would have a ever-changing range of poetry and one bad poet or poem would not bog down the whole show.Tin Star gave the countdown and the taping began.

††††††††††† "Hello and welcome to another Poetry Cram.My name is Albert and I'd like to thank Wiz and Tin Star and all those at the Loft for making the Poetry Cram possible.We tape at 8:00 pm on the last Wednesday of each month and if you'd like to be here live, the Loft is located on Broadway above the Three Rivers Food Co-op.Tonight I'd like to start by saying we did receive a complaint about the show this week.After almost a year, we have received our first complaint.We can do better.We have insulted about every group of people there is to insult, and spoke about every sex act imaginable in words.We've got to do better.I think the only two words we have not used are 'cunt' and 'motherfucker', but still no response.We can do better. so let's begin with our first poet."

††††††††††† Albert sat down and the first poet got up behind the podium."Hello," he said, "my name is Cunt Motherfucker and my first poem is..."

††††††††††† The audience roared.Albert just shook his head from side-to-side and the show went down from there.††

 

after bowing out of the readings and gooding my goodbyes and longing

my so longs and seeing the say of see y'all later, i hurried downtown for a cup of coffee and parked myself at the counter stirring myself into my coffeecup. i heard a thump next to me and Rack O'pinon slumped down next to me. he had about four thousand dollars of Nikons around his neck and was shivering cold.

†††††††† Whatsuppp, he said, i stepped in a puddle. gotta get warmed up.

shoot anything lately? i got some film left but my feet feel like solid ice.

††††††††† You'll have that, i said. Where ya been?

††††††††† Drove over to all the parking garages to shoot the dome on the

courthouse. got some great shots. twelve rolls of film. some lawyers

paying me three hundred dollars for a shot for their office, Rack said.

††††††††† I'd rather dig a ditch. i said stirring my coffee.

††††††††† I thought you shot around town? Hey RC give me some coffee,

man i am freezing, Rack shouted and motioned like he was drinking

out of an imaginary cup.

†††††††††† I don't shoot i capture, i said, there is a difference.

††††††††††† If i get a good shot tonight, there's another guy who'll buy a print from me. six hundred dollars! not bad for one night. look over there.

there's that chick whose going to pose nude for me. and he was

gone.

†††††††††††††††††† The lights ain't on Summit Square tonight, i said to myself

stirring my coffee.

 

 

 

albert walked out into the night. october was his best time of the year.

the chill of the black october sky thrilled him to the soul. the full moon

of october and november appeared the largest in the sky at moonrise

and if he stood on west calhoun street, the moon rose between the buildings as if the east end of the street was a path directly to the moon.

he had hopes of shooting the moonrise but in the past he had not

concentrated on getting the shot. he only had two chances of getting the

shot exactly right, once in october and once in november. he thought

about his chances and knew most nights that time of year were cloudy.

there was also the problem of the physics of photographic lenses. long

telephoto lenses made distant objects larger in the background than in

the foreground. this would be perfect but he needed the perspective

of the street in the foreground so he would have to use a wide angle lens.

this would cause the objects in the distance smaller than the foreground.

the moon would be the largest at the horizon. so he needed to be ready

and had about an hour time frame to work in to capture all the elements

needed for a great shot.

 

 

Albert thought about Calhoun street as a path to the moon. He was a moon child and very much a lunatic, a madman, and his soul glowed

every once in awhile with moonbeams. He did not math the path to the moon but knew and often wondered what a great achievement mankind had made in the exploration of the moon. To bring a rock back from the moon rocked Albert's soul. His love and deep respect for mother earth created a wonder of the wonderful gift a rock from the moon had brought to the earth. He thought of mother earth being kissed by the moon and the gift, the ability, the knowledge created with the math of the path, the unity of science and purpose to accomplish a dream a wish a greatness that mankind had yet to achieve. How many thousands of years have ancient cultures and beliefs wondered about touching the moon. To touch the moon from earth. To bring a rock from the moon rocked Albert's soul and his soul glowed often with moonbeams when he thought of touching the moon.

 

 

Albert swears he could walk there from here, hearing his footsteps to the

moon. He snugged his hat down on his head, lit a smoke, thrust his hands

in his pockets and followed his footprints into the night. There was a light

wind that night and Albert felt all right as he wondered how he had wandered his path in life to the very footsteps of the dance of life he was

walking tonight. He had a hallowed sacred bliss he gets in october and

the black of the sky shined with the clarity of crystal clear water. A clarity

that would drop a raindrop on him from cloudless skies and anoint him

with both an annoyance and a perserverance often. He knew he was not alone in the night. He had no fright and walked into the light of the night,

the infinity of divine twilight, as the moon sparkled in his eyes.

 

i walked into the light of the night last night to cover myself in darkness

and i must confess to every shadow a likeness and each step a dance and if you have not felt the night wind then cross your breath in silence of how everything appears to be kindly and carefully watched in the coming and the going of who or what when and where then and here i tag along a tag-a-long vagabond with eyes like lanterns and with the joy of a little boy with something new you knew when the journey ends i will return again and we will grin again and begin again anew as the evening mends the afternoon

and then we make love to me and then to you in the warmth of the fire

and in the light of the moon

 

from the glean in your keen eyes i spied the stars in the skies and i laughed how many times i tried to spread my wings and fly with words that sing and flutter like flutes and drums to one another with two wings we could fly but i want our spirit to soar in this world and the only two words heard is the nightly whisper of once more love is a token till our touch is what is spoken to me and to you together in as many blue moons as two in the night dream scene of me with a beam from the moon wrapped in the arms of you

 

i walked all day and all through the night to the woods of your soul and i caught the thought of why did i look into your eyes i cared not to stare and i saw your green eyes are the gypsy souls you will come to know and i saw

your body dance like that of those who are unafraid to cast away the demons and dragons that keep me away with tongues of fire to slowly wind up my legs like roots of ivy that beg me each day to stay and tonight there appears

in the half moon light a gathering of spirits at my sight and above a burning light flies across the sky and i know i am walking in your dream light for the instant we all have sight and i want to grow hard in the comfort of your arms and i want you to feel the warmth of my body on a winters night i cannot keep my thoughts from talking me into the thought that soon the thaw of spring will bring days when the fountain we share will become the mountains of thunder and the nights will fill with the stars from our eyes and our hearts will share the wonder at each journeys end to wander hand in hand in kindness again

 

while in my sight the light of the moon was gold tonight and i thought of a

thought to hold dear and it became clear venus and mars were about as far apart as the beat of my heart and i find my joy where the pain had left me

and where the spirits now heal me i want and i want and i want till i want no more to take your hand and say come with me to a view clear through

what seems to be reality i wipe away the tear of why you are not now near

and i light my bowl of crushed souls and watch as the spirit of the crow in flight closes my path of strife and i ease in the soothing warm love of the rainbow and fluttering dove to fall deep asleep in the sleep of sweet release

 

Albert hurt. there was a volcano of sorrow in his soul. he still did not know

if his pain was psychotic or psychic, but he hurt from a gut of broken glass. he cried his pain with tears from every tear and his tears would flow in sorrow and the flow of sorrow would wash his soul like sacred rains, in rivers sometimes in rage. in rivers from the mountains to the seas. his cries would bring a wake of serenity and became his depths of tranquility. the v.a. doctors and psychiatric drugs would not heal him. this he knew. in his sickness he was alone. scard scared and afraid.

 

i am scared goddammed the pure and the simple quenching and then the splash down the well and simon says hell is unwilling and spilling from the softness of her lips i hear the hiss of the serpent kiss in a silent wish i pray your god is not who you are what bliss haunts the empty soul where fears catch the rain caught bowl that unknowns are known to share and shatters in anger and danger despair i am willing to drink the ink black red green or gold in communion with the untold soul i am not shown where i go is an age old blindfold of the chosen true charmed with the sacred spirit of the mystery and magical moonlit pool of the soul in solitude

 

i am blessed with a curse the poets choice a moon madness beams upon me

lame brain with my dick in my hand refrain if you think you know what fucking really is then tell me what ain't no doubt to risk my sanity you pout

and mouth a prayer around my nipples with a tongue wet naked and alive

with the devotion why don't you won't why don't you won't why don't you come with me come with me and we'll shed our skins of need

 

tit i always want to wander over yonder and see if i can slip in between the white and blue of the skies to fly on the wings to soar to sing and bring the tingle to the spine sweetgrass sage smoke and kind find of the in kind kindred spirit and the calm quiet chat first the exchange of hats then a movement in the shadows with honor and in the hallowed thunder of wonder a rattle of the hoof and drum and hum no chant yes speak the pain

of the noble soul in the thunderbird cry and crack of lightning in the rock

stone and bone and again i fly face and hand of feather wings of gold

let fly my soul

 

i could not help but overhear where is the truth in the mundane when one must be saved who is going to save you from yourself me i am waiting for love to come my way and my chuckle is i'm damned everyday forty odd years of seeking has taught me a faith about fate a date at the gate and what keeps me sane one more day is a wisdom found in the night i say if your god doesn't dance or laugh i'd pray to a new god and let a goddess lead the way

 

you are my son the voice in my head said and once i did not believe but at once said i would rather be dead then led by the unfaithful in the course of courses and in the desire of no desires there is only the night on fire and the day swept away on the blood of babylon and in the songs that rant and rave

i crave to be touched as much as i love to touch but i would rather be alone

and stoned then say as much to find another spark in my heart trying not to tear reality all apart

 

give me a chance not by the hair of my chinny chin chin i drool on you

brushing your tits quick across my sips lunatic trip of the tongue and stumble your knee into the me i always try to be listening and suffering the moon beam dream i say three our fathers and four hail marys for seeking the clarity of lunacy on a full moon night ripens each on loan moan till i close my eyes to be shown with touch that i am loved very much

 

i light my bowl of crushed souls to chew on the cud of love the slobbered end of the cigar the bell jar end of suicides comiedian sizzles the rotisserie and bear berry kinickkinick when the shit gets as thick as the mosquitoes or so i am told old deceiver of the want of the soul never stops and to stop i must divine again the flow or owe to the ferrymen of the soul and to the poets of the moon to soon find in inner journey the fairyland forest of sacred ancient trees the woods in the souls of the poets you and me

 

in the pound pound pounding of my soul rolls the thunder a bell told hell of what i can't tell and i fell again and again the spell is there something wrong with no hell cracked like broken glass the scarred and the wicked just laugh with the sacred humor of that too shall pass i know not my own will

but still each black teardrop of the heart honors not the aim but the eye

not the vision but the believer not the miracle but the act of faith the healing takes to mend the broken wing of the spirit with feathers stones and bones in the weakness of flesh i must be left alone my soul pounding against the hell in my heart a rage tears my love all apart and i try to mend myself with only my art

 

a breath in the closed eyes of chant with nothing left to chance to wish the dance of a bear romance on the wings an angel or eagle brings to take your own medicine and prance with me free again in the virginity of sin and in a spin of the moonlit din an incantation of hope smoking the dope to set sail from the sacred shores in a hollow holy tree to the land of sure filled with hope and talk to the pope of the pure cure where spirits can heal the ache the union of flesh and blood in the communion of love for everyone and in the only sacred space faith to blot all blight from the soul for no one walks alone day or night we are all one in the same sunday prayer of someday when the wisdom comes

 

you alone are the breaths of the wind though seldom done one last touch

you say i love you too much and i say you love too little things in too little time out and again our grins are bent with sweat asleep i see your brow quiver with dreams only you will see or perhaps remember the wish upon my lips when we kissed silence and if this were true you would know my voice and not seek the words or the sun but come to the view of the moon

and hear the breaths of the wind when i am alone and return naked before the dawn of the yawn to the warmth of the sacred fires in the woods of our souls where day is still a night away and if you choose to stay or if you choose to stay away may the shadows dance from the fire in your eyes and may you boldly hold the one you love in the warmth of your soul in the frost of the black october night and in the chill of another night alone

 

strike a cord in my heart i beg and hate the way you make me lonely fancy the thought my shadow the moon haunts and wish upon me no empty night

like the last i carry in my heart the darkness of winter that comes to sleep next to me

 

albert did not know he was touched by the hand and in the hands

of jah. and from the divine would come rainbow serpents and angels,

holy spirits ofthe heavens, and the goddess loves of his mother earth

to free him of his sufferings, to heal him with the gift of the white dove of his heart, to teach him the many lessons needed to mend the broken wings of others with the light within his soul. to heal. to teach his love through his faith the divine ways to heal himself and others with the guidance of father sky and the goddess loves of mother earth. his madness and insanity is the quest of his life. and he would quest to see everything around him and in him in his wandering wonderings.

 

 

Although alberts path was cursed with insanity a madness he seldom

understood and totally overwhelmed his life, he constantly searched to

realize not how or why, but a truth, a truth to his experiences in life. albert would not allow a structue of thought, a rhetoric or dogma, a box

of words to put his life in, albert needed truths and he needed his truths

from his experiences. and he was being guided by tiny truths in his

constant search along his path in life. some truths were in the moment

yet many of the truths of his life took time to realize, days months and years, before the truth would awaken him and glow like an inner light in his soul. the tiny truths were the links from star to star, night to night, day to day, step by step, hand to hand and heartbeat to heartbeat. no matter how weak or how many weeks, the tiny truths were the light of his life, and the strength of might was his courage and the tiny truths became the grace of his madness, the blessings of his curse.

 

 

krout had a annual halloween party every year, mostly for all the artists

and our community of friends, a loose knit group of egos, those who

were somebody and those who wanted to be somebody, those who were inspired and those who followed someone else's inspirations, bohiemians

who thought they could not create without their lives being totally

out of control on drugs and alcohol, masters and pupils, the crazed crazies, and those who just wanted to be in the crave of the day.

 

somehow the artist people puzzle fit together in the sum all the beings way far far greater than the whole. with all the fights on personal theories of art, there was little conflict as a group, and in a town that would not support their artists, there was a bond a need a devotion to each other strong and pure. we were all we had and we gave each other all we needed. fuck fort wayne. there was great art here that could should and would be hanging in any museum in the world being dismissed with the thought if an artist was any good, they wouldn't be in fort wayne. we became dark stars hidden by oversight and thoughtlessness and we shined brightly in each others eyes and lives.

††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††† krouts halloween party was electric, every artist in masquerade

tripping the light fantastic, each a persona, a new being to be if only for

one night, all night, ranting in raves, a rage against the silence of such

a hallowed night. the thin veil between the spirit world and the reality

of this world was opened simply by walking through the front door of

krouts house in the mask of the evening, a hidden identity now born

and worn in the celebration of twilight, in the light of the darkest night,

each a shadow of their selves, to free the spirit within without fear,

to let go of the hold of the day and step boldly into the fantasy of

delight, the one night of the union of darkness and light, the one night

to take flight and soar with the spirits till the dawn of today's tomorrow,

to leave the temple of flesh in disguise and live another life if only for

one night, to shed the skins of need, to shed the woven scarves of a

society of daylight and play and prance and dance like the flickering

flames of candlelight throughout the orange and black, throughout

the spiders and cats, throughout the pumpkins and bats, to raise

the hell to raise the dead, to raise the hell from the soul, to raise the

hell from heart and head, to let go of the reckless spark, to let go

of control, to flow with the wink and twinkle of the eye, to say goodbye

to the old self in tonight's self and start anew in a new self as if

time started and stopped at midnight on the sacred hallowed eve

of halloween.

 

six in the morning in the kitchen in the aftermath of a great halloween

eve and i keep looking at this woman at the snack table and then the thought smacks me and i walk up to her to talk.

†††††††††††††††††††††† "that is not a costume," i said in kind of a lark.

†††††††††††††††††††† ††"no," she says, "i am wiccan. wiccan is the word witch

††††††††††††††††††††††† derived from. originally wiccan meant 'wise one'. i am in†††††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††† ritual dress."

i franticked for an instant then was fascinated. her eyes were the black

october night and glittered when she spoke to me. her voice was soft

and kind there was a compassion for more questions as if she understood

my need to understand. i searched her eyes and lips and lost my thoughts

in the bosom of her heart. her eyes were eager to continue and my mind

opened to see.

†††††††††††††††††††††† just beyond our greeting we spoke soul to soul. we spoke of winter and the inner being of change from season to season. we spoke of creativity and divinity and the tasks of craft. we spoke of the infinity of the soul. two strangers meeting on hallowed eve, two strangers seeing each other for the first time in this lifetime as if we knew each other many times before. she touched me deep inside with her eyes and my body was one big grin.

††††††††††††††††††††† i had not smiled this loud in years. i was hearing with the ears of my heart her gaze in the cradle of her kindness. and i wished to sip from

her divine chalice of love. her name was shadow and she giggled at my costume.

†††††††††††††††††††† "and who are you may i ask?"

i was wearing a rainbow spiralled gown with a rainbow tye-dyed patchwork poncho holding my spirit stick staff. i had a green visor upsidedown on my head like a pontif and a huge toy diamond ring on my finger.

†††††† ††††††††††††††††††"me?" i said, "i am the pope of the new millenium."

 

 

 

albert sat down at the counter for coffee to scan the newspaper. RC was perplexed.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† "where the hell ya been. ain't seen ya in awhile," RC

quized.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† "did another month in lockdown at the V.A." albert

replied staring into the first real cup of coffee he had seen since his last

psychotic episode. lots of cream and sugar and albert eased his thoughts

back to the immediate experience of the coffeehouse. back to the eyes

of ft wayne. back to being the clown of fools with the jokes of RC and

the penalties of having been forgotten for not being in the loop of his

routines in town.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† "what's the count now, al?" asked RC.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† "fourteen hospitalizations and thirty-six dead shows"

albert replied," i don't know why i keep count. one time i bought one

of those 2000 flushes toilet bowl cleaners and i started keeping count

of how many times i flushed the damn toilet. fuck me. took awhile to

get that shit out of my head.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "why the laughing academy this time" RC chuckled.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "i got word from the veterans board of appeals in

washington d.c. i applied for an increase in disability four years ago

and the regional office in indianapolis denied my increase saying my

disability in now due to my drug abuse and is no longer service connected.

so three years ago i appealed to the board of appeals in washington and i get this letter now stating my case should have been reviewed every 18 months. i haven't had a review in 14 years and my paperwork and hospitalzation records are so fucked up the board could not make a determination on my claim so i have to get reviewed from a doctor at the v.a. to process my claim and i know the review board in washington is so backed up with appeals it will take years before my case comes under review again. fuck me. fuck me. fuck me."

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† RC was ashamed of his laughter and seriously asked

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "what the hell ya gonna do?"

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "well i went off my medication and isolated myself in my apartment for i don't know how long. must of been weeks i guess. the only thing i remember is one morning i got these voices in my head. one was jimmy carter one was nelson mandela one was jerry garcia. they said if i went back in the hospital jimmy would build me a house nelson would

tell me the history of his people and jerry would sing me a song. i had so

little hope. fuck me. fuck me. fuck me." albert was in tears. "so i spent

another month in the hospital. i've been diagnosed eight different times in eight different ways since 1976."

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "geeessusss albert. ya lookin good, lost some†††††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† weight? want a free piece of cheesecake?" RC

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† kindly asked.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††"sure. i've lost 40 pounds since last may." albert

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† nodded.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "how the hell you do that?" RC wanted to know.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† "oh, i took a shower. felt so good i may take

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† another one someday." albert smiled.

 

 

early march. late twilight. first warm winds of spring, soggy and damp, the latest path of albert brought him to the park bench overlooking the herb and rose gardens on the east end of west central. albert reached over and dropped the last of his jay into the bushes with a silent prayer to the spirits of the earth. he always gave the little left from his jay to the spirits in thanks for the many years he has chosen to smoke. somehow because he had always thanked the spirits of the earth with the token offering of the end of his jays, albert never had problems finding kind bud. this time albert's find was very kind from the kindness of a kindred sister. he loved kind bud. the peace and relief he seeked was bliss and he would slip into a creative, thought pondering pool of light for many hours, a binge on the fringe of the cringe of his hopes, to climb down from the tree of insanity instead of the leap off the limb of fantasy and drown in the warmth of his love within him, in the warmth of the love of mother earth around him when he sat on this bench. a sacred place of time and space he had discovered on one of his walks through the light of the night. a place divine in the twilight and sacred rays of moonlight. a place where a moment can slip away into yesterday or tomorrow in the shadows of the park, where he could release the reckless spark that starts inside the heart from the recklessnesses of the city he pitied.

†††††††††††††††††††† everyone has heard that nietzche was the first to exclaim god is dead but very few knew the reason god died was god died of pity for mankind, a word that is a one word oxymoron. but albert was kind. he had witnessed and been taught the kindness of old school no fool deadheads and rainbows for years and truely it took years of being kind to be truely kind. being kind in babylon was hard work, to take the abuse of the vexed and the hexed in the daily confrontations of ignorance and suspicion because of a tye dye long hair and a smile. because he would not wear the crave of the day, or follow the latest rave or wave, because he knew that most of those who saw him in town saw him as just some old fat lazy hippie burnout, just some fucked up on acid idiot who pushed a broom and scrubbed their toilets. someone they could taunt because he always looked out of place. their place in babylon. albert was an easy target in the viens of babylon and in the darts of the carts of conversations he would hear in the palaces of blood and in places he sought love. he needed his kind bud. he needed his peace and release from his confrontations in the abuse of a city.

 

touch me make me human again release me from this maddness of being alone i need the hope in your eyes the wish of your heart the strength of your faith i have frozen again at winters end thaw me wrap me in thelaughter of the fool that i am and warm me with the fire of our love

 

in this world of push and shove when you need to let go of the tug i'll be there for you with a mighty hug i won't let go till i know you've found peace

then i'll release and i can tell by your grin your ready to begin again the tug

of the push and shove

 

let me please you ease through my words of you feel the strength of my pulse the soft caress of my thoughts read into the light of my soul the very mystery you need to know i can tell you i have been healed of the reckless spark and there are no shadows in my heart i live in peace and tranquility as life is meant to be i have welcomed you into my world with my warm embrace drink the grace and taste the honey from the divine chalice of kindness i bring to you with my words

 

my lady my only game is figuring out other peoples games you have shown me kindness and i return in kind a thousand times i have the greatest of all strengths a gentle touch and i come to you strong for my love is not a weakness i will not impose my will on anyone i simply must ask and wait for your reply to share some time in our lives

 

i close my eyes to watch the visions inside i hear your distant laughter and lick the wind for cannibus i struggle then through shear will i cross through

to the other sky soaring if this is not real why do i feel so alive later i lay

on the sacred shore listening to the ancient heartbeat of the sea in my soul

the moon rises in my eyes and the gulls carry my cry of the crush of my heart when we are apart

 

sister trickle seep deep into my sleep i have tumbled with thunder and cracked with lightning bring the sacred rains to wash me free the origins of every sea sister trickle trickle deep nourish the tree of me

 

took the longest time to learn the simplest of things life should be reversed

with the last first to build the church of belief in myself first and again love my weakest link has become love my greatest strength and again i wish i knew what i now know from the first touch and again i could always see

yet my eyes were blessed the first time you spoke to me and how i've wept till i found your sweet caress now needs me everything i want to do now takes two as the darkness rolls into the dawn me and you flow soul to soul

into a pool a prayer of moonglow in the forest of our church our heaven

here on earth

 

i'll call her ms Z because her first name started with A. she was always the last in line. she was a friend of a friend and i knew her name and was always glad to see her. she was the sweetest, most genuine person i knew

at the time and after about a year of watching her i finally sat down next to her one night and said "i have been admiring you for over a year, my name is albert." she blushed and laughed for awhile. we hit it off really well and i had her giggling all night.

her story was she was repeatedly raped by her father as an adolescent and when she told her stepmother, her stepmother would not believe her and did nothing. A had three sisters her age that said and did nothing yet A knew that they too were being molested.

A had a dream world that she survived in and A would tell me how beautiful her dreams were and that her father was too big a coward to ever enter her world of dreams and she felt safe there.

i think of people who have had experiences like that as being sexually destroyed. i was an emotional cripple at the time and we shared our pain and became close friends.

one night she came up to me in tears saying we have to talk. we went out to foster park and sat next to the pond. her problem was her stepmom and sisters decided to sue the hospital he dad died in. her family wanted her to be part of the lawsuit. A had worked emotionally most of her life to free herself from the thought of her dad and now her family was resurrecting him again. it was like he was coming alive in her life again.

then out of the black sky flew a mallard hen and it landed in the pond not ten feet from where we sat. i explained to A how the duck was her spiritual guide and what animal allies were in the spiritual world. A put her head on my shoulder and started to speak in a trembling four year olds voice of how she did not know what to do. all i did was give her inner child permission to say no to her family. it wasn't long before i had A laughing again. now whenever we see each other she gets the giggles over ducks.

 

albert often wondered about his dreams. he could very rarely remember any dreams at all. he did not have a dream world. sleep was the greatest release from his day to day struggles and he would collapse from his bouts of mania and maddness totally exhuasted into the sweetness of sleep. but he had no dreams to cling to, no dreams of glory, no dreams of desire, no dreams of the night to live through the day, no way to leave this world of babylon, no way of escape, no other world within to seek peace in. sleep was his best friend of release yet he could not hide nor peek in a world of dreams.

no dreams made the few dreams he could remember somewhat more significant. in all the dreams he could remember there was the darkness of night. each dream had a black sky. the only dream he had in college

kept reoccuring. the dream was always about the last day of a semester and albert had to find the classroom he never went to to take the final exam of a class he never went to.

albert did find himself waking up in a handful of dreams and looking around in his dream find himself at a grateful dead show. in one such dream albert had an 'adopt me' sign and was in pure bliss from the kindness he received in his dream. in his last dead dream he could not find the band. then jerry died. but to wake into a dream and find oneself at a grateful dead show put a smile on albert's face and a chuckle in albert's heart for weeks on end.

the only other time albert would dream was when he would return home from rainbow gatherings. he wouldn't remember the dream but albert would awaken laughing and he would chuckle and giggle all day in the flashes of the dream that could be remembered. so few dreams in so many years puzzled albert.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

although Albert's dreams were black blanks and his life blantantly bleak, he could see what appeared to be a view clear through reality. his madness created the eye of the eye of the eye, the third eye of insight. albert had a sense about him. an awareness. he could sense how a person or a place felt. as a person who was touched in the head, a lunatic, albert could feel around outside himself. some call this vibes and some call this energy. and like all crazies, he knew who the crazies were. and he could recognize those people who also had an awareness.

 

albert was a moonchild thus blessed with intuition. constantly being confronted with the unknown and going beyond the point of knowing, albert was learning to see, learning the senses needed to live in darkness, to live in madness, to not know, to have no control, to exist with no ego, no attitude, no wants to fill the voids of his life with more and more and more. his needs were simple and he knew his poverty opened many, many doors to a life that could not be bought with money or wife. he strived with his strife in life towards the light. his spirituality could not be bought with money or promises, he was being taught through his sacrifices in life, not by what he had or what he wanted. he was learning to see. he was learning to sense. he was unknowingly knowing the unknown. his awareness was not a stare of who or what or where, but to seek the peek into what was really there. blinded by madness, albert could clearly see through the appearance of a reality.

 

only a fool would wear a crown and only a fool would wear it for free they call me crazy like you've never seen a curse be a blessing in this world of believe i before e and what seems to be i can't say but i know its in me for i am the void of the vessel and i sail at dawn or when i am at your side and we drift away on the surf of the night wind through the trees in the woods in darkness we dream in the light of our souls or so it seems where are you who calls me my love show yourself to me we live many many lives or lie to me when i hear your call but i wish to see show yourself to me show me what i see

 

your shadows keep running from me to my bended knee plea of please please me for there is no greater mystery than the many faces i see when you are making love to me and there is no greater need to escape then to where your lips are gulping the sweet air of ecstasy and there is no greater truth to the kindness in me than i will only do what your guiding hand commands all the shadows are gone now the first touch is yours run from me or i will soothe the ache of your plea on bended knee of please please me

 

 

you see i love what i touch and i touch what i love and i've been crazy enough to find i am free to see what you see in me in you in me i see the desire to be free if only for a moment long or wrong if only for a day or night if only for the night if only all night always if only for you if only for me i will take you there where we can come for free

 

you pinned my cross to the naked breast of your black dress and my lips curled to lick the air for the drop of blood and the scent that did not come from above left me gasping for air my father taught me to kill and as a warrior i do battle still but it is my mother's ruptured heart i sought everyday to save and only now can i feverishly laugh at the forty years i have witnessed and i have been testified with scorn the look of clarity in your eyes

when you see why we are all alone to walk the miles of path back into the shadows back to the woods of our souls to the sacred fires and whose ash do i now carry into the day from the guardians of the night wings and from all the children of the moon i come to you for only your smile awakes me to another day strong from slumber to make this day my home in the comfort of where i can care and in the wisdom of tiny hands a laughter that spills into the spellbound song of let me i want to see

 

sometimes when i want her touch my hands throb full of heartbeats and to say the least yes i am touched with the greatest of all strengths a gentle touch in being the beast we all seek and need to release she soon will be beyond reach and beyond reach i am left without speech and i fold my hands and bow my head to a red moon rising in the night one half dark and one half light for i too am following the eagle path with a love that will last far beyond the darkness and the light of one night till the day we will make love in flight with the passions that today carries you far away and leaves me throbbing in the night

 

for some odd reason albert awoke fully rested at dawn. his habits had come full circle from sleeping all day and out all night to getting up in the early morning with a nap in the late afternoon. this morning was a beautiful spring day, one of the first bright sunny days of the year with a warm breeze. albert ate breakfast and hurried outside to study the morning light.

the first day of short sleeves and shorts found albert strolling through west central alive inside in stride with the merry melodies of the songbirds and with a smile as bright as the day and as big as the sun thawing him of the cold isolation of winter and the many many gray days of gloom.

 

albert was in a trance watching a pair of squirrels romp through front lawns and scurry up and down trees chasing each other with their chuckles and wipping tails to one another in their spring dance of romance. the pair of squirrels darted across the street one after the other and thud, the last squirrel got hit by a car and laid motionless in the street. the other squirrel ran back into the street and cradled her dead lover in her arms, rocking him back and forth. albert exploded in rage screaming at the sky, crying at the top of his lungs, shaking his fists in threats at the god that did this all the way back home.

 

 

albert dropped the end of his jay in the bushes with a prayer and a sigh. if it wasn't for my delusions of granduer, he thought, my life would really suck. for many years now he was in stillness. every divination of tarot card, the i ching, the runes spoke of stillness. he centered on a one rune choosing for guidence, seeking only once to divine with one rune what symbol would symbolize his life, and the rune that chose him was the blank rune, the rune of the unknowable. all albert could do was to stay in the immediate experience. he would met all the regrets in his life when he looked back and felt a fist clenching dread when he thought the worst of the future. to stay in the here and now was a twenty four hour a day job for albert. he had faith. he was sure. and he was now learning the pains of patience in the cruelty of boredom. sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing.

 

he had the luck to receive social security disability from having sixteen jobs and seven volumes of psychiatric care in twenty years. with roomates and a bucket of rust vehicle, a part time job scrubbing floors or stocking selves, albert learned the value of money. not the need for more but how to live simply. he applied for an increase in disability for a better quality of life. he needed to create and he needed to finance his arts. when albert had little money he would concentrate on his poetry and when there was cash, he would continue his photography. now he had social security disability with a small v.a. disability, totaling around eight hundred dollars a month. the most important fact was albert no longer had the stresses of having to work. at first he was bouncing off the walls with boredom, but without the stress of a job, albert found he stayed mentally healthy most of the time.

 

and instead of finding having no money a limitation to his life, albert would wonder why he was the happiest when he had little or nothing in his pockets. he thought of this as being broke free. he had broken away from the money tree and found a life of poverty rewarding and simple. he was a simple man of simple words who found himself free. broke free. free to be in his stillnesses. free to become.

 

Albert watched that big dirt clod rise in the evening sky and in his eyes. the moon loomed through the willows and mists. clouds in zoom swept the stars and shined grandmother moon in the wane and craze of albert's brain. he could not stay sane at such a sight. his heart would be tugged along on the crescent, or when full, he could not find his mind. and when the moon was new, would renew the glow when he looked in his soul.

the lunatic in him freed him to be in his thoughts of fancy with moonbeam dreams and the insanity of fantasy. all of which seemed to albert more than just a possibility, more than a notion of what seems to be. like a potion, he was being shown to believe in his moonbeam dreams, to believe in the truths of fantasies. he was being shown the treasures of his insanity.

 

enchanted i licked the drop of dew next thing i knew i had climbed the tree of insanity and leapt from the limb of fantasy the earth swallowed me and i slept for an eternity spirits bravely defended me as i grew tremendously yet i awoke when you softly spoke my name brushed the dirt from my lips and showed me the view of you nude wet with drops of dew

 

high on moonshine, soaring through his mind's eye, through star shrines of twilight divine, through father sky, albert was still deeply rooted in his love and deeply rooted in his respect for mother earth. in the quiet of his life, through the mystery of the night, came the dawn of calling songs of mother earth, soft and sacred. versed in encouragement, blessed words to assure, charmed chats of chants, in wonderful wonder to wander this world rooted in this earth deep and wide, guided in spirit, in love, in respect, in honor of mother earth.

 

i thirst in the cool clear water of clarity and chase the clouds in my dreams needlessly for the maniac in me wants to believe in the need to kiss from your lips the pouring rain and hear the whispers of your voice soothe the pounding of my heart to the pause in awe on the shore of your soul i wander alone along the nonsense of another long night alone along the sacred sands and the holy sea i see in me the depths of tranquility i do not live in a world of reason and i do not know when the wisdom will come but i do know now i must gather the evening fire and prepare for the days when all who come will hear the calling song of our earth mother and will rise up singing the uprising songs of spring

 

in the quiet of his life, albert also heard the thunder. in the landscape of his mind, he was given peeks from the peaks of mountains of thunder. the rumble would roll through the mountains in echoes across the valleys through his eyes and between his ears in years of dread, years of maddness, years of journeys into the unknown. hearing the thunder is a quake of the soul. hearing the thunder is like swallowing the earth. hearing the thunder is swallowing eternity whole. the threads of his thoughts would fray in knots, the black sky in his mind would crack a million times at once and disturb him for months. albert felt he was the prey of the thunder beings and for mercy he would pray for the sacred rains to wash him free and release him from the rumble that tumbled through his mind in the tremble of his soul.

 

after years of thunder through the blunders of life, he became aware he was being given a great strength. he was being given the might of life. he was in no way mighty in any way, yet his life was being given might. and with the might of life, albert became a frayed knot.

 

through the quiet of his life, in the landscape of his soul, where his sorrows had turned to gold, where the tree of the poet grows, albert found the woods of his soul. he loved to live outside in the woods during festivals and gatherings. the sacred fires were there. his brothers and sisters were there. there the earth, the moon, and the sun would become one with albert through the drums of his brothers and in the dance of his sisters, with such an incredible peaceful bliss,albert could still feel this bliss inside him on the darkest of winter nights. in his wanderings alone, when he needed somewhere sacred to go, when all he had was his art to heal his heart, albert could go to the woods of his soul in peace to moonlit pools of poems and prayers. he had found along his path a forest in his soul.

 

all afternoon the drumming grew and a storm blew through bringing the wind the rain and you your hair was in streams your eyes deep as lakes

and you danced in a flow of body and soul twirling between raindrops

you whirled through my view my eyes clung to your body as clothes and my tongue thirsted for the raindrops that wet you i paused in awe and tranced

as you danced without a flaw to your god a dancer in the rain you left me in flames

 

i heard the tribal drums just beyond those woods i will eat venison and have great talk and laughter the sky turns turquoise and the snow a silky mist

of downy wake in the moonlit glow tonight i will sleep in the dreams of my brothers and in the naked embrace of my sisters

 

in the could of the woods your spell caught the wind and brought the dance

of words to me i had to listen before i could speak i had to look before i could see your chant was now being sung by the trees and i shook like the leaves as the spirit song swept through me

 

at the gathering in dead wood's bright flame high on a mountain inmontana cold as hell on a summer's night huddled around the fire shuttling the chalice and smoking the kind the silence as the rain starts falling hard and getting drenched are we to look up and see the stars of a cloudless sky

magnified the rainbow i saw yesterday after the storm to be shown to be chosen to see believe me is all the beliefi will ever need and from my heart

i will shape my art for all to see what appears to be a view clear through

reality

 

our love belongs to the mystery ofthe night what could be said in the day can be lived at last at night bonfire and the flames dried the rain you danced between me and the fire flickering orange you were licking the black sky i was entranced to my brothers on the drums to watch you dance was majick from the burning of the sun

 

i spoke in the tongues of a thousand beating drums for all the ancient ones can be heard in the sound of one and though my mouth is shut my heart just sings and my eyes are closed for i am shown other things the profane the mundane the insane cannot humanely sustain the spirit in this temple of a body some call flesh so shed your best woven scarves of the society and dance in the naked firelite prance of a thousand pounding drums for there is no fear if you can hear the heartbeat of a thousand in one or what can one say to a thousand or one if not for the tribal bible of the primal beat of the drum

 

henna in the moonlight in firelight in dead woods bright blaze in the craze of the drums i saw one the dance of the soul flow and glow flickering nude

the only shadow was the tattoos wrapped in the orange hue surounding you

your body shone like a prayer to the divine as you eased through space and time and i could taste the grace of the beauty in you and i know your closed eyes saw mine i tranced into the fire following the flames along the curve of you body the coals shone gold from the heat of the african beat your lipswere thick your eyes were wide as i stared the spirit in the eye and where i stared shifted the coals and flamed

 

 

 

albert faded through his bench medatations into a doze and slumbered into a light snore. he heard the door of morning softly start to creak and he awoke with the twurps and chirps in the trees around him.he giggled as the first thought of the day came a phrase from one of his poems -'sanity is just a shuffle of papers'. this echoed through his mind in the zen of the thought of the many ways such a phrase about his life could be considered. just because i'm insane, albert once read, doesn't mean i have to suffer from insanity.

 

albert tried to see how long he could keep his eyes closed but couldn't stop laughing at the early morning sky. he was always fascinated by clouds. albert called himself a crazy cloud at times and through his eyes the clouds shaped the shapes in his mind. albert saw the goddess of father sky fly by. "let fly my soul," albert cried to the heavens. he saw twelve buddhas laughing and the smile of Ho Tai cross the horizon wide from side to side. two lovers were caressing in the breeze above him and he wished to slip through the white and the blue of the sky. albert said good morning to each cloud and hummed along to the long sing song in the trees. the world sparkled around him.

 

albert rose listening to the crystal silence of the pink sunrise sky. he had been hearing voices for ten years, those within his head, from around him, and the voices from above and below. he would not do what voices told him to do. he knew his true voices were always kind with encouragement and guidance. any bitter or cursive manipulations were the devils in his head, his personal demons. if he did not play a tug of war with words with his demons, his demons could do nothing and fade. his medications helped keep the devils away and he could still hear the gentle soft whispers that eased and reassured him. there were no words for albert in this sunrise this morning, only his cry to let fly his soul.

 

through his personal demons, albert knew he could be tricked through his wants and desires. he was human. he had to learn many times the many ways his wants and desires could be manipulated. and through the years albert was learning to distinguish through the expression of the voice, the intent of harm or grace. he needed to learn to think clear through why he would be wrong and do harm if he followed a voice that meant to do him or someone else harm. not only was albert learning to see through and into the darkness, he was learning to hear.

 

albert also noticed that when he spoke negatively about someone he knew, albert would be shown that he too had the same negativity within himself. what albert faulted a person for, albert would be shown the same fault within himself. albert realized that saying someone was wrong did not make albert right. he followed the poet Rumi's advice and always tried to go to that field beyond wrong and right, where words are spoken without judgement upon a person.

 

ratcat was chomping on a straw and refilled albert's coffee cup. i got a question for ya al, you seem to know a lot of women. how do you get along with so many women?

must be my three and a half inches of dangling fury, albert mused. rc tapped the straw on the tip of his nose, studied the teeth marks, and then bent the straw at about three and a half inches with a mock shock.

albert continued, i just learned to be open and honest with women. i'm very intuitive. i'm one of the few men that can actually say i understand women.i've got a penis but there's a vagina between my ears.

 

i seek the majick as the tips of your lips twinkle i feel your eyes i feel you feel me refreshing tempting coaxing willing filling the need in me with the want of you i dream in your words and wonder what more than a moment would bring to our caress you bless me between every goodbye and awaken me with each hello i want to know if what i've learned is true about love i want to know if what i know is possible is possible i embrace the world in your arms in peace in verse with the universe

 

you give me a feeling i can't hide you give me a want alive inside i cannot live in worlds of words i crave touch i crave caress and yet i must let go out of control i rant and rave in heavens hell the whys am i alone silence hurts and empty arms are the worst fill my hands tongue and heart with what i must say do or create for your embrace in my ash of time to wait is a weight that drowns me in fire

 

you open my heart to the world i unfurl my words to be caught in the cloth of your thoughts to undress you for i too am naked in the shine of your eyes and ache to break through space time and rhyme to come to you and wrap you up in rapture

 

the blaze of another night alone my fantasies burst again into insanity again i am freed free to dream free to wish and wonder free to soar once more i cannot stop the swoosh of wings within my heart from softly falling in love with you ripple me in your waters i await the timelessness of your kiss and the fires in your nights of desire

 

we licked our lips for the sips of a kiss in bliss the wish to feel my tonguefull

to taste a mouthfull playfull lustfull sinfull the higher and higher the fire crazed with craving the craze of desire the higher and higher the fire in a blameless flame we blaze and blaze and we blaze and blaze my tongue a torch your gaze glazed we explode head to toe soul to soul our communion

a blessing our union a flower of forever

 

i think of you in days of a thousand suns and i am soothed and softly aloft in my thoughts of you when i touch you i feel forever you are my manna my twilight my muse i see you in the beam of my moon in the stream in the fountain in a mountain of crystal cool clarity drink my mead my dreams and walk with me through the woods of our souls to the sacred fires in the dance of touching tongues i offer the light of my pipe the medicine of my bow and the feather of my pen to be the night in your eyes the ecstasy of your lips and the eternity of your love i lick the wind for your touch

 

my fire is orange and black i lick these flames like a cat when i see you i swallow a million suns when i touch you i taste every moon anew my fingers linger for every thought every pulse every desire we are taught to live our lives in gets and gots i am tied to you in hot knots i drink your body like a

fountain climbing the peaks of your passions like a mountain i poem your moans you coax my strokes releasing again and again the oil of our skin the throb of the song we sung within the sum of your comes till my strength

is but an ash of a million suns

 

dream on my pillow and weep for me weeks i will carry your heart to the shade of an old oak tree and quench every desire with the thirsty streams of melting snow i hold the medicine bow of moonlit winters night and wait till evening and the moon to rise for you to be nestled in my arms when you

awake to see you smile when you remember the last thing we did at play

and another star explodes in the sky each time the fire pops and crackles

i watch for sign and the closeness of your touch to ache to fill every empty space between us and the breaths that we take and the sounds we make

fill my heart with years and to give many gifts is to take the sorrow from many hearts take from me my ache and i will share every moon with you

 

i want your skin tight touch to stroke my blood lust quotes lets chase away the hell with spells and sing with touching tongues the songs we have not sung and gather the evening fire ritually with prayer for the desire the intent no longer hell bent passion yes i have heard the horror but my heart my soul explodes with passion not only can you feel the pulse you feel the flames and like me want to taste the ecstasy once again

 

whenever i am with you i am rock hard flat like a skipping stone sometimes round as a tumbled soul or sometimes licked smooth with the tongues of waters sweet clarity now i feel the rain of sparks from the crystal fountain rumbling deep with the sorrow and grief of being alone having been with you rock hard

 

god knows i hear the crow gossip your voice fills the night air with songs and hot breaths of naked wonder in my dreams for i too am wild and ramble on all fours to hear the ecstasy of love from above with the ears and many years of silence in the beat of my heart your spirit speaks to seek the spark

of my soul and inthe shrine ofyour eyes i search and hide the thunder of our lives found only in the distance of sight with the quickening of light

like two hot wet tongues eager to search the warmth of others along the naked paths of our bodies in the temple of our arts

 

lately late at night alone and i want to play you are the wish upon my lips

i wish you here to caress and undress i wish you here to kiss and kiss and kiss i'll do fine on my own for now but be here quick i wish and wish and wish

 

be brave take my hand and i will understand waiting for you is hard and here's why i can hardly wait we will do what you crave for days and days

we will do what hasn't been done till you miss no one you can do what you need to do till perfection and i do not come till your complete exhaustion

i want your affection to be my erection have you ever had waters desire to quench all your fire and find the joy in rekindling as fire you could be blazing as water i could quench and temper

 

I have never known a woman quite like i knew the mistress of the sea quite like the calm and stillness while everything raged about me quite like the peace and gentle touch through the very darkest of lonely nights quite like the silence and vision in each whispered word of need i have never known a woman with the undying love for me like the possibility of death at sea if the metaphor of the wise is to be perched upon mountain tops then what belly of a woman has berthed with a sigh how a boy becomes a man at the bottom of the sea today my bunk is still empty in the nights of greatest need till in the nakedness of my dreams i taste the salt air and find myself in the cradle of her arms as the oceans rock me still and some mornings i awake and again i swear like a sailor when i find in my shoes the sands of distant shores

 

the wizards and demons are scheming and screaming in my head to trickand treat you to my bed and sometimes i gotta agree in make believe but believe you me i worship a love for you greater than any want or need i worship a love for you like the mountains and the seas i worship a love for you with my greatest strengths patience and faith you shine in my eyes

there is no shadow cross my heart or die my love is forever each day in praise of jah spirits that guided me to you each day in praise of jah spirits

guiding me with you each day in praise of jah love and the blessing of

i love you

 

i cannot see in my dreams only the dark of night have i the might to concoct or con jour in the world beyond yonder to wander the paths back to the woods of the soul under full moon around the sacred fire in trance to my brothers drum and in dance with my sisters in chance of the spirits to reveal the chant to sing to you cradled in my arms when the world awakes to kiss you with no mistake to make love with the lullaby of the early morning sky

and see the dawn rise in your eyes i fall asleep wishing this and wondering why love is blind

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i want to see your face in ecstasy in my mind for all eternity in my heart

forever will be in my soul embraced in my arms i long for you tremendously

 

the words don't come easily and it broke my stride when you came out of hiding then pulled my face to the black lace along the insides of your thighs

and if your hips were a canvas i would of kissed you at high noon

and licked till deep sacred midnight the fire that dances from star to star

and your fingers probed deep into my skull and guided my tongue tied wide to a thin pencil lead scribble and arched rainbow climb of your spine to each

nibble and wiggled sigh of your buttocks spread wide

 

every day seems so far away all i want to do is please you into the light of the dark black winter night all i want to do is please you like the warmth of slumber undressed i just want to caress and be the best ever

 

i want to touch i only insist so much because i know the bliss the gift of touch i want to touch you as much as you love and as much as i love to be touched i feel your smile your eyes go deep inside i speak to you in the language of the heart in communion with the soul hold me and hold me tight feel me and see if the feeling is right kiss me with bliss and i will do everything you wish

 

the songs i have sung melt on your tongue how sweet and naked the flame kisses you deep and wide you cannot hide desires from me with those eyes

the fire in me is the fire in you we burn as one

 

like lust like a flower i want to brighten your bedroom like your kiss answers my wish with the sting of the flame of expecting i always knew when i first felt the gift of you i knew my dreams would come true i touch you with all my heart and spell my passion anew your ecstacy cries the sky through and makes earth heaven in the sacred might and divine blessings of the night

 

i want to find different ways to touch you explore you adore you i hear many things sing around you in praise of your wink your sparkle your presence i feel the gift of your spirit and know the name of your flame there is no distance when i think of you there is no emptiness of desire no silence in my heart there are no days i want to be apart there is no doubt in the night of our might this is the song of my spirit the wish of my moon and hope of my tomorrows

 

the room was sun yellow windows open wide full strong breeze the breeze i swear you flew to me with me nude and on my knees you smiled so sweetly

when you climbed back on the breeze and left me dancing for the moment heals me and she has come and she has gone and she will come again

in my painted scenes of fantasy and dream my sisters have come to me

this time radiantly yellow

 

every moment of my life leads me to today and i thrive within the possibility of the you and the me together nothing can be an impossibilty with the you within the me there is a cradle of hearts full of the hopes of our souls that ends and begins again and ends and begins again and begins again with the life of a dream

 

albert was sitting at a booth in the neighborhood bar eating my supper

when my anthropology professor friend plops down across from me and excitedly says, "have you ever heard of ayahuasca?" i said yes, i had been reading about ayahuasca for a long time in the Shaman's Drum magazine but this is the first time i had ever heard the word spoke, and i didn't know how to pronounce it. he went on and told me his incredible experiences at a ayahuasca ceremony in New Mexico. he asked if i would be willing to do a ceremony if he could bring the medicine man to fort wayne. i said absolutely and i could help with finances getting him here too.

 

over a year went by and i was sitting at a booth at the niehborhood bar eating my supper when my professor friend plops down across from me and says "the medicine man will be in town and there will be a ceremony!"

 

the ceremony was on a friday and i prepared all week. i did fasting and stopped getting high and stopped taking my medications. my purpose or intent for the ceremony was to ask the spirits how is my intuition doing. in my twenty years of schizophrenia most of the time all i had to go on was my intuition and i needed to know how i was doing.

 

i got to the ceremony that night and met allen, the medicine man. he was at the stove stirring the brew, smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. i felt completely at ease. he made sure we all knew he was just another human being and schooled us on the ceremony. we sat in a circle ready to drink when he pulled out a prescription drug manual and asked what medications we were on. he looked up my medications and said sorry your medication is contraindicated to maio inhibitors. i was crushed. then he said "do you have any mushrooms?" i realized why yes i have a piece of chocolate at home. why i had that piece at home is a long story of coincidences. i hadn't done any chocolates for 11 years and i thought i would never do them again. but there it sat. i went home and came back. allen explained how the mushroom was kindred spirits with ayahuasca.

 

when i stepped into the room of the ceremony it was like stepping through a threshold. the place felt so safe and sacred and i was filled with bliss. before when i did chocolate i would battle the world and i would be totally destroyed so i wouldn't do them. this time i went to the peace created inside of me and flowed with healing energy. at one point a deep breath filled me with the smell of the dream and i was swept away with the spirit of the vine entering me through my nose. when i asked the spirits about my intuition, i heard an enormous stadium cheer roar in my head. after twenty years of maddness i had finally found peace.

 

i have been writing poetry most of my life and wondered if i could write about the spirits so i asked permission of the spirits to write poetry about them. i thought of writing poems aswindows to the spiritual world. i asked permission and yet did not expect a reply for some reason. the next day i talked to allen for quite some time, filling in the missing pieces between what i had studied about ayahuasca and what i had experienced. for some odd reason i did not tell allen i had asked permission to write about the spirits.

 

ever since the ceremony my spirituality has just blossomed. i am totally amazed that i was able to experience a ceremony in ft wayne, a very conservative factory town in the midwest. every thought about the experience just fills me with joy. i no longer consider myself mentally ill. i now consider myself spiritually challenged. and yes, i still take my medication.

 

i started thinking about my large family of friends and how those that have taken the dream have lives that have also blossomed in majickal ways. why can't there be somebody in this region of the usa who can do ceremonies. i thought seriously about how i could do an apprenticeship in peru.

 

in may i got i call from my dad that my mom, who has been sick for many years was dying and i headed to florida that night. i was driving through alabama as the sun was dawning when i had a profound mystical experience. i have had many, many mystical experiences. this experience brought two past experiences together. in 1990 i had my most severe psychotic episode. i was scared i'd be warehoused in some back ward of a veterans administation hospital for a long, long time.

 

i started noticing birds would fly directly overhead. It happened a lot. i was sitting on a ward looking out the window and it happened. This gave me great strength and faith that everything would be alright. Ever since then when a bird flies directly overhead my faith is renewed and when it happens a lot in one day, i know to be alert for something really significant is going to happen.

So, i was driving though Alabama at dawn, just driving along with the radio blasting, reacting to the road, in the long distance cruise mode of thought when all of a sudden ďmedicine manĒ pops in my head. It wasnít a voice or a thought, more visual than any other sense. At the same time a bird flew directly overhead and the radio is blasting the verse of ďmother is it only a dream, mother is it only a dream, mother is it only a dreamĒ.

Well, iíve had the thought-bird thing before and iíve had the song-thought thing before but iíve never had a thought visually pop in my head and iíve never had everything happen at once like it just did. i was stunned. What happened next is the jewel. In 1993 i was writing a series of poems about my red road path, Native American mythology type writings. i had just finished a poem and closed my eyes to rest. i saw a mountain range far in the distance with a wide valley between the mountains and me. Way off there was like a speck of dust that was getting bigger the closer it got as it came directly at me. A Native American rode up bareback and handed me a stick.

iíve been trying to figure out the meaning of the stick for years. My research led me to the tradition of the medicine bow and maybe iíll be the keeper of a medicine bow someday but it wasnít a bow it was a stick about 12 inches long with a gnarl near the end.

So, iím driving down the road stunned that bird-thought-song thing occurred when next i have the same vision of the rider handing me the stick. i know what it is this time-the stick is a length of ayahuasca vine. i was totally amazed.

 

My mom was put in a nursing home and i stayed with her for three weeks before going back to the Fort. When i got home i e-mailed Allen in Peru. i just reintroduced myself and simply told him something mystical had happened that leads me to believe that i should ask him about apprenticeship. i asked if i could open a dialogue with him about becoming an apprentice, with no elaboration. My mom passed away and I drove back down to Florida for the funeral. i was driving back to Indiana after her affairs were in order, i was just south of Louisville, KY, when i started writing an e-mail in my head to Allen. i wanted to send him a book of my poetry and follow up on the apprentice idea. i was just wondering what to say and what questions to ask. i write in my head a lot

Everything i was wondering about i was getting the answer to and every question i thought of was getting answered when i finally realized that Allen was talking to me in my head. Nothing in my life had ever prepared me for this possibility. i was utterly astonished. Allen just laughed. It was like watching someone who doesnít know what a hot pepper is take a big bite of a jalapeno.

Allen said now you know the truth you are totally insane and totally free. The most beautiful feeling overwhelmed me. Far greater than any bliss i could ever imagine. All i could do is cry and cry. The first thing i thought of was to ask if i should tell anybody and he shouted, ďTELL EVERYBODY!Ē

i had a great big smile thinking about telling my Social Security and Veterans Administration psychiatrists that i am talking in my head with someone 6000 miles away. i will be assured my disability for life.

Allen said i have been chosen by the spirits to reveal them through your writings. Allen said i was very gifted. He said the spirit is manifesting. i went to turn down the stereo so we could talk as a courtesy but Allen said leave it loud, he wants to hear what iím listening to. My biggest question about my apprenticeship is my contraindication of my medication so i asked Allen what if i couldnít take the dream because of my medication. He said interestingly, it is your chore to keep yourself in chemical balance. My apprenticeship name is u-can-do-it. i asked him if i could tell my soul sister what we talked about and he said, ďSHEĒS NEXT!Ē When i realized i was driving again i was 12 miles south of Indianapolis. i had driven over 100 miles with absolutely no recollection of anything other than the conversation with Allen.

 

albert's job was to write. spiritually he was taught that what he needed to do was create a sense of wonder within the reader. the spirits could reveal themselves to the reader through this sense of wonder. albert wasn't told the words to write, but he knew intuitively, after thirty years of writing poetry, how to follow a thought like a path. albert would follow the creative path of a poem where ever his creative processes would lead him.

 

using the pronoun "i" caused problems for readers because most considered albert's use of "i" to be his ego. but albert learned long ago the more egoless he became the greater the voice within the poem would become. he wrote as selfless as he could. in a sense, he could not stand in front of the window he was creating within a poem. much like he could not write from his soul with his ego in the way.

 

ayahuasca is the vine of the soul and the spirituality of the vine is a radiantly blue goddess. to her albert wrote his poems. she was his muse. his dream. his blessing. and she beamed brightly.

 

 

since i've known you

each day is a million

miles away and yesterday

is a thousand years ago

i think of you

and flow in wonder

of the wonder of

the peace and love

and all of the above

i feel from you

i drink from you

and have no thirst

i think of you

and have no thoughts

i feel you

and i have everything

sing to me

for i will listen

and sing your song

softly

soaring

to the far beyond

 

*******

 

you give me all

i need that's all

i want

i could have

traveled the world

over a thousand times

and never found you

and you came to me

where i am

many many times

and now you will

never leave

where ever i am

and i am pleased

with the band

of woman to man

as goddess to who

i am

in the womb of you

child again

 

*********

 

you gave me the eyes

and the kiss of eternity

like finding the heart

in a hug

the liberty that sets us free

with a love so profound

to feel the world

go round and round

to twirl and to dance

on my tongue

like the flame

that springs

from the sun

 

********

 

you give me a sparkle

i have never felt before

now i see my goddess

twinkle in the beauty

of every woman

the sister of sisters

and i am truely

and truthfully

kindred spirit

a brother

warrior of the divine

shown passage through

space and time

keeper of kindness

soldier of moonlight

to give solace in the shadows

in our sojourn of the night

 

********

 

i have the love of a woman

few men can see like me

i can feel and i can share

open and honestly

and those that i love

i too give wings

for there is no greater

bliss than to know

you are free

for no greater reason

than truthfully

call me crazy

if you want to

and if you want to

fly with me we will

soar heavenly

and if you want to

love we will

feel beautifully

and if you want to

embrace we will

touch soulfully

and truely you can

not see till you are shown

these are the ways

we all were meant to be

 

*********

 

i am in everything

around me

i am not here

i am surrounded

when i am guided

a ray invades the darkness

inside my head glows

like my love watching

shimmering in my skull

from above

and i will turn you on

to all in my heart

and in my pocket

keepsakes

that must be given

to keep that must be

shared to reap

tiny truths

from which miracles

can seep like tears

of bliss once a wish

now with sacred twist

put into motion

in the instant

cast from our lips

 

********

 

i speak to all

inside my head

with no words

i am led to believe

the intent is sent

to all who listens

will one day hear

and there will be

visions to all

seekers who see

i may not know

but feel i may

i may not think

but see i might

i may not have

but want i don't

i walk in the lane

of the insane

with the desire

of the flames

of a fire

and the smoke

of another stroke

sparkling

 

********

 

i breathe each breath

in ecstasy

my whole body

vibrates with eternity

i am totally alive

totally insane totally

free

i want to whisper

in your head

come with me

i will lead you

through

the maddness

of being you

and share my bliss

all you wish

 

********

 

you rejoice

to me and sing

my heart is bliss

and my soul ecstasy

i see through you

forever

and you kiss my tears

deep inside

love of the divine

i taught myself

to heal myself

and i find

i have been chosen

to listen at your side

and share your love

in verse with others

far and wide

 

********

 

you point the view

my thoughts pass through

i journey with you

to bless more souls

than a few

the intensity of

thousands of years

anew

the universe

in each cupped hand

i fall in you

what a beautiful view

cleansing clear through

 

*********

 

i feel the flutter

of your wings

and i soar beyond

before

far beyond the shore

the blessing once more

into the divine light

of the night

with your sacred might

i take flight

far beyond this world

beyond imagination

beyond temptation

to where the spirits dwell

 

********

 

you cleanse my soul

of sorrow and i swell

with tens of thousands

tomorrows

filled with hope

and praise

today just one second

of your ecstasy

i feel each day

gives worth to my

twenty years of madness

and sadness

you give me your blessing

and i tremble with joy

once more

and now i can care

for the world

 

********

 

there is a seriousness

as deep as bliss

a sacredness

to the wish

of kindness

from every lips

brothers and sisters

hear this

your kindness

can heal

be kind

this is your share

of the rebirth

of the earth

 

********

 

i no longer

wander i soar

i no longer roam

i am home

in the church

of constant search

i saw now i see

i lived now i am alive

and i know i will never

die

i crossed the other side

of forever

and i stand with banner high

witness to the divine

 

*******

 

i bathe in the eternal

flame the fountain

of every tomorrow

atop the mountain of today

in the forest of our church

the woods of my soul

burning in my bowl

i watch my thoughts dance

on the curls of the smoke

the words you spoke

still sing in my heart

your blaze makes the night

day and takes from my life

the crippling strife

as spirit you are wife

as goddess you are the blessing

of the night

 

*********

 

in union with you

in communion with you

my prayers come true

like a majick wand

my anguish is gone

and my spirit is born anew

your divine light

gives me clarity of sight

and i feel your love

pure and real

i become one

of your sons

 

********

 

i welcome you

you release me to the sky

the breathe of twilight

on a ray of starlight

a tear of moonlight

i fly through the clouds

of my mind into yesterday

and tomorrow with the

grace of madness

and loves deepest sorrow

the journey in me is the

journey in you

the truth of today

is the dawn of tomorrow

when life is a dream

we overcome the sorrow

 

********

 

my voice my spirit

breaks the prose into the song

of crystal clear sight like the black

october night a ray of light

an illumination

the divinity the infinity of twilight

the shine of the divine

as distant as a star as bright

as the sun inside my head

i am quenched in clarity

and i hear the distant drums

bang the clang of the thunder

sword of the spoken word

the rumble of verse

for the spirits of the earth

 

********

 

crack the prose

think how you think

the blood of ink that brings

the wink the twinkle of wonder

the blundering beauty

the slumbering ash

just a hunch upon a dream

the portal of the portabello

into the basil and oregano

the ladle of my mother

she is teaching a choir of orphans

to sing she wants to be heard

bell ring bright clap of thunder

drum might she calls

to all

 

**********

 

i see

a view clear through

what appearsto be reality

insanity is just

a shuffle of papers

the gnostic of the diagnostic

why cut down the tree

to build a church

why center the universe

why cross the i to dot the t

why not let me be me

i see

 

*******

 

i was born a cadet

for years in the giggling

academies of my tears

the ball of chaos

and confusion the union

of strife and life

to make a difference

to live life in an instant

to be next to you and be

a million miles away

to slip through the hole

in today and swallow

eternity whole to explode

to light the bowl of crushed

souls

to linger in the love

the strength the might

of life

 

*******

 

the greatest of all might

the dream to be my life for life

to be thankful for the sacrifice

to strive to rise to soar to explore

holy spirit of the night the light

the twilight the feel of your divine

presence your joyful blessings

your life lessons your incredibly

beautiful sight to wonder could i

and to be shown i could to return

from the threshold bold and bright

spilling into the world of words

the thrilling and delight

my worth in life in the manifest

of verse in honor of the spirits

of earth

 

**********

 

to crack the prose

i can't let go

of the vine rooted

in my soul

to lap the sap the crucial tap

the threshold my way i am told

in ways that cannot be told

to know a knowing

beyond the point of knowing

to anoint with a showing

somewhere between

an hallucination

and halloween

the truth that is growing

in the night a glowing

i may not see the dawn

or right every wrong

but my work is not done

till the wisdom has come

i won't let go till the spirit

of the earth unfolds

i can't let go

i know

 

***********

 

hexed

winter sleeps next to me

i am the frozen

my soul turns crystal ice

my heart a palace in the night

halo of the moon

beam of the dream

the madness and grace

and i melt someplace

like a lake of snowflakes

touched by the hand

of god

 

*****************

 

hush

she is teaching my child

inside to sing

each breath an inspiration

every step a dance

the dreamscape

truthfully said a soulful quake

truthfully said the wake of serenity

truthfully said the pulse of eternity

truthfully said the treasure of insanity

everybody wants to know how

no one knows why

to tremble with joy

to fly to soar

to roar with the drum

the wisdom to come

 

*********

 

there is a tiny universe in my mind

through the threshold of the vine

for all mankind

there is a wildfire in my heart

truth and passion a single spark

i have the mark

there is a volcano in my soul

where the sorrow once flowed

now solid gold

there is a goddess in my life

who takes away the strife

queen of night

there is a timeless kindness

a saced bliss like the moment

of forever on the lips

of a kiss

 

**********

 

we suffer our attachments

blood for the emotionally bled

the meaning of the meaning

the knockdown of the leaning

the knockout of the learning

going where there is no go

knowing beyond the point

of knowing where the won't

is won in the heard of apostrophes

to linger with the apostle

in the crave of today

the rave of wave after wave

of love in what makes tomorrow

today different from yesterday

the healing of the healer

the reaping of sheer words

ideas of an abstract progression

another lesson

of the divine

 

*********

 

heaven sent

whose to say

words that chain

link only fools

why silence is both

tool and weapon

my only answer

in my final grasp

at last

there is nothing wrong

all is the way all is

meant to be

 

********

 

goddess

you bless us

i cannot erase the taste

of your ecstacy from the

face of my soul

my how i've grown

a blossom of joy

a leaf of peace

a sprout of the vine

of the divine

i catch myself dreaming

all day in the playful

tug-of-war of words

between me and the

other world between me

and you to shear clear

through what a beautiful

view i feel you

 

********

 

call me the biggest fool of all

i fear i have no fear

i think i have wings i think

i can sing

didn't take a mountain

only took a hill and a pill

i am in total control

i can prove i'm crazier than you

i am told what to say

i am shown the way

follow me cause you too

are a fool in the truth

of giggles

in the spit of the lie

the sacred twist

the tool of the fool

two real eyes

there is no greater

obstacle than "i"

 

********

behold the ego

i could not hold on

i could not let go

i never knew i never knew

how wrong i could see

i did what i wanted

and in the ugliness of the misuse

of you all my fears came true

now i know how you are armed with harm

i lived to see the dawn

and was shown my every wrong

i was told yet i never knew

the lesson of the true power within you

i am sorry for my want and abuse

*********

i spoke to you with words

i did not understand

now i see you shine

in hearts and minds

i hear your voice

everywhere i look

i feel you inside

a cry a hurt

giving sorrow a sacred

worth a birth

of the true beauty of life

and love

your heaven on earth

********

temple of flesh

the tissue of skin

art of the heart

of the heart within

the eye of the eye of the eye

to touch every touch

as one

one breath one tongue

the yes of every come

the rest has begun

the evening sun

dusk and twilight

moonblaze

i see through you

on beams of the dreams

your life of life

*********

thank you mother

thank you for the medicine of you

my prayer always honor and respect

my prayer being your instrument and tool of love

my prayer being me

my prayer being you

********

above and below

from the bottom of the sea

from the peek on peaks

from the woods of the soul

to the forest of the dream

in my belief of all beliefs

with the faith of all faiths

i am shown the view too

with the presence of you

the sacred love from heaven

above and from the earth below

the wisdom to come in the holiness

of the spirit to heal our mother earth

********

goddess of the soul

grow within me in radiance

and empty and fill me

and overflow

teach me your glow

touch me clear through

slow and bold

surrender me

with your devotion

rock me still your will

my dreams of you

my beams of you

are true

**********

i lit my bowl of crushed souls

and my spirit rose to father sky

i am in darkness i said

bring me from the darkness

father sky said rise and comfort

as silence grew and silence grew

and silence grew a shield

father sky said what do you see

appear i said i see through

my darkness

and a hawk looked me in the eye

father sky said i see like a hawk

and the only talk was the soothe

of silence and the whisper

gentle..gentle...gentle...

*******

last night the halo

of moon and sun

kissed as one

dance as one

drum as one

the wisdom has come

love and kindness

will heal

the world as one

******

a poem by emily dickenson

I never saw a moor,

I never saw the sea,

Yet i know how a heather looks

And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,

Nor visited in heaven,

Yet certain am i on the spot

As if a chart were given.

********

in tribute to alan

dragonfly

you opened my heart

to the world

i blossom unfurl and twirl

the gifts i give within each

ripen so sweet

taste the wind

lick the light

touch the sparkle

through the gloom

my forest my nest safe

from greed and unrest

you my love

have been the seed

in deed

**********

in my path

through the soul

with the softest glow

of the show of shadows

and the many times shine

of our sacred eyes

dark stars of sight our twilight

our might our light our night

kindles the fires of our kindred

desires a touch a splash a chill

of will and the stillness still

empties and fills our souls

and flows and stills and flows

and will and flows and chills

a touch a splash a laugh

outloud like the thunder

of the clouds and somehow

now i close my eyes and find

i am now somewhere inside

where i cannot hide where i

cannot lie where i cannot die

where i once eternally cried

*********

you are my warmth in the darkness

of life i cannot see unless i feel you

crystal ice fire bright divine twilight

i cannot speak without your voice

i can only fly when you are the beat

of my heart and i soar with your songs

singing in my soul you teach me peace

in chaos and ease my strife and fears

of life with your serenity of insight

you are the you of i i am the me

of you in the melting streams

of your glorious dreams i wander

in awe and wonder trembling

with joy at times trembling in terror

nourishing encouraging returning

me healing me trusting me

to provide for others the spirit

of you as you provide for your

spirit in me in need in deed

soulfully insanely completely

gracefully alive in the death

of ego for a breath of moonglow

in the beam of your dreams

rainbow serpents and flames

eye of the spirit in a world

calling my name

********

genuinely gentle

nothing sparkles until seen

zenmental men ancient wisdom

sacred women insane faith

holy light of might glistening twilight

blazing rays of wonderful wonder

reflecting on sips of words on wisps

of wings on a wish silently heard

on the lips of the kissed and hissed

told and retold for thousands of years

on millions and millions of tears

do you go where you flow will

the spirits save you within

a box of words until you decide to

fly and reach inside to

break the chains through

the thresholds in rhyme

and rythm with time

*********

rainbow dream

i beam

with moonglow

from the pond of poems

in the forest of my soul

to crack the prose

through the black

beauty of the night

in the nonsense

of your sense

i can not touch

without love

i can not taste grace

without you in madness

to be me to be you

breaking the never mind

mind of never

blooming where i'm planted

i seek not only rain and sun

but moon and star

dust and ash on the winds

kindred and free

of what was and shall be

**********

the sunset rose

in my eyes i saw

you fly across the moon

and through my heart

through my lips through

my hands i laughed

so that my breath

may catch your wink

to tumble together to

rumble across the universe

in drum and in song

in joy and in verse

heartsongs spells and

charms along the path

back through the moonlit

misted woods to the sacred

fires in the moment today

becomes tomorrow

in the sunset rose

i watched you become

the clouds become

the vision become

the wind of my voice

of my spirit of my twilight

of my earth

********

for the time being

you leap from my fingertips

i see you when i see

my words are madness

teaching me freeing me

being me intensely

the reality the eternity

the divinity the spirituality

of the earth sacred mother

of all wisdom hope and love

i will always be your child

your son a man kind taught

to be one with the earth

one with the spirits one

with the universe

*******

dipped in moonlight

you are cacao and wine

i taste you in my rhyme

i ring you with my words

you are the glory of my world

you cannot hide your wings

when your touch is like a feather

you are what the thunder brings

sacred rains in the wisdom of the

weather in the never of never

i have fallen often i have sailed

failed sails i can sing the songs

of being wrong now i am strong

and can bravely say you are

the hope in my hands the courage

in my heart the faith of my fate

i do not believe in the power in me

i believe in the medicine of you

you pour your cure into

my words into my eyes

into time dipped in moonlight

i taste you in my rhyme

*********

my womb closes around you

i have eternity in me and infinity

a loyalty

you welcome me to the other side

of forever

i hope my life is worth my painful

birth mother of all

i have heard other worlds

call in sips of other streams

of other dreams

in the band of woman to man

i am rooted to the vine

to the serpent to the earth

kissed by the moon

i lick the black sky

completely

**********

i am in awe of the sacred

twists of the vine of my life

of the shadows of the day

and the rays of light

in the night in the union

in view in reach in peace

in guidance with my two

feet two hands one tongue

amazed given helpings

lessons loves and touches

to be shown the tools

of the craft and the craft

of the tools and if i try

i fail i need only to be

kind to see your blessings

to those around me

you keep me in darkness

and i agree because then i can

see your glow growing

around me and feel

you dance in my sisters

to the beat of our hearts

*******

with you nothing is empty

i am not the only one alone

sometimes it is a chore

those with vision are rarely seen

in the scattered wisdom

through the tattering viel

the cresent moon cups my thoughts

with peace within the palms

of the wandering vine

the shimmer shapes

a serpent reaching out

to tread together within

the jewel of your eyes

shining all around me

i soar through my dreams

last night in the light

of my walk today

*********

in the parade of the day

you touch me in every way

everywhere i look i see

the arc of rainbow above me

and the serpent of light

carrying me on the flutter

of wings on songs long gone

sung anew into the darkness

i have met me in other lives

and i have always been crazy

since the dawn i have kissed

the noon day sun till the evening

moon freed the lunatic in me

and i rejoice with the thunder

of the spoken words "rest assured"

the silence cracks within me

like broken arrows we will weep

no more

*********

cornfields

the myth of ifs of life

i walk to the pond to gather

feathers that sing sing with light

maybe i'll make a fan some day

or ritually fly away in the v

of love in the v of alive

in the eye that must die to see

in the years that must hear

silence to speak silently

with touch with honor with joy

beyond this world of words

this world of illusion this world

of temptation there is power

in medicine there is no medicine

in power my wants want to define me

my spirit too laughs and releases me

with ease with a corn tassel laural

to heal

********

the clouds zoomed past

the moon full of might

then froze in the time

in my mind

there was deer in the moon

that night i had lived there

with the bears

i listen to father sky

his visions swoop across

my mind to a shine

to a clarity to a focus

a gentleness a beam

within me within my shadow

within the shadows a ray

candle to candle to candle

for thousands of years

through time through love

through now

********

i have the strength of many

broken dreams the might

of any day and the touch

of every moment i need

the spirit sings on the wings

of birds above me on words

around me in the sign i see

i listen to the visions to hear

the colors of sound the shapes

of voices the seek of the sought

the hummm

i have the fire of a million

suns in one and the emptiness

of every night alone this is

how me and the moon kiss

this is how me and the spirits

hug each other this is how

i tag along guided through

the hoop of hopes in time

of the whyme rhyme

faith or fate mystery

eventually destiny

whispers for all

to hear

********

call me a drumhead

for i have a drum in my head

that beats in my heart

and flows through my blood

like love

there is an order to the beat

like words speak

and the voice is the rythym

in a spiritual command

that flows through

the eyes of the hand

at the spirits demand

and hear with the ears

the thousands of years

the sound that comes

from the beat

of every drum

*********

i lit my bowl tobacum bold

and slipped through my lips

to wander the sky through

the wrinkle in time i knew

not where i went

nor the words spent

to return again again

with feathers that sing

sing with light to soften

and soothe the fallen

the wings bring your

calling to teach the reach

for peace gently kindly

lovely the glory the throb

i listen to all i see in

monuments of moments

you wobble me warble

me and leave ripples

in my tranquility

*********

i return to the sacred fires

to restore the long forgotten flame

of metaphor to sing the songs

that live on forever together

to circle the words squarely

bravely lightly precisely

beams the dreams of your

world through my world

to the world of words

a paper path a talking trail

i cannot escape the insanity

i cannot escape the darkness

i can only create the wonder

like a child like you knew

i could like you knew

i would lost in the woods

of ifs and shoulds

********

the committee of insanity

muses minstrels and vagabonds

healers fools and rainbows

troubadours disciples and bums

seekers through the spiritual void

of this world the legions of long ago

hobos flow through me this hour

of today the present of the past

at last i am a hinge for my

community your blessed be

is the key to the mirror in me

in the hour of our need when

time shines in time in time

for the necessity

********

each day another bead

of rosary another deed

another feather another

rainbow to sing to one

another the spirit

of the flock the heard

absurd the love within

the coven the unity

of community

where all hearts beat

here i bloom here where

i always return to find

the strength to walk

alone

*******

i

am

crazy cloud

softly aloft in my thoughts

in my eyes in the sky

in the tease of the breeze

through the trees

you are pleased with the walk

of my words the many times

my breath has caught

the wind caught the thought

sought the knot the thread

to where i am led in my head

in my said wandering along

on the songs of the wandering

vine beyond yonder i am

a feather on the wings of

thunder a feather on the

wings of forever i find

your words today in my

marrow and sip the wisps

of the sky for your wish

of me tomorrow

********

we so much see you

we laugh at ourselves

we are they and they

are them and this is us

in my solitude

i have seen you every

where in every heart

in every forever in every

meloncholy moment

of today the crack of the

whisper in the gentleness

of love and the echo through

many lives the shine

of being kind

********

nomadness here

restlessness the stir

of the fire the waves

upon the sea to coax

the hope within me

my path is black

i am a servant of the white

serpent carrying me further

and further into the great

mystery through the arch

of reality to rebuild the bridge

of poetry for the walk of faith

to leap into song like an icaro

thousands of years old

the voice of the soul in

communion with the divine

vine these words are not a box

nor a building but a bridge

from this poets soul words

i do not own a bridge i am

told from soul to soul to soul

to soul...

********

i fold you in thirds

to send you these words

i hear you listening

your eyes are glistening

to the whisper of my lips

as i kiss this page

in the court of the goddess

darkness draws me to your light

i find your diamonds in my mind

when i crack open time

to wander through the threshold

of prose to the beauty of poetry

in the rhyme of our tongues

as one in this temple some

call flesh this prayer is for you

the goddess within

all of us

********

blessed be the insanity

thank you mother gratefully

i am a crown of your creation

the other day faces of lions

peeked through the trees

and the cloud people appeared

to me

last night a feather arrived

from the sky softly falling swirling

in song here i heard i am where

i belong

now within your darkness of sight

an eagle wrapped with wings

a ring

now within your darkness of might

an owl clasped talons to my

breasts

in the blue beam of your crystal

light from within your womb

in me i am reborn to the spirits

of the earth

great mother of all i can only hope

my life is worth the pain

of my birth

*******

at night

when darkness dissolves

to slumber my exhaustion

turns to exhilaration

as i soar above the trees

the spirit in me in the

presence of you takes flight

in sight and leaves my body

to the other side of the sky

i slip through space and time

with your grace to the palace

of prayer in nowhere to the

crypt of the crippled in the

air to the blessed curse of verse

in the songs of the spirits

of earth in the one with the

universe in the two of me

and you in the three of

dreams to shed our skins

of need with the feathers

of light through the night

*********

such a pleasent day

to wander over to the pond

to create bouquets of the

feathers i find in peace

with the geese one day

i hope to duck and stork

too as tall as the falling

shadows in the last warmth

of the day and if i could

dance i would say no shout

from my heart the joy of

the journey returning

in a swirl of autumn leaves

to gather the feathers

that see through the black

october night the flight

of geese across the full

moon sky in my wandering

prayers of wonder in the

church of constant search

here where i ponder the pond

and belong to the earth

*******

in an instant of forever in

the eternity of a moment

to see time and time again

the faces in rock trees and

sky the song of my heart

the belief of leaf and feather

all together i feel you feel me

the energy the light the wisdom

of the night to hear the dreams

in the drums of yesterday and

tomorrow takes from me my

sorrow and despair

i give you these words free

to behold like the feathers

and leaves twirl and tumble

across the distance of thought

through the mind through

the universe the unity of

verse rambling on inside

*******

count me in

the court of the goddess

the nocturnal the eternal

in the eye of the palm

in the song thousands

of years long one of many

men mostly women who

embrace the earth with

their wings and soul

recognized not by their

talk but by their walk

and greatest of all strengths

a gentle touch a kindness

a peace unforgettable

in the struggle of everyone

everywhere in our strife

through life

********************

staying sane was a twenty four hour a day job for albert. he thought about unsane or desane resane nosane nonconsane or sanefree, why insane? in his studies in psychology, albert discovered western psychiatry considered mystical and spiritual experiences were a symptom of a pathology. he was sick in the head and society had discarded him into a warehouse of poverty. albert also learned that people once believed that mental illnesses were thought of as a dysfunction of an organ in the body. a little liver disease for thinking such and such a thing, a stomach ailment for doing such and such a thing, etc. today people are taught if a spiritual experience was drug induced, then the experience is false.

albert was textbook schizophrenic, chronic undifferentiated, yet he knew Freud was just another belief system, another box of words, more dogma and rhetoric. albert could talk psychobabble, he had learned the language, but the box of words was empty and his spiritual experiences filled his life. the yardstick of psychology could rule him, but not measure how such a curse of insanity could be a blessing. how mental illnesses could be a gift when spiritually explored. how the infantile regression into spirituality, to albert the return to the original self, the uncarved block, could truely be one of the greatest treasures of life. on albert's spiritual path he would not become anything. he would simply return to to being a child of the universe with mother earth and father sky.

albert stepped into the universe again and fell back to earth caught like a child rocked like a drum talked like a tree trembling with joy i have survived the task of darkness and join the union of shadow and light.

somehow someway sometime each situation different there is no stratagy

albert had gone beyond the words beyond the certainty beyond the point of knowing and more importantly he walked the walk all the truely spiritual people he had met throughout his life christains and pagans alike did not go around telling people who they are or what they do there is no need most people say what they would could and should do but few do what they say

albert stumbled and fell often on his path often with no direction mostly in darkness crawling soaring tiny truths his guidance touched at times to find his way with no destination no destiny forseen or forsaken and his mistakes would awaken him time and time again humbling him that he is only a human being.

albert could not accept the concept of power he would not believe he had any ability most consider healing a power albert did not his healing was spiritual the spirits were working through him when he was selfless and he was not selfish to believe in any power in him he had read that there is great power in medicine and no medicine in power albert had gifts and was guided intuitively but he would not cling to any concept of power within him past present or future

power is a corruption albert's animal allies were not power animals they were his guides some people think the snake is a metaphor for the devil to most cultures around the world the serpent is a symbol of wisdom medicine and spirituality to albert the serpent is the ability to overcome obstacles

and like fire has great benificial abilities and harm when used as a weapon both serpent and fire devour themselves.

wise eyed owl no doubt i'm still thrilled within the darkness of life to see your sight fly through me in the gleam of night your voice is thunder in the blundering beauty of a bolt and a beam a moment we all have sight struck with the wonder with the search within shadow and light a life of darkness

and now the dawn with moon and sun as one i had to heal myself first to minister my life through this great mystery here on earth

honestly take it from me please i must give freely to receive i do not want the want of wants i must be free i give this to be given for this was given to me to sow a seed of kindness of happiness of love string free peacefully i give to two two gives to four and four to eight hopefully travelling like truthfull words and truthfull words bring justice like gifts are brought to bring the end of need and i cannot truely give my gifts my love unless i am free of all wants and gains personally

rocking the world in the cradle of miracles a ladle full a thought full a heart full dream full peace full earth full the contents of my soul intent

aloft on clouds of jade silk parade of feather wind and time stilled and still like a whisper i hear her giggle and you would laugh too when you see me in you the years of blundering bumbling humbling search to find each key to all my dreaded locks to release my fears my rage my tears to teach myself to reach a mindfull peace mending the seamed with the might of every dream with the sight of every love with the light to see in rays of possibility

albert received reiki attunments and he found that without christ he would not of found a wisdom in the night albert knew that christ had opened the gate into the unknown, a path albert had to walk alone christ welcomed him with healing hands as alberts lifelong journey dawned into the day he could step from the shadows and reunite with the universal light beyond beliefs albert had found his way along his path with a fate of both faith and hope.

i wonderd and tried to understand the feather i found in the palm of my hand with her touch the love flowed up through my feet and filled me complete then filled the room the house the neihborhood the city the state filling the world i saw from afar and i journeyed every spiritual thread in my web of thoughts in my head and now i am outside where the winds chime and her eyes in the sky met mine we are all blessed none the less none the wiser all you see in me she says you see in yourself and i wonderd and tried to understand the eye in the palms of my hands why i see when i touch a gift that must be given to keep and i must keep in touch

i am touched clear through by you she opened every door and window now there are no walls only her call i welcome her hands openly freely faithfully fully aware of the mystery the ministry the hope the way kindness kisses the way dreams dream the way the rays reflect in beams of light from her hands

shaping my life

unbound a forever gather the wind like a feather unfold tomorrow together i was in darkness to see her dawn i was alone to feel the reach of her love she rains peace in my life of thunder i am in awe of her wonderous light in all

mother god the unity of all spiritually healing is the she of me and might is the he of me one in the light gently kindly respectfully within me the union of all i see woven through a thread a beam a seam the frabric of my life with her hands with his plans within the unity of light

there is nothing above me there is nothing below me no beginning no end your song shall be sung forever i sing the light of the soul timelessly eternally sacredly returning time and time again like the wind on a hard winters night like the moon upon the tides these words are the leaves of the trees the rain to thirsty streams the sun upon the dew the voice of solitude the warmth of the fire when love touches you to sing the songs of the soul anew

in the woods of could i could feel her presence within me her arrival my affirmation though i may not know may i see though i may not see may i know her feel my ray key selflessly i did not mind my mind bursting in ecstasy again the wink like the twinkle of distant stars she shines in my eyes my strife is gone the vessel of my love my chalice this lifelong song of the goddess within us and every day in some way she touches me