from an evolving collection Temazcal: The Steam House Chronicles
When it happens, it doesn’t feel like a holy invitation.
Yet, when the weight of the road has worn you down
and the lattice of your carefully-stacked beliefs
has started burning away inside you,
the remaining ash
like a snake shedding her skin
is the tell-tale sign you’re standing
in front of an ancient and cherished doorway.
You are on the precipice of something great.
What it is not
is a call
to cast the robe of the body away.
As one of the old travelers of the Way used to say:
“By all means, kill your “self”….
just don’t harm your body when you do it.”
What he meant was off-loading what no longer serves.
What he meant was off-loading what no longer brings you alive.
What he meant was off-loading what is holding you back.
What he meant was tilling the ground
planting the seeds
watering the soil within you;
finding at least some place in your day or night
that can be an eventual harvest of delight.
I know you can barely speak of it now.
No one is asking you to.
I could barely speak of my own
but that’s how dying dreams and dismemberments go.
They don’t occur with shredding skin
and cracking bones anymore.
They fade, gradually,
like the subtle retreating light
in the eyes of some of the elderly.
I know you know what I mean when I say
the slow drift of things comes with a life-numbing price.
It becomes a trance the old mariners called the doldrums.
Being more-spirit-than-body now,
and more wolf than man at that,
where most people see
the subtle swaying of Spanish moss on a branch,
the muscle in me tying together
shoulder, eye, ear-tip, and haunch
raises up and knows I am seeing the winds of change.
Trust in what is passing away in you.
You are a custodian of new realities seeking to come through.
Tend your fire.
Tend your fire.
The arc of stars
in a brand new sky
is calling to you.
(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com
image: Anna Anikina