Tootsie Pop

how many licks does it take

to get the center of a…

deliciously distracting

yet sacred and perfectly placed




that sticky, viscous pulsation

emanating and informing

operating systems of being

molded and prodded

shamed and avoided

within and without

how long does it take

to bite into and be present

with its actual juicy center?


that center that screams for respect

the center that yearns for voice

the center that, for example

wants to yell














the vibrating center, for example,

that is realizing its ability

through interactions with you

oh sacred triggering ones

that is realizing

its chewy yet solid, material form

its preferences

its desires, worthy

and its host, open mouth ready

in real time

in real time

to communicate the need?


is this how many licks it takes

to get to the center of the…


to clear the pathway

from gut to song

or will there be a lifetime

of unfolding awareness,

of revelation

of each artifact’s careful dusting?


a-one, a-two

a-forty-eight years?

seems like a good amount of practice

but somehow i’m feeling

there’s many more layers of crust

to peck through


how long will it take

to break into

that gooey pregnant center?

this beak is tired

but sharpened and wily

on the head of a determined bird

looking forward

and within

i’ll certainly

a-let you know


The Music

Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev on Pexels.com

something happens

when you enter

slithering deeper into auditory canal

reverberating inner drum, cochlear spiral


into light


i hear you with all of my body

your vibrations slowly shaking me awake

down the neckline

dancing across shoulder

you glow at my fingertips

urging them to swirl

and like a hawk circling

further you move down my torso

and enter my hips

the most sacred of caverns

old lives stir

and begin to sway

by your magic

the dark and empty

comes alive

and soon i am moving across the wet grass

a choreography radiating

without a thinker

just you and i



sometimes i stop

and let myself feel you

whirling inside my center

i let you dance while i stand still

i feel the way you pulsate

and the galactic nature

of the cosmos




and then i return

to letting you move me

sway me

use me

especially those dark beats

to those i kneel and wander

to those i submit

some vast and shadowy realm

comes over and i’m alive

in a dream and we’re here, breathing



i open my eyes

and see i am surrounded by others

all in their own stream

of relation to you

that we’re all engaging with your sensual field

and i put my hands out and touch it

this whirling




sexy beats

dancing together

through our skins


i don’t even have to touch the humans



i’ll touch the humans

and be able to withstand the shock

for now

i can feel you, expanding past their lines

you fill in spaces

and weave us loosely, in and out

closer and further

in silence, we merge

not touching, we fuse and detach

over and over

with you

with this strange, strange thing that you are

with this strange, strange thing that we are

these beating blobs of energy


dancing you


what about you makes us come alive?

where is it that you come from

and do you return when the song is over?

i don’t know what i would do without you

how i would possibly bring myself back to life

but on this dewy lawn

squishing tickling metatarsals

sunshine dappling extremities

and wind shaking fur

and you

and you

and you



through all of us




thank you

Photo by Ron Graham-Becker on Pexels.com

thank you, great mushroom nation

thank you, great plant spirit nation

thank you, great animal nation

thank you, oh well and healed ancestral lines

thank you

even you

great human nation


thank you, for helping me see

thank you, for helping me release

thank you, for cleansing away

what no longer serves

thank you, for helping me transmute

thank you, for making space for new vision

thank you, for showing me the Wand

in my hand

the soil beneath my feet

the particular and ripe seed that yearns

for my attention



thank you, great mushroom nation

thank you, great plant spirit nation

thank you, great animal nation

thank you, oh well and healed ancestral lines

and thank you

yes even you i give thanks to

oh great human nation

for helping me

to see the cracks

to feel the hidden reflections

to know

i am not alone

thank you, great mystic family

furred, finned

mycelial, epithelial

meeting me on the dusty trail,

at the seashore,

in frustration,

and beneath cardboard

down rank cement alleyways

filled with death

and despair


thank you

thank you

thank you

for helping me

to feel this heart

to hold center

as this great Wheel turns

to dismember and remember

to know, to hear, to see

how this Wand and this Garden

wish to become


thank you

thank you

thank you


the letter

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

i’ve been waiting for years

to write this to you

barred at first by politeness

then the plague

and now, just plain resistance

but the time

the time

has come


i remember parts of the day clearly

a sparkly seaside

the dark hotel room

a dusty family bible, splayed out on your wrinkled jeans

pictures of him, ones i’d never seen

and your smile, covering


it’s hazy

but i think i remember

the brother leaving

you starting to whisper


secrets from long ago

as if needing to confess

before his ears returned


it’s funny

but not

how i don’t trust i remembered this clearly

did you tell me?

am i making it all up?

mirrors and mirrors and mirrors

of questions

of secrets

from so long ago


so i’m writing

to ask

once more of the hushed words i think i heard

hoping for one step closer

hoping to help me re-member

hoping to know if it’s real

or if i’m crazy

hoping to stop spinning

through these clouds of a dream


what you said

what happened

why the secrets

why the forgotten years

why the distance

i write this letter

hoping you’ll tell me

so i can just know

if it was my mouth

if it was his hands

if it was her neck

if it was only

a dream


I’m writing this letter

before you, like they

die holding keys

I’m hoping you’ll find it

I’m hoping you’ll tell me

what is real

cause she keeps disappearing

she keeps


and i want

her back



The Tower

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She built a Tower

Of someone with no needs

Of someone with no voice

Of someone with clouds and confusion

Keeping her wandering and lost

Of someone, who simply

Wasn’t there


The Tower kept her doubting

Of what she felt, what she saw, what she heard

Echoes and wraiths chanting

You can’t really think that you know

You can’t really think that you need

You can’t really think that you want

You can’t really think

That you’re real


This Tower shamed her inkling, calling it projection

This Tower shamed her receptivity, calling it emptiness

This Tower shamed her process

Of feeling the way through, a body’s knowing, calling it lack of vision

This Tower shamed her power of presence,

The release of personal desire and drive, calling it



Now somehow, the bricks, they started to crumble

Likely through diligent mirrors, hard-working gnawers

And the uncontrollable effectiveness

Of the electric bolt blowing

The top of her pretty Tower

All those perfect bricks







No stranger to the process was she

In fact she’d stayed in successive destructions

Watching her flesh dissolve along with the skin of her worlds

This time, however

She realized she did not want to vanish

This time

She realized she could jump

And watch the massive dismemberment

Of a Tower needed no more

She could watch it, standing

On loamy, fresh earth

Planting seeds with the electric fertility

Reveling in the rumbling

Shaking through her tissues

Allowing herself to be

As it all

Came crashing



Standing there

At the burning edges of her old realities

Looking down and onto a great mystery

A great risk

Not knowing

Never knowing

If she’d survive the fall

This time, however

She knew it had to be different

And stepping off the dissolving parapet

She dove


Finally laughing

From her Tower

Of no more


The Wheel

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Sanskrit laden, gold gilt shimmering

From the central hub of ignorance

Along its spokes you’ve carved your word

Along its spokes you’ve carved your commitments

You keep them

You keep them


In the soft morning sun

You point, showing

The pulsing core of your fire

You lift the watch

Handcrafted and rippling with reds and oranges

You tell me its time

You tell me its time


I’m listening

It’s taken us down a long road to get here

I’m listening

To what you’ve chosen most dear

You tell me you will take me

Take me somewhere I have to lean into

A guarded realm

I can’t quite understand


But I must choose

And now, you’re disappearing

The real dawn, commanding

Rays overtake us

You become slowly unclear

Your Martian edges hazy

The lilting passion of your vibration

Wavering, vanished

And I’m left

With only astral echoes

The wheel



Asking me

Where I want

To become





It begins and It ends

With Love

Wide-eyed babe

Born into arms of darkness



Heart’s beaming anchor

Finds no ground


Born into the seven tongues

Whispering, snickering

Sneering and wiping

The Love, the Love

It goes

She falls

She falls

She falls


She forgets, spiraling

Until one day The Hermit

Wolfen by side

Meets her in the Night

Deep in the darkness

His lantern revives


Floating, floating

Absorbing, absorbing

Drinking in the light


Death comes

And its great scythian teachings

Prancing in with the Tower

Demolishing the bud

Of re-memberance

Of re-membrance

Of Love


Hanging by threads

She passes Death’s teachings

Through the pillars and pylons

She rides

Riding with Emperor

Structuring and building

A life anew

The scent of Love flapping

In wake of pointed spear


Sure that she’d survived it

Sure that she’d found plateau

The hunger, the hunger

For Love, it returned

Scanning and seeking

Amongst her fertile kingdom

She could not find it

She could not find it

Here, amongst the green

It was gone


And as if responding

To growing emanations of despair

The Magician

The Shaman


Schooling her again

Re-membering her

With Love


On the wings of a dream

She travelled to far off lands

Following the traces

Following the symbols

Following the drum

Becoming shining babe-like Fool



And again

Invisible worlds

Of terror

Shook her hand

Filled her core

Infusing the crevices

With crazed imaginings

Shadow overloading

Feeling into pain

Of Paradise


Smiling eyes feared her

Drunken revelries urged her sleep

Mind murky

Mind murky

She stumbled


Death came to her again

Knocking, grinning, asking

This time? This time?

Do you have enough

For Love in the Darkness?

Sleep so easy

Disappearance a gift

This time?

This time?



She survived

The raking

Burned, shrunken and weary

Somehow she survived


A wizard met her there

In ineffable deepening layers

A magical castle appeared

He of great machinations

He, he reminded her

Of Love

While psychotic waters lapped

Begging for entry

The rushing river full of fishes

Soothed her

His hook and teaching of ways

Saved her


One day wandering away from the castle

Full of both aimless gratitude

And a growing gnawing desire

She stumbled across the river

Into the gates of a Grand Temple

There she was welcomed

The Priestess, smiling

Great cats pacing her sides

Even though hidden

In a gnarled knot of forked tongue

The Priestess met her there

The Priestess chose her

And said again



The Priestess beckoned

For a pilgrimage to hot waters

Nestled in canyons

Of dusty oak and soaring vulture

Although she trembled

The trek concluded

With deer and angelica calling

To the lair of The Lovers


How to be Mother

To the Wounded Son

She tempered, she tempered

Between the internal



Weaving bodies and minds

Slicing cords and sealing

Keeping silent

Keeping silent

The Lovers changed her

The Lovers broke her heart

But fueled the Dark Mother

To realize


How to Love

How to Live

How to Serve

How to Breathe

Light, Dark, and all Between

How to hold the line

And honor

Ripped open by teacher

Over and over again

She rose, she rose




Father Fire

Loosed her

From Lover’s Nest

To cold concrete

Again, again

Death threatened

Whittling her matter

Trying, trying her skill


Yet this time

She stared in those cold eyes

And recognized

The initiation occurring

She took up the blade

One hand grasping

The other embracing the cold bone

Of this Mother

A darker kind of Love

A darker kind of Love


It is only recently

She has made her way to The Chariot

The evanescent winds of belief

Letting them in

Stepping into the carriage

Holding the reins

Looking out, onto the vista

A field both fenced and wild

Her tigresses, waiting

Her center, alight

It is only recently

She has fully re-membered

What has been and always has been

Along the many meetings

Archetypal collisions walking

Testing, testing

Urging her

To Love


This time?

This time?

Death is never far away

This time?

Do you have enough

For Love in Darkness?

She holds the reins

She feels the soft leather, sliding

The bodies of force, pulling


They say yes

She says yes

To Love,

To the deep heart of remembrance

Waking and reminding

We are here!

There is a path!

Great forces




They have made us!

Wild and mystical tendrils

Webbing specific faces

And places

These gates, hollows, temples

Soul breath, we look into each other’s eyes

And exclaim

It is time

It is time

It is time

To go


Love, love, love

Through darkness, madness and fear

Great veils of self-initiation

We’ve walked

We’ve carved sigils into heart

Bleeding, gathering



Love, love, love

We do it all for Love

It began

With Love

It ends

With Love










In the Darkness


Image from The Tarot of The Spirit by Pamela and Joyce Eakins found on: https://www.elitarotstrickingly.com/blog/the-tarot-of-eli-minor-arcana-thoth-tarot-3-of-cups-abundance-tarot-of-the


Dinner With My Shadow

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I imagine Her

Not so hard, really

The one I’m constantly trying to forget

She incessantly sticks at my side

I imagine Her

Upon walking into a dinner party

Oh, the 13th Sister

Oh, the one who wasn’t invited


They’re embarrassed by Her

Nervous, prim and proper

Unable, really, to relax

Attuned to all the feels of the room

All the unattended forgotten ones

She fidgets, She fidgets

Short of breath and internally gasping for


But she stays


She stays

And she pulls out her measuring cups

Right there at the table

And she pulls out her calculator

Disturbing the frilly napkin

And she begins to tally the foods for possible consumption

This, this eases Her

This, this somehow distracts Her from the

Intensities of the unspoken she rides


She’s cleared off a part of the setting

She’s got her cups weighing

She’s got her numbers, calculating

She’s taking up space

Writing it all down

Before it goes inside


This keeps it all in order

Somehow this keeps it all in order


I imagine me, looking at Her

And wishing She wasn’t here, at the party

Knowing, everyone knowing She’s here with me

They stare at Her, and I, unsettled

Some even trying to tutor

Encouraging discretion

But still She counts,

Still She levels

The mashed potatoes

So the surface aligns precisely

And only then plops it onto

Her plate

She’s still deciding whether she’ll actually


She knows

How to push it all around



I hate Her

I wish she never existed

I wish she’d stop following me

And learn to chill out

I wish she’d know

How to laugh and eat and play

Choosing, tasting, adventuring

Like everyone else in the room

That she’d have other interests

Than the next meal, the next amount

The next possible poisoning

The next protective


That she’d be led by her hunger

And quelled by her fullness

That she’d speak with wisecrack

At the lurking phantoms swirling

Around the table

Changing the field

Trusting Herself

And not just trying to hold It all together

Until It no longer breathes


She haunts me

And I’d rather not go anywhere

Meals solitary, inside

Appeasing Her

Than to continually risk

The shame I feel

When she’s seen

When I’m seen,

With Her


But She, cups clanging

And numbers whirring

Doesn’t seem to really care

She just knows she’s got to survive

This madness

She does what needs doing

To keep us from drowning

In a culture, externally, showing no other way

In a culture, introjected, systematically brainwashed

And I stare at Her

Eyes focused and uninterested in small talk

And I begin to see Her

And what she’s doing

And start to understand

How she helps

How she is helping

Until the scene shifts

Until the evolved tools present

She’s holding out

For nothing less than The Truth

And I start to see Her

And I start to see



I say to myself, watching me

This crazed laced-up alchemist madwoman

Desperately trying to keep us in order

So we don’t just lose it in a world

Of no holding

I say to Her, myself

That’s pretty epic

In its own strange way

And I begin to accept Her, me

Seeing how She helps

Seeing how She’s needed


And I see Her

And I start

To maybe

To maybe someday

To maybe possibly

To maybe someday possibly


To love Her


Thanks for reading! This poem came from the following prompt–perhaps it will wet your whistle too?

What parts of yourself would you not take to dinner? What parts of yourself would you want to leave at home?


Father Wind

Over the course of decades

Over the span of many trials

Comes to pass that I now wield

The reins to guide him

This wild bull of Will

This wild bull of Mind


Great Sprit within

I have known

The beggar and the king

The priestess and the sorcerer

The madman, addict and the sage

Wrestling, ever

With the parts that want to kill

And the parts that want to love

The parts that want to stay

The parts that want to run, hide, flee

In terror


Integration of the Two, the Many

Into center reins of the One

Mind now not so snaggled

By layered fallings of the Abyss

I hold center

I hold center


I am He

Who discerns

Who brings the great power of Mind and Word

To serve the whole

To serve

The whole


But I remember

Sometimes nightly, so

Those days, and months and years

Of muddled and crazed conscience

Leading to darkness

Magic to manipulate and destroy

Even if in illusion of self

The unexalted one within

I remember

I will never forget that line

I walk it



I walk it daily

Now holding these reins

Now riding this spit-slobbering yet

Ever-gifting bull

Now speaking the words that calm him

I hold center

I hold center

I trust


Over the course of decades

Over the span of many trials

Comes to pass that I now wield

The reins to guide and honor him

This wild bull of Will

This wild bull of Mind

These Two, these Many

This One

The Great Sprit

Wind-whipping and wise


I am Father

I am Father

I am Father

Father Wind


Image credit: “Father Wind” from Tarot of The Spirit by Pamela and Joyce Eakins