Saturday 7 March 2009

The Shaman

The Shaman

I saw a shaman sat in the branches of a birch tree,
In the Summer Of Love, September 1967,
His long brown hair and beard were ragged,
Knotted by fingertips of wind and rain,
Sun bleached blonde with ribbons of light,
Tied into the matted locks of his golden tresses,
He was both man and boy, young and old,
Sprinkled with salt and pepper gray,
More mirage than real, shimmering at the edges.
His skin shone as though of oiled oak,
Speckled with grains of white desert sand,
He perched upon a platform of branches,
As an eagle claims the highest rocky crag,
Sitting where the sun rays shone from East to West,
Warm and wondering all day long,
He sat as Cernunnos sits beside a wolf,
Upon a panel of the Gundestrupp cauldron,
In the yogic pose of Sukhasana,
His eyes were closed, as if in prayer,
Or in the grip of some mantic frenzy,
Travelling without motion, into infinity.

Time and space shift.

Motion without movement.

In the desert of New Mexico he sits in mid air,
Levitating between earth and sky,
Legs crossed and palms facing upwards,
As a god in meditation before the gates of heaven,
His eyes are open and he mutters a mantra,
As a hydrogen bomb explodes nearby,
Silent in the distance, first a puff of light,
Then a flash bulb flame of blinding fire,
The destroyer rushes forth, exponentially,
Ravening everything that stands before it,
Scourging the earth for its impertinence,
For dare defying its monstrous insane fury.
He stares as the storm rises high before him,
Towering as giant it boils and blackens,
Yet the light when it passes swiftly by,
Does not blister, boil and blind his eyes,
Nor rip the skin from his melting bones,
It passes through him as if he is not even there.

Hot upon the wind, fire scorches forward,
Followed by a blast wave and roar of ignition,
That is the sigh of death, the destroyer of worlds,
Flattered to be freed from his cage of atoms,
Awesome in its beauty the twisted rose grows,
From amidst its snarl of black briars,
Crimson capped with white cloud sheath,
Fire bright as fly agaric, Amanita Muscaria,
The mushroom cloud explodes and grows,
Fire feeding on fire, flame feasting on flame,
As a crimson cap upon a pillar of pale cloud,
Explodes into the unconscious, into Annwn itself.
The synchronicity is of divine origin,
The atomic and the psychedelic,
Each a new door for perception to explore,
New worlds arise for men to conquer,
For those that walk the line between worlds.
The shaman stands up and with a mighty voice,
He begins to speak beneath the black blistering sky ;

I am Soma, the opener of worlds,
The Holy Grail in its highest form,
Within me is the key to eternity,
My steed is the sun, my seed are the stars,
I am the hide of a red bull,
Red as Rudra, Taranis and Thor,
Flecked white as the fleece of a lamb,
I am born in mist upon the mountains,
Arising beneath a verdant Bodhi tree,
Fire plant and flame bright are my names,
My servants are Marmuts, storm gods,
The flashing ones of fork lightning,
My juice is tawny yellow, alchemical gold,
The blood of a god that fell to earth,
I am the blood of the bull, bursting with semen,
Whose desire sows the sky with new suns,
I sit as a young prince upon my high seat.

First as a spore, as a seed unseen,
I seek my sanctuary in the soil,
In the nemeton of a wildwood,
Sending forth roots of mycelium and hyphae,
The umbilicus of rhizomorphs,
Black tendrils upon dead dank wood,
As an egg of white I bloom,
Upon the wet skin of leaf and mud,
Then that envelope I escape,
Arising on a pale stem to the sky,
The pillar of the world, a phallus erect,
I unite with the sky in the vaults of heaven,
The halls of the most High Gods,
Are the womb of my insights,
My white studs are clouds that scud,
Across the face of the infant sun,
Whose fire disc is my scarlet cap,
A wind chakra, wheel of nature,
I contemplate the universe in silence,
Keeping my secrets to myself.

I am the secret that Krishna offered to Uttanka,
Who when thirsty in the open desert,
Was too proud to kneel and drink,
The waters of an outcast that offered new life,
And spurned the soma of immortality,
Offered as a test of wisdom and humility.
I am the slather of sleipnir, Wodens stallion,
The froth and spume of blood and sweat,
That falls from the flared nostrils,
When the wild hunt rides at midnight,
On the full moon of a winter solstice,
Is my seed scattered upon the snow,
That forms the fly agaric toadstool,
That rise as carnyxes from the earth,
And trumpets the revelation unfolding,
As a red prayer flag upon a mountain peak.

I am the head that speaks to mind and soul,
The master who instructs the adept,
The Saddhu of all Saddhus,
For I am Sophia, I am wisdom,
The thin membrane sheath upon my stem,
That unfurls and flutter as white rags,
Are the uterine shreds of earth’s menses,
Dripping to earth and blooming,
A thin veil falls from the face of a volva,
She sees eternity itself unfolding before her,
A kaleidoscope of colour and life,
A tableaux of time flickering forwards,
White as the meniscus of warm milk,
That grips the cold spoon that slips within,
White as the waters of Mimirs Well,
That purifies everything placed within its waters,
Are the rags that hang from my stem,
Which arise from the vented earth,
My skirts are rows of golden gills,
Which circle my circumference,
That hide within my body many mysteries,
In the soft white folds of skin beneath,
As a virgin keeps an ark of her pleasures,
In the secret folds of her dress.

I am the sprit of the Tree of Life,
Guardian of the Axis Mundi,
Who offers you milk from her breasts,
The pavamana, pale waters of life.
I am the serpent that tempted Eve,
With the fruits of new life,
The apple of the Gods, the sacred fungus,
Amanita Muscaria, the food of Brahmans,
That brings enlightenment,
You must open your lips to kiss me,
Let your tongue caress my carcass,
Moistening the goblet of a dead god,
Which lays asleep upon your tongue,
That sunlight has shrivelled into silence.
Mutter the mantra as you swallow,
And return my soul to your sacred soils,
In the forests of infinity that rest within,
The rutted brow of your forehead,
Let the river of its light flow within,
Ride upon the tide, shining as the sun.

I wear a black cloak of raven feathers,
And beat the skin of a bodhran drum,
Invoking the spirits of my ancestors,
With sacred chants and songs,
The fungus in my blood, rushes to the roots,
Into the heartbeat of a daemon,
Then deeper still into the caverns of the self,
The drum beat quickens, rushing,
The past awaits, ready for new life,
To leap into a higher form, as salmon leap,
Up rushing rivers to return to spawn,
Where a lighthouse flickers on the shore,
Of an black ocean where restless waters rise,
Revealing rocks where monsters lurk,
Awaiting their chance to devour the world.
I see beyond the tide, a world of fire and ice,
Bleak beyond all imagining, free from all laws,
A place of heroes and war, a wilderness
Of terrible beauty, cruel and impassive,
Where white bears red in tooth and claw,
Bite and gnaw the meat and bones of a seal,
A frozen red rose which blooms upon the pack ice,
As a mushroom blossoms in the forest,
As words bloom in a poets mind, set upon a page.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent poem Lee.

The transcendental - at once an infinitesimal singularity, the blackhole at the centre of our being, our consciousness, around which all else orbits and yet also the atom - I am but an atom, adrift in the infinite. The fusion of the infinitesimal with the infinite, the binding energy, of ovecoming - Shiva.