Sunday, November 13, 2016

True story:

On my way today to fly away
to a summit on a mountain of fire
a retired rabbi gave me my taxi ride
saying it was chosen destiny for us to speak...
I mentioned how we're all up shit creek
without our field commander
only a commander and thief
assaulting us with fear + hate
in the place of good grief.

He glanced in the rearview mirror
then looked forward, clearer than clergy,
and praised the power of crisis in emergency,
pushing progress through complacency,
birthing rosebush seeds of fecal flame.

He told me how the Cheyenne named
the two wolves that live inside us,
one good, one bad—the one we feed rides us.

How with deep-dark festering disease pests,
only when they leave their nests can we stomp,
clean, find blessed rest.

I said yes, let's ring these liberty bells like holy hell:
let the cracks swell, let light and thundering sound
quake and cleanse forgotten, rotten ground.

As he helped me unload my baggage
he reminded me to carry my ancestors
in my heart, not on my shoulders, in my fist or
projecting perfection's lists on their homes
built in the midst of howling history.

On parting we agreed to greet
the growing gifts of the Shekhinah,
the divine feminine on the rise.
We will gift her prized milk
to the good wolf in us and in our folk,
and in our enemies until they're filled.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Mni Wiconi

Prayer stronger than metal

moves us to dance defiance:

we will not be still as they spill blood and oil

in our water and soil

Hope hotter than flame

ignites our pain:

trauma truth becomes real again

as it's channeled to light

transcending night through fight

Love vital as water

gives peace to our power:

flowing from long-gone grandmothers and fathers

through us to the waiting grandsons and daughters,

we provide these bodies, these lives

so the water of life may thrive

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ha' Agua Water Tz'itz

Ha' Agua Water Tz'itz from The Cultural Conservancy on Vimeo.

Ha' Agua Water Tz'itz is a video-poem—a poetic documentary—created by the Yakanal indigenous youth cultural exchange and The Cultural Conservancy. Water flows throughout our lives, connecting us in our diversity, and together we send ha', agua, water, tz'itz our gratitude, praise, apologies, and prayers. With these images, sounds, words and feelings we hope to connect ourselves more deeply to each other and to the indigeneity that roots us all in our lands by drawing from, and giving back to, the flow that connects us all. 

Ha' Agua Water Tz'itz es un vídeo poesía—un documental poético—creado por el Intercambio cultural de jóvenes indígenas de las Américas Yakanal y The Cultural Conservancy. El agua fluye por nuestras vidas conectándonos en nuestra diversidad. Juntos, enviamos al agua, ha’, water, tz’itz nuestra gratitud, alabo, disculpas y oraciones. A través de estas imágenes, sonidos, palabras y sentimientos, esperamos que podamos conectarnos más profundamente unos con otros y con las raíces autóctonas que nos asienta en nuestras tierras, tomando y devolviendo todo lo que fluye y nos une.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Chaco Canyon:

Canyon de Chelly:

Bodh Gaya:

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Cycles of Growth

various models of growth based on natural cycles.  

Nautilus - exponential
Ojibwe medicine wheel
Learning Cycle - Coyote's Guide to Nature Mentoring, Jon Young et al
The Work that Reconnects - Joanna Macy 
Ecosoulcentric model of development - Bill Plotkin
Bagua from the Chinese tradition

Friday, November 07, 2014

Goddess, let me worship

your eyes of sky, their infinite space expanding beyond,
propelling me on waves of sensuous vision,
purifying me with their soft rhythm
of here, now, here, now, here, now...

your touch of fire, as it turns my skin incandescent
and burns away my consciousness of things-as-I-know-them,
so that I may better feel
this Earth moving under (and in) me...

your smile of sighs, its release of long-held breath,
of long-felt and long-yearning good will given freely,
and in the giving, joy, giddy divine generosity
madly multiplying hope beyond reason...

your open arms, able to receive and soften my so-often untrammeled energy,
able to anchor through Center-aligned spine
and Earth-rooted feet that not only know where they stand,
but also feel it, massage it...

Goddess, let me worship

our loving encounter

Sunday, March 23, 2014

flow of life

A leaf of a holy pipal tree
(ficus religiosa - bodhi tree - sacred fig) 
which I bought from a man outside of the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya. 

[click image to enlarge and see capillaries]

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My heart: a wildly improvised thing, a simple machine, all of wire and string

delicate, sputtering, powerful

My mind:  a well-framed window askew in a mudbrick wall standing with no ceiling in the vast landscape of me and you

My body: an electrical storm grounded to the Earth spinning in space

My spirit: a light breath of the grace that the Hurricane blows in each tiny flow

I had a dream:
I cradle my dear friend's head
in a sweet hotspring at dusk or dawn
and nothing can go wrong.
We say not a word at the visit of Hummingbird on wing,
and knowing we wouldn't see each other for a year,
we shed no tears
as I recall another dream:

I imagine tending a fire by the stream
down from my once-lover's home up the hill
where I try clumsily to help in the kitchen,
and think to give her new husband and baby a sapling.
I do not stay, we do not sing,
but simply are together as I move, softly, to other dreams:

Everything moves, I miss half the cues,
and the train's always leaving.
I lead seekers through muraled labyrinths
and battle nausea on shoot-out seas
where huge beasts –that I heard about from my ancestors– leap
flashing surprising colors and elegance in flight in Amazonian moonlight
before they dive back down into rivers divine
that seen from above join to make the infinite sign
with tributaries radiating serpentine out–
visions of my soul: rhizome veins that connect what they will when I can
be still.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Expanding Horizons

I was going to post each chapter of this video one-by-one, but I've decided just to release the whole shebang here, and refer you to this page if you want to see the 8 stand-alone videos.


Here is Expanding Horizons, as I have been thinking of the project, or as Where There Be Dragons, who commissioned it, is calling it: How We Travel.

This is a collaborative, education- and community-based video project, featuring the work of Dragons' students, educators, and partner communities worldwide. I co-wrote the script in collaboration with the Dragons community of experiential educators and guides.  I then directed instructors and students in 15 countries on 4 continents, and personally filmed in 7 countries. Total, including the musicians, we were well over 100 contributors in as many communities.

My deepest gratitude to everyone who participated, who are too many to name, though I've done my best to credit everyone who had a direct contribution here.

This video draws from Dragons’ Summer, Semester, Gap-Year, College Accredited, and Custom programs worldwide. Dragons students and instructors recorded all of the images, words, and music in the field, with help and inspiration from local communities. The relationship with local communities is an integral component of the Dragons experience, as families share their homes, temples, villages, music, and wisdom with our students, and through them, with the world. We have aspired to honor, and do justice to, this relationship through this video, both in product and process.



Monday, April 29, 2013

the first of a flurry of vids on their way... part of a worldwide collaboration with hundreds of individuals and dozens of communities in 14 countries... credits forthcoming!

Monday, April 01, 2013

This is a year for giving:
clear-eyed, we become open-hearted.
Release tight-fisted lonelinesses
in group hugs, we encompass all our sick selves.
We surrender our wound-up and wounded insides into the earth,
the hoarded riches of our selves rushing into her warm embrace;
humbled to our knees,
vomiting and shitting out what we do not need
into ancient tunnels that take all into the sacred river
that accepts all pollution
and gives by giving up its own purity:
divinity come down down down to earth.
Likewise, we level our small selves to exhaustion
stretching ourselves thin to brittle breaking
so others may be full to brimming
and so fill our newfound emptiness grown in our expanded boundaries.
Freed from our own clutches,
we give ourselves a break, and give in to break-throughs
as we give way
to the sweet offerings of milk and smiles
we have so long denied our severe, separated and starved selves.
We give gods to ourselves, to each other,
to the caves and temples,
to the rice paddies and filthy alleys,
gods in cosmos-imbued stones and bowls and bells and paintings
and poems.

This is a year for joyfulness:
reveling in richnesses, we give the world permission to thrive.
We pardon our sad poverties for the suffering they heap upon simply being poor,
and extend a laughing hand to our haughty unhappiness, pulling it down
to roll around in the grass with us,
to smoke a joint in bed
and giddily watch the wow of the world in slow-motion.
We sit in pain and thank its power to unclench our head's fingers
from its hold on our souls,
so that we may spring rejoicing straight through our crowns
and into the ecstatic cosmos.
We dance in wild figures of eights intertwined: knots of infinities,
our feet blissfully making love with time and space
with that bee-bop ta-tha-ta dance,
with new stomp that unmakes existence as we know it
and the old drum that brings us back into the familiar beat
calling us to get back up to boogie back down,
to leap swimmingly into the air and down to the river like a homemade kite,
rejoicing in the breath of the moment
as a hungry child cries rejoicing in a mango out of season,
as a pilgrim cries rejoicing, after years of walking in exile,
in the sight of their spiritual home,
surrounded by their sisters and brothers
in that enraptured bliss born out of the blooming lotus of pain
that is holy joy.

This is a year for integrity:
becoming the change we hope for the world, we heal.
We practice what we preach, and only preach through practice.
We teach peace with every step, being imperfectly in the perfect moment:
ringing what bells still ring,
forgetting perfect offerings to perfect gods,
we know the crack that runs through everything
lets in the light which illuminates all.
We radicalize the interconnectedness of reality,
rooting down like the bodhi,
calmly stretching like her branches;
rhizoming out-up-in like ginger,
infusing our metabolic movement with his nodal energy.
We cognize, recognize, decognize and dive in to dissolve
those manifold manifestations of the multiverse
and find the buddha within as she smiles
in the passing stranger, praying and cursing,
in the filthy child with outstretched hand,
a hand asking to be held, a voice asking for change,
eyes demanding change,
presence requiring to be held in the same world as palaces for dead kings.
We contemplate,
we caress,
we cry out in yearning to integrate,
and slowly, with the care and calm of walking meditation,
of being held by the branches of aerially rooted trees,
of feeling out kora around high transcendence-striving temples,
we become whole.