Song of the South (repost): Dream Catcher

Dream catcher

dream catcher

Your spider-webbed strands

criss-cross wood

carved into the shape of antlers

curving as if they are strong arms

surrounding my soul in warm embrace,

cradling me safe as a nursing child upon his mother’s chest

You dangle above my bed,

like some nanny-cam of the Sacred Mother,

eye for some Cosmic Big Brother

which fills me not with fear but granted comfort.

I am seen.  I am heard. I am understood.  I am surrounded.

spiritual practice prayerYou remind me of daddy’s favorite prayer,

spoken over each meal

as rote as mantras chanted by yogis

sitting on mats, bodies a pretzel,

recited in rhythm of measured breaths

drawn deep into one’s body,

into those places where our small selves

become intertangled like winding branches of tomato vine

with the larger self in which all things are one,

breaths blown out with the pureness of the spring winds

which set my kites to fly as a boy each March,

winds which are but the gentle breath

blown by the Sacred wholeness

I know as Mother Spirit,

yet whom daddy called “Our Father” in that moment

Angel-with-flaming-fiery-sword-photoshopDaddy would call upon this one above,

asking for angel armies to march about,

flaming sword in hand

to keep out all serpents from this home

he hoped would be our Eden.

“Guard them, Oh Father, when I cannot.

Keep them safe from harm and illness”.

He hoped that, as your crafters promised

you to catch the evil that haunts our darkest dreams

his words would weave a net to keep us from every evil.

snake garden

Yet just as on many a night, when you have dangled overhead,

I have found myself woken, heart pounding

wet with sweat from a horror of the night

which stalked my dreams and stole my sleep,

so too the serpents also crept into our garden,

for their eggs were laid in the roots of own planting


I cannot know what pain he felt

to see those words, as carefully crafted as your artistry,

seem to betray themselves

as illness, madness, poverty, death, and pain

struck our home,

falling on us as certain as heat

that can cook eggs on the pavement

falls from the Carolina sun each August,

heartache as deep, in its own way,

as what that serpent who haunted Ha Shem’s garden

wrought poor Job, though not as guitless

I remember when I found those asps

encircling my own heels


Like Jesus in the desert, I sat surrounded by the wilderness beasts,

my own Coyote of the Cherokee and Wolf of Assisi.

Fear gripped my chest

Like the bullied boy I was on the playground,

I sought to flee, only to find,

wherever I turned, those blazing eyes met me.

As quiet as softly falling rain,

deep below the thundering booms of my own heart,

I heard Mother Wisdom’s whisper in the winds:

“Dear boy, be like my first child.

Fear not these encircling forms,

but name them with me and set them free”.

And so, crawling on my belly in the dust as a beast myself,

st francis wolf 1

I approached them by my own Bodhi tree

to , like Francis, befriend those once-dark forms.

With the light such meeting brought to dawn,

finally daddy’s prayer was answered.

My guarding angels are now:


wrapping their bright-winged form

around the pole in the center of the garden

to offer healing as my own life-giving tree


as she prowls my shadow places

the White Wolf,

as he wanders my own Assisi chapel grounds,

prowling my own heart

to protect

whose wet noses sniff ahead

to find my unseen wilderness way

beyond which lies my inner Jordan waters

and my own personal Bethlehem.


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