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Swamp Man

April 13, 2011

Heavily based upon my experiences during meditation yesterday.

Swamp Man

I arrive for the dance, feeling Cinderella-like,
pulled into the arms of an auburn haired prince.
Spun around the floor, he expertly leads,
yet no words are said, there is only music.
He becomes paper-like, a one dimensional prince
and the music becomes tinny, garbled and untrue.
Spun around once again, I find myself in a garden,
elaborate and sweetly coifed, overlooking a swamp.
“Shades of ‘The Frog and I’”, I think looking down.
Suddenly I am gently pushed over the garden edge,
landing just shy of the rippling, green water,
dressed in ragged clothes, bare feet covered in mud.
In glides a flat bottom skiff, I step in hesitantly
at the silent demand to board immediately.
Only to land in a heap as the boat reverses direction.
Seated, I watch and listen as the swamp glides by,
music of animal and water draped in mist and trees.
A moon-lit ferryman looks back at me, silently laughing,
only to disappear to my eyes as we pass into shadows.
The next patch of moonlight shows no ferryman
only the skiff sliding onto a marshy bank, waiting.
I step out and watch the skiff sink out of sight
as the water eats away at the wide shore,
dissolveing from beneath my scrambling feet,
becoming an island as I frantically move
to avoid the murky waters where hunger lurks.
It continues shrinking in length yet growing tall
to form a stool-like mound the only safety to be had
is to sit on that mound gazing into the dark unknown.
I settle in and begin to get a feel for the muggy night
only to have blue-green scaled arms wrap my torso,
trapping me and my arms against a muscular chest
Protected by this other, I am pulled through water and muck
Only to be set down near an elegantly polished cypress…throne?
Before I am sure of what my eyes see, a small movement…
a weathered old man gets up and moves away from
a ragged stump surrounded by cypress knees.
“Follow me ge’l” says he in thickly covered southern tones.
So I follow this nimble old man, a plodding child to his grace.
He leads me to a 3 sided stilted-shack, rough but homey.
As the elder waves me to sit at the rough hewed table
I wonder who, what he is and why am I here.
He gives me a bowl of food, I start to eat out of courtesy,
knowing that food, no matter the contents, is a precious gift.
I start to thank him only to freeze mid-sentence.
You never thank the Fey and you don’t eat their food!
He laughs as he sits down and says, “I’m not one of dem.
Eat. It will not harm yer delicate tumtum.”
As he continues to speak, I suddenly feel
like my ears are full of wet cotton, I hear but cannot understand.
Frustration must of shown upon my face,
because at once the old man disapears and
the shack lost its homey charm to become
a dirty abandoned wreck reclaimed by the swamp.
“Wait” I frantically call. “It is my inability to clear my head
because of the fear that I am deluding myself!”
The shack then returned to is former state
and the old man looks at me steadily in contemplation.
All at once I know. “Why, my Lord, why the charade?”
He laughs, seemingly pleased.
As he pulls me into his lap, his features become younger,
his body larger and stronger, straining his ragged shirt.
Wrapped in his warmth, I fill with joy and curiosity.
I’m not sure he ever answered that question
or the many others that poured like a flood in spring from my lips.
I remember him saying as he held me close, tucked up under his chin,
“Talk to me often, keep me close in your heart
Bring me into your every moment.
She is your guide, your teacher, but I,
I am your center, your love and joy.”

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