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Lumpkin and the Magic Pouch

It was a strange path
That had led me here.
Through a gate of dreams,
Along an odyssey of fears,
A labyrinth of trials
To this open space
Where simple people
Meet and eat.
And I, as they,
Am dressed in homespun clothes,
And live a life
Among the trees and rivers,
The animals and birds,
As near to us
As daily life.
They are the interwoven threads
Of our existence.

Here in the midst of this
I stand, watching.
And without warning
A stranger is by my side.
Stranger, yet I have met
This one so many times.
But even now his face
Eludes me, not taking shape.
Is he a spirit?
Perhaps my soul?
Or even a guardian.
I do not know.
But, into my hands
He gives a pouch
Of drawstring leather,
And is gone.

It seems to live,
Here in my hands,
Responding to every
Touch and move I make.
And memory comes to me,
Of some days past,
When walking quietly
Near a shady wood,
A voice called to me
From in the shadows.
“In four days,
A gift will come to you!”
And I, searching
For the owner of the voice,
And finding none,
Called back,
Asking of the gift.
And the same voice
Spoke again, saying,
“One that you have earned
And are ready to receive.”

I loosed the drawstring
On the pouch,
And see the opening
Is like a mouth.
Or better still,
Formed like the lips
Of my woman’s
Secret flower, from which
The river of her love flows.

As if within my own mind,
I hear the formless stranger
Tell me to spill
Some of the contents
Of the pouch
Upon my being.
So gently from within
The Secret Flower,
I pour
A million living motes
Onto my covered leg.
And without pause
I see the motes
Become the substance
Of my clothing
And my flesh,
Cleansing and healing
In a spreading wave.
And in the pouch
There is no less
Than when I poured.

It is a magic I can share
With others too.
And they, as I,
Can be transformed.
It is the pollen
From my lover’s flower,
The moments of
Our mutual joy,
That can overflow
Into another life.
It is the love
That places no conditions
On those loved.

Then, passing time
Left me alone
In that same place,
And I could hear
Someone’s approach.
And not knowing who it was,
I started clearing tables,
Appearing to be working there.
But into that
Place of meeting
Came a friend of many years.
Shalila, companion
On my journey to the Source.
Shalila, now transformed
Beyond her gender
Into a warrior
He/She strong and straight.
And with her too
The faceless stranger,
Still in shadows.

Striding to me,
Fierce and tall,
Shalila takes from some safe place
Within her coat,
A tiny form
Contained in her two hands.
Holding it to me
She says,
“Lumpkin has been
Asking for you.”
And I,
Take from her
Into my hands and arms
This precious creature,
Smaller than a cat,
With spindly arms and legs,
Helpless as an infant
Who holds to me
With tiny hands.
But he is old,
And made wise
By his infirmity
Of size and strength.
Infirmity that has
Led him to compassion
For all as vulnerable as he,
And humility
That is not servile.

Lumpkin is my
Second gift of that day.
And as I hold him,
Like the strange pollen,
He starts to beat
With my heart,
And breathe with my breath.

Lumpkin has come home.

Copyright ©2002 Tony Crisp

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Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved