Strong Medicine

I have crossed T’s and dotted I’s

For as long as I can remember.

I have drank deeply of the words

of lovers, fiends and prophets

and taken each syllable to the head,

like strong medicine sipped,

draped in gazelle skins

staring up at starry nights

beneath the canopy of my ancestors.


Each speech, lit lyrical upon the lips.

Drum beating living rhythmic tattoos

upon my skin and into my mind.

Splitting that veil of soft, gossamer night

and revealing the naked universe.

Baring her dark matter and quantum heart

in words that had once drawn,

a cross-eyed, castaway child

down dusty, spine-backed labyrinthine corridors

from which he never truly emerged;

until now.


Now, out above the wild tundra,

night and day are all and nothing.

Each thought seeks the page

like the sight of the eagle soaring,

then roaring to Earth;

talons ripping and beak devouring.

Then climbing high above again,

in slow, wide circles,

the contemplation,

The Thinker,

The Buddha.


Words, curses, prayers;

whispered, shouted, screamed into existence.

Some divine copulation of the biological and the mystical,

that birthed both science and religion.

That made, and then split the world like tiny atoms,

creating and un-creating history,

easily as the spring rains melt the snow.


I carved an image of a buffalo on the cave wall,

with a piece of flint and shaded it with ashes from the fire.

I touched off a nuclear blast that levelled a city,

with figures of 1’s and 0’s from five thousand miles away.

All those words, turned to ash.


Sitting under God’s firmament,

I felt the hand of The Creator touch my soul,

gently caressing away the wild panic

that came as I tried to assimilate His Words.

The first words.

Strong medicine.


HG – 2016

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