Saturday, January 25, 2020



Humans don’t generally enjoy Mosquitoes. They are bloodsuckers, after all.
Although we may not understand their purpose, they are earthlings with as much right to life as we have.

A mosquito buzzed around my ear when I was at a shamanic council meeting in northern California. I was tempted to smack it against my ear. But I chose to see if I could negotiate a mutual agreement. I relaxed. I shut my eyes and went into a shamanic trance. I told the mosquito that I would not hurt her. I told the mosquito that she could take all the blood she needed. In return, I asked that she tell all the other mosquitos to leave me alone for the weekend. I could feel her sucking up my blood. She flew away and I noticed that my ear did not itch, as it usually does after a mosquito has struck. No other mosquitos bothered me over the weekend. Many of the council members complained about being bitten all weekend long.

Sometimes we just need to remember that all earthlings have a right to life. And we can sometimes negotiate a mutual agreement.

Thursday, January 16, 2020


A sing song tune

Along with a woman’s voice

From my cell phone 

Wakes me up this morning,

“Don’t move," Pain says.

"Ain’t I hurting you enough,


I grit my teeth,

As I lift the blankets with my

Weaker, clumsier, less dominant

Left hand.

I wince.

The woman is still talking,

Telling me the morning news.

“Shut up!”  

I don’t care right now.

I pull my legs over the side.

How the hell

Am I gonna get up

While I’m lying

On my only good arm?

I shove it out

And then push

Against the mattress.

My arm shakes as I rise.

I sit and breathe,

And breathe some more.

My feet reach out.

Pull one moccasin closer.

I breathe as I insert my foot.

I pull the other moccasin close

And put it on.

Pain bites my arm,

Burns my back,

And punches the inside,

Far inside of my chest

When I cough.

“You bastard!”

I want to yell.

“Ya can yell if ya want,”

Pain says from deep inside

My ribcage.

 “But it won’t do ya any,

Not one teensy bit

Of good.”

I breathe slowly in

And stand up.

My right leg tells me to wait

Just a minute.

My right leg doesn’t want to

Let the pain

Know it is going to move.

I lean over to turn off the alarm,

To shut up the morning alarm’s voice.

My feet move forward,

Down the hall,

Across the living room,

To the dining room table,

To the little plastic bottle

With the blue pain pills.

I sit.

I breathe.

I dump out three blue pain pills.

“Damn it!”

Where's the water?

I hold onto the table.

Lift myself up.

I Breathe.

I walk to the sink.

I lean in

And push the lever

With my non-dominant hand.

Water pours.

I grab a cup

I Breathe.

I fill it.

I Breathe.

I turn off the water with the cup.

And take a sip.

I Breathe.

“Why do you have to be

So cruel?”

I ask pain.

“I ain’t cruel.

I just am what I am.”

“What is that

That you are?”

I ask pain.

“I’m your protector,

Your warning

Of impending


I’m your alarm

To do something.”

“I don’t like you,”

I say to pain.

“I don’t expect you to.”