"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

29 July 2019



I had to skin a 12 lb pork shank
which is a tough job if you're not a butcher.
Even when dead, animals want to keep their skin.
Antelope, deer, and bear are far easier than pigs.
So is a cow.  I must have wanted to keep
the molar I had jerked the other day.  It took
an hour to wrestle the sucker out by which time
I had entered the body of a lazuli bunting
back home twenty miles away.  In bad times trances
help.  The bird was marvelous as my bones had
never been so light though the new vision
was a little frightening but far from the dentist's office.
During my recent ninety day of shingles
I was in many creatures and many places.
You still inhabit the pain but are not miserably
trapped in its location.  So my precious tooth
is gone forever, and I praise the lazuli bunting,
its miraculous colors of blue, a little white, 
a chest patch of beige and orange, for taking 
me to a far better place to suffer.

(Author's advice: Choose small
creatures, birds, salamanders, otter.
Megafauna are dangerous
and we are far beyond the capabilities
of almost anyone.)

Jim Harrison

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