I walk through the dark valley of perception
with fingers stretched before me,
feeling for signs of life.
I need all my fingers
and palms open to do this,
to guide myself on this untrodden path,
to pass safely through shadows
of hungry lionesses
and stones thrown by angry giants
larger than reality.
I need open hands to do this.
If we only use two fingers to guide ourselves,
pointing at things we feel but can not see,
we will miss the trail we were seeking
or fall into the lion’s den.
And so, therefore, we can not see
with our pointing fingers.
No, we need open hands.
We will not see past the massive stones that were cast,
and will lose ourselves in their shadows
without open hands.
I can sense the eyes
like coyotes in a dark forest
when the moon is new,
and batteries in your headlamp stop working,
just as you’ve arrived at the rim of a canyon
barefoot and alone.
I can sense the eyes,
waiting for me to write something.
They want my power
and they want
to accuse me of giving it away.
They want something to yip about,
and it will always be about something
they will try to make my fault.
They want to misinterpret
what I say
and they will,
they always do.
They want me to doubt myself,
and if I don’t,
they will keep up their
Machiavellian dog warfare
for years if they have to,
until I cave,
until I forget who I am.
They want me to look away
so they can snatch up my words,
like a pack of coyotes
preying on a lone wolf.