Not Forgiving In

Some cultures refer to drums as ‘steeds,’ since Shamans ‘ride’ the drumbeat into the otherworld.


Grim was the war from which
     the Shaman rode
the drumbeat into the
     Otherworld, pored
over, enforced a law
     of his own to
abhor, every lured
     villager cursed
his return, scorning hard
     Tomorrow the
way a mother dreads her
     childbirth until
it’s over, welcoming
     what emerges,
purer than hoped for, when
     too much fire, not
enough brimstone, brimming
     to the bone, brim
bubbling over, broken
     open wide, split,
     soiled with over-
flowing, ocean-growing
     cauldrons of boils
no literature’s words
     bothered to warn
or ever once spoke of
     before or since,
his anger prone to scenes,
     to perform this
ritual sacrifice
     without prior
notice, perceptible
     purpose, or use,
all of this arose more
     than his woes had
told, even those his face
     holds no matter
the pose or how closed his
     heart, still to be
shown to all is this hurt’s
     origin his
workings of sorcery
     work hard to keep
concealed deep from ever
     being exposed,
left unknown that so long
     ago before,
he grew sore from being
     thrown out of his
home by a man whose name
     he took as his
own, bore as a burden
     back when having
another’s back was no
     chore, in fact, it
carried cachet, knowing
     without knowing,
as he did then, too well,


     that spirits are
just beings made of our
     meanings which we
give them, without reason,
     by this means he
realized not all gods
     who are not, with
our hands, our lips, or in
     our minds, worshipped
die, but devotion gives
     form to what has
no need of ever once
     being revived,
since immortals are both
     those who do live
forever and never
     once were alive,
death is a lie’s ideal,
     a belief of
absence he refused to
     buy, only now
does he vibe the mantra
     whose muse others
who’ve suffered imbibe, not
     forgiving in
when chosen heritage
     brings difference,
pardons no one its weak
of symptoms, choosing
     to consume with
predestined prowess and
     rabid passion
even those whose thieving
     ignorance of
the process biology
     denies no
one its cost, the cause of
     life is to be,
not just because, but to
     see what cannot
be seen unless we move
     without pause from
wanting to disprove god,
     toward love, and
accepting each are our
     own, our Selves, this
he was exiled from his
     husband’s arms for
having thought, divorced not
     for lack of faith,
but for running off with
     a mouth that talked
of having too much, for
     power is to
make symbols obey the
     logic of your
metaphor, not the world’s,
     for this he fought.

1Patrick Dunn, “Chapter Three: Magical Artifacts” in Postmodern Magic: The Art of Magic in the Information Age, published at St. Paul, Minnesota by Llewellyn Publications in 2005; page 68.