Ol’ Salty the Seaman

Ol’ Salty wakes up grumpin’ before dawn.

“Blasted seagulls!” he harangues, “Squeakin’n’a-squawkin’ this early in the morn.”

In a sleepy
still-drunken
stupor
he tugs on his boots
heave-ho!
and stumbles
down steps
over a wooden deck
to the beach.

“Blasted seagull!” he shakes his little fist, “Stare at me like that! I’m not a-scared of you, seagull!”

He huffs and puffs like a tea kettle blowing over
shooting steam from beneath the brim of his cap.

“Blasted seagull.. Don’t give me that stink-eye, seagull!”

Ol’ Salty settles down as the seagull drifts off uncaring
still staring
with a chest puffed out.

“Hmph.. blasted seagull.”

He muses into the sea and combs at his beard.

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He brightens for a moment
struck by an idea
and slips a pipe
from his pocket
eyes it
taps it
blows it
packs it
full of smoke.

He gazes across the sea
as the breeze
brushes long,
drawn-out
waves
rippling
lapping
against the shore

He nods his head back
to the sky
pre-dawn
faint and dark
speckled with stars

He breathes
and smells the air
tasting of salt.

The sun
begins his flight

and Ol’ Salty
loses himself

in the purple rays
in the chrome orange-yellow
in the halcyon blue
in the buckets of pink
spilling
among the clouds.

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Harvest your inner child

It’s October, wan, chilly, orange-brown, dead-leafy October. And because October is the month of my birth, I’ve been relaxing a lot and taking naps on the daily. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not lazy or anything like that, there are simply seasons when I sleep more and seasons when I sleep less. Along with the Fall, the Winter is a sleepy season. I attribute my sleeping patterns to the amount of time I spend waking in the Spring and Summer.

It makes sense to me.
I follow the circular footsteps of the sun.

There are other reasons I love this time of year:

Autumn is ripe for the exploration of the imagination. It’s the time of year when the veils between worlds, waking & dreaming, living & dying, are at their thinnest – think about Halloween when we dress up as scary, ugly, sexy, funny, alter-egos, or Dia de los Muertos when we celebrate the dead, or Samhain when we honor the innate chaos of the universe.

Cultures across the globe practice similar holidays of magic.

I remember one year I spotted a vine-y winding plant growing in my backyard. I couldn’t identify it other than maybe perhaps being a squash. Around harvest time, I discovered it was a pumpkin patch! I had a genuine pumpkin patch magically sprouting to life in my backyard. I felt rather like Cinderella…

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This year for Halloween I plan on dressing up as an elf. I have a forest green cloak and a hat of similar coloring. All I need is a quiver & bow, which shouldn’t be too hard to manifest; I practiced archery back in the day, I imagine all I have to do is access that muscle memory and fffwwwiippp! I’ll draw myself to a bow.

One Hallow’s Eve in the past I dressed up as a shaman and was subsequently arrested on a train to Philadelphia. It was a whole spectacle. An officer tackled me after I refused to snub out a stick of incense. As far as I was concerned, it was part of my costume. I think the mask scared him. As well as the staff I was carrying. He later told me it was rather suspect, but I think he meant frightening.

Whatever the case, the past is the past, forgive and forget, the whole nine yards, and as a nervous fellow once told me (who by the way scared the living SHIT out of me), “I ain’t got time for no shenanigans.”

Magical creatures live through me

After spending a weekend in Provincetown and about two weeks in California, I’ve decided to let my imagination run loose with a number of magical characters.

Allow me to elaborate:

While spending a night and a couple days on top of Mt. Shasta, I felt so much like an elf.. tall, strong, intelligent, skillful, flashy.. It most definitely had something to do with blowin’ trees, the altitude, and the already existing magical lore of the mountain. The combination made for a reality alterable simply by a concentrated effort and a playful imagination. Not to mention, I found a straw hat while hitching on Highway 5, and I’ll tell you what, there must have been some magic in that old straw hat I found, because when I put it on my head I began to dance around, oh!

Photo from Harbor Square Gallery, Rockland, Maine. Didn't catch the artist name or painting title.

But that wasn’t the first time I felt like an elf. One time after a vigorous yoga practice, the teacher came over and pinched my ears in savasana, and almost instantly, I smiled inwardly with a deviousness that surprised me.

When chopping wood, I also feel my inner elf come alive.

I imagine it stems from my northern European roots. I have an inkling that my lineage and bloodline traces back to the Celts, and more specifically, the Druids.

A few other magical happenings:

One day about a year ago, I woke up to find a pair of wings had sprouted from my shoulder blades. The left one was crushed underneath my body, so naturally I unruffled it to find more comfort. As I awoke from that borderland area of waking and dreaming, I was amazed to retain the feeling of the wings and a newly acquired sense of lightness. Talk about the manifestation of subtle energies!

I drew the wings in my notebook, and without too much thinking, I sketched out a body as well. The body looked impish, which rather frightened me at first, but since then, I’ve lightly explored the nether realms of the Devil/Pan/Lucifer (I’d like to note that none of these entities are the same, but they are indeed related) to gain a better understanding of that particular impish energy.

More recently, while having a raucous good night with my girlfriend, I started seeing red until the whole of my vision was flooded with the color, and all of a sudden, I sprouted antlers! It really was quite the experience. I remember feeling possessed by Pan, and although I fought it at first, I finally ceased resisting. Only then was I given my antlers. I remember also feeling a wave of joy and ecstasy at acquiring such a gift.

So there it is… My imagination made manifest through the realm of subtle energies: antlers, wings, elven blood. What’s next?

While at Provincetown I felt quite like a pirate. Another time a friend described me as a starseed. But enough of these fantastical experiences for now. I’ll share more another time, in another post.