The shaman

Sinking, sinking, sunk…My heart it keeps falling lower and lower like the evening sun
My rickety back porch edge, sits to overview...Devastation over dues, as I pour another days worth of sands from my weather beaten shoes
The drought continues to dance…dance her seducing, teasing winds Round and round it sends pallid brittle crops, bent and begging on crusted earths, pleading will it ever stop!
Thousands and thousands more of the same, I can’t help but feel the shame. I, the farmer… the modern day shepherd, struggle to tend my once producing acreage plains
Pastor Williams preaching from the pulpit “Keep the faith” sermons but, our fears to Him a sin? Falling on deaf ears… to determine
Without rescuing rain to endure, the next phase of moon welcome not here! Moistures now left from soils, my life it to… wither away
My left hand the plow and right one, the reaper, Blowing with the dusts my livelihood, ires inside grow deeper and deeper!
Then a soothing presence felt, standing in crooked doorways to query “Jeb”? An ambiance familiarity, from plagues day by day, further bad news she carries
Afraid to turn and peer into her eyes, old frail frame may begin to break. Blood pumping bass drum into my head, how much more of this madness can I take?
“Yes, Martha”? Her windows speak volumes of love, but the tears give away the pain. This old coot, like the column on the porch must still be her support, as she bears to also take the strains
“The Well…It’s finally run dry” those tears …The only rain, she begins to cry. The storms inside they rise to swell fall behind the barriers of duty…quell
My arms, cocoon her beautiful feeble frame, lasting ounces of strength reassurances “Martha, it will be okay”
“We have a few dollars saved. We can rent the home on properties northeastern bay” a faint smile, sunshine’s peeking ray
Spits and sputters from pick-up motors, it resisted and insisted we didn’t drive away
Concaved reflections of a home we built, fading in to the dusts… of the pasts. At least, Martha and I have each other and maybe if by a miracle will have the…harvest last
Growing into view, contrasting mammoth oaks, the tiny house on approach didn’t seems quite so cute
On closer loom, broken down fences, front porch swing and rumored, too…an old hermit neighbor, he an Indian Yute
Martha, new with excitement by the move, grasped my hand as she ran, and explained to me all the things we could seek to improve
My mind elsewhere, a keen to the borrowed monies I needed to attain, a loan now the bank would not approve…without the securities from a new fallen rain
This sets angers wanting to return, her upgrades, unnoticed I had failed to learn, when at the door a “knock, knock”. Puzzled to each other we looked
Shadowed in the doorway, before us, an ancient tiny leathered man…before we could speak he had hold of my hand and with a happy grumble… he greeted us as we shook
His words akin to gravel continued to pebble forth “I’m delighted to meet you; I’m your neighbor “The Shaman” he turned to Martha and gave her the report
She with a misplaced heart, was charmed by his mysterious presence I’m sure …but he was a distraction now not to need, so with bitterness in my own I asked him to leave
Martha understood there was another drought, the one inside my own heart…apologized to the Shaman and invited him to join us in a peace offering, she handed him one of her homemade cinnamon tarts
Our first evening, I had hoped to be alone …in this our quaintest little home, but instead it was filled with a mirth of conversation over dinner between Martha and her indigenous Indian gnome
I was silent, maybe offering a word or two; it wasn’t that I was trying to be rude. The burdens upon me more than a few and if we lost this farm what would we do?
I sensed the shaman through my silence, knew that something was askew…His eyes hypnotic were storytellers; wise, keen, astute
Did they reveal my anger bottled up and shook, like a volcano that was ready to erupt?
This possible scary revelation made me stand up, I grabbed his lapels and then to interrupt
“You sir have got to go, it’s getting late” and I threw him out the door!
“Jeb, what’s come over you, how could you be so impolite”? I wanted to answer but hindered a fight, emotions too raw although emotions contrite
Martha I never deserved, embraced my egos and prides as she dragged us all to the bedroom and turned out the lights
Why she loves me so much she never confides, but unveils it to me with all of her touch and the looks in her eyes…this the blanket that helps me to sleep through all of the nights
But this night a surprise… as I’m woken by Martha and to what seem like suffering animals …and their frantic cries
I rise…putting on my robe, giving assurances to Martha, the pathways lit by ember burning stoves out the front door and into the groves
Stumble and weave to barely but see, through the fallen down fence, a crickety shack where Indian chants flowing brought louder by the breeze
Floodgates of anger now free flowing through, like a tidal wave I arrive at his door pounding, pounding then yelling “Open up you crazy old shaman Yute”!
My fists upon the timbers kicked up the antiquated dusts but the actions of my rages, the door it did not bust
Dragging on for minutes or more, the reservoir now drained and confusing thoughts thrust, as I slumped in front of his entrance and under my breathe I cussed
He was surely in there; strident sounds my ears still bear, the chants even louder continue to blare
One last attempt to try, as I peeked in his window mother nature curtain‘s covering blackened dirt through which I could not spy
Defeated, I began to take my leave as I spotted a crack between the logs, where I might see… and the strange ideas behind his early morning songs of somber glee
He danced among a haze of smoke and mist, arms a flailing, singing but no comprehensive words, a feathered stick that stuck within his clenching fists
I than began to yell and scream “would you please stop” Thinking now he could hear me, but the ritual he never dropped
I left angrier than when I came, a new found burden added upon my frame, but now I had somewhere I could place my blames
Two whole days and now even three!! Blood boiling, even Martha’s patience growing thin, the ceremonies continuance over by decree… will this shotgun put to end!
One man can only take so much, and then it was over…an eerie hush…
I didn’t believe it as I stood at the front entrance with filtered eyes through screened door… “Was that a rain cloud?” My heart in a state weeping to implore!
CLAP! Of thunder broke the trance, heaven’s buckets then released…“Martha, Martha” joyous off of porch did I dance…and the liquid beauty never ceased!
She ran gloriously… to me, with jubilant smiles “Jeb, we are saved, we are saved” laughing and dancing all the while
The reward now waning as a flicker of my recent misthoughts of deeds, I was willing to do mischief to a neighbor over my own selfish needs
That’s when I looked and saw “The Shaman” standing there oh, so proud
With a smile that beamed to the testament of those chants …that now I understood. They had been directed like a plea towards heaven
…that’s why? They were so awfully loud!

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Submitted on May 01, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

6:33 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme Text too long
Characters 7,400
Words 1,311
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 55


A fortyish native born all American man. Married twice and for the last time. I have four children; Three daughters and one son that are all over the age of eighteen. I also have two grandchildren; one three years old and one nine months old. Inspired by God, tragedy, life's experiences and then a fairy tale love. I never intentionally set out to write poetry, but "She" inspired me. "She" meaning the love of my life. That love is a passion that after thirteen years still grows stronger each and every day. It eventually had to be put into writing. As I wrote poetry to her, she encouraged me to approach other subjects. Doing so brought me to discover that poetry could wash away the bitter tastes of life (suicide, cancer, and divorce) that were still living like demons inside me. So when poetic therapy brought those impish fiends to a stalemate, I began to experiment more. Creating fictional characters and situations within my works. The support of this online community has inspired me even further to continue to hone my writing skills giving the readers the best that I can offer. Thanks to all you out there in Lulu land. more…

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