All the good people that have died
and all the laughing children yet to be born
are all in the sky, the sky full of stars
all the time –
in the cosmic river of infinite matter
you climb the vine to meet them
to learn from them
to sit with them
to listen to their songs
to fight for them
back in our earthen paradise

Deep underwater
lives the mother of all fishes
she is the guardian of the fertile sea of life
the origin of countless spores eggs and spawn
she sittin’ by a rock cave
thousands of fathoms below
go down the vine ladder to pay respects to her
conversation goes like this:

Mom: Hi kid, you’ve come a long ways
good effort
What you got?
How many fishes do you want?

You: Nice to meet you too
well, um, uh..
I’m poor
don’t got nothing of riches
I’m sorry
here’s my heart, all I got
is that worth anything down here?

Mom: Hahahaha
thats fine, perfect
that’s about all that does matter
here’s a handful of fishes to share with your family
and smile a little bit, alright?
its gonna be okay

Under the sediment, clay and bedrock
low low low in the ground
next to the core mantle of the earth
lives the master of animals vai mahse
he is in the happy hunting grounds
by a mud wallow full of tracks
waiting for you with a blow gun and a crown of rainbow light
you descend on the vines
conversation like this:

You: Hello master of animals

Master: Hi kid, what’s up?

You: I wish to take life, so that my family can eat
I have come to ask permission to do so

Master: That is fine
take, share, say thank you
in turn
protect the forest, the desert, the mountains, the plains, the grasslands
care for the rivers lakes and springs
keep it clean
work hard
let animals multiply, respect their homes
super simple
you can do that for me?

You: Yes I can

Master: How many peccary would you like today?

You: 2-3?

Master: Your wish is my command, keep up the good work

In a way
it’s all the same patterns –
lianas and vines
guts and intestines
rivers streams and creeks
curving back and forth, high and low
the serpentine waves
that undulate the tides
and the motion
of our daily lives

The egg is the earth is the egg
nourished by the rain from clouds
and fertilized by the semen of the sun
tying these elements together
are vines and flowers
bitter vines, and fragrant flowers

Drink a gourdful of yage…
then, as you are laying in your hammock
praying to be released from the psychic mind trap that is humanity
hoping to be healed of who knows what
dreaming of the lightning bolt that pauses time
here come the little doctors
they color your faded crusty disfigured and damaged lines
they dip and submerge your innards into a shining reflective sea
they weave your soul in geometry and symmetry
they etch love for the earth mother into the valleys and crevasses of your being
and come sun rise
something is different
I’m still alive…
for the first time in a long long time
longer than I can remember
everything feels aligned,
I am at peace
with myself…
the fog has lifted and the sky is blue
what happened?
what is this place?
why is it so

And the flower blooms
this is what I learned from drinking yage,
and listening to the stories of the ancients
thank you to the doctors of the amazon
thank you to the botanists who walked over and then beyond the rise
and thank you to the cheerful guides of the spirit universe
in all their forms, shapes, sizes and personalities
still laughing about tales of good and evil, and the river vines full of colors