Photos, Artwork, & Musings on Life, Spirit, Entheogens, Time, & Travel

Poems

Mariners We Are

MarinersWeAre-ColeManhood-frame

My posting frequency on this blog has slowed recently due to my becoming deeply involved in writing my first novel. The book, an epic science-fiction/fantasy series, is approaching completion and I will update this blog as I can, but I thought that for now I’d post some recent thoughts in the forms of a poem and a digital image or two.

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Often, I find myself simultaneously holding different visions of my humanity. On one hand, I sense the melancholy (which is not the same as sadness or hopelessness) of our situation here in this physical reality. It is the conundrum of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s metaphor of the Stairs that I’ve spoken of several times in these pages. Upon those stairs, we awake and know not whence we came, nor where we are bound. It is an authentic and enduring melancholy for every person–a melancholy borne of that mystery.

On the other hand, I feel a strong imperative to constantly and consciously create real happiness and fulfillment for myself within the time I exist upon those mysterious stairs. I do so by being a creator and I live that role right now. This is the only way to be in this life that brings me (or, I will maintain, anyone else) true joy. It is what Casteneda called a “Path with Heart,” and it brings unexpected delights and challenges to us, while each of us also remains involuntarily bound to that mysterious river of time that leads us to an unknown destination.

Those two visions emerged into two different creations recently, and I thought I’d share them here while I may be away from more regular blog posts for a while.

The Melancholy observation is represented by a poem that is my take on Emerson’s Stairs. It came fully formed out of sleep and the spirit realm of dream last night. The accompanying image (above) is my digital art alteration or enhancement of a detail from one of my favorite painters, Thomas Cole. (It’s from his four panel “Voyage of Life” series from 1842.) His paintings include some directly religious elements, but I believe the idea of guidance from “outside” of ourselves is possible in many shapes and forms that cannot be empirically measured. We are, in any case, on the boat and in motion to an unseen destination.

The Creative/happiness/joy/challenge observation is an original saying and a digital artwork rendered on a moonrise photograph I took along the Caribbean coast in Costa Rica a few months ago.

May we all continue to look, wonder, and choose to make our time upon the waters of life worthwhile by creating joy.

starband

 

 

Mariners

We are,

Passing through

Unknown lands

In fragile boats

Clad with skin.

 

We make no stops–

Frail vessels that

Set no anchor.

The wind blows

Without cease.

Our measured course

Fades in mists

Ahead.

 

[David P. Crews, 2015]

 

[Click any image for full size.]

PASSIONtoSEEK

 

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Big Bend National Park–Summer Photography

I have just returned from a short visit to the wonderful Big Bend National Park in southwestern Texas, USA. I’ve been traveling here off and on since the spring of 1962, taking photos and video, hiking and camping, and doing inner work and vision quests. With some extensive new photography equipment in hand including a Nikon D5300 and a computerized slider, I’m setting out to shoot new cinematography and photography of the park in multiple seasons. This is to remake an artistic film I created some years ago using standard definition video. Now, I can remake it in full HD with professional rigging for camera moves.

I’ll post more of the video elements later, but for now, here are some of the still photographs I made this week, accompanied by some script excerpts from the original film.

I hope you enjoy them!

I urge you to click through to the larger images for much higher quality!

MorningBigBend-borderTime

In Big Bend
The scale of time is different from
our time – the observers, ourselves – who come.

It is a different scale of time and of movement than
our time – our movement.

We are too fast to see it.
We cannot slow down.

Slow                 Down

EveningWindowView-borderWonder

There is an enchanted doorway –
a wonder and a sign.

A Temple of water
and air,

And walls of determination.

We briefly enter – and return again.

CastolonPeak-borderHeat

There is nothing between this sand and that yonder star
but empty space and a thin breath of blistered air.

A Weight Bears Down.
Relentless.
We cannot escape.

Our branches grow tough – and dark.
Our water, our blood, our thoughts
Dwindle . . . down.

The white light sears our flesh into dust,
and there is no wind to blow it away.

MexicanWallBoquillas-border

Stillness

The desert does not sleep.
It is an endless movement – the motion of survival.

We look and listen . . . and there is

Stillness

Silence

You can see it move if you are slow enough.
You can feel it, anyway,
if you are still enough.

Do not listen for it or watch for it.

Be Still

and Listen

and Watch

OldWindmillChisos-borderChange

This desert is young. This desert is old.
It depends on your speed, you see.

Some have come to change this land.
Some have changed it – some.

All who have come
Have Been Changed.

Some have gone now.
A fragrance lingers in secret places.
Their song echoes lightly on adobe and wood and stone.

The mesa shrugs, and it is gone.

SotolAndChisos-borderLife

She is clothed in riches. Bejewelled in green and yellow and brown.
An extravagance on this plate of rock – standing up, tasting the water.

Big Bend is not barren.

LIFE is everywhere in this Desert –
this Living Land.

Raising faces – arms to the air,
feeling deeply down for the lifeblood –
a watery current within.
Knowing how to keep that – and to hold it.

A Treasure.

WindowSunset-borderSpirit

The desert is a mirror.
The desert is a portal.

It reflects our souls back at us,
and then offers a Way
into another Realm.

We are opened up
and slowed down.

The soft voices of the Plants can be heard.
The wordless brotherhood of the Animals is known.
The marvel of the Eternal Moment can be felt
In our very ground.

Big Bend is a Heart Land.
A place of shifting Shapes.
It is a healer of the Spirit.

PetroStrip1

 

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An Earth Blessing

AboveTheSacredValley-border

 

Bless me, O beautiful Earth.

Bless me, O beautiful Earth.

For I have come forth from You,

And, I return again to You.

TorchGingerAmazon-border

 

Bless me, O beautiful Earth.

Bless me through my feet.

Bless me through my legs.

Bless me through my body.

Bless me through my arms.

Bless me through my hands.

Bless me through my face.

UpperAmazonJungle-border

 

Give me your blessing

As I gaze at your beauty.

HiddenBeachCaraneras-border

 

I return your blessing

With every movement and

Every sacred Word.

I am filled up with You.

SacredEarthDrum-border

 

Bless me, O beautiful Earth.

I am your Child.

I am Earth.

 

 

[Click any image for a larger view.]

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Stone Spirit Woman

DesertSpiritWoman-border

 

 

This is a digital art and photograph collage, but the stone face is an actual formation I came across in a less-traveled region of a lightly traveled hoodoo wonderland called the Bisti Wilderness Area in northwestern New Mexico, USA (commonly called the Bisti Badlands).  Is it pareidolia – an accidental shape that looks like a face, or is it an expression of animism? Yes, of course, and perhaps, I think, the other as well. Having taken myself down under the skin of consensus reality and once meeting a female Spirit of the Earth, I treat such things as this with respect and honor.

~  ~  ~  ~

Spirit Stone Woman                                   (by David P. Crews)

 

Once, I was wandering through time,

Threading a tortuous line through

undulations and towers of rock and clay.

 

Sitting, resting from my efforts,

I looked up and saw her face,

Sudden awareness chilling my arms.

A crickle of power and presence:

I had come unawares into a place

of natural holiness.

 

I speak. I ask permission. I look.

I gaze into the sky as She gazes.

 

Who has spoken with her in ancient days?

How long has she watched the stars?

For whom does she wait?

A shape sits silent, breathing another air

poised on the edge of eternity.

 

starband

 

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Moonrise

MoonriseGulf-border

From the swirl of

Unconsciousness

She rises.

A lantern

Glowing,

Revealing a

Pathway into

Dreams.

starband

An image I took of the moonrise over the Gulf of Mexico at Surfside Beach, Texas on October 23, 2013.

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The Stars Within

A new poem and artwork today.

It speaks of unfathomed dimension and scale in the human mind and soul.

StarsWithin-border

[click image for larger]

The Stars Within

 

Are we so small?

And yet are we many,

Oh so many, glowing here and there?

Bodies of intricate illusion,

Tiny swirls of light and bone?

Each contains a galaxy.

 

Breath and beat, independent

Engines that move us,

Just like all the others.

Fear and happiness

Shaping the face

Our mind looks out of.

 

Step within to see the trick.

Vastness. Volume –

Filled with stars.

Each the color of a memory.

Ideas cluster and flare: suns

Lighting the dark lanes.

 

Hard and cold planets, some

Massive and others minor;

Worlds of water and storms;

Orbs of unspeakable beauty,

Filled with people and stories;

Turn themselves ’round

And whirl within.

 

Some we craft with careful

Intention, spinning each one

Lovingly. Returning there,

Spending time, comforted –

Renewed by loved lands and faces.

 

Others, uncalled for,

Rush up to surprise us –

Alien visions within our domain,

We wonder who made these

Worlds we did not plan.

Our galaxy is so vast.

 

The stars within swirl right around

And sing the strands of Life.

They swirl right ’round:

An unexpected gleaming nebula

Clothed in humble membrane.

 

An unchartable symphony,

An unexpected dimension within.

A million million stars and worlds

Dance and turn about

An invisible Center,

An obscured Mystery.

 

We are many and oh so small,

And when each one is no more,

A wide galaxy, a very Universe

Transforming, winks away

Into unknown night.

–  –  –  –  –

[© David P. Crews, 2013]

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Emerge

Now,

I am in the greater void.
Reborn. Discontent.
Infused with intensity,
Straining for sustenance,
Comforted by reason.
Overjoyed by love,
Amazed by the newly seen,
Grasping for a higher throne
Made solid by the hand and mind
Of my recast soul.

Emerge-border

 

There is much I would like to know about the nature of God,

but I should be satisfied with startling him.

 

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A New Vista

 

 

 

GuatemalaView-border

 


In a New Land

 

Long I have struggled in the valley, only

To look up at the end and realize with a

Sudden start,

That I have arrived at the top of a

Mountain, instead.

 

The view ahead is one of beauty

And favor. The path before me is

Enticing, promising.

More hills in view, but

The slope is gentle

And green.

 

ColoradoValleyView-border

I’m anticipating a very big change in my life, which I will describe at the right time, but this poem came to me today to speak of the way change can sometimes come unexpectedly upon us, just when it seems that all things are stuck in an old pattern and won’t ever change. Maybe that valley we’ve been struggling through is not a valley after all. Maybe we will suddenly gasp as we gaze into a new vista. Then, we must not fear. We must take action and step confidently into our new world, creating it as we go.

 

LakePeten-border

 

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DavidCrews Blog Birthday

ShamanPath-borderThis blog is one year old today (December 23, 2012). It has evolved somewhat from its original directions, but that is what all living things do. I’ve been amazed to see readers from so many different countries around the world. The internet is one of those truly magical things that has become so commonplace so quickly that we take it as matter-of-fact. It is, however, still an amazing and life-changing new phenomenon here on this planet.

I appreciate each of you who discover my blog and take the time to read my little essays and view my photos and artworks. Although many visit, I get very few actual comments, so I want to encourage you to do so if you wish.

In whatever way you celebrate or salute the change of the seasons, I wish you peace and prosperity, especially of the mind and soul. A new year is about to begin for all of us together and for my blog in particular. Thanks for looking and don’t forget to check out my archives for one year’s worth of more interesting things!

‘Another great circle of Time, and off we go
Round that hoop once more. Why
Does the ring keep shrinking?
Soon, we’ll end up here again tomorrow.’
WinterSolstice
(or Summer Solstice for those in the Southern Hemisphere! 😀  )
Just remember the true reason for the season:  Axial Tilt!
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The Shape-shifter’s Tale

 

The Shape-shifter’s Tale
(a fragment of a myth)

He asked the Turtle, “Would you like to learn about things? Would you like to see what the world looks like for a horse?”

The Turtle replied, “A horse? That big thing? I don’t know what that would be like. It is too different from being a Turtle.”

“Yes, but you would learn what it is like!”

“I like being a Turtle. Turtle makes sense. Turtle is comfortable and safe.”

He approached the Horse. “Would you like to learn about things? Would you like to see what the world looks like for a Sparrow?”

The Horse whinnied at him and said, “Neigh – OK, that was a joke. So is that little Sparrow. I’m a Horse and I am happy to be a Horse. That’s the mane thing!” And he whinnied several more times causing the Sparrow to fly away in disgust.

He did not bother to remind the Horse that he might learn what other things are like.
He came up to the Boy and said, “Would you like to learn about things?” The Boy smiled at him, so he continued, “Would you like to see what the world looks like for a Lion?”

The Boy said, “I AM a Lion!!” and, still smiling, he ran around the meadow making a roaring sound.

 

 

 

 

[Click on any photo for a larger image.]

The petroglyph panels above are from the remarkable (and remarkably accessible) Newspaper Rock State Park site, right along the roadway to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah.

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