Tag Archives: Consciousness

FROM MUSCLE SHOALS TO BAKERSFIELD

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FROM MUSCLE SHOALS TO BAKERSFIELD

 

From Muscle Shoals to Bakersfield familiar vagabond spirits I meet

torch of knowing burning through opened eyes

we know what’s it’s like to live on the other side

to exist on the outside looking in

we know why others find comfort dwelling inside another’s’ dream

and why we choose a life

chasing freedom

 

From Tacoma to Portland, Maine

I recognize their kind

essence of life dripping like sweat from the tip of our nose

committing sins as if sins are our daily bread

forgive us father for we have erred time and time again

attaining knowledge from our trials

forgive us father if we have grown so much wiser

than the fearful kind who have faced no trials at all

forgive us father for we have sinned

time and time again

learned from our mistakes and moved on

aware that experience may darken the soul

light dimming with the passing of years

but if we allow wisdom to blossom from failures

there’s a special kind of light that burns

when we conquer our fears

 

From the harsh winters of Fargo to the tropics of Brownsville

we move on down this road with a song in our hearts escaping

these weary travelers disconnected

from mechanisms of society intended to control us

disconnected from those desiring to lord over us

to own us

we cut the puppet strings and paved our own road out of here

this song in our hearts escaping

our severed hearts finding a chorus to hold on to

these vagabond souls singing all the time rejoicing in

Whitman’s Song of the Open Road

In The End

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In the end

if my hands and heart are scarred

then know I’ve fared well

for each scar is a memory, a medal of honor

for challenges defeated, battles won

and lessons learned

 

In the end

I will not be pure

pure like mountain streams born of snowmelt

for purity is a lack of experience

and I am the stream when it makes the delta

a thousand miles from home

depositing my silt into the ocean of the universe

Heretic

mesopotamia ruins

Rising sun come

rise with me

shatter this darkness that consumes

darkness consuming everything

I’m an infant learning to see

but your  intensity scorches the skin of my earth

so I learn to blink

open eyes close

absorb what I can

touch you in small doses

preserve an infantile mind

when you grow weak

my earth dies

I am an infant

deaf dumb and blind

struggling to comprehend your mysteries

grunting something unintelligible to explain what I’ve seen

I am the wilderness

grazing for food on the great grasslands

picking berries from a bush, digging for edible roots

chasing rabbits into a hole

sharp stone in one hand raised high

ready to strike a blow

I’ve learned to kill to survive

and killing bothers me none

for if I die

this illusion comes undone

I am a shaft of light

finding my way through dense forests

picking fruit from a low hanging branch

learning to climb

higher and higher on this tree of humanity

when apples are sparse a hallucinogenic mushroom will do

mushrooms cracking open my sky

infinity pours out

grunting syllables into a void separating a future on hold

I am the storm

blackened bellies rolling across a desperate sky

dripping tears and spewing fire

grassland ignites

capture fire and never let it die

for the sun again grows weak and I’ve begun to notice

rhythm of the sun as it ebbs and flows

days grow longer and days grow shorter

days grow warmer and days grow colder

cycles measured and recorded

rhythmic cycles of the sun repeating over and over

I am awakening

and I’ve begun to notice

I have no clothes to wear or shoes on the feet

and maybe I should fashion some

soon as I learn how to sew

grunt in repetition and point at a thing

others echoing conformity

birth a language and communication breaks down

You are a dream

in sleep so many strange visions

witnessed your disemboweled remains strewn across the savanna

heard the final screams

as the wild pack feasted on your meat before vultures came

picking bones clean

sometimes in restless sleep I see you walking back to me

whole, resurrected

soothing, comforting, loving, angry, threatening, acting strangely

and I cannot understand when the dead return

where they come from or where they go

in the vacuum of comprehension religions are born

I am an artist

painting visions on a cave wall

bury the dead

leave a loved one’s belongings in the grave

appease appease appease appease appease

appease these fears

irrational fears spawned by things I can’t understand

sacrificial lambs never scream when so easily programmed

not to scream when blood stains my earth

create a language to describe the mysteries I perceive

congregate in mud huts for protection and security

We are one

Ur Olmec Nile Valley Sanxingdui and Norte Chico

paint our visions on cave walls for future generations to see

stand on a ziggurat and give praise to the sun and moon

name celestial bodies creeping across an ebony sky that governs

nothing

pray for appeasement from soulless elements giving rise

to everything

in absence of gods science emerges

architectural achievements piercing the sky

bronze tools forged in high heat increasing productivity

paint pottery with symbols of the ruling deity

construct canals from rivers delivering water to the fields

supplement grace of gods with practical gifts of technology

We are God

Mesopotamian men invented gods and strove to become gods

inventing weaponry to slay their enemies

so much blood sacrificed for gods so silent

gods never uttering a word

gods never ordering a man into battle

men rallying around silent gods because someone suggested they should

butchering other men for gods never seen or heard

superstitious myths strike fear into the hearts of the populace

superstitious myths spun from mouths of men imagining themselves god

reserve schooling for children of the kings

chain the masses to ignorance and terror of cosmic proportions

for any act of rebellion will be dealt severe repercussions

from vengeful gods seeking destruction

so many silent gods rising and falling through Time

invisible gods never uttering a word

This is how the few learned they could control the many

force us into an obedient life of servitude

by carefully choosing their illusions

the few lulled the many into an eight thousand year delusion

and someday when the sun finally rises

when the sun comes and shatters our darkness

blindness will be stripped away

and we shall awaken

when lightning strikes our Earth

the heretic shall awaken

capture fire

and never let it die

Stagnation

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Old man donated

forty years of loyal service to the corporate logo

forty years behind a desk, filling out forms

endless meetings, a yes man for self-preservation

never rocked the boat

never found fault in the corporate agenda

never learned how to live

liked to brag about the level of stagnation he achieved

After forty years of servitude they came and declared

it’s time to retire, thanks for the years

here’s a small plaque and a pin for your lapel

notice the corporate logo?

thanks much, it’s time for you to go

time to train someone new for your post

Four days later those who worked beside him all those years

we’re far too busy for memories of people who used to be

because the machine keeps rolling

world never pauses to reflect upon those left behind

in the stream of Time

Four weeks after retirement

they forgot his face and all the things he had done

all those things being mundane

achievements not worthy of lasting fame

after four months most couldn’t remember his name

couldn’t remember him at all

as if he never existed

never sacrificed his soul

his one and only life in the physical world

sacrificed for the corporate goal

and the disease of stagnation leaves a man one dimensional

drops him off at a station in Time

never to progress

baggage of unfulfilled dreams at his feet

Her Rain

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In the season of the storm my ballasts have come undone

moorings once secured to a stable berth

anchorages now destroyed

the unseen beauty hidden in the tragedy of a storm

release of chains, breaking of shackles

the beauty of destruction is in the release

of the moorings holding us down

I am another wayward traveler drifting

floating on currents of Time

wandering aimlessly in and out of storms

across empty oceans searching

oceans of empty knowledge at my stern

just another lost child

an afterthought in Yahweh’s mind

so many storms eclipsing the sun

angry disturbances spawning indictments against an only son

foundations of this fragile vessel constructed from planks of weakened memes

breaking apart when challenged

when an angry wind howls my shame

and lightning damages my sky

hail pummels, scarring flesh

breaking bones

punishment for things I’ve done

foundation of self disintegrating under pressure of storms bearing down

vessel gone

arms flailing wildly in ocean of despair

hands grasping at broken planks floating by

a life-preserver, anything to survive

sinking

drowning

final breath passing through lungs, escaping lips

sleep, eternal, sleep

is here

release, eternal, release

is here

final breath of destructive beliefs

exhaled

Awakening on a distant shore

salvation found in a plank from a foreign vessel

on my knees coughing up former self

broken and bleeding

stormy ocean behind

fury dissipating into gentle breeze

whispering

We suffer because we want . . .

We suffer because we want . . .

and suffering no more is all I desire

from a fire burning on the beach she emerges

as tears from heaven explode in the sand

taking infant steps forward I stumble and fall

out of the storms falling

into her rain

She invites this lost traveler into her home

sanctuary for the unborn

transcending consciousness in her womb

darkness shattered by light doomed to be extinguished soon

as we pass from womb to future tomb

light existing only in this moment of passing

before darkness consumes

In her face a reflection of me

such a natural beauty I’ve never seen

a tear she sheds for children yet to find their way

a tear for humanity

Brahma tears falling like rain

naked at her bosom feeding

I lay

wrapped securely in gentle arms

masturbating

ejecting worldly seed

system purging everything

lips pulling on nipples extracting truths

unmovable truths deeply woven into threads of Nature

striping away lies I’ve told myself

there is no permanence, everything decays . . .

stripping away lies of society

the constructs of men are an illusion, nothing is real . . .

the remains of Eden clearly visible outside my front door

and my shadow lays dying on the floor

bleeding so many beliefs untrue

tears of joy falling

nurturing rain cleansing

her rain kissing

my soul

Soul

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Tears flow

blood flows

feel the pain

the human stain

standing in the rain

wash away the sin

cleanse my skin

fill in the holes

baptize this soul

in experience

emotional transference

physical stimuli

till the day I die

If I couldn’t feel

none of this would be real

emotions tattoo the moment

memories of happiness and torment

if I didn’t have a soul

I couldn’t feel anything

feel anything at all

if it wasn’t for this battered soul

I wouldn’t have known you

known you at all

Home

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There’s an abandoned school bus behind a darkened turkey barn

where I sit on the steps watching grazing longhorn

in a forgotten pasture outside the hills of Fredericksburg

where our congregation meets when the soul grows cold

absorbing vibrant sunsets breaking across an endless sky

and spend the night gathered around a fire in a soft rain

wet kisses falling upon the flesh and we don’t mind

on our knees begging to sense a creator’s touch

healing aches and pains and the wounds of the day

listening to Earth’s whispers carried on the wind

soothing a travelers’ weary soul

and I’m lost in the flame of a new religion burning

holes in my soul

this crackling campfire so hypnotizing I slip into a dream

drifting far away to another plane

where boundaries and limitations don’t exist

lost in the rhythm of gypsy guitars picking a soulful refrain

feel the chords falling down

falling like rain

while perched atop the bus angels sing

and we are the children of the sun

exiled offspring of the universe seeking our way back into her good graces

snapshots of the mind capturing these moments in time

engulfed by the energy of fleeting friends

fully aware that our time together is temporary at best

so we reveal ourselves and innermost desires

mistakes we’ve made and lessons learned

because there’s nothing left to lose

nothing left to gain through lies and excuses

we are monuments of being rising up from the valley of our souls

punching through fog of sleeping dreams

these children of the sun gathered around a fire in the hill country rain

wishing these moment could last forever

these moments etched in time

our vagabond souls bound

in love

friendship

and a gypsy’s soulful rhyme

here tonight and gone tomorrow

with no regrets or sorrow

because soon our paths shall part

for there are new roads we must follow

and somewhere further up the road we shall find

a new place to call home

for a little while

Pavlov’s Dog

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Found a new religion on the silicon prairie

theology born from psychedelic minds

of Ventura Highway refugees

gospels of semiconductor devices deciphered

by silicon valley high priests preaching

quantum physics to screw with the mind

Keepers of the faith

caretakers of this new knowledge

stationed in outpost churches on a new frontier

dwelling in pulpit cubicle caves like shamans of old

speaking Latin to a congregation naive

strange tongue of engineers educating factors of production in efficiency

I was tutored by a Hell’s Angel in high vacuum technology

Knowledge of ancients purged, brain reprogrammed with

A/C, D/C, digital devices, and Boolean Algebra

balanced with chemistry, biology, and trigonometry

learning to speak the language of Engineers

solving mathematical equations deciphering mind of god

Higgs Boson valance shells and free electrons

the more I learn the less I know

awakened neurons igniting tiny fires burning tissues of brain

constant whispering in my head as knowledge spreads

same below as above, same below as above

and I get it now

On the fabrication floor soothing hum of magnificent machines running

properties of the sun replicated in machines striking plasma

hidden state of matter shining like truth

unrecognized as it scorches lives

hardened targets melting Al Ti and platinum

laying down microscopic metal interconnects on silicon plates

where electrons flow like a river

Boron atoms shot into silicon altering conductivity

of devices spun

atom by atom creating high technology

electron microscope revealing blueprints of a city once unimaginable

electric pulses opening gates switching analog devices

off and on off and on off and on

discovering the universe is one giant algorithm yet defined

In pyramids rising across the globe

architectural monuments of this new technology

high priests train slaves to serve agendas of high priests rising

as demigods delivering

high powered hand held devices of functionality

distracting feeble minds

who declared the new boss is the same as the old boss

and nothing ever changes

so I earned a degree

and the engineers laughed and set me free

I am Pavlov’s dog, the one he let go

searching for a new master

Candy Man

From The Evolution of Disconnect:

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A sea of people in the streets with nowhere to go

homeless crack heads winos prostitutes and bums

colored by despair

tones of charcoal grey filtering

hope a distant light generated

from some other far away sun not reaching this world

dreams deflated by reality

so many dead eyed men surrounding

closing in

smothering

an ocean of charcoal grey tones storming

wave after wave crashing down

Deep into the concrete forest I ventured

graffiti on ramshackle shacks warning

bars on windows and doors symbolizing

desperation of men wanting

this territory of men forgotten

deep into this concrete forest I ventured

this place the king’s men refused to enter

heard the report from the shotgun blast

saw your soul splattered on a chevron wall

hung my head and whispered a prayer

down in the streets praying a sinner’s prayer

When the flood came you had my back

warning of plots from the graveyard hoard

those dead-eyed men conspiring

as the river crested over urban streets

.357 at a beggars head

clinging to the final dime-bag in your hand

ten-dollar whore on her knees behind a drugstore

overworked lips cracked with sores

cheat a man at dice over on Pine and you’ll get a pint

upside the head

liquor store pavement stained red

by the blood of a man who tried to make a difference

but Satan is the wind whispering your name

‘cause god already fled this scene

and I’ve witnessed too much to ignore the code

when another man has my back do what I can

to satisfy his needs for reward

so I offered up a square

and he walked away dancing without remorse

Down the road beneath a charcoal grey steeple deeply scarred

bars on windows and locked doors

providing safety from beasts roaming the hood

children found shelter

good people fulfilling a mission

to preserve the light in children’s eyes for as long as they can

anxiously waiting for my truck every Wednesday at two

and when I entered the room with hands full

all the children smiled and cheered

the candy man is here!

the candy man is here!

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Those who danced were thought insane by those who could not hear the music

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

1.

August, 2011.

 

I’ve fallen off the grid.

 

Forgotten highways and dirt road backstreets are my lifelines. Cow pastures, turkey barns, and asphalt parking lots in old, abandoned towns are my homes. Removed from the white noise of the city Earth’s heartbeat pulsates through the skin, recalibrating an emerging soul. Silently I dance a dance of chaos to the rhythm of a dying sun.

 

From the doorway of a converted school bus parked behind a turkey barn I sit on a step and watch as the sun sinks into the earth. An explosion of colors race across a deepening blue sky, reflected back into the universe from my eyes. Scent of rain hangs heavy in the air as storm clouds retreat in the distance.

 

Engulfed in emptiness I’m all that remains of a congregation that once gathered here for a weekend each month. Voices of ghosts echo inside the head. Closing eyes, a thousand faces stare back but the connection is gone. Energy has ebbed. Love has evaporated. Path fades in a diminishing light.

 

This is my church, my religion, my spiritual awakening. In the distance trees congregate to meditate. Flowers bow heads in prayer. Silhouetted against the horizon, mesas rise up to witness the ceremony. Stars emerge in the east, twinkling brightly with anticipation. Wind carries a sermon and I lean forward to listen. Eyes close and a restless spirit is soothed by the words. Weightlessness consumes the body. Mind is set free to roam the countryside, soaring across land and water, across space and time to a place where the lines of reality are blurred, a place where boundaries and labels can’t exist, into another dimension where limitations are not known. I am but an illusion in the physical world, just another soul trapped inside a host.

 

Everything is a symbol.

 

I am a child of the Earth, born of the elements, grounded in the soil. My soul was born from a seed planted inside this host and took root in the consciousness of the universe. I am the darkness and the light, the rising and setting of the sun and everything in between. My soul has merged with the force that sparks life into everything. I feel all it feels as it fills all of me.

 

Opening eyes, sun is a tiny red orb sinking over the horizon. Lightning from a distant storm illuminates the sky and I pretend it’s a thought passing through God’s mind. Scent of rain remains but storms have passed without releasing a drop. Fields have dried up. Vegetation is scarce. Ground is hard, deeply scarred by cracks. Ponds, creeks, and rivers run dry. The path abruptly disappears into the charred remains of the land. There is nowhere further to go. This is the end and I am but a symbol of something yet to be understood.

 

Everything is a symbol.

 

My name is Jason Powell and I was shoved off the grid.