Tag Archives: symbols

FROM MUSCLE SHOALS TO BAKERSFIELD

229 - Copy2

 

 

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

014 (2) - Copy2

 

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

Children of the Hive (birth)

florence cathedral - Copy

Down at St. Mary’s First Presbyterian Sinai Methodist Baptist Hospital

a child is born

Aleene Junko Wang Onur Hassan David Kimiyo Yesenia Vladimir

Miguel Andrei Abner Lissette Sema Ron Hormisdas Souzan Jorge

born in these government dispensaries harvesting fresh humans

for corporate consumption from heavily seeded urban fields

embryos encased for nine months in complexes of sheetrock pods

infants bursting forth from darkened wombs

Li Damica Choko Kseniya Corradeo Ahmad Neylan Camara Zackery

Callie Hana John Vander Tariq Jenna Khalil Zhang Seymour Rocco

sprouts bursting forth from seeds

twisting and turning

inching toward that life giving light of illumination

fed artificial light of artificial things destroying

the unaware

these blooms of factories

Jomo Tamiko Mogens Shalom Zerrin Peter Rudo Nuncio Salama

Alaire Jilt Sofia Curtis Ignazio Taillefer Anouk Zeki Helida Tryne

organic components grown on the human vine

replacement cogs in a machine

factors of production

blooms clinging to the vine in winds of a perpetual storm

just another flower in a seed farm

whose sole purpose is to labor and consume

cultivated to serve

the purposes of corporate harvesters

cycles of time repeating

again and again throughout history

this workforce herd in constant breeding

birthing a future workforce

Stepan Zohreh Elizabeth Rada Darice Gabrielle Kristina

Masao Chen Victoria Jesus Dai Aida Orazia Teresa Maria

cities are corporate farms harvesting a crop

plumbers bricklayers and framers

preserving the foundations of slaves

Lia Juan Gao Tamie Archa Akemi Basia Neal Orli Paki Skye

Adia Kya Govert Eshe Steven Rei Zola Eli Huang Marta Joost

truck drivers dock workers and railroad engineers

transporting consumables to keep the slaves fed

professors bible school and public school teachers

subliminally instilling fatalistic programming into our heads

work work work until you’re dead!

and every hospital is the Alpha and Omega

the beginning and the end

birthing cities

over and over again

communal cornerstones towering over the populace

watching her children live and die

silently standing by

as her children live out their lives

Eabroni Irina Tallis James Yildiz Aleah Zainabu Elena Wu Nasim

Kahraman Tian Emanuelle Yu Michael Elma Naoko Akar Boris Joel

lost in the struggle to define themselves

falsely seeking false light

and when they’ve reached the end

there’s a hospital at the expiration of every lifeline

taking her children in again

Sunshine

025 - Copy3

She works nights down at the factory

sacrificing the sun

keeps to herself, burned so many times

silently performs her tasks and when the shift is done

walks away down darkened streets so cold

fully aware

there’s no sunshine for a working class girl

She rents an apartment on the industrial side of town

where tenements and smokestacks congregate

rising high into the sky

this city of the hive blocking out the light

black ash raining down

while she sleeps all day long

sleeping

through the time of the sun

Once a year she celebrates

in front of a window cross legged

patiently waiting

for the sun in its ritual trek across the sky

slips between two buildings

once every 365 days

brilliant sunlight flooding the street

penetrating frozen windows bathing her apartment

in natural light

closes her eyes as luminescence washes over her

dreams filling the soul

for the sun in its eternal quest

will pierce the darkest corners of the world

Soul

229 - Copy2

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

683 - Copy2 - Copy2

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

Broken Highways ch1

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.

Maria

This poem is vastly different from anything I’ve penned in the past and I struggled with it for weeks before deciding to post. Might regret this later . . .

 

backrods cover photo2

 

Maria dressed in sandals and short plaid skirt

braless in a spaghetti strap top

another man’s face tattooed across her heart

and names of those she’s destroyed scribbled down her arms

broken angel wings she attempts to hide

this is Maria, intending to alarm

 

Cursed by visions of setting suns

she cradles a flaming torch in arson hands

living her days on the run

as vast fields burn in distant lands

in Albuquerque she makes a stand

desperate revelations shared in a back alley dive

barrel of a .45 pressed against dead men’s minds

 

In western New Mexico she hits a bank

and I achieve awareness with a water pistol in my hands

banker face down on marble floor

Maria straddles over him praying for God’s lost souls

surveillance camera on the wall she stares and proclaims

I am the dream inside your illusion screaming to be set free!

 

Back road into desolation we flee

and Maria’s visions return frequently

across sand flats peppered with dirt floor ramshackle shacks

yellow colored yards home to rusting abandoned burned out cars

in deepest stretches of emptiness where exiles hide

embracing visions of massive totem poles piercing the sky

encrypted symbols she reads and solemnly decides

this is humanity on the rise

 

In an east LA motel the King’s Men make their move

capturing Maria sleeping nude

locked behind bars downtown praying

for broken-spirited men so many years waiting

on an eidolon to set them free

 

Tried by a jury not of her peers

she’s convicted in the land of non believers

visions are condemned to death

by those who cannot understand the source of her breath

tongue is a weapon like a scythe

removed by the deaf who fear the swath of words so vile

 

But prison bars couldn’t contain her soul

so each day when the dying sun sinks into the grave

Maria quietly makes her escape

moving stealthy across the land on a hyperbolic wind

whispering sermons in ears she easily bends

reminding there exists no reason for fear

Maria’s whispers I plainly hear

life is an illusion and none of us are really here

Hippie Child pt1

I accidently penned this next poem while attempting to say something completely different under the same title. Somewhere between the inspiration for the original version and my fingers hitting the keys on the keyboard this new version exploded into my head and onto the computer screen. Not certain how it got there or where it came from but here it is anyway.

I should also point out that I have nothing against hippies. I’ve been accused on more than one occasion of being a hippie myself. This poem is about my lack of political party affiliation. I always vote, but I’m tired of having to choose between the lesser of two evils. Our elected public servants should be so much more than that.

 

HIPPIE CHILD

 

Refuse to dance with the left

refuse to dance with the right

I won’t hug a tree or get down on my knees

and succumb to your ideology

try as you might I’ll never fight your fight

got a mind of my own and maybe it’s slightly blown

but I’m going to think for myself

so put your philosophies on a shelf

go program someone else

 

Corporate political religious cults

everywhere I look

thinking you speak for me is such an insult

empty promises bait the hook

homicide and suicide on the rise

your words are human pesticide leading to our demise

I look at you and you at me and what do you think you see?

another hippie child needing to be set free

 

Dance with the left, dance with the right

but I’ll never dance with you because of all those things you do

souls bought and sold by shadowy figures behind closed doors

in backroom deals where good intentions fall to the floor

 

In homes across America children need a meal

banks foreclose on families because Dad lost his job at the factory

so shareholders could earn another penny on the dollar

in the streets grown men wonder why they bother

 

You can look at me and I don’t care what you think you see

because your hippie child I’ll never be

peace, love, and fuck you

your hippie child I’ll never be