Which ones will see

I’m waiting in my car for a teacher friend
at the back of her school
all at once,
the kids begin pouring out of the building,
most of them gravitating
to the spots
where the buses will pull up;
others weaving
in and out
of those clusters
in continuous motion. . .

Mars, oh Mars

Mars, oh Mars
how pink you are!
You hang in the east –
a blushing star,

the abandoned quarry,
where I have come
to say, I’m sorry

For confusing you
with the god of war
when Earth
has always been his whore.

Nowhere else
does he stake his claim;
pity you
must bear his name!

As you draw near
(How you have missed her!)
see what’s become
of your fair sister. . .

End of Yearning

(By Evan Lindorff-Ellery)(Illustration by Evan James Lindorff-Ellery)

Yearning for this or that impossible thing,
I started to become indifferent,
Which was for the best. . .
Stubborn as I was proud,
I still wanted them to stop
What they were doing in my name.
I wanted them to listen to my stewing.
All I got was bad dreams.
So I gave my conscience an ultimatum:


I approached him at the party
Because I didn’t know anyone,
Because he looked harmless,
Because he stood alone,
And I introduced myself.
I said,
You must know a lot of these people,
And he looked straight ahead and said,
All my friends live underground.
And then I realized that he was almost dead,
And I had the idiotic notion that I could help him.
But then he looked right at me
And it hit me that I too was almost dead,
That nobody knew anybody here,
And that he was the only one who could stand the truth.
So I left,
Passing through rooms full of people,
Through the mudroom,
The ice-room,
The wind-room,
Out onto the sidewalk.
And I just started walking,
Following the angling streets
Breathing in the sour breath
Of an exhausted planet,
Trying to remember how to live.

Dear Friend

Dear friend, timing is everything these days.
But if we wait for the “right moment” we might lose the day.
I have been wondering, of late, what the 60s have in store for me,

as I am done re-inventing myself.

But there is an essence, a honeyed core

that I have always been able to track through all my permutations, without which all is lost.
The night-sea-journey no longer works for me. I am a white beard now. The time for shadow-work is past.
Dumpster diving is for younger folk.

There is nothing in the dumpster for me
but self-acceptance.
And I will be disappointed.
And I will lose much that I love and am attached to.
Pieces of this thousand piece puzzle are missing.

They are just gone!
And people around me will turn to others in conversation,

and I must not wonder why.
The conversation is the bees in the barley.
It is the rain making inaudible circles on the pond.
It is about the future.
The conversation is sub- and super-sonic.
Sometimes I feel I am holding a door open in the middle of a field.
Sometimes I feel I am living in a great steaming dump

that stretches for miles in all directions,

so why bother cleaning my house!
Sometimes I wish I was Saint Francis.
Sometimes I am Saint Francis.
I care so much about this little pocket world, called Earth.
How small it is! How much smaller I!
Maybe time will be good to me.
Maybe I have a friend in time.
Who are my friends?
Are they the ones who leave me alone?
Or are they the ones who hold my finger to the flame?
I care so much about this little pocket Earth.
Just teach me what that looks like.
Now, ring the singing bowl.

By Evan Lindorff-Ellery

From Vermont / Listening to Michael Nyman, 'Bell Set #1'

What will we do when the gates go up?

Here is the dream: Consumers with money. A virtual middle class.
Cash and stuff. Jobs and cash. Benefits! Security.

Is there any way out?

Is it too late?
The lights go out. Nobody can find the switch.
Something as simple as a light switch and everything shifts.

Dreams are amazing.
Everyone has the same dream. Think of that.

By linear time we have already reached the end.

What kind of history are we weaving?

If you ask the weather man,
After you have plied him with a few more drinks,
He will say,
We are making it easy for him. . .

Something about creation and prediction converging
In an open-ended season of 500-year storms.

The rivers, amnesiac,
Recovering from Irene,
Have conveniently forgotten
How they consumed their beds,
Swept gentle farms away,
Pushed huge trees to the brink
Of hydroelectric dams.

In the waterfalls I sometimes hear
The caterwauling and moaning and pining of the wild beasts.

When the gates went up
In malls across Turtle Island,
Consumers flooded through,
Tore into sales racks and displays. . .
But they weren’t buying.
They were just mad.

Were you mad, Grandpa?
(Muted gong, tinkling chimes. . .)
Ting, knnng, knnng, Ting. . .Mbronnggg!

Crossing the Black Path

It is the end of the day.

The trouble is we are dying. . .
Nobody talks like that,
But surely the setting sun understands this language.
But the wind,
If you want the wind to hear now, you shout.

The wind is busy mocking the weather report.
There is a turbine on the ridge that needs to turn,
A roof to blow off,
A flower to stir,
A prayer to deliver,
An old eagle to loft. . .

Shout: The trouble is we care!

The clouds travel over us
And sometimes look down!

Don’t let us be road kill!

We are crossing now,
Almost to the double line now.
There is a roaring in our ears;
We are just like turtle, moving from swamp to pond,
Deer in search of cover,
Making a dash for it,
Mouse racing the juggernaut!

Eagle is scanning in our direction,
But not for us my sister,
And not for the tear in which
Our fear is reflected, my brother.

How can anything be understood
Amidst this cacophony of prayer?
All this crazy praying
For all the things
That were once given. . .

Because we are crossing now
We are praying.
Our fear is praying for us!
So small, so small in time and space.
Is this really all we are?

Is this really our day to die?
Our warm bodies full of blood and breakable. . .
Fathers and mothers and children crossing.

Naked, anxious,
Leaving one side to cross to the other.

This black path
We are crossing. . .
With respect, we pray,

Let us cross!


He hunches alone behind
His gray beard
From Idaho
He hasn’t read any best sellers
He dresses in shades
That make gray
Look like a rainbow
His name is a name
Out of a brief story
About someone whose
Jump off
A trestle
Instantly erased him
But every night
At exactly 3:00
He floats out of bed
On his back
Lifts the open sash
And sails up into the waiting sky
Smiling at the stars
He stops at the same place
In the sky
Gathers his wits
Smiles tenderly
At the constellations and
With one flick of his little finger
Fires himself into
The fragrant gap
Between the
Honeyed lips of time

GARY LINDORFF, TCBH!’s resident poet, is an artist, musician, poet and counselor / dream-worker who practices shamanic techniques, and who lives in rural Vermont with his wife Shirley and two dogs. His website is BigDreamsWeb. (This poem was inspired by reading about the untimely death of Occupy Oklohoma City’s Street Poet)

Maybe I Can Be Trusted

Back in the 50s
We were served up this warm vision
Of sculpted cloud-high bubble-cities
Catered by sloe-eyed robots.

How far that silvery angel has fallen!
Far below
Where Dick and Jane are playing hop-scotch
In the rocket graveyard.

Now a giant bronze plaque proclaims:

The speed of light has been attained!
Prepare! Prepare!
We have straightened the lightning!

What am I saying?
The general himself is shouting —


I am in the streets
Of the City of Sad Thoughts
Where people have become irrelevant
And I have just abused a small white dog.
I press this sweet dog against my face and cry.
The dog sees
That my soul is strapped to a beam of light
Vaulting through space.

I myself was abused
Or deceived
Just like everyone else
In this city.
I can hide nothing
From this dog
Who has become the moon.

Tell me what you see.
Maybe I can be trusted.

GARY LINDORFF is an artist, musician, poet and counselor / dream-worker who practices shamanic techniques, and who lives in rural Vermont with his wife and two dogs. (He is also Dave’s brother.) His website is BigDreamsWeb