The Back of a Man's Head Speaks

The back of a man’s head spoke to me
On a metro-bus in Chicago,
A little bald spot with a shine.

Did you know, it said,
That the back of a man’s head is innocent?
No matter what the rest of the man has done,
Is doing, or thinking. . .
The crown comes out first
And is therefore the wisest. . .

(It paused, thoughtfully, as the bus lurched.)

. . .But the back is like the dome
Of a smooth stone pushing up in a field
That knows everything.

It’s a good thing I don’t have lips
Or I would never stop begging the face
To turn around. You see,
I know how the world rushes in,
And how it fills in.
I am the rudder,
The tail of this kite!


(My stop was a ways yet and,
As I had nothing to answer,
I let it ramble. . .)

. . .Oh, I know what you’re thinking!
When you look around in this bus
The faces that you see are anything but kite-like,
But I see the cloud behind the cloud.
Everything for me is fresh. Yes,
The tail of a wind-kissed kite!
Ahh, but when lips are kissed,
Any lips mind you,
I am there in spirit
Like a dog that barks and wags its tail.
Oh, and if I had eyes?
I would use them as creation intended –
To communicate with other eyes,
To wink at the moon,
To study how life is. . .
When I’m covered
I focus on my polish, I shine and shine.
At night in the wee hours
I stare into the well of the pillow and
Become a mirror.
But of course that depth is everywhere!
I see it in broad daylight
Wherever I am turned. . .

Just then the bus plunged to a stop at the curb.
As I struggled with my bag and rose to exit
I heard the bald spot call after me:

When the face stops
I play a little game.
I pretend that I’m the leader,
That the next step is all mine,
All mine. . .

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. He can be reached at