Posts Tagged ‘shaman’


The old Shaman

placed his hands

on the trunk

of an ancient tree


fitting his fingers

between the ripples and creases

of the bark,

until he heard a whispering –


“Oh, spare me from

the greed of the axe

and the fickle see-saw

of humanity!”


But from the distant edge

of the forest

the old Shaman also heard

the growl of a chain-saw


and he smelled the exhaust

and the gasoline,

and he heard the shouts

of timbering men


and so he bowed his head

and wept,

as a drop of pitch

landed on his cheek.



(c) 2019  Betty Hayes Albright


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The day comes

when his totem

tumbles to the ground

and he commands silence.


He empties his pouch

of tooth and claw,

spreads his eagle wings

and flies to the top

of the mountain,


and with one last glance

at the ashes

and the shattering,

he sighs, and


into his own truth.



(c)  1996, 2018  Betty Hayes Albright


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Bring me quick water

swifting down mountains

falling, falling

through the steep canyons

and I’ll fill my chalice.


Bring me slow water

teasing through sand

carving the dunes

and where the tide flows

I will follow.


Bring me rain water

storming through trees

I’ll toss my umbrella

up to the wind

and we’ll watch it dance.


Bring me frozen water

sweet flakes

veiling my face

then marry me to the sky

and I’ll wear white.


Bring me deep water

in a well of sapphire glances

and I’ll toss in

a coy wish

to kiss your mystery.


© 2013, 2017  Betty Hayes Albright


(a re-post)

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She prayed to the gods,

“let me make love

to the trees in your forest”

but the gods were silent.

And so she implored them again

“let me couple with the creek

that sings through your valley,

bear me up

to embrace your mountains,

cradle me down

to mate with the sea”

but again the gods were silent.

And once more she cried out

with trembling heart,

“grant me consummation

with the universe this night!”

And once more

the gods were silent

but this time

they sent to her

a shaman,

one who was desiring

the same.


(c) 1995, 2017 Betty Hayes Albright


(a re-post)

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Shaman man,

you knew every fold

hidden in the riddling

curtain of reality.

You saw the bare

bones of motive,

the underpinnings

of facade.

You were strength and power.

But you also knew tenderness,

the sweet kiss

on the cheek of a lover

slumbering in your bed.

But alas, you also knew

when to go.


Oh Shaman man

do not doubt another season,

a time not jaded

by an overdose of obstacle.

For when we touch

again, we’ll have

a thousand years to spare.

© 2014, 2017 Betty Hayes Albright


(a re-post)


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It softens the edges

of tree and crow,

blunts our point of view.

We can turn a corner

in the fog

and never know.

See the old man

in the mist?

He is a shaman

shifting our perspective

with his white breath.

He knows that fog

is a giant, downy feather

that blesses our fever,

then suspends us

between all that ever was

and all that ever can be

in the alpha-omega soup

of possibility.


© 2013, 2017  Betty Hayes Albright


(A re-post from four years ago. )

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With a shaman’s eye

he aimed his music

like an arrow

that pierced through forest,

straightened rivers

and sliced the mountains apart.


She heard his song

coming through the trees

and spread wide her arms

to reveal the target

he long ago etched

on her heart.


(c) 2016  Betty Hayes Albright



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