klee
The Shaman Meets with the Man in the Moon
by Joseph Murphy

I grasp rungs of light ascending from a lilac’s bud.

Passing the seven-colored mountain’s peak,
I draw a dreamer’s fingers from my drum’s skin:
Through them,
Reach the final rung.

Guided by my ancestors’ marks, I step
Through a maze
As others would a stream.

One of my spirits hisses free before The Gate of Bones.

The bolts groan beneath that spirit’s bloodied fins:
Hinges splinter;
The dark’s gnarled echo
Recedes.

I pass through and perch on a spoke of light.

The Man in the Moon greets me;
Offers a silken thread
Linked to all the souls I am to return
To body and breath.

When I take it in my beak, I awake
In a pine’s topmost limbs
Knowing the fullness
Of my fate.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: After reading Mircea Eliade’s Shamanism, I became fascinated with the subject and a wrote a series poems on various aspects of it, in the first person, trying to imagine the world though a shaman’s eyes.

IMAGE: “Fire, Full Moon” by Paul Klee (1933).

Joe Pix

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joseph Murphy has had poetry published in a number of journals, including The Gray Sparrow, Pure Francis, and The Sugar House Review. He is also been a poetry editor for an online publication, Halfway Down the Stairs, since 2009.