I don’t like to constantly blog n’ blurt words or email all the time, but those of you who’ve enjoyed my songs and poems may be interested in my recently published memoir, available at Amazon.com. It’s titled: A Country Where All Colors Are Sacred and Alive, a Memoir of Non-Ordinary Experience and Collaboration with Nature, and it was published by Lorian Press this February.
Below are two poems which I included in the memoir, one in a slightly different format. I’m going to be reading these and/or other poems at the first event put together by poet Matt Henriksen’s BURNING CHAIR poetry series, which will feature a group of 8 poets each reading briefly at Nightbird Books, on August 18, starting at 8 pm.
A bit about the book: My experiences of working in communion with the forces of nature 4 decades ago at the Findhorn Community in Scotland, plus a lot of spontaneous paranormal events which began happening to me in my teens and which very often were witnessed by others, form the starting point for the stories in this book, which point toward the positive possibility that we may be able to strengthen environmental well-being through such things as prayer, blessing, and conscious intention. (In addition to political and grassroots activism, which I see as absolutely essential responses to the mounting climate crisis. ) I also share scientific evidence for the hopeful assertion above in the the book’s opening pages. It’s a mind-opening, empowering read.
You can find excerpts and some appreciations of my book here at my www.geoffoelsner.com
website. Now if you’ve hung in here for the above brief “commercial,” here are those two poems I promised y’all:
First Ways Of Flight
I found a wakened way
to fly my slightest dream
across the prairie, wireless,
tree to tree. At times barbed wire
and taut black talk-lines
sliced my flight. They stung
and nettled my dream-body,
just as they overhung and netted
this country. Encroaching suburbs
sometimes held me from
full span. Clenched fists
of smoke from factories;
dense inner cities pulled
on me. Yet I was willingly
drawn down to certain altars,
shrines, archways, parks,
side roads, homes, and human
gatherings where primal silence
reasserts itself. Then I could begin
to glide once more on amber
waves of light East-West
above the land. My being
sought sanctuary in mountains
and rivers, at estuaries of Spirit.
I rested in slow-breathing meadows
far from men. Night after night,
these dreams moved me in vision-flight
beyond a life I had thought mine,
on through the gray where worlds meet,
into a country where all colors
are sacred and alive.
En route to attend a conference in Iowa, we stop in at a rural roadside diner.
As we file in toward the booths, an old farmer is leaving with a friend.
He looks closely at me as we pass, exclaims something to or about me
under his breath, and the next thing I know, I get the overwhelming sense
of being part of his breath, which is part of a larger more powerful wind
which blows through both of us, streaming with birdsong.
The two of us share a tacit eye-to-eye, and mind-to-mind connection
which lifts me into an intense totemic experience of a unique and briefly bestowed
birdwindmindstream transmission, direct from the fields and fencerows
of his osmotic, hidden life. It’s a birdy and benevolent kind of medicine.
Then the old farmer passes by me and out the diner door, and that moment passes with him.
***The above two poems both appear in Geoffrey Oelsner’s memoir in prose and poetry, A Country Where All Colors Are Sacred and Alive, a Memoir of Non-Ordinary Experience and Collaboration with Nature, (2012, Lorian Press), available at Amazon