The Sacred Cactus

Yeah, I know, it’s been a while.  The stones are keeping me busy so I have very little time to write.  Continuing with the paradise theme,I found a fun one from way back deep in the scribbled notebook archives that somehow seems very relevant to the present situation on this blog..   I apologize in advance for the fact that it’s an epic poem.  I was going through a phase.  I thought about translating just the story into normal old prose but that would somehow undermine the authenticity.  So here it is, just like I wrote it 12 years ago.

THE SACRED CACTUS  (Vilcabamba Ecuador,  Jan. 30  2000)

San Pedro San Pedro
What do you mean
Not like a drug
Because it seems to clean
More like a miracle
That touches the soul
A zap of awareness
A connection to the whole

I took some this morning
I’m not sure what time
It was a moment of agony
After a very long climb
I started with fasting
One day and one night
And began my adventure
At the sign of first light
The weather looked doubtful
So I packed up my pack
A tent and dry clothing
Weighed down my sack
The trek up the valley
Was very long and very steep
Hunger was weakening me
I wanted to sleep
Waterfalls, waterfalls
That was my aim
A pleasant atmosphere
For my San Pedro game
Of course I’m a gringo
So of course I got lost
A farmer re-directed me
To the valley across
I had to trudge further
Through mud and uphill
Collapsing from hunger
Not having a thrill
I came to a boulder
On the side of a stream
Sat there and rested
And considered the dream
“San Pedro at sunrise
At the base of a waterfall
A taste of paradise
For one and for all”
But the real world is different
It changes the scene
It‘s almost midmorning
And there are no waterfalls to be seen
The weather is shitty
My pack is too full
My stomach is grumbling
Like a hungry bull
I want to give up
Go back to my room
Save the San Pedro
For a day with some zoom
But I open the container
And give it a glance
Oh what the fuck
Sometimes you just have to take a chance
I drink the San Pedro
Next to the stream
And that is the beginning
Of a miraculous dream…

San Pedro San Pedro
What do you mean
Not like a drug
Cuz it seems too clean
More like a miracle
That touches the soul
A zap of awareness
A connection to the whole

It started out simple
My stomach felt queasy
Not really horrible
Just a little uneasy
I scanned the terrain
For a place I could sit
I’ll lie in the grass
Until I get over it
In just a little while
San Pedro said hello
And everything around me
Started to glow
I was awake
But somehow in a dream
The world was different
Not like it seems
Where is my hunger
I am weary no more
Paradise surrounds me
I want to explore
I splash in the waterfalls
And roll in the stream
I climb up steep hilltops
And descend into deep ravines
Surrounded by flowers
Fruit trees and leaves
A great big garden
To do in as I please
The pack I brought with me
Seems quite insane
My protection from the elements
Is a great big pain
I want nakedness
Bare feet and bare back
Drop off everything
Including that damn pack
Get rid of the sleeping bag
Get rid of the tent
It’s all just a burden
Like paying rent
I’m right here now
Who cares if it rains
Water is beautiful
In the San Pedro game
The day is amazing
Like heaven on earth
The garden of eden
With spiritual rebirth
Dancing and prancing
And singing out loud
Embracing the waterfalls
Naked and proud
How did this happen
To little old me
Is it only San Pedro
Who set my soul free
For most of the daylight
I am blessed by the sun
But nearly at sunset
The rain has some fun
In come the clouds
And down comes the splash
My god it is beautiful
To watch lightening flash
I make my way home
Barefoot and bareback
It sure seems silly
To carry that stupid pack
My body is soaked
Drenched to the bone
But I am still laughing
And living in the zone
Flowers are glistening
And shimmering in the rain
Soaking up water
Feeling no pain
I am just like them
A creature alive
Agua is necessary
For my life to thrive
I walk across hilltops
As trails become streams
A deluge of wonder
Washes me clean
To be truly naked
Is to be truly free
The more that you have
The less that you see
Possessions are burdens
They hold you down
Let go of everything
And paradise will be found.

San Pedro San Pedro
What do you mean
Not like a drug
Cuz it seems too clean
More like a miracle
That touches the soul
A zap of awareness
A connection to the whole

Back at the cabins
The neighbors have a feast
They offer some to me
The wandering beast
I share in their food
And share in their fun
We laugh and tell stories
About life on the run
Food is so much better
When eaten with friends
Life is a fiesta
That never ends
I return to my room
With a smile on my face
It was a perfect day
In a very perfect place
As I sit in my bed
I feel the warm glow
And the poetry inside me
Is ready to flow
I pick up a pen
And paper as well
How can I describe it
There is so much to tell
The cabin is situated
On the side of a hill
The view is spectacular
Really a thrill
In the valley beneath me
The river rushes past
Gurgling and splashing
It moves so fast
Way at the bottom
There is a small town
A place called Vilcabamba
The perfect background
Darkness has descended
To obscure my sight
But the vision before me
Is quite a delight
Between me and the village
There are a thousand fireflies
With a show so spectacular
I can’t believe my eyes
The rain has now stopped
So the fireflies are free
They put on a performance
Perhaps just for me
Glimmering and shimmering
And moving without care
Abundant electricity
Lights up the air
I feel it inside me
Like the force of a god
My soul absorbs energy
Like a lightening rod
The moment is so beautiful
I think I will weep
Enraptured by angels
I drift off to sleep

San Pedro San Pedro
What do you mean
Not like a drug
Cuz it seems to clean
More like a miracle
That touches the soul
A zap of awareness
A connection to the whole…

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