Shaman's Dream

“Nana’s Tears”, “Birth of Shaman’s Dream” and “Ghost Voice”

In Poetry Issue Five by Mary Leoson

Shaman's Dream

Nana’s Tears

A mother’s teardrops are handed down,
A frozen mask trimmed with lashes.
Be pretty… pretty quiet.
A caged bird, she could never fly.

A frozen mask trimmed with lashes,
Blue eyes of my Nana.
A caged bird, she could never fly;
She flies through my wings.

Blue eyes of my Nana.
Even our noses were the same.
She flies through my wings,
I hold her in my bones.

Even our noses were the same.
I speak her in my breath,
I hold her in my bones,
I sing her in my dreams.

I speak her in my breath,
I carry those tears,
I sing her in my dreams,
And drink them in.

I carry those tears;
I become the drops,
For I drink them in.
Bittersweet becomes sweetly strong!

I become the drops.
I spread my wings and show the way.
Bittersweet becomes sweetly strong,
And my daughter stands on her own.

I spread my wings and show the way.
Strength pumps through our veins,
And my daughter stands on her own,
Decorated with tears and feathers.

Strength pumps through our veins.
She carries us all forward,
Enveloped in tears and feathers,
And we walk as one.

She carries us all forward,
Transforming the past like magic,
And we walk as one,
Because a mother’s teardrops are handed down.


Birth of a Shaman’s Dream

“You belong to the Rainbow Mother… you are the creative one who dances with dreams and visions.” ~ Lynn V. Andrews, Jaguar Woman

He said count backwards from one hundred, so I did, descending into a pool of thick water that pulled me beneath the surface. It sucked me down, down, to the place I want to sleep, my home forever. It spat me out into this pond beneath the sparkling stars of tomorrow. My body was lighter, healthier, wrapped in concentric circles of water, and fairy dust, and moonlight. I know this place, I whispered, and the animals came, one by one, to greet me. A dolphin first, urging me to let go of emotions that tie, then a playful squirrel, chatting a warning to make a change. I follow the grandfather miser down the path to the sacred mirror, where I find myself—more than I bargained for. The masks surround me, swaying. Around a fire I dance, facades to my sides. With mirror images of myself, I move, each reflection of a familiar face: The Rainbow Mother who inspires and uplifts, takes me to the sky and back, and her adversary who sucks her life away, drowning her in wine. They take my arms and tug-of-war until I almost break. My other selves fall into the background, waving between the shadows and sparks. Sleepiness consumes me, but my mind is too dizzy from the ebb and flow, anesthetic merlot. As I sink to my knees, caught in the mothers’ war, he emerges from the darkest shadow, dancing like a warrior kachina. Go back! Go back! You may not rest now! Harshly, he threatens me with a bow and arrow and lets it fly. I gasp, swimming in darkness, the firelight falling away. The doctor’s voice fills my ears: She looks just like you. As the veils of death dissipate, and the adversary releases its grasp, I hear her cry, the voice of my soul screaming, and my lips sink into a rainbow smile. I am reborn.


Ghost Voice

Sun streams in through the window
of the century-old stone house,
and lands on the silent guitar.
It sits, waiting to be played
But his hands are not here anymore.

Dust floats through the air
As a specter’s breath
Hanging above us,
Watching, remembering,
Finally free from his burdens.

His cologne still lingers,
Hiding in the cracks of old floorboards,
In the seams of his favorite chair,
And reaches out to hold us
As he once did.

I catch a glimpse of a shadow
Here, a whisper there,
And wonder if he sees us
Telling his stories,
Laughing in time to his heartbeat.

He peeks out from the scents
That call from the kitchen stove,
And grins impishly when
We give to others
As he would have done.

I see him in my reflection,
In my mother’s tears,
In my brothers’ eyes,
And he remains as the ghost voice
Of our collective love.

My brother lifts the guitar
And strums the strings,
Breathing life back into its skeleton,
And hope back into us,
As we raise our voices in song.

About the Author

Mary Leoson

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Leoson teaches English and psychology courses at numerous colleges and universities in the Cleveland area and nationwide. She loves to write with her dogs at her feet and somehow survives on decaf coffee and protein bars. She holds an M.A. in English & Writing from Western New Mexico University, an M.S. in Psychology from Walden University, and a B.S. in Criminology from Indiana State University. Her writing has been featured in the Twisted Vine Literary Journal, TWJ Magazine, and on NPR’s “This I Believe” series.