This page is really dedicated to the talented John Fox, author of Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem Making (Jeremy Tarcher, 1997).  I was working as an alcohol and drug counselor in 1997 when a client didn't show. So I strolled down to the Small Mall, a little strip mall on the corner  a half block away from my office.  I was browsing through the books when I spotted John's book resting on a stack of other books.  I picked it up and was transformed by the first poem on the first page.  Lawrence Tirnauer's The Sleepless Ones.  I purchased the book a few days later and as I read, an avocation became a calling.  I attended my first John Fox workshop in Santa Cruz.  He invited me to attend after I either e-mailed him or phoned him to thank him for introducing me to my new life.  At breakast the second day of his workshop John Fox asked me to be on the advisory board of the Poetic Medicine Institute.  I was stunned but accepted.  Any time spent with John is time spent with transformation into the better, the higher self.  John Fox will be in San Diego this month, April 2014.  You can reserve a place for this "don't miss" poetry retreat by going to the Poetic Medicine website.  I'll see you there.  
     The below poems are about my self-discovery through verse, through carving out writing time, through listening to the small voice that insists on not being silent.  You have a similar, original voice in you.  As a member of the advisory board of the Poetic Medicine Institute I love the opportunities presented when we write in community or in solitude.  Where is your pen?
Jim Moreno, San Diego, CA 




If You Don't Mind

Tired mind is a lonely bird with small nest

in Winter's tree,

Rested mind is soaring bird hunting


Angry mind is hot wind embers'

burning path,

Laughing mind is light wind

sooth tickle chuckle mad,

Stress mind is chaotic dance,

thought flood, flash flood fear,

No-mind is meditation dance,

seed-flowering water, sun, loam,

I breathe in, I breathe out light portrait window,

blue sky, Sumi-e sprig elk horn branch,

Just me and Blue Boy shifting gears,

rested mind, meditation mind, no-mind,

Wind calls me home in years gone by,

beside the fence of rainbow flowers,

Sky is my father,

Earth is my mom,

Moon my grandma,

Mystery my mirror

I cannot explain,

So I breathe in, I breathe out,

I dance, I sing, I teach,

I am the silence after the koan.

Jim Moreno, Winter 2014

el regalo del arbol (the gift of the tree): in honor of pablo neruda

pablo spoke of branches in the night,

branches found me in a dream, white gowned, chippewa princes

floating above motherearth, waving goodbye,

branches lay wise, loving wooden fingers on my chest,

lightly touching, lightly loving, soothing, as had the woman,

branches penetrated my chest searching, finding,

gently holding, healing my wounded heart;

dream gift of medicine man.

when poetry finds me I am always alone

sitting, watching, like eagle in deep, blue sky mountain nest,

when images, paintings...portraits of my mind find me

I am waist deep in snow melt river water,

washing, rushing by with wet, blue-lip whispering words,

soothing sounding liquid beauty,

tears welling, rising, blessing peace

above me, winged-ones singing joyful feather songs,

when poetry arrives companioned by grandfather wind,

caressing my tired mind with grandfather love,

―grandpa tenderness

I hear words surfacing from some ancient, sacred place,

sounding sometimes hotlike a forest ablaze with heat & thunder,

sounding sometimes gentlelike a child's sleepy bedtime prayer,

sometimes muse summons by shadows drifting lazily,

cloud shadows wafting on windows of passing cars,

like phantom horses floating down sand dunes from pharaohs past,

pablo might say: I am summoned by branches of the night,

mi corazon es muy fuerte; porque son las palabras en mi corazon,

y el toque de las ramas en mis suenos.

my heart is very strong because of the words in my heart,

and the touch of the branches in my dreams.

Jim Moreno Spring 1994 

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