The Shaman Said – a poem by Kevin Zepper

The Shaman Said 

First, you must float, 
losing the fear of falling 
to the muddy bottom. 

Spread yourself on the water.
Let it carry you with cool arms 
after catching you from a fall. 

The water is your friend, 
a friend supporting, lifting, carrying. 

A best friend.  

You might be tempted 
to tug at the covers of the water
and curl up into a fetal creature, 
sinking in the encompassing comfort, 
dreaming till you drown. 

Resist. 

You are resting on the water, 
a silky membrane covering your back. 

Relax until you forget the water. 

Soon the water will forget you. 

Drift, 
drift, 
let liquid fingertips 
brush against 
your open palms, 
touching until a thin veil 
of molecules 
separate you. 

You are safe, 
you are weightless, 
you are harmonious 
with the water.   

Be present to the water, 
knowing this water 
will hold you, 
never harming you, 
never letting you down. 

Focus on these things, this path. 

In time, this will come naturally, 
anytime you choose, without 
a buoy. 

In time, you shall walk here.


Kevin Zepper teaches at a small midwest university. He writes, photographs, and acts. 

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