I am grateful for these words, written by Rich Mertes, whoever he may be. His poem, these words, were read to me at the beginning of my second consciousness medicine therapy journey. They are words that I heard most clearly that day, and which continue to inspire and inform me. Thank you Rich. – Frank Leonard.

May I Take My Place

let this be real – all of it

from the supernova to the eclipse

and the tenderness to the fist

from the past to the future both laden

with flowers and ash

as I ride here

between the long gone

and the still to come

may I take my place

in the dusty caravan of this life

while I wear this mind of flesh

may I wear it well

and sway with the pines

while I carry this heart of fire

may I carry it well

and burn with the sun

while I sing this song of soul

may I sing it well

and thrill with the breeze

may I not wish away any of it

the is-ness of this cosmos

may I not hold my breath

longing for any part of it to be done

hoping to arrive somewhere

or nowhere without savoring

every scrape and kiss of this royal road

may I take my place

with a resounding yes

among beasts and trees

and spirits and stones

may that part of me

which wants so badly to be small

be loved all the way back

to righteous hunger

and curiosity unceasing

may it be loved

and loved all the way back

to kindness and music and blood

and taking my place

in the dusty caravan of this life

– Rich Mertes 2018