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Poem: "A Surprising Winter Conversation"

Craig Chalquist

Foggy Lake

On a recent journey courtesy of the genius Psilocybe,

As unnaturally warm winter blew itself toward an early spring,

I was speaking with Athena when she morphed into God.


She looked a bit like an older Captain Marvel, human form

Difficult to see in the strange vision light. We sat on a bench

Staring at a placid pond unruffled by nighttime breezes.


“You’ve been asking about hard things,” she said, smiling

Mischievously. I could not look directly upon her luminous face.

“Ask more frivolously, just for fun. Ask out of wanton curiosity.”


I thought for a moment, amazed by her casual mien. I thought

Of planets, suns, galaxies, clusters as her busy mental life.

Then: “Is it possible for me to understand why You made it all?”


She smiled. “All this blossomed as an expression of My nature.

I like to visit places such as this one, relax, and take in the view.

Why need there be a reason for it beyond the chance to enjoy it?”


Awe at the thought of living in the sacred halls of God’s imagination.

We sat and watched still waters be still, framed by luxuriant green.

Lattices of stars shone down, their doubles drifting in dark waters.


“I know things are troubled,” she said, about life on ailing Earth.

“Some of us doubt whether you know or care,” I said. Or exist.

“I care a lot more than you! Yet you all have your points to make.”


“You need a change of stories,” she added in this echo of a park.

I wondered what kinds of water birds would land here at daybreak.

“I enjoy hanging out on lovely Earth. Maybe more of you could too.”


I turned in wonder toward her bright form, dazzling to internal vision.

“You can make it right,” she stated firmly. Again meaning: you all.

All of you dreaming together, as God had dreamed forth a cosmos.


“I’m always with you,” she added, gesturing at pond, plants, and stars.

In a dream she had called herself Ein Sof, but everywhere even so.

Her parting comment rose with the breaking dawn: “You’re welcome.”

Southern California, 2022

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