Woo skypes Onion

Woo skyped Onion from the basement.
Onion looked at Woo’s face on the screen and frowned.
Onion was sitting at the table in the dining room
Right next to the basement stairs.
“Woo, why are you skyping me?
I’m right here. You can talk to me face to face.”
Woo said, “Onion, I have something important to tell you
And I need to skype you to say it.”
“What is it?”, asked Onion.
Woo was looking at the screen,
Looking at Onion’s face
Instead of the camera
So Woo’s eyes were lowered.
Woo looked away and blushed.
Then Woo looked back, and smiled.
“I love you”, Woo said.
Onion was very surprised and happy.
“I love you too, Woo.
Why don’t you come upstairs now.”
“I can’t come up now,” Woo said.
“I have a lot more people to skype.”

Another Onion and Woo poem. This poem makes fun of how hard it is to tell each other that we love each other face to face. What I find amusing (and it is the nature of Onion and Woo poems to surprise and amuse me), is that, even when Woo is expressing love for Onion, Woo isn’t looking at Onion because Woo doesn’t know to look at the camera to make eye contact. Also, once Woo gets up the courage speak out, Woos love multiplies and now Woo has to tell everyone the same thing. (Woo and Onion are gender-fluid, which is why I do not use gender-specific pronouns, but I don’t like using “they” because Woo and Onion have very singular personalities.)


Re-introducing myself professionally, as dream-worker and shamanic practitioner


  I am a writer / poet, dream worker,  living in Southern Vermont with my wife, Shirley and our two cats, Ayla and Tulsi. Author of six published works: two collections of poetry published by Two Plums Press based in Portland OR: The Last Recurrent Dream and The Blue Man: Poems for the Late Nuclear Age (originally published in 1981), (non-fiction), New Wasichu, Crossing: Our Story is Just Beginning, a “call to redeem our ways and to begin walking a path that is spiritually and ecologically sustainable” (quoting Tom Cowan, from back cover), 13 Seeds: Health, Karma and Initiation, a memoir of sorts written after my return from the Peruvian rainforest (available through Indiebound.org), Children to the Mountain (Homebound Publications), a collection of poetry for our times, and Healing the Land with Tao: An Overture to North Americans. I am also the resident poet for the leftist internet collective journal,  https://thiscantbehappening.net

    Counselor with a private home practice, I offer a free consult / session and am happy to adjust my fee based on financial considerations. I call myself a Depth Counselor because I tend to work from dreams adopting a Jungian approach.  I agree with Jung, that when we hear from the psyche we are hearing from the soul — our own soul and the soul of humanity and even the World-soul. (Psyche means soul in ancient Greek.) I am a shamanic practitioner with 20 years of experience but I try to keep the shamanic world view and the Jungian world view separate. Shamans interact with spirits, which are not archetypes but, rather, beings from other realities or dimensions to which the shamanic practitioner journeys for medicine, blessing or information. Both approaches lead to profound opportunities for healing. Shamanism is 50,000 years old and transcultural. Jungian psychology is about 100 years old but archetypes, the engines of dreams, have been around for as long as people have been dreaming. According to the Jungian paradigm of Depth-psychology, the collective unconscious is unlimited and taps into nature and world.

     The deeper I go into Jungian psychology, the better I am able to look past Jung’s paternalistic, Swiss-elitist, chauvinistic, European-educated persona and scholarly airs, to appreciate his very real, increasingly relevant, contribution to exploring the principles of change and authentic initiation. For it is (just as it has always been!) initiation that energizes and deepens the journey of life which Jung referred to as individuation.

     I am willing to work online, via email or Skype, especially when the work involves dreams because in most dreams (as I have already said) archetypal patterns and themes arise, providing a clear map for the work. In other words, dreams are so immediate and telling, that they cut through the impersonality of the internet and geographical distance. I also offer guided wilderness fasts in the area, respectfully drawing on the traditional Native American vision quest.

    My passion is being with and working with the land. We host story fires and healing ritual on our own land, offering several events every year, advertised locally.

I welcome correspondence.  gllindorff@gmail.com

Black butterfly — New year, new world

Ink blot
Black butterfly

Voice of the smallest
Hear them


Voices of
Dogs and parakeets

Hear the
Voices of trees, clouds

Forests, barns,
Houses, little bridges

(Listen to that little bridge
You just crossed

It is saying, Good
You made it )

Now the mountain
Is underneath us

Whispering, Climb me
I have something to show you

Hear the voice
Of the low clouds

The voice of the high clouds
They seem to be hurrying somewhere

And valleys
Murmur of cities, rivers

The fourth world
Is ending just like a day


The fifth world
Is a new day

We made it        Imagine
(Another chance not to screw up)

But first

Let us hear
The joys and sorrows

Of the fourth world
Let us hear

From those who died
Before they knew they were alive

And those who came back to help
When the stars were falling

And the waves were rising
To meet each falling star

Let us hear from those
Who fear made small

They lived inside their own heads
Like hermit crabs in reverse

Moving into
Smaller and smaller shells

Let us hear from those who hid
From the thunder of duty to conscience

And from the booming
Of their own hearts

Let us hear from those
Who hid from life

And from the wisdom
Of common sense

Which kept whispering,
Stop poisoning your garden

Stop angering the weather
Stop living in landscapes that

Only want to burn
Stop almost everything you are doing

Until one day common sense said,
Prepare for resurrection


When common sense
Shouts like a prophet into the wind

Then you know it’s time
To put the old garden to bed

Let us hear from those who
Who wandered

For many lifetimes
In the thick smoke of sorrows

And those who refused to work
Some shithole job

But slept in their trucks
Under the stars

Falling asleep to the sound of cars
Over the sound of the river

Listening to an owl
Calling to its mate

Now I am old now
But I used to be as young as you

I used to be younger than you

We must be gentle with ourselves
Creation is tired

We are all tired
Because we are creation

We all need healing

Hush      hush
The plants are singing

They are always singing

Just be ready when they ask for water
Be ready for the sound of water

The smallest sound of water
Plink      plink

Be ready for time to slow
Stop pacing and thinking

Black butterfly      stops
Stops and flattens like an ink blot

Now do you know this place


Recognize our relatives

All those living beings
Too many to count

Get ready
For a viable future

Decide to open
Meaning behind

But also ahead
Empty     grateful      space

Empty     Ask them how

They are waiting patiently for you
To ask them how

How do we live in the fifth world
How do we live again?

How do we live
In any world


This poem is about a tipping point. The new year. It could be just that, or it could be a new world. It is for us to choose. I was haunted by the image of the inkblot that one person might see as a spaceship or something else, but I imagined a black butterfly, one of the most universal symbols of transformation or resurrection. And then I began to explore the idea of successive worlds. The Navahos’ creation stories tell of how the first people climbed into this world from nether worlds. They had to undergo multiple evolutions to be able to make it to this world. They just weren’t ready before and creator was patient. Most of my life, I feel, has been a time of getting ready for real life, as if we have been living at half-capacity. Now, with the new year, we are being given the chance to resurrect, fully cognizant of the darkness of our previous lives, that we have struggled out of. Happy New World.

Moving right along, with bad karma

Bill Mckibben warned of the dangers of global warming back in the mid-1980s with his The End of Nature. I read that book about 10 years ago, about 25 years after its publication. I don’t think I am the only one who was way behind the curve of understanding the full extent of the climate debacle. When he wrote it we might, arguably, have been able to do something about it, whereas now, all we can really hope for is to minimize the damage and the chaos, and the suffering (the bad karma!) we have sewed. And McKibben is all about the science. Not that he hides behind his brain and can’t get emotional or lapse into impassioned language, but he stood by the science; that number 350 (the maximum safe level of carbon in the air) is irrefutable. That number is history – in more ways than one!
In his book (End of Nature), he said what was going to happen. And, it pains me to say, it is happening. Bing-bang-bing. Nobody can bemoan that they didn’t know what was coming, or that they were caught off guard. It’s kind of like back in the 80s there was a wild under-age party down the street where everyone was over-indulging and bingeing on all sorts of drugs, and someone came in and said, loud and clear, that they intercepted a message over a short wave-radio that there is going to be a bust, but nobody paid any attention. They were too busy having fun, and sure enough, right at the pitch of the party when everyone is stewed, the police descend and half the party is arrested. That’s us. Busted. All falling over each other, stumbling around wide-eyed trying to find our shoes.
The party is about to end. Or at least let us hope it is.

The hourglass

Sand through the hourglass.
Sand in my eyes.
Sleep don’t come easy.
The moment is fragile.
I heard him say,
The moment is fragile.
I heard him come in.
I heard him say,
Sleep don’t come easy.
Too many lies.
Rivers of lies.
Sand of lies.
Oceans of tears and lies.
Cities are fragile.
The moment is fragile.
Sleep don’t come easy,
I heard him say.
Cities are fragile.
Sand through the hourglass.
Sleep don’t come easy
I heard him say.
I’m tired, so tired.
I heard him come in
And head for his bed.
I heard myself say,
The forest is fragile.
Sand through the hourglass.
I heard the ocean crying.
Ocean of tomorrow’s tears.
I heard him say,
We’re history.
Cities built on lies.
Cities of crystal.
Cities of gleaming steel.
Cites of water.
The broken record.
The moment is fragile.
It’s a broken record.
Sleep don’t come easy.
I heard him come in.
I’m tired, so tired.
The water is rising.
So tired,
He lay down.
He dreamed of cities of steel.
He dreamed of crystal cities.
He dreamed the ocean was crying.
We sand-bagged
The truth.
We lay down
In cities of sleep.
We sand-bagged
The fragile moment.
Sleep don’t come easy.
In cities of sleep
We lay down.
The broken record.
We lied. I heard him,
We’re history.
I heard him whisper
Like a broken record.
I’m tired, so tired.
Sand in my eyes.
Sand through the hourglass.
After I wrote this I wondered, who is “he”? As in, “I heard him come in.” Whoever it is, he says things that energize the poem’s movement through the themes of rising waters, whispering oceans, futuristic cities and cities that have run out of time, cities built out of lies. Maybe “he” is the poet’s alter ego. “I”, the poet hears him come in, as if it is late at night in the house of the poem; he comes in quietly but the poet hears him, and knows a lot about him. He makes pronouncements, he says things about our lying world, about us, that we don’t want to hear, that we have sand-bagged ourselves from hearing. And he says them over and over like a broken record because the truth is the truth is the truth. . . not about climate change necessarily , but about what we have brought down on ourselves. “He” comes home exhausted, to sleep. The moment that this poem elucidates, the “fragile moment”, is that moment we watch the last bit of sand run through the hourglass of lies.

Woo sings

Woo was looking outside.
What is happening to the world?
I’m worried, said Woo.
I’m worried too, sighed Onion.
Woo started singing.
Woo’s voice was tiny and sweet

Like a bird.
Onion said, That’s beautiful Woo,
I didn’t know you could sing like that.
Neither did I, said Woo.
Woo started singing again,
Filling the room

Like a nightingale.
Onion sat in a favorite chair and listened.
Onion’ s eyes closed, and Onion smiled
Because while Woo sang,
Onion saw  people
Smiling and walking together.

Onion saw people running through a field,
Leaping, leaping higher and higher
Until some of them began to fly!
Onion saw butterflies swirling
Above a field of lavender flowers.
All of a sudden a cloud swept over.

Everything turned quiet and still.
Woo had stopped singing.
Onion looked at Woo.
Woo looked at Onion sadly.
I’m sorry, said Woo.
I couldn’t stop the song from ending.
Woo is a true artist because Woo can’t fake it. The song Woo is singing carries the spirit of life. It is just such giftedness of spontaneous joyous expression that is the antidote for the heaviness that has cast a shadow across the land. Even Woo is affected by this ominous heaviness because Woo’s song ends prematurely. This poem is not about the end of the world. I see it as an appeal to all the Woos out there to sing the world back to life. We need to let the Woos of the world know how much we cherish them and desire them to sing!

Onion has a dream

A tree is growing through the ceiling.
It is growing into the sky.
Onion is watering it.
The water is magic.
Where is Woo?

Onion wants to tell Woo about the tree.
Onion is shouting, Let’s climb it Woo.
(Onion doesn’t dare climb the magic tree without Woo.)
Now Onion must have climbed the tree.
Onion is shopping in the sky.

Onion leaves the sky mall with lots of stuff.
There is a souped-up golf cart waiting.
There are ribbons in Onion’s hair.
The ribbons are streaming behind.
Onion is beautiful.

The golf cart picks up speed
It heads right off the cloud.
Now it is an airplane.
Onion feels so happy!
But where is Woo?

Onion looks down and sees Woo.
Woo is feeding the birds.
Woo looks up and sees Onion coming down
At a zillion miles an hour.
Onion makes a perfect landing in the driveway

Onion steps out of the plane.
Woo drives the plane into the garage.
Onion wakes up thinking.
I guess that dream was just for me.
Onion gets up quietly to make coffee.

Onion writes the dream down.
What an amazing dream!
What does it mean?
Maybe it means their water is magic.
Maybe it means there are good deals in the sky.
In this poem Onion has a dream-adventure without Woo, but in the dream Woo is very supportive of Onion’s going it alone, climbing the magic tree to the mall in the sky. Maybe if Woo had joined Onion it wouldn’t have wound up being such a great experience for Onion. Woo is the one in this relationship with a foot in the magic realm, so this is a big step for the more conservative and grounded Onion.