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Watermana

I went on a journey
I went on a journey
I sought mana of feeling
empowerment for those
who would share my journey
I prayed for mana of feeling,
empowerment of feeling,
for those who would share my journey
I prayed to the spirits of the lowerworld
for empowerment
with love for you
who share my journey

There is a headland just to the north.
It is traversed by a fissure
blowholed in the south,
an ocean fornicating gorge in the north.
In the middle is a shaft,
plugged with a seat of stone.
I sit there, close my eyes and listen to the drums,
in the blackness water trickles down black rocks
the seat falls away and I fall sliding down
a waterslide of blacken shiny rocks,
sliding, weaving, turning,
downwards, downwards
in a tunnel sliding
in a tunnel rib roofed sliding
in the blackness wetness downwards rolling turning
tunnel widens narrows opens closes opens up
I emerge under a mauve dark sky
in a rocky gully sliding downwards still
into the lowerworld in spray and shining wetness
where cliffs plummet shoreless
into an oceans surging scintillating bubbles
cliffs dropping unbroken into water frothing.
I drop through darkening water

at the oceans bottom is a cave,
inside a smooth dark glistening grotto
there is a stream so strange,
a sluggish stream,
a blue-white, glistening viscous stream
of flowing crystal
I slide into the glow
and sink into a misty whiteness,
safe, supported, warm,
I slowly sink into the blue-white glow,
into the warm,
gently drifting,
downward floating
into the breathing warm,
safe and cared for,
held and cherished,
in the blue-white floating warm.
loved and nourished,
seen and heard
by the blue-white floating warm.
I'd like to stay here but there's knowing
that this place of warmth and light,
this place of loving in abundance,
is just a place along the way
and I must go now,
must keep moving,
in my journey for the mana.

Floating up now in the ocean,
up into the darkling ocean,
under the mauve dark sky.
This ocean's wild, raging, rabid!
mountains of water
seething, towering,
valleys between
lowering, plummeting,
I'm picked up and hurled regardless,
smashed into a watery mountain,
crushed and sunk and dragged down deeper,
caught and flung back to the surface
I can do nothing, totally powerless,
I am nothing, inconsequential,
to these forces, planetary,
a curling summit now convulses,
I'm tossed into the sky and caught,
I'm hauled back down to depth again
and rolled along the rocky bottom,
terror seething, coursing through me,
this ocean is not playing with me,
I am nothing, not a presence,
what it does, it does not to me,
does it just because it is.
I'm bounced and flicked along the wave tops,
caught and held and crushed and smothered,
flattened by colliding mountains,
shredded by the rocks of water,
now the terror slow subsiding,
this simply is and is what will be,
I cannot change it, cannot fight it,
it is and is and is and is,
and I am.
and I must go now,
must keep moving,
in my journey for the mana.

I am released and drift down slowly
through the bottom of the ocean,
to a light-filled little valley
where I hike a gentle incline,
clamber over rocks and boulders,
near a splashing creek,
it's laughing,
playing as it passes by me
spray is settling on the bushes
on the rocks and over me
everything is glistening, shining,
deep green of leaves and mica rainbows,
all are passing joy in to me,
joy of being, joy to be here,
in this precious little valley.
my gaze is lifted upward, skyward.
From the rock rim far above
shoots a stream of water lighted
bright incandescent like a halo,
plummets down towards the tree-tops,
down amongst a host of rainbows
onto rocks and flows into a pool.
into a deep and peaceful pool,
tears of joy are streaming down my face
as I walk into the pool and swim
across to where the water's splashing
I climb up to the torrents landing
and under water coruscating
now it hits me!
pounds its joy upon my head
it batters me with joyful fervour
I'm thrown back upon my back
my arms spread out and pinned
by powered joyful rushing water,
driven by its sheerest spirit,
empowered by exhilaration,
I fly backwards into darkness.
for I must go now,
must keep moving,
in my journey for the mana.

In amongst some trees I'm walking
amongst these trees I can't quite see them
mist is curling round about me
mist is curling round about them
all is wrapped in mist and shadow
wrapping me in deepest sadness
this mist is gathering upon me
my head and legs and arms are heavy
I slowly trudge onwards
just because stopping's
just as pointless.
but the mist is getting thicker
I cannot fight this sadness longer
this wall of sadness will not kill me
but seems that if I stop it will be
forever.
I slow and stop and sink down to the ground
and darkness closes over.
but I must go now,
must keep moving,
in my journey for the mana.

now there is no ground beneath me
vision slow returns, I'm drifting
there is still a mist around me
but no,
I see now that it's clouds around me
in the mauve dark sky I'm drifting,
and there are no needs upon me,
clouds are all there are and will be,
clouds are all I am and need be,
gently floating, in no hurry,
dissipating and re-forming
round a sun that's slowly setting,
catching us in pinks and reds
I know this place now,
peace is here, I will stay awhile.
peace is here, I would stay awhile,
but I must go now,
must keep moving,
in my journey for the mana.

There is a fissure glowing redly,
curious I wander in there,
look around this noisome landscape,
motley purpled lowering sky,
ragged hills and jagged valleys,
in their midst a fiery lake,
it's moving, rising,
from its depths
a peak is forming,
from its depths
a monster rearing
ugly glowing, rage consumes me,
I run and jump and climb onto it,
with my hands I tear and punch it,
tear it's scalding skin and eat it,
I draw my sword, it has no hilt,
it's just a blade
and as I swing it cuts in to me
I sink into this monsters body,
rushing stinking hate-filled lava
mixes with my blood and swamps me
I breathe and swallow searing liquids
burn away my nose and throat and eyes
there's only redness
burning pain and red red rage
burn me away.
And I am gone

I am transparent.
gliding through lush undergrowth
deep beneath a soaring forest
no path is needed
for my way is clear
down into a creek
it takes me bubbling, swirling
over little falls and tumbling
carried through the stiller ponds
bouncing jouncing over rocks
feeling nothing,
just the coolness
just the wetness
and the movement of the stream
just my coolness
just my wetness
and my movement
I am stream
I flow into a pool
I am pool
spinning lazily in circles
near my centre I am sinking
spinning faster
I am whirlpool
spinning wildly
sucking downwards
past curving lines of rock
I see the rocks have patterns on them
I can read them as I pass them
they tell me who I am
and I remember why I'm here
on this journey
for the mana

I lie back beneath the whirlpool
all the waters flooding in
they pour into my eyes and start to fill me
the opening above me reddens
fiery fluid pours into my nose and mouth
now vapours cloudy infuse downwards
filling me from crown to neck
a mist is pouring through the fissure
coming down into my body
rushing spraying water falls into me
and great crashing waves into me
and the blue white soft and warm
all the waters and the vapours
pouring, smashing, drifting, splashing
through my hands, feet, arms and legs
through my eyes, nose, mouth and ears
through my skull, throat, heart and gut
a many hued and changing current
filling, filling, filling me
I cannot stand it
too much for me
but this is not for me alone
I'm now a vessel, bearing mana
and there's a mossy trunk before me
a tree that's looming ever skywards,
twisting up and through the mauve dark sky
I know now my journey's ending
I flow onto the tree and up it
and up and round the gnarly tree
upwards, upwards,
climbing skyward
through the ground and stand alone.

Sit some water there before you,
think of the lowerworld's spirit gift,
drink it down and take it in you,
feel the power, feel the power,
it's yours...
.
.

Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35PQwrUZdPw

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Editing stage: 
Workshop: 

Comments

However the harshness is totally intentional. It is mixed with love and gentleness and is supposed to represent a full range of human feelings. Being angry is not bad, being sad is not bad, all feelings are part of being human.

If however you are referring to the structure of the piece and it's language, may I quote from my M.A. examiner (which was taken into consideration with the video)

"This work is of significance to world art theory and practice"

I am totally unconcerned with commercial value. Self publishing has the much less euphemistic name "vanity press"

On the other hand, my new works in sculpture and video may sell. It would be nice to make some of my subsistence from other than factotum work.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

rabid, as in rabies.

And thank you.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

I am shameless in my praise and adoration of this (your life's work, so to speak), Jess. I know from whence it comes and find it difficult to read for content to critique. So I shall not.

Thank you for reposting this tour de force experience.

~A

Jayne, there are a few places that could be smoothed out by shortening, and I know you will find them. I too was taken on that long journey through the gamut of human emotion. I was intriqued by the re-curring theme of starting each passage with a stream. Not being a psychologist, I can only guess at the reason for this, but feel that you are giving a nod to the reselience of the human spirit. Just my take, pardon me... I truly believe that there is a good deal of introspection here. Very long... but I wasn't bored by any means. ~ Gee P.S. I meant to address the spelling of [mana]. Did you mean [manna]? It would make more sense to me, and it WAS the way I read it.

Please acknowledge critique and comments.
They are a vital part of our community!
Critique or comment today!

"chi" in Chinese martial arts.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

the sun might shine more brightly. But I would suggest some sun protection cream. When the sun shines out of my arse it hurts for days!

That's ok man, do you love "Kubla Khan" by Coleridge" or "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas? I am not comparing myself to them but they are my all two favourite poems. What are yours?

My poem Watermana is flawed, but it is the best I have done. That and Time Goes Round in a srtaight line". What are your best?

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

Hey, Bee it's meant to be a shared vision. read it while watching the youtube...

sound, picture and emotion!

~A

Nothing to apoligize for, Bee. How we see things, is how we see things. that can always be changed by the wattage. ;-)

~A

my MA in Poetry as a way of aggrandising myself on this site recently.
But Watermana is the work that won the award, with Honors.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

Though I know you're not speaking of Madame Fuckwit, I wonder where she is? Hope she comes back with bells on.

About your Watermana, no one can take your MA away no matter how disparaging its critique.
Nuff said.

~A

Well, Bee,

It's taken me a while to respond to this, because we were exchanging harsh words all over the place at the time and I thought perhaps it best to let things settle down a bit.

The first stanza, as you noticed, does contain a lot of repetition, but hardly a Hallmark convention, in fact a classic Epic Poetry convention. One sets the stage and states ones intention much like the chorus in ancient Greek theatre, it was entirely intentional.

Having gained that initial mis-apprehension I can't really blame you for merely scanning any of the rest of the work

As Anna said, there is an accompanying video, but the poem is meant to work in its own rite as well. If you're interested in the theoretical and creative background to the piece, I'll post an abbreviated form of my Thesis as a blog.
http://new.neopoet.com/node/2646

Oh, I googled "Tales of Wandsworth the Astral Wizard" but couldn't find it online, is it published anywhere I could read it? Or were you taking the the piss? Could you be a Borrible?

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

Jess (can I call you Jess?), I will first say that I read the poem in its entirety. No skimming. Next, I'm going to sadly tell you I didn't like it, but as I'm not the sort to simply say so and run, I'd like the chance to tell you why.
I'm putting the comments here because I looked in on the previous comments for other perspectives. I hope Neopoet is like the other sites I have visited and my comment here will simply throw this back up to the top somehow. I'm still trying to figure out to get around the place.
And third, slightly off topic, I think if this poem was welcomed in The Stream then there should be no trouble posting my epic there either. I didn't count them, but you mentioned it was around 1500 lines long? It didn't seem that long when I read, but it is substantial and likely longer than the majority of my canto.
To the poem. I certainly don't consider it worthless as Bee suggested. As far as being an "epic" poem one would have to stretch a little, but I think you can qualify. Of course, I am speaking about the old and dusty, scholarly requirements for an epic poem. I'm not sure if it begins media re or not, but one could argue our hero is at his lowest point.
My first difficulty arises with the almost psychedelic, magical mystery tour feeling to it all. I don't have a problem with the attempt, but in a work of this size (and god knows I love a big poem) it becomes at first repetitious, then a tad tedious to finally become an excuse for not paying attention to it. It could be argued that were one to put forth the effort to focus on it in a meditative manner (as suggested in the comments above) not only would it be easy to pay attention, but it might serve closer to the poet's initial concept of the poem. I don't meditate. Were I to attempt to meditate on the poem I fear I would not be able to concentrate on it or the meditation. I can't carry on a conversation when a television is running in the same room. So another can possibly find something pleasing about the "kaleidoscope", but it's beyond me.
What next troubled me is what could probably be explained as simply a misunderstanding on my part. The poem is obviously drawing from some other perspective about "Life, The Universe and Everything", but it is not one I recognize, so I found myself lost in the correlations. I was being taught something, but I could not understand what it was I was to learn. Frankly, a little maddening. To think that this poet is offering what could likely be the answer to all my sorrows and apprehensions and I'm lost in a hyperbolic stew where I don't belong. I have quoted a poet for years whose name I have lost, but the quote is too cool to give up for only that reason. "We all know that often when a poem is being read it is not the poet who is being judged, but rather the reader." I believe this to be true. Just because "I" don't much care for a poem, doesn't mean it has no worth.
My last complaint I fear, is perhaps my most damning, but I've slit my throat this far, I might as well do the deed. Too bad. I was truly enjoying your company.
The poem sent me through a myriad of sci fi worlds, ethereal in their conception and beautiful as far as description allowed me, But (and it's a big BUT) the language did not allow me to feel any of this. I saw some of this poem in my mind, but that is only the first stage. If I'm going to be taken to distant worlds, tossed on my ass, turned into a cloud, dirt, on and on, then damnit- I want to feel it. I used to hate this shit when someone would tear a poem apart because he couldn't "feeeel" it. Waaaa! I always felt like telling the pecker to feel... you get it.
Usually this is a dufus poet (maybe me) trying to Lord it over a superior poet (maybe you) in the only way they can. But I have learned some and think I've grown up a bit and come to the realization that I have the right to expect that an exceptional poet can make me actually "feel" his poetry. It's all in the words. Somehow the few truly expressive phrases (and there were truly expressive phrases) got lost in the mountain of psychedelic rush.
Jess, I have to say I truly needed to like this poem. You have been a fast friend and a helpmate. I wanted to read this and come back thrilled over it, but I also know that I wouldn't be able to bullshit someone like you. And it's important to me that you consider me "a poet of integrity" (sounds a little silly don't it). I want you to know when I like something of yours and say so, I like it. I won't bullshit you. So, I don't think the poem is crap (obviously not if you garnered an award for it), but I don't much care for it.
Read my poem anyway.
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Naturally I'm disappointed you didn't like it but what an I going to do, sulk? Certainly not. You gave it a fair reading and an intelligent response with valid criticism and I can't ask for more.

Perhaps I will return to this piece one day, probably not very soon, and give it a re-working with some of the critiques I've received in mind. Especially it should not depend on the shamanic drum-beat to which it is performed for its affect.

Regarding the nature of "epic", you are absolutely right, it is not in the classic sense an epic poem, it is so only in terms of length and the sense of a man's journey.

Oh, it is only 1500 words, not lines, but it does demonstrate that longer poems can get read, but often don't, in the Stream.

All is cool between us and I will happily continue to read your work and assist any way possible,

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

I hate alienating people, especially people of intellect who are kind to me. They can be the most dangerous. Words! Not lines. Well I thought it was a quick read. I agree that there can be a place for long poems in our forums. Poets have been writing long pieces for centuries. I don't see why our century has to be the one with a short attention span. I'll be looking in your other works today and tomorrow on and off. wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

I think you hit the mother lode, Wesley! I suspect I have *selective* Adult Attention Deficit Syndrome. After all the years, the thousands of books, I'd rather have the full experience via Broadway play or Cleveland Public Theater, Flicks via IMAX, rather than books. And Haiku, short poems rather than Odes to whatever. As I mentioned before, this is returning me to disciplining myself. T'aint easy.

Our century is the me generation, I want it now, the multi-taskers and the give me the synopsis rather than blow-by-blow. Kids are brilliant and are undereducated because of antiquated methods...the little red brick school syndrome as I call it.

If what I do doesn't ultimately elicit some sort of 4-D experience, is it worth my time? Unless I can multi-task. :-0

Jess's poem was infinitely more entertaining in the youtube version, even if it wasn't vocally clear. I had a copy in hand and occasionally referred to it while watching the video. One gets the sense of where he is going with it. Maybe U2 might collaborate on your poem, Wes and a Jess video.

~A

My pea brain is only going to read this in stages so as to not unintentionally skim. Although I generally am not a fan of repeated phrases, I think it works like a near drum beat in the 1st 2 stanzas. The last 4 lines in 2nd stanza seem arranged wrong to me If they were to be numbered 1,2,3,4,.I would rearrange them thusly:1,3,2,4. I'll absorb some more of this later and return with more later. So far this has a near Beowulf feeling to it in my unlearned opinion..............stan

I'll check that out.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

All spiritual traditions have in it *the rebirth into spirit*, a shamanic journey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXmFJtBymbs

I've come to the conclusion that poets, though more loosely joined to the hip of their belief systems (including how poetry should look, sound etc.) there still is a huge chasm between those who are fully immersed into the spiritual aspect of being human and those of us who are incredibly immersed in our
4-walled, roofed house, rather than being on the edge, on the end of our concepts... always ready to
let go of them as soon as they appear.

That's what differentiates poets, artists from the general public, the whether or not we are channeling the muse of creativity itself.

My thoughts, I know many do not share them. I sometimes get stuck on myself too.

~A

Okay - you are going to call me crazy but this whole trip you were on seems like a metaphor for falling within
an in- battled love affair. Fighting to survive, thrown here and there, smashed and helpless, but never giving in, just floating, as calmer water emerges got a split second, toward a calmer place, always continuing the search for the "mana" a magical middle ground. That's just me, You already know Im' different , lol!

Kim
V)

If it is an allegory of love then it is an allegory of love as an allegory of life.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

okay...and?

Your journey for "mana" is an exquisite process of words that, in my view, reveal YOU. Although your piece is rather lengthy and might do better with a bit of editing, your imagery is complete and your use of water as the life source is poignantly clear as it is glittering, dark, or full of fire at each turn. I think this is an excellent reveal of humans who search for their mana as money without having a clue about what it means to be actually ALIVE and others who can't give up the journey through extreme sadness and supreme joy until they learn the process of constantly discovering it. I would like to note that you might enjoy reading, "I and Thou" by Martin Buber His work is brief but offers single lines of poetry that one can ponder for weeks or more.

Marthalyn

I love that everyone has their own unique take on each work of poetry and your take on this one is lovely.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

A journey to the inside where feelings flow and can be sorted if only in going so deep we can control the inner influence of our own Spirit.
If we believe and ca hold onto a belief of eternity and the universal role in this short life we lead then we can drop into your world.
Great write always be sure that you can exit this state so try not to be alone either Physically or mentally when making such a journey.
Your Bru, Ian ..

Words can build a nation

I will now say more directly. You think you know these other worlds but you don't know this one. This one is in your head.

You do NOT need a guide for this sort of work, just let go, let go of your own timidity and especially your preconceptions.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

As I cant get into your world or where you are going I shall withdraw so that you can talk of your Shamanic ways.
Interesting I just wonder where the main difference is??
Yours Ian

Words can build a nation

the difference is this one is in your head, not the spirit world.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

I will have another go at the weekend but the other world seems to get in the way and as you know I transition very quickly to that side ..
I promise to try your side it will be a test .. Yours Ian ..

Words can build a nation

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