Clear Water

It would be metaphysically glib to say that surviving my health emergency has now inspired me to discern … why was I saved?

I am curious about the answer to that query.

But honestly, I’m dedicated to embracing something else: that I know nothing and that I have so much to learn. 

I want my awakening to make me a better Student, an inveterate Apprentice.

I want my awakening to make me into a fluid Presence, Clear Water.

I want my awakening to dare me to stay openminded, open to hope, and for my hope to rest on – and live in – lessons learned and earned.

I want my awakening to prepare me to write my own prescriptions, to keep my adventure going.

It’s sad – and sometimes overwhelming – looking at the depleted boy in the mirror. My weight has stabilized at about 150 pounds. But if I ever thought I had sex appeal!

I am left for now with the sensual sound of blood coursing within me and the persistence of my heartbeat.

And the shocking gratitude I feel waking up each morning and holding hands with the next day, now more than two months since my visit to the Sunken Place.

After my hospital stay, folks who visited me at the nursing facility held my hands and compassionately honored the difficulty I faced. They relentlessly reminded me to keep on with the Force don’t stop!


40 new years   schooled   scolded
by blues   love
faith of patient children
turned out between thighs & sunrise
catching me naked & unharmed
spoiled overnight
a mannish boy
risk plain on the face of a groaning man
fulfillment shimmers in droplets on my skin
evaporates before day’s revelation scalds me

my waking a sensation
answer prayers I never even heard spoke
echo hymns steep between pauses when black folk talk
my hair a prism
break my light into surprise & mystery
prove money cannot choose my mother & father
or pay rain maker to end drought
my eyes a mirror
break my sight into reflection & vision
elongate the peace of my easy acceptance

I still don’t know nothing
not one thing
nothing I do   nothing I wish
promise new year
nothing I say   nothing I trust
promise new breath

a mannish boy bows out to a grown man
grateful for
love   blues
patience for faithful children
rinse my mouth with nothing better
than wonder simmered for spring vintage
read my only instructions fineprinted on this hand written label

mark the calendar of the instant
study the bible in each touch 
spoil yourself in the scolding  
find yourself in the schooling

I want to stand in clear water, especially since I’ve moved to central Florida to take up residence with my son. Spring water as a symbolic and actual contrast with dialysis! I like that.

I want to make remittances to myself and to my actual life and to my upcoming Experience Experiments.

I wanna hold my hand!

BONUS EXCERPT from my book, Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right,’ WINNER, 2015 AMERICAN BOOK AWARD: “…. Well, just who are the experts on the inner emotional labyrynth of Black men? Who’s able to spread on the table facts and figures, evidence and analysis, examples and anecdotes, songs and stories that say there is no room for an effective, national surge of common courtesy, mutual respect, healing laughter, intelligent challenge, intense listening, and downright kindness toward every Black man we come to meet? Who’s got the magic words, government study, foundation report, or bible printout that document some alternative formula we need to excite a man into reaching his potential? Who’s throwing out the first pitch on the seventh game which will determine Mr. October at the core of Black men?  Ba da ba ba ba babop!  Ba da ba babop!  Ba da  ba babow   Badeya! Badeya! Badeeya eeyaeeyaeeyaeeya! Ba da ba babow!  Make me sing that Earth, Wind & Fire song. I do hope y’all remember humming that sweet, wordless tune called “Beijo.” It was written by Milton Nascimento and it’s from “All ‘N All.” I know you know how EWF just get happy and start singing oooooohhhs and aaaaahhhs and eeeeeeyaaahhhs, just cause they feel like it, stretching syllables full of Black male exhilaration and zeal in songs full of bright horns, rhythmic stops and starts, and voices celebrating the fact of existence, voices celebrating the song just because … yeah, just because …. Ba da ba ba ba babop!  Ba da ba babop!  Ba da  ba babow   Badeya! Badeya! Badeeya eeyaeeyaeeyaeeya  Ba da ba babow! .…”

6 thoughts on “Clear Water”

  1. This next journey of quiet and loving awakening of peaceful and calming medicine and joyful silence is comforting! Knowing that we can know more and maybe we knew but are now open to remember!
    Love yourself up!

  2. Dear, Dear Peter J.,
    First blessings, you gotta know I love you muchly !
    I’m sooooo glad you’re ok, I’m sure you’ve heard of the journey I’m on… wanted to hug you before you left for Florida, but my love & appreciation embrace you ! A loving wise man said to me (ok, us- lol) once, “PUT SOME WATER ON IT “. Now, my deeply ethereal son (who’s name is Peter J Dean…wow just noticed the ‘J’ thing !!) Said to me in a fit of turning my face to the sunrise …”Before you started succumbing to the idea that you’re mortal”. (Inferring I am immortal waving my book at me) & then insisted, “.you are made of greater than where you’re sitting”. I hope he begins writing. Just passing on some love. Big gentle long healing hugs Peter J.
    God’s blessings & keeping~
    More love & another hug & holding you hand

  3. Peter, you continue to inspire us, and now you humble us with your own humility in wanting to be an apprentice and learn more about life, and your survival. Let us learn with you. Thank you for sharing your insights and revelations with us on this blog.


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