Friday, April 14, 2017

Soul Shine

on Monday morning Jaci came over
to give me a haircut
she used to cut my father’s hair

as her razor buzzed
she stopped and looked at me
bright-eyed and said
I’ve been seeing your parents
do you want to hear about it?

your mom is sitting patiently in a chair
your dad is pacing back and forth
your mom is telling him to stay calm
he is calling for you

Jaci also talked to me about
how she sees me physically waking up from sleep
she holds her arms akimbo
mimicks precisely
the muscle tension I experience
each time I wake
how would she know that?

she says when I sleep
my soul is hovering over my body
when it reenters it startles me

she talks to me more about my parents
Jaci didn’t know my mother
I show her two photos
one when my mother was sixteen
the other four months before she died
that’s the Pearl
she sees with my dad

I ask Jaci if my parents know about me
of course they do

Jaci tells me my soul
signed up for this life
who knows why

she talks to me about surrender

how I know so many people
who love and support me

Jaci finishes cutting my hair
tweezes a few rogue forehead strands
and calls it good


On Monday night while I was asleep
I heard my father calling for me
Mawkie Mawkie Mawkie
he was very far away


Tuesday I saw my therapist Andy
I told him about my haircut
I told him about my father calling for me

he asked me when my mother died
eighteen years ago
your father just died
your mother has been on the other side
for a long time

I spoke to Andy
about my violent wake-ups
whether I am asleep for an hour
or two minutes
I wake up with my arm and shoulder
muscles so tense
my hands tightly curled

when I am sleeping
I am told my body is loose and limp
Andy says my soul is leaving my body
my body fears
my soul is getting too far away

he tells me I should focus
on staying close


that night
I slept a lot
I woke up a few times
very disoriented
I had been trying to answer
some very difficult questions
I knew the answers
but was afraid of them

I woke up
muscles tense
arms akimbo
and slowly realized
where I was
in bed
in the middle of the night
my caregiver Candice nearby

I talked to Candice
my thoughts all jumbled
I couldn’t remember the questions
this happened three times


Wednesday I went to the dentist
I fell asleep in the chair
as michelle scraped and picked at my teeth

Later I had a session with Sara
I fell asleep on the table four times
I had three gentle wake-ups
and one startled and tense

After the massage Liz was here
ready to write
she brought me a beautiful card
from her daughter, Maeve

it said
you have soul shine


  1. Oh Mark. You do have soul shine. I love you. NB

  2. This is beautiful. Love you. -Anna

  3. Ahhhh Mark!!! Your poems are so GOOD!!!! Oh wow this one is just brilliant. This reminds me of all theJewish mystical stuff about Gilgul and transmigration of souls. Whoa bravo. Are there notebooks full of these??