Stones of My Fathers – a poem

April 26, 2015 · Category: Poetry 

Stones of My Fathers

Stones of my Fathers.
Mud under foot.
The Great Pyramids of Egypt and Mexico.
Laid by your hands.

I honor you.

Stones of my Fathers.
Cobbles under foot.
America, Europe, the Middle East.
Laid by your hands.

I honor you.

Stones of my Fathers.
Marbled Cathedrals, Temples, and Mosques.
Made by your hands.

I honor you.

Stones of my Fathers.
Carved blocks.
Michelangelo’s David.
The Slave’s White House.
Made by your hands.

I honor you.

Stones of my Fathers.
Wailing walls from Boston to Berlin,
Jerusalem, and China.
Segregated in. Segregated out.
Laid by your hands.

I cry with you.

Stones of my Fathers.
Crushed under foot, flat and smooth.
With painted lines, yellow and white.
Laid not by your hands.
Now stained with Red.

I cry with you.

Stones of my Fathers.
Carved with names.
Bones of the innocent.
Dying on you.

New York City.
Los Angeles.


Stones of my Fathers.
I pray for you.

~philippe berthiaume 4/24/15


Philippe Berthiaume is a creative soul receiving his first Blue Ribbon Award for a crayon drawing of Columbus’ Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. He was six years old. It was his defining moment as an Artist. 16 years later he graduated with College degrees in Photography, Ceramic Arts, and Theology. Today, he paints pictures with words on paper, not with paint on canvas__ and his first novel is almost complete. During the warm months, his green thumbs are happy digging, planting, and meditating in his vegetable, perennial, and Japanese gardens. They are equally happy cooking in the ManKind Project kitchens of New England as a Man of Service. Philippe completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in 2009.


3-6-5 4-3-2-1 – Ignition

December 5, 2014 · Category: Featured Content, Poetry 

by Mike Morrell

My heart burned within me like a molotov cocktail
Melting atrophied organs of sense and perception
Third eyes blinking open from awakenings rude
Iridescent night vision seeing sights long subdued.

Tricksters, gods and monsters find themselves drawn in
To boys kicking off the covers revealing themselves to be men
Without apology.

Things hidden share secrets by flickering flames
Word-making devices now turning a page.

Ruthless grace shows up – mercilessly – picking me off the ground
Charred nuclear shadow where unused conscience once lay
Shrugging off my hangover from that first awful drink
‘Good’ and ‘evil’ hallucinations – that overripe fruit.

“Get up, Man,” Kali taunts me, blue angel of death
Shrunk heads of men who died trying hanging mute ’round her breasts
Her lips curled in kindness, a shared moment between us
Daring me to do better, Mars rising from Venus

While Michael, archangel, the template of me
Stands silently, original, master of all that he sees
Bedouin warrior of Thrones, desert Jinn and bright devils,
Has work to do once my apocalypse settles.

Alchemy seeps down deep in my bones
Leaden dreams long abandoned now spin into gold
Boy’s nightmares arouse to find themselves man’s playmates
(Amid tonight’s deadline and next week’s penciled play-dates)

Eden – alas – left me no forwarding address
Shangri-La (from saved seeds) now blooms in its stead
Could this garden-city be New Jerusalem’s nest?
I’ve been saving ’till now; it’s time to invest.

The invitation is intuition
A ceremony of recognition – my body and blood’s rhythmic repetition
Mercury’s metal on my tongue and sweat on my brow
Life’s transubstantiation – here and now.

Remembrance is re-cognition
Re-membering this disposition
That gives rise – then and always – to original face
Holy Sun Absolute shining shelter and grace

Kindling the compost of what had begun
Seraphim and Destroyer erect such a pyre
Food for the moon from all left undone
“Why not be utterly changed into fire?”

Mike Morrell

Mike Morrell describes himself as a wannabe mystic and prophet, husband and father, lover and friend. He’s also a graced, aspiring opti-mystic friend of God in the way of Jesus – like many other scoundrels, ne’er-do-wells, and would-be saints. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with my wife Jasmin and two girls. He’s the Communications Director for Presence, an Integral biblical studies nonprofit dedicated to building bridge. He’s also the ‘brewmaster’ for the Speakeasy Network, and a co-founder of the Wild Goose Festival. He completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in May 2011.


So Far Within Reach – a Poem

November 14, 2014 · Category: Poetry 

by Jeffrey Bates

…a small boat sat on the rocks on the beach
as he approached it felt just out of his reach
the oars they lay inside half disclosed
the old man in his chair dreamed a dream as he dozed.

The stream from the mountain descended to the shore
Where the boat had been dreaming of the man it knew before
He approached and he saw the world without care,
As he breathed in the sun, felt the crisp morning air.

The old man, he shifted a bit in his chair
He’d thought that he saw someone standing there
“Get in!” he sighed, as he passed on the edge,
“The boat is ready and the shore’s no hedge.”

He squirmed once more in his chair on the porch
The young man, he felt no flame, but a torch.
As he pushed the small boat from the rocks on the beach
What was once so far was now within reach.

February 9, 2014

Jeff Bates

Jeffrey Bates, the author and illustrator of The Little Bucket, earned his B.A. from Anderson College (University), in Anderson, Indiana in Religion and Sociology (1985) and Master of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana (1990). He has worked with children and youth for most of his career while serving churches, both full and part time and as a volunteer, from 1986-1996 and 2011-2014. He completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in 1996.


Loving Through My Shadow – a poem

October 21, 2014 · Category: Men and Shadow, Poetry 

by Les Gaines

What is this shadow following me, damn?
Just a lie of what I truly am.
A mark from yesterday
when some guy said I wasn’t good enough to play.

That old stain has been like a stone
locking away my heart in a catacomb.

How can I live?
How can I breath?
With this mirage of limitation blinding my destiny.

I pay the price to feel worthy.
But still it’s clear that I’m not free.
No, just a proxy of what I should be,
offering a little taste of what I could be.

So what about a little authenticity,
If I drop my spear,
if I drop my shield
if stand before you with my shame revealed,
If I let my mind settle in this space,
and show the of years of fears etched on my face,
then can I stay?
Can I stay and love you through my shadows anyway.

That shadow has a bind on me,
nothing I can do sometimes but say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for my mother.
I’m sorry for my father.
I’m sorry for that freak down the street.
And that’ they all called a geek.
I’m sorry for my big head.
I’m sorry for my fears.
I’m sorry that I bite back hard,
when I fell attacked, and I’m not clear.

But, if I say I’m sorry for being me,
can I stay and love you through my shadows anyway.

I know that …
kings have other mansion
and, boys other toys.
Lovers have other passions
and, warriors other ploys.
But a man has only one heart to feel.
And, if he’s lucky he’ll hold onto one friend that’s real.
So, I will stay, I’ll stay and love you through my shadows anyway.

Les Gaines

After gaining victory over disabling PTSD, Les Gaines returns to his mission as a healer, coach, speaker, and advocate for disabled survivors of childhood trauma. He is a certified metaphysical healer, and an avid student of Judeo/Christian mysticism, and shamanism. Les hopes to share his journey of healing and empowerment through his love of poetry, art, and music. Les completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in August 2012, and is a grateful member of the BWOE igroup in MD.


I know trauma – a poem

October 17, 2014 · Category: Men and Shadow, Poetry 

by Les Gaines

As if asleep in a sea of denial, loathing my own shadow,
my faithful friend with me along so many miles.
I know the crippling fear of stepping beyond the front door;
that hope for a better life was best left ignored.

I know trauma.

I know the doubt that comes
when everybody wrong seems right,
and everything right seems wrong;
when every arm but mine looks strong.

I know the helplessness of trying to feel like something,
while my brain is screaming that I’m nothing.

I know trauma.

The intrusion of phantom hands, sounds, and scents
that cross the gap of time making danger feel so imminent.
Flashbacks they’re called,
by those who walk with memory intact.
I know just how long that panic can last.

But, I also know the power of Goodness and Life
that shields a soldier in the most vicious of fights.
I know the strength of hands, ready to survive.

You see,
I know how to thrive.
How to search the infinite resources of mind,
to unlock the chains of shame restoring innocence,
I thought left behind.

I know the power of the yearning for freedom
that made me stand from my crawl, and
throw away that doormat that read, “free-for-all.”

This is my Life!
And it’s time I change
the rules of that old abusive game
to restore each fragment of my Self to its rightful place.

I’ll say who I am,
Love, Life, and Freedom.
I am Choice. I am Real.
I am here … with the courage to heal.

Les Gaines

After gaining victory over disabling PTSD, Les Gaines returns to his mission as a healer, coach, speaker, and advocate for disabled survivors of childhood trauma. He is a certified metaphysical healer, and an avid student of Judeo/Christian mysticism, and shamanism. Les hopes to share his journey of healing and empowerment through his love of poetry, art, and music. Les completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in August 2012, and is a grateful member of the BWOE igroup in MD.


A Circle of Men

October 7, 2014 · Category: Men and Leadership, Poetry 

by Les Gaines

I sit in a circle with Men
who are ready to go within,
whose eyes blaze like diamonds in disguise
and whose bodies are poised with determination.

Unwilling to compromise,
and using clever minds as a honing device,
the brothers listen in.
For groans and moans of shadows and doubts
that utter, “I am less than.”

In this circle of men,
we find traces of hopes we’ve seen before,
hidden behind childhood doors
arousing pain we must explore.

And in that journey we find our life’s mission
to be who we are, without seeking permission.
To do what good men have always done,
be willing to be “the One.”

In this circle of men,
a warrior rises to the occasion,
to see the world he made
and claim his power to change it.

Here hands beat upon drums,
And, masculine roars form our songs,
calling the four directions, the sky and the earth
and upon ancestor’s shoulders we take up our work.

In this circle of men,
there is power to turn ore to steel,
to dissolve every illusions that prevents
living a life that is real.

In this circle of men,
there is truth in projections
and healing when a man encounters his own golden reflections.

Les Gaines

After gaining victory over disabling PTSD, Les Gaines returns to his mission as a healer, coach, speaker, and advocate for disabled survivors of childhood trauma. He is a certified metaphysical healer, and an avid student of Judeo/Christian mysticism, and shamanism. Les hopes to share his journey of healing and empowerment through his love of poetry, art, and music. Les completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in August 2012, and is a grateful member of the BWOE igroup in MD.


The Rising of Basic Goodness — Embodiment in a Global Society

October 5, 2014 · Category: Poetry 

by Two Crows Calling

First we took a hard look at our ego self
Speaking our feelings of what we wanted in love, work and a peaceful world
Discovering in our dyads and in our meditation that what
we yearned for was so often in breakdown,
“stalled”, not happening.

We saw our own self sabotage, living in illusion, deceit,
blaming others, caught in subtle consumer and family
dramas. Our list of counterfeit, cocoon traits hit home
as endlessly discouraging. For us, “looking good”so often
won out over just being Goodness.

Sitting, we connected deeply with our own “messiness”
We had placed our cart before the Wind horse of our Life.
We were not living from Buddha’s last words
“Be a Lamp unto Yourself”

What good fortune the dharma overcame our doubt, fear and
timidity. We were rescued by energies far more powerful
and vast than the dominant culture’s repetitive story lines.

Our practice sharpened our will and expanded our hearts.
Our teachers inspired us –breathing truth and love into us.

One day, you finally said a full and deep “YES”
You whispered into your own heart. “OK. I’m tired of being
sick and tired of all my half- hearted measures.”

You told your mind and heart. “I am ready to take it all on”.

I am ready to take the pain and heartache of society into my
own tender, vast and spacious Heart.

And you stepped forward to the front of history’s grand stage
You realized the poet Rilke was right after all:

“Whatever the question, Love is the Answer.”

Starvation spreads in Africa and the Middle East while grain rots
in our Midwestern grain storage reserves. More love needed. The 37,000
infant and child deaths every day from polluted water. More of my love needed.

The seemingly endless deaths of mothers and young children in Syria.
More love needed. Clean water for the children? More love from me.
Breaking the horror of human trafficking and slavery?
More love from me.

We leaned into the Wind. Into the Storm. Into the Darkness
of our present Age. We rejoiced in the advancement of Goodness.

We found the dharma was our Shield,our Sword. Our Light.
We felt in our bones “This is my moment.This is our moment.”

And so with each breath, we opened wide our hearts to the pain
and suffering of this world.

Over time our field of action expanded more and more. Sacred warriors
of basic goodness appeared at our side. We became a Oneness.

Together my sisters and brothers
We go forth across this vast world
fertile seeds in the Wind
Making Enlightened Society Possible.
Shambhala! Shambhala!


My Poem 310: Meeting Wisdom

October 2, 2014 · Category: Featured Content, Men and Leadership, Poetry 

My Poem 310: Meeting Wisdom

The shaman knows those noises…
They sometimes disturb the hunt…they
are sometimes the result of the hunt…
You see, the shaman has kept
to his roots, not like the shamans
reed flute, having been cut from
its root, its soundings are the
lamentations of the broken hearted
which the shaman knows but he
Also knows of the healed heart…
knows the Icy grags and shadowed
vales…becoming knowing of the songs…
Of the void between notes, between
the lyrics, between the breath taken
in and the breath expelled… There
he finds the knowing of Wisdom…
There, he meets Her…Mother Sophia


Addenda i54: Oscar Wilde said,

“Ah! Don’t say you agree with me. When
people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong.”

Do our poems have
to please everyone?
Do we have
a responsibility to be provocative?

Yes! MEN!
We Have That Responsibility!

Of course! We have that responsibility!
Wilde said that! Wilde lived that!
Our ‘modern’ circumstances demand that …
How could we not … but to invite another Hitler …

Gaia, Mother Earth is demanding that!
Creating storm after massive storm
beyond our experience …

I am demanding that! … of
my Brothers & my Sisters!

The call has been made! It is international!
grass rooted, calling but walked upon …
springing back up into the calling air …
but CALLING again … every society … every Heart
The Mother and mothers everywhere are calling …
Fathers drop war from your consciousness.
It has no future … It begets no future …

And an Earthen hell is the result …
Over and over … again and again …

MEN! What more proof need be portrayed than that goriest
Glorious 20th Century …???


Wali Qutbuddin Loren Ruh Smith
August 6, 2014

Qutbuddin Loren Ruh Smith: I’m 75 years old, born in Tacoma, WA and went to high school in Arcata, CA. I served in the US Army, met my first wife and had our first son in France. I started writing poetry in my first college English class in 1961. I’ve published a book called The Path to The Beloved and I have several books ready to publish. I lived in the Sierras in Grass Valley for 30 years before moving to Albuquerque, NM, in 2012. My book about fathers and sons called This Child and His Tree will be going to the publishers shortly.


My Elder Soul ~ a poem

February 11, 2014 · Category: Men as Elders, Poetry 

by Reuel Czach

Elders, we are losing our Soul.
We are so caught up individually in petty offenses
and bickering and wounded-ness,
that we are letting our civilization and our planet die.
But most importantly,
we are letting our souls die.

When I chose to be wounded,
and walk through life withdrawn in my cave,
or I choose to be over-armored,
to the point of being weighed down,
with such heavy baggage,
nothing else matters,
… soul is lost.

I chose to take a step toward claiming,
my lost soul,
when I chose to meet with men in an honest, open circle.

I choose my soul,
when I decide to be so humble,
that no one can offend me.

I choose my soul,
when I chose wisdom,
over being right.

I choose my soul,
when I chose service,
over selfishness.

I choose my soul,
when I chose looking within,
to find all the evil I see outside myself.

I choose my soul,
when I walk the path of life,
where I am nothing,
and I am everything,
in sacred balance.
My choices mean everything,
my offenses mean nothing.

My offenses mean I still have inner work to do
and for the sake of generations to come,
I better get it done as quickly as possible.

My choices mean I have the power to save myself,
my loved ones, my friends, and possibly many more people,
from a mean, selfishness and a lonely death.

I feel great sadness and sorrow,
for all that is being lost.

While the distractions of hurt,
wounded-ness and bickering,
suck so much energy out of my soul,
…..and the soul of my people.

Every hurt and wound and chance to be right,
is a mirror of my soul,
and an opportunity to heal.

Do it! Choose healing.
Then choose wisdom and kindness,
and be the Elder you were meant to be.

Distractions are my enemy,
anything that tries to pull me off,
my narrow mission.

I just need to let Spirit control my life,
where my spirit joins and serves,
a much bigger wisdom,
than I could ever fully understand.

I am asked this day to request of myself,
and men who call themselves Elders.
A humble request,
that we focus on the wisdom to light a path,
for those who come after us.
Humble man, Jan 2014

Reuel Czach

Reuel Czach is a 60 year old, Christian man with a wonderful wife and two sons, a daughter and a stepson. He has lived in San Luis Obispo County, California for over 30 years and practiced architecture for most of those years. Czach is an I-Group Coordinator for the Swallow Creek Coastal Circle in Cayucos. He actively supports and builds the Elder community in San Luis Obispo and is the Co-Elder Chair of the MKP Santa Barbara Community. Czach leads a weekly men’s circle in my church and is a leader in the men’s ministry.


The Twin Brothers, The Horse Twins

December 3, 2013 · Category: Poetry 

by Rebecca


The Twin Brothers, The Horse Twins

The Ashvino
The Horse Twins
The Twin Brothers
Tall, strong,
Long black hair flowing
They are the Ashvino
Call to your brothers,
And they will lead you on your way.

Nobody knows where the Ashvino Twins live.
They make visits to villages
As they roam free.
When they enter a town,
The children are the first to know.
They go running on their little feet
Pattering, laughing, spilling with delight.
The Ashvino Twins,
glowing softly bright like the afternoon sun,
Brown eyes bright,
Play with them, laugh with them.
They pick the children up to their shoulders, and hold them tight.
They speak true words to them,
Speaking to them,
never above them or below them,
As children always want to be spoken to.
Children everywhere call them,
Our Big Brothers.

They enter into homes
In the late afternoon
When the sun is high and golden,
When women are baking bread
And making supper.
The women always welcome them in
Because they know what the Ashvino are.
They love them,
In a way different from their husbands,
In a way different than their sons.
The Ashvino bring their children with them.
They bring a quiet, strong joy that lasts long.
After they leave,
The earthen walls speak long after they have gone,
A deep vibration,
Soothing, saying things that words could never speak.
In a house where the Ashvino have sat,
Disease will not lodge
And the fortune of long, lasting happiness will come.
The Twin Brothers bring a warm, contented, deep peace.
They bring fortune that money or riches
Could never bring.
The women know this.
They know about the Ashvino
They know about the Twins.
And that is why
The women are always happy to let the Twin Brothers in.

No one knows where the home of the Ashvino is.
After they pass through a village,
They walk past the outskirts
Out into the rolling plains,
And the Two Brothers
Change into Horses.
They run free in the grasses,
In the wide expanse of the world.
In thunderstorms,
They revel in the pounding rain
Their hooves are like the thunder
And their speed is the lightning.
Their black manes are the wind.

In their bodies runs the strength of a horse.
They know what it feels like to be prey
but they have the mind of a good human king.
They’ve felt the spikes of fear in their own bodies,
And they are sensitive as horses—
they are gentle because of it.
And they know sensitive assertiveness
is better than timid kindness—
they know without it,
the heard falls into fear and strife.
They know what it is to be a predator,
And that as men they are only animal on earth
That has a choice about it.
They are a horse and a man in one,
the best of both.
They are the Ashvino.

Women always love them.
But what men think of them
Depends on the Man.
A jealous man says,
“Get out of my house! Stop messing with my woman!”
An insecure man sees the Twins’ easy, warm confidence,
and feels empty.
A men who thinks himself strong,
but only makes an image of strength on the outside, judges and says,
“They are not really strong. They are too gentle, too kind.”

But a man who strives to be free, wild, kind, and strong,
His heart yearns after them
From deep in his soul.
He wants to be like them.
He wants to run free like them.
He wants to be strong like them.
He wants to be kind like them.

Call to the Ashvino
And the Horse Twins will come running
Quicker than the lightning
Rumbling deep and long like thunder in the earth
With the easy warmth of the afternoon sun,
With the heart of a Horse
And the mind of a Man,
They will come
As your Brothers
And lead you
On the way you yearn to go.


Rebecca is a woman who heartily supports the Men’s Movement. On her words: ” We need it now more than ever. I am deep into Jungian studies, and I work daily towards living a responsible, full, conscious life. I have written this piece in the place where men’s and women’s journeys intersect. We often do the same thing in our inner life, while looking at it from slightly different angles. The Ashvino Horse twins are an ancient Indo-European  tradition that I want to bring alive into our world again.”

All/You/I, a poem

December 2, 2013 · Category: Poetry 

by Dave Klaus


don’t give me a pitch
don’t tell me a story
don’t serve me pie in the sky

tell me the truth

the dark parts
the hard parts
the parts that don’t want to be told, the parts that hide from the sun
(toothy little things, hungry for blood, hungry for love, hungry, hungry…)

tell me the sad parts, the parts where you’re afraid, really afraid. Trapped in Amber.

tell me the parts when you gave up, just gave up,
because you were tired, and it was too much

the parts you wish were different

I want to see the shadows.

I want to see them, bold and stretchy, looming and translucent.


because behind those shadows is a shining light
and though I can’t look straight at it (like the sun, you know)

I know you

and I feel the Light shining through

I feel it there and it warms me and I am safe,
and it adds to my light:

with your light my shadows


a bit,



I want to see the shadows because inside them I see the rest of you,

inside them I see the All of you.

inside them


I have no exit strategy, no plan for the door, no escape route in mind

I am here. With You.

I have no reason to doubt,
no reasonable doubt
(well a few, maybe; a few, more than that; ok yeah, I got doubts)

but there’s NO doubt I/you can hold what I/you got,

because I/you am large and I/you contain multitudes


I have a willingness to suspend disbelief, a willingness to be-lieve

I have a faith that treads water over 50,000 Fathoms,

head above it, mostly,

but not always, sometimes under

we will tread together and I’ll brush the wet hair from your eyes.

And when its time I’ll mop your brow,
and I will sit with you,

just sit,

and hold your hand,


only so many breaths.

only so many.

so don’t give me a pitch.
and don’t tell me a story.
and don’t serve me pie in the sky.

I want the All of You.




Dave Klaus completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in June 2010 in the NorCal Center, and things have gotten better and better for him ever since. He is a senior supervisor in the Alameda County Public Defenders Office, where over the last 17 years he has represented thousands of clients in cases ranging from petty theft to special circumstance murder. He is married and has two awesome kids. In his spare time, he leads a large Burning Man camp ( and is starting an art collective. This is his first completed poem.


Healing from wounds

November 30, 2013 · Category: Poetry 

by Michael Kullik

Healing from wounds

Wounded  Child

Crying  in  Corner

Lost  between  the  years

Crying  out  Silently
No  One  Comes
No  One  Hears

A  Prison  of  Silence
Surrounds  Me,
Into  an  Early  Grave.

How  do  I  start
to  Breath  Again?
Am  I  Someone’s  Slave?

A  Wounded  Child
grows,  As  Does
A  Wounded  Man.

The  Wound  Becomes  My  Sword.
Like  Tempered  Steel,
I  am  strong  again,  Oh  my  Lord.

A  Wounded  Man  Sat
Crying  Lost
Within  his  Years.

Silence  at  last  was  Broken
Shattered  Wounds  Turned
Into  a  River  of  Tears.

A  Sword  of  Anger  Broke  me  out,
As   I   Yelled
Screamed  and  Roared.

The  Prison  wasn’t
Mine  at  Last
It  Was  Yours.


Michael Kullik  is a teacher, professor, singer, and published poet.  He was first published in 2000 in a book edited by Jill Kuhn called “In Cabin Six”.  He has run writing and drumming workshops and retreats for male survivors of abuse.He has also volunteered his time running a group for survivors from 1999 to 2004.

I’m a weak man.

October 17, 2013 · Category: Men and Shadow, Men and Work, Poetry 

by Brooks H.

I’m a weak man.

I’m not strong enough to live up to this _warrior_ shit
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, 160 years a life.

lord knows I try.

Just can’t do it all the time.

Sometimes I just want to run away and hide.

Curl up into a little ball and tell the world to fuck off.

Scream ‘NO’ into the face of any asshole that wants me to do ONE MORE FUCKING THING!


and I feel bad about it.

feel guilty that I’m not strong enough.

feel guilty at the mistakes I make being irresponsible, self-indulgent, un-conscious, un-truthful, withholding,


and then, when it gets too big,

I realize that I _am_ feeling …

feeling sad.

and as I let myself feel that, I begin to think about my I-Group,
and what they would say if I brought this into a circle.

I imagine the number of raised hands of men I know that have fallen in these same ways

I can feel the smile starting on my face as I begin to feel again, what it means to be human, and fallible,

and supported.

and know that this is all it takes to keep going on,

to keep watching my behavior, and changing some habits,

to keep getting better.

and I take a breath.

and another,

and the smile begins to warm the cold places and I am grateful.

and into that gratitude comes the feeling of being blessed by this community.

Some warriors do get bloody. Their brothers help them up.

Thank you men for being in my life,

It’s time to get on with my day.

peace and blessings,


Brooks H. completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in June of 1999, at Clara Barton Camp in Central Massachusetts. He is a member of Men On The Loose I-Group, a ManKind Project Men’s Group meeting outside Boston on a weekly basis. He lives in Arlington, MA.

Rolling in the Tides of Ash

September 19, 2013 · Category: Poetry 
by Ryan Keaton

Rolling in the Tides of Ash

A speck of gold
In a sea of shadows
Rolling in the tides of ash
It’s getting late and I am tired

I step outside myself
Only for a moment
And in that moment
I am free

Free to laugh
To smile
Free to cry
Or breathe deeply
Free to be myself
And it doesn’t hurt

And suddenly a whisper
A doubtful wind
Sweeps across my eyes
I fall to the ground
Knees to the Earth

There is a light that glows
Buried deep beneath
Memories of salted tears
And broken glass
There is a light that glows
It is small but I can see it

It is familiar
It has a face; a name
It has wants and needs
Hopes and dreams
A voice that wants to speak
And a longing to be free

And suddenly
I am afraid –
I am afraid of me

A speck of gold
In a sea of shadows
Rolling in the tides of ash

Original writing by Ryan Keaton, a ManKind Project member in the greater Washington DC Community.


Conflagration – a poem

April 22, 2013 · Category: Men and Health, Poetry 

by Two Crows Calling
DEDICATION — For the Dream of the Earth — held by Father Thomas Berry.

Tree people roots in mother Amazon, burned alive
crucified with whirling blades of steel
whipped with chains
Blood sap oozes onto the face
of the crying mother of us all.
Tree people dragged by massive caterpillars
shamed with no explanation

Caterpillars crawl across sacred ground, hungry,
relentless, bright electric eyes burn through the night
devouring, addicted to wood
their steel scoops could eat your entire house
in a single bite!
“Why is mother earth being burned alive?” The tree people ask
each other, weeping.

Deer people huddle in council with raccoon and squirrel.
Bird people forget their ancient prejudices and circle up,
crow with eagle and owl.
Now earth mother is burning … conflagration
Conflagration! Have the two legged ones gone mad?
Messages coming to us from the other world.
Messages of earth and heart. Shift the letters. Same word.
Earth. Heart. Heart-Earth.
As heart dies, mother earth dies.
Wake up sisters and brothers.
Go to the Lodge of the heart.
Ten thousand ancestors stand in a circle of hearts on fire.
Drumming, chanting, invoking.
The ancient ones call us back to full heart.
Back to loving our mother
Spirit and blood of sun dancers mingles with grief of pipe carriers.
Grandfathers and grandmothers in lodges across the stomach
of Mother Earth pour spirit water into the flesh and bones
on ancestors soon to be.

The sun rises. Water pourers open the door to the East,
to the creator.
Ten thousand shamans light their sage, cedar and sweet grass.
Invoking, praying, doing give away.
A spiritual war is coming.
Fire must yield to water.
Tears of the Grandfathers and Grandmothers
Sweat of the Creator.
Soul waters come pouring in.
A mighty storm is coming to heal the conflagration.

Two Crows Calling
From This Well Has No Bottom: A little book of spiritual poetry


I am a man – a poem

March 24, 2013 · Category: Men and Shadow, Poetry 

I am alone
No one cares about me, but me
I must do it on my own,
I am a man

You don’t get me,
and never will
There’s a pain inside that you will never know,
I am a man

I am by myself,
alone without support
If I don’t do it, no one will,
I am a man

I don’t need help,
I don’t want help
Can’t ask for help,
I am a man

Hiding from the world,
living in shadow
Don’t see me,
I am a man

If I wanted help,
you wouldn’t give it
Don’t know how to ask,
I am a man

I am deeper than you will ever know,
My feelings run wild,
powerful, passionate
I am a man

As I tell you I don’t want or need it,
I am longing for you to reach out,
Touch my heart,
I am a man

It is time to break my isolation
I don’t want to be alone,
I want connection
I am a man

 Copyright 2013
Trusting Eagle


October Poem: #1 for DAD

June 15, 2012 · Category: Fatherhood, Men and Parenting, Poetry 

by Qutbuddin Loren Ruh Smith

Hey! Dad! How long’s it been?

How long’s it been since we’ve talked?

Huh! How long?

And there’s more distance between us

now, than there is time, isn’t there? Dad?

Dad? Can you hear me?

We never did talk much did we? Dad?

Oh yes! In my 40th year, on that hillside

we reached out to one another

you came from over there

I from my meditation

we crossed the void in mutual communication

came to an understanding about Bruce’s needs.

But we didn’t talk about all of it did we Dad?

We really had never talked, had we Dad?

I was 18 when you died. Were murdered!

We hadn’t talked!

We hadn’t talked since I’d smashed your new teeth

with my fist over the breakfast table because

You were hurting mother. We hadn’t talked

Father to Son to Father

in my entire life, had we Dad?

Are you here now? Can you hear me?

Let me tell ya what I remember, Dad!

First though, let me tell ya that I LOVE ya!

But this is what I remember: I must have been three or four

you were ‘punishing’ mom. Beating her around the house.

I remember a central structural wall,

a kitchen, dining and living rooms on one side

a hallway on the other side connecting bedrooms

and bath, you were beating her

up the hallway through the living

room, into the kitchen and back up the hallway.

And this I remember:


Bicycling or hitchhiking to bars and card rooms in Port Angeles,

Arcata and Eureka, from the 4th grade into my 11th

and 12th grades, standing, waiting, drinking coke

while you lost your paycheck and your ego.

I remember too: Heart-0-the-Hills Lake, the Elwa River

Agate Beach, Crescent Lake…going to those and

other places with you, but you not being there with me.

I don’t remember conversations.

Was conversation difficult for you Dad?

Particularly with your eldest son,

particularly in the later years,

my high school years? The year you died?

You know, I also remember:

Grandpa Smith, or, that is, relatively little of him

except for the negation His presence generated in

you. Your brother was like that also. Victor, who

feared that Loren, that California cultist, was home to

the funeral to rip off Grandpa’s estate which he had already spent.

Have you had the opportunity to meet any of my

stepfathers, Dad? Bob? Al? Jim?

Curious lot aren’t they? They were all a lot alike

you. You know what I mean. Bruised and

battered egos. Broken by brutally unaware parents, and

war, either directly or indirectly, like your self.

No place to go. No counseling adept enough in those days, or

that could be afforded. I know a bit about that one.

When you’re down and out and there is no Father there for you…

what do you do? You drank, gambled, continued

down, and got yourself murdered. Yeah! I remember that too…


I’d just turned 18. Grandpa didn’t care enough to go

after your killer; and frankly, at that time, I

didn’t either. Looking back, it would have made

no difference at all. That guy was down.

That’s what being down, and making the decision

to stay down, can do to a Man.

Yes! That’s the reason I didn’t understand you.

Why did you choose to stay down?

Why were your habits any harder to break than

those of any one else?

Why did you continue to subscribe to your father’s and

your brother’s oppressions.

Tell me! It may help me to throw off my own yokes,

my own limiting foibles.

To set them aside and proceed with my life.

Hey Dad! Talk to me! Its Time Now! For a Talk?

Isn’t it? Hey! Dad! Dad?

Qutbuddin Loren Ruh Smith – Poetry Contributor & Editor

Qutbuddin Loren Ruh Smith: I’m 75 years old, born in Tacoma, WA and went to high school in Arcata, CA. I served in the US Army, met my first wife and had our first son in France. I started writing poetry in my first college English class in 1961. I’ve published a book called The Path to The Beloved and I have several books ready to publish. I lived in the Sierras in Grass Valley for 30 years before moving to Albuquerque, NM, last year. My book about fathers and sons called This Child and His Tree will be going to the publishers shortly.


Fathers and Sons: a Poem

June 14, 2012 · Category: Fatherhood, Poetry 

by Don Waxman

every son who
for acceptance
from his father

will become the father
who struggles to accept
his son

when men gather,
each becomes this son,
and each becomes
the father

to this son,
and for those who
never had a father,
or who had several,

the path is the same,

father and son
are two faces
of the same

the price you pay
in suffering and love
to become the man
you are

August 29, 2007

Don Waxman, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, works with individuals, couples, families, and groups in Petaluma, California. Don has over twenty-five years experience starting-up and managing private sector and non-profit businesses. He has worked for Hospice as a bereavement and end-of-life counselor, and in school settings with emotionally and behaviorally challenged teens and their families. Don chose to enter the field of counseling psychology after being involved in other careers, because as he says, “When I am working with clients I am challenged to be the best human being I can possibly be.”


“Poetry for Men” and Other Problematic Labels

June 7, 2012 · Category: Men and Relationship, Poetry 

Rick Belden finds that labeling his poetry only limits the reader’s expectations.

by Rick Belden

I’m not crazy about labels, but I understand that they can be useful and necessary in helping us sort through the mass of information to which we’re all constantly exposed. For some time now, I’ve been struggling with the problem of how best to characterize my writing, as a way of introduction for those who haven’t seen it. Is it poetry for men, men’s poetry, male poetry? Is it survivor poetry? Healing poetry? Recovery poetry? Transformational poetry? Body-centered poetry? Psychospiritual poetry? Poetry therapy? What do these terms actually mean, what do they convey to others about my work, and are they even accurate?

Initially, I was reluctant to call what I was writing “poetry” at all. The use of that word struck me as a bit … I dunno … conceited? Self-important? Pretentious? Preposterous? I wasn’t even sure I knew what poetry was. It seemed to be a lot of things, according to who was writing it and who was reading it, and it struck me as one of those words that’s somehow developed so many different meanings and connotations that it barely means anything at all anymore, like “love” or “god.”

I was also concerned that, for a lot of folks, the word “poetry” can be roughly translated into “something I’m not gonna want to read.” Ultimately, I set all of those concerns aside because I knew that what I was writing certainly wasn’t prose, and I needed to use some sort of recognizable terminology to describe it. So it’s poetry. Okay. What kind of poetry?

Every one of the labels I listed above (poetry for men, survivor poetry, etc.) expresses one very specific aspect of my writing while excluding many others. It reduces the work, in some substantial way, to something far less than what it actually is. There are also connotations and assumptions associated with each of these labels that may or may not be accurate and appropriate in the case of my writing. And that’s something I’d prefer to avoid if I can.

If, for example, I describe my first book, Iron Man Family Outing , as “poetry for men” then I feel like I’m basically telling women, “This book is not for you.” But that’s not the message I want to send, and it’s not true. About half of my readers are women, and they relate to the material just as strongly as the men do. If I characterize my second book, Scapegoat’s Cross, as “poetry for adult survivors of childhood abuse” then those who would not describe themselves in that way might think, “There’s nothing in this book that will speak to me.” But that’s not true either, and it’s not the impression I want anyone to have. While the adult survivor theme is central and very critical to the structure of Scapegoat’s Cross, the scope of the book is much broader, and much more universal, than that.

How do I accurately communicate, with a non-ambiguous label consisting of two or three words, the depth and the breadth, the variety and the richness, the individuality and the universality of the transformational processes I’m attempting to illuminate and share in my writing? I still don’t have an answer. To borrow from Zen, words are “but a finger pointing to the moon.” I guess I’ll just keep trying out all of my fingers until I find the ones that point the best.

Rick Belden

Rick Belden is the author of “> Iron Man Family Outing: Poems about Transition into a More Conscious Manhood . His book is widely used in the United States and internationally by therapists, counselors, and men’s groups as an aid in the exploration of masculine psychology and men’s issues, and as a resource for men who grew up in dysfunctional, abusive, or neglectful family systems. His website is Rick Belden He lives in Austin, Texas.


The WAKE UP Call!

May 8, 2012 · Category: Fatherhood, Poetry, Videos 

Spoken Word Poetry on true fatherhood from Rob Atchison.

This powerful piece comes to us from the author’s You tube link Spoken Word.
Rob writes of his work: “My Poems range from Love, Break-ups, Depression, real life issues and so on. I write from my Life, friends or families life or just by imagining how I would feel in a particular situation and writing about it. I feel I have my own unique style and I’m hard to put in a box.”


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