Monthly Archives: February 2011

the man and the crab

A man was walking across a desert-
as he walked, he did not wonder how he found himself there
or where he was going
or how long it would take to arrive.
He did not notice his thirst
or peril,
moving foot by foot,
following a blind power to keep moving.

After some time had passed, a crab came to follow him in the sand.
The crab said to the man,
I will follow you.
I do not know where I am going,
and I seek water and shelter from this heat.

The man turned to the crab, fiercely shouting,
Go! I am blind with hunger.
I follow no path.
I know no water.
I will eat you if you follow.

Still the crab persisted.
But I must! There is no one else to lead.

I am only a small crab in a huge desert.
Eat me if you will, but until then I will follow in your shadow.

The man shouted again, and kicked sand.
Still the crab did not go.
The man grew silent, weakened from his outburst.
He turned and continued walking, the crab following behind.

After many, many miles, the man stopped and turned.
The crab froze, preparing to be eaten.
Then the crab said,
Thank you. You have been a kind and good leader.

The man said,
I do not understand why you follow me blindly.
I have been neither kind nor good and I have no strength to care for you.
I will not eat you, but I must cross this desert alone.

The crab heard him, then gazed ahead and scurried past the man,
saying nothing.

The man watched the crab move ahead, alone in the blazing sun.
He watched until it was out of sight, then fell to his knees in tears.
He did not know why he cried, but knew that without the crab he would not continue on.

After a moment, he stood again and yelled out,
Wait! I am coming! Please wait!
He ran ahead, his eyes desperate and looking.
He said,
You have already been my food.
Your companionship on this journey sustains me.

He ran faster, shouting
Forgive me!

And in that moment he saw the sea.


Filed under gifts, lisa goettel, writing


A re-write of an old poem. I’ll probably re-write it forever.


you stand on my coast,
lacing the air with your scent;
until you are more scent than you

your words a dummy trail –
crumbs, leading to an empty room
where the sound of each syllable in my ear is more real than your fingers

this space now, so full of un-you,
how does it live so brightly without even one particle of light?

you are far from here, and so am I;
a story frozen in pictures.


I stand, naked
asking the moon the way
but moons are made of longing.


I want to be led down a river
paced and perfectly navigated-
released to a lucid and easy end to our dreaming

I want to touch slowly
eyes and fingers-
giving you my face
and finding yours inside the cracks between hope and what you were

unzip me with a pure breath
and I will find the space below trust to hold whatever’s left
for you

step off with me and we will free fall in a relentless healing-
singing ourselves clean,
saying grace to our crackings

give me the face of the lion and I will kiss and rub her ears
knowing fierce is will and will is juice and juice is what fires the pistons of joy

bring me your spent infant and I will ooze into your cradle
where we can sleep and wake again-
another sacrifice on the altar of Something More-
born, man and woman,

loving ourselves undone-
surrendering to the movement of tides,
our sweat a baptism,
breathlessness breathing us
and our skin teaching us where we don’t end.


you pull my cord,
and the ocean shows me a light that has never belonged to her
or the moon.

how am I so slow remembering my own reflection?

there is no place to be apart-
even in darkness,
angled as we are,
the sun is real


Filed under Big G., lisa goettel, poetry, writing