I like the way you prowl my office
I like your mothering growl
The life we live goes on forever –
You… flowing fierce on the rim of Nyiragongo
Me rustling free in an African breeze
Kevin Moran 17/8/10
Whakapapa: This poem originated out of my relationship with a woman counsellor at the Home & Family (a counselling agency where I once worked.) The counsellor was supporting her teenage daughter through a tough time. I noticed she was doing it in a very mother lion-ish way. I also noticed the counsellor was attracted to the mother lioness in my toy collection. At the time I was also reflecting on the shamanistic potential of poetry. According to Ruth-Inge Heinze, shamans can: a) access alternative states of consciousness at will; b) fulfil the needs of their community that otherwise are not met; c) are mediators between the sacred and the profane. Ruth-Inge Heinze writes how Shamans can ‘fulfil the needs of a community which are otherwise not met.’1) Shamans have a healing role in indigenous culture. Their work comes out of their connection with Nature. I wonder about the healing potential poet-shamans (who are able to connect with the creative & healing powers of Nature) might have within the wider community.
1) Ruth-Inge Heinze, Shamans of the 20th Century, Pg. 13
Nyiragongo (according to the sage Wikipedia) is a stratovolcano in the Virunga Mountains, associated with the Great Rift Valley. It is located inside the Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lion country.