Dreamland by Andrew Scott


Epilogue – Headaches

I was not sure if the experience was going to work
but I did know alternate therapy had to be tried
the daily pain was not going away
it was only getting worse with the air and season change

These little headaches have been haunting me for years
ever since an accident one late night
where my head crashed into some cut rocks
to this day I am thankful for a helmet that I was wearing
I cannot imagine what it would be like if I did not

Even with the protection that night, I forget things still
every day I have to check a planner
just to remember the smallest things

So tired all of the time when the throbbing starts
I have to turn off every light to curl up in a fetal bed
no sounds and still a never ending echo

The pulsing takes position in a different place every time
starts in the left or right, front or back
relief takes days, sometimes weeks
somehow it spreads to my swollen eyes
it weakens the body as a whole

The professionals cannot find what is wrong
living with this means they are wrong
something may be discovered someday
a small build up or blood clot
or worse, an unfound tumour
or nothing but my paranoia

I am not sure how this alternate was thought of
may have read it in a book
or was told by a passing friend
I do not remember and do not know what to expect
it cannot get worse than now
prayed that the answers would be found in a tribal ceremony
inside this Sweat Lodge


Part I – Sweat Lodge

I cannot say that I knew what to expect
when I walked onto the reservation
for this purification ceremony
I was not even sure how long this would take

I walked up to what looked like a tar shack
a small building made of grass
kept together by skins and branches
there was a cone sticking out of the center of the roof
open door framed with hand crafted lumber
this sweat lodge was not built recently
the base was becoming part of the ground
and it looked like it could fall at any time

I knew this was all chance, not a cure
hope was all that was guiding me to do this
as the medicine man elder guided me in
I was the only one here
so what I was getting was a private session

The elder lit the fire rocks, chanting
drumming, soothing relaxed air
then he went to the door to sit
ensuring darkness in the evening light

Staring off, I knew others had passed
during their time in here
that chance I would embrace
as times in my thumping head
this was the only way, I think
it would finally disappear



Part II – Dying Outside

The humming and beats were filling the air
they were starting to hypnotize my drifting mind
even though I was not letting I fully believe
that this would even work
I just hoped that it would

Today to keep a little focus in my slipping mind
I fought to keep my eyes on a small hole in the wall
an adjusted tear that kept moving back and forth
yet making my peace with what I was staring at
Out of this whole there was an old, withering tree
branches swaying and snapping with a slight wind
bark falling from the aged ground growth
not a leaf on its arms
there was a great storm aura surrounding it

The scars of a weathered life
were growing in the ancient wood
the same marks are forming on me
inward and outward with every strike

Just like the tree that is dying outside
while I feel I am dying inside.



Part III – Footprints In The Sand

My eyes were weighing so heavy
the lids would not stop flickering
sweat was starting to bead into my pupils
making the sting more painful
rubbing them with my grimy, dirty hands
just caused it to almost be unbearable
I cannot stand anything on my eyes
it makes me squirm like a beaten victim
hiding while losing a fight

My body may have been shifting
and full of constant sweat
that was part of the draining
myself of the locked in impurities
however my mind would not rest
thoughts coming and going
as fast as an excited beating heart

The uncontrolled brain kept coming back to one though
What trail have I left on this earth?
I could not brush away these repeating words
that was now part of the process

Had I fully grasped the object of legacy
and what I, as a human being, will be remembered for?
in folk’s minds was it a majestic prince
or a downtrodden, selfish pauper?

Behind a hidden, forgotten door
in my racing head
the thought of no one even noticing
reared its ugly, true self

Would where I have walked on this earth
keep the footprints I have put there
or would they erode in the sand?
leaving my existence, non-existent



Part IV – Facing Shame

I felt a tap on my shoulder
that was meant to alert me
I was not sure of where I was
or what I was doing
confused mostly as I was fully dressed
not in the clothing I was wearing before
just the usual denim slacks and plain shirt

As my blurred vision became clear
I could see a regal medicine man
his hand outreached to help me up
my guide was in full ceremonial dress
I could not help but follow this wise man

He led me to an old wooden canoe
that was directed out to a foggy, dark lake
we both got in and he took the paddle
I tapped my foot as we were launched
water just makes my nerves frightened

I could not see anything
until a lit clearing came into our view
my guide moved us over to that direction
my eyes were straining to see what was under the light
then my face fell immediately as I saw

There was an old, battered couch
with a lady sitting there
old, sick, cane in swollen hands
you could feel it was her final days
as the tired, strained look was apparent
I hung my head at the site of my mother

The memories flooded to all the times
she and I just talked there
she was always smiling proud
her soul so welcoming to all
even as her body aged to pain

I hung my head in shame
the visits were fewer as time took over
so hard to see her in the last years
memory, emotions slipping
body failing her
it made me a weak man
as I could not face what life had left

My scout waved for me to go over
so hard those steps
I put my head down to hide the tears
as I sat down to her
Mom just handed a coffee over with a smile
I miss her



Part V – Rain Tears

There was still a dark, grey in the sky
to my shock, surprise I was standing naked
without a place for cover

I felt sprinkles hitting my skin
receiving and giving a small sting
with each electrified drop
bewildered with this experience
when the drops intensified
causing my foot to struggle
with staying up straight

I saw the shadows of bodies
off the edge of the planned horizon
shadowy figures standing perfectly still
their faces, though, were all apparent

They were the followers of my life
that has been waiting for the true me
a person that has not ever appeared before them

Only a person that fought every positive step
when the unselfish tried to get close
to the temple of mistrust and anger

I struck out at all of their hearts
and yet I am feeling their joy tears now
as I am standing before them
bare of any well built wall
as the creator’s this rain always wished.



Part VI – New Skin

My body was lifting from the ground
I could not control this motion
of floating lifelessly
it was such a calming feeling
my eyes were closed, relaxed

My spirit was feeling the purity
of the change happening to me
old scars being cleared from my skin
as I felt a silent, energetic new cover
forming over the whole of me

The weigh of the old skin
was falling off
old worries, regrets were vanishing
giving renewed life to this aged body



Epilogue – Awoken

I felt hands shaking my shoulders
the Sweat Lodge Guardian trying to break my trance
I shook my head to help end my groggy state
once he knew I was awake and steady
my guardian waited by the entrance
for me to collect my thoughts

Every piece of me was drenched in a layer of sweat
shirt coated to me as a second skin
beads were still formed on my hairline

As I went to rise up from my dirty, ground bed
I had to stable my legs
they felt like I had not stood on them for years

When I stabled myself
my hand landed in the impurities
that had left my body during my sleep
my mind was trying to remember it all
instead it was clear of almost everything

I finally made it to the exit of this experience
my guardian nodded to me
when I walked out to meet the day

Knowing that I was showing
I completely dirty, grimy
did not matter to me
I felt so clean, purified inside
as if weights were lifted off
and had awoke to a whole new world

I turned to my guardian
and our thoughts caught
He winked and I turned
to walk into a new life

October 25, 2012
© Andrew Scott – Just a Maritime Boy 2012

February 1, 2020
© Andrew Scott – Just A Maritime Boy 2020


Follow Andrew

Andrew Scott is a native of Fredericton, NB. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of a classrooms, judge poetry competitions as well as be published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The Broken Ones. His books, Snake With A Flower, The Phoenix Has Risen, The Path, The Storm Is Coming and Through My Eyes  are available now.  Searching is his fifth poetry collection.


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