Beautiful Path

Beautiful Path
poems by
jay dancing bear
Dear Reader,

During the winter of 1996-7 I housesat for a friend in Santa Rosa, California. For me, as for many of us, winter is a time when I go inward, and I found this to be a particularly deep winter.

Although I have been a songwriter for over 20 years, I have rarely written words without music, yet this winter I found myself seized with bursts of inspiration which demanded to be written down, to the point where I had to carry a notebook everywhere.

In Santa Rosa there are several creeks with trails alongside where one may walk and avoid some of the most abusive drivers I have ever encountered, and the creeks are beautiful. Many of these poems were written on these walks. A few earlier writings are included.

Often I would walk a few minutes, stop, pull out my notebook (spiral), write some lines, put it away, walk twenty or thirty feet, pull out the notebook again, write some more, etc. Even in town I would sometimes feel compelled to stop in the middle of a sidewalk and write, because I have learned that inspiration must be honored and if I didn’t write it down as it was coming, I wouldn’t remember it correctly.

Well, there you have it, the story of how this work came to be.


Jay Dancing Bear



Love Speaks



Kissing a Rose

27th Birthday

June 13th

In Exile

Broken Shell



Where is Peace

Who Can Judge

Buried Treasure

American Walk

The Good Guys


The Artist’s Manifesto


Mint Tea-Bonnie Doon

Nine PM

Beautiful Path

Love Speaks

i didn’t come into your life
so that you could have a nice
cozy existence

i came to bring fire
to light you like a bonfire
to burn out all impurities
leaving you shining
capable of rendering wonderful service

a great cretan urn
baked in the fires
now holding precious cargo
or perhaps olive oil
which shall be served at the feast

all make merry


It was nighttime

I could not find your door

having been there only once before

and unable to see in the dark


You are young, too young for me, but

Your soul is old, older, perhaps

than mine

which is quite old

I recognize you and

I believe I amuse you

You are quite regal in your bearing

but plainspoken


Alone with you
at night

Kissing a Rose

kissing a rose

stem on my palate

thorns between my lips

tongue poked deep into the flower

the petals

so soft, so delicate

as I caress them with my tongue

my tongue swells up

blood stains my lips

life is like this

I embrace her





such pain

such sweetness



when it’s over

god holds me

close with his hands

and comforts me

with love


This is a song I wrote for myself on my 27th birthday

Many hard years have come and gone

many good ones too

the poetry of a flower obscures the fiercest proseodist

the lessons I have learned I learned many times

before they got through

I try to see myself in a clear light

as I am

Inner divinity notwithstanding

I am still a man

June 13th

June 13th

it is winter

the wind blows outside my window


when it was sunny i wished for darkness

it seemed more appropriate

when the sun shines the people go into the streets

sometimes we need barriers

when i’m with you sometimes i need to be alone

when i’m alone sometimes i want to be with you

do you think we can work out a set of signals

or should we just use words

please leave

i didn’t mean to hurt you

please stay

but i wish you would leave

and come back tomorrow

In Exile

i am odysseus

washed up on these shores

many years from home

i though i had stopped journeying

i will never stop journeying

this stoic front

this scheduled life

just one more island

i could leave in a minute

goodbye, but

where to next?

these islands

they used to reveal me

now they hide me

who am i?


who are you?

when i know these answers

with the flesh and bone of my body

i will be home

but, until then

i wander the earth




broken shell

broken shell

left on a beach

are you a piece of my armor

which is crumbling

and without which

i feel naked


sitting in the remains

my self made isolation tank

you see no bubbles

though i have run out of air

i still breathe


turning my face and my footsteps towards home

this is as far as i can go

polar opposite-180* away

i was a woman, now i’m a man

i was a man, now i’m a woman

whatever i was, i am now the opposite

and as i continue around the circle

i begin the descent

into the atmosphere

of the world which bore me


give glory to the sky

and the clouds

are perfect

home is a place in my heart

long abandoned

never empty

dreams sleep there

beautiful dreams

which i am sure you would understand

if i opened my heart

to you

Where is peace?

I have enough food

I want more

I have enough money

I want more

I have enough sex

I want more

I have enough books

I want more

If I just had more to eat

I would feel better

If I just hadn’t stuffed myself

I would feel better

If I could just get home

I would feel better

If I could just go out

I would feel better

If I were just ten years

younger, older, prettier, smarter, lighter, heavier

more energetic, less manic

If I just had more friends

less people taking up my time

if, if, if, if, if, if

where is peace?

Distraction is the name of the game

Unfullfillment fulfills my ego’s need to be

Just being, too difficult to be that

Safe, no, too stupefying

Where is peace?

Where is peace?

Who can judge?

In prison

a prisoner of my own shame and fears

a circular wall around me

large spikes

barbed wire

facing the world outside


a world of my own

with it’s own weather

fair weather and foul

dark clouds and sunny days

loneliness and peaceful solitude


of building a bridge to the outside

and sharing gifts


the days pass

the years pass

life passes

whether this is good

or ill

as it should be

or utmost failure

who can judge

not I

god has given each of us

certain cards

and we must play the hand we are dealt

as best we can

who can judge

not I

buried treasure

An old map, held together with tape
A treasure map
difficult to read
the tape obscures the writing
but still

What is essential
is available
to those with perception

American Walk

walking down innumerable nameless streets

not nameless to the people who live here

but nameless to me

someone who is walking for the walk of it

the conquerors of old

invaded in waves

and swept aside the previous wave of conquerors

like old newspaper

this land we walk on

the phrase “this land” means so much more

than the ground underneath our feet

this land



stolen from the previous inhabitants

now we

the “americans”

chew our nails in fear

that our turn will come and

we too will become


of new masters




The Good Guys

dedicated to American Foreign policy

we are the good guys

you are the bad guys

you must be the bad guys


we might be the bad guys and

that is unacceptable

you are a bad person

I know that you are a bad person

so you must know that you are a bad person


how could you disagree with me

I am right

you are wrong

it is obvious

why don’t you just make life easy and agree with me

then you can be a good guy too

of course then we will have to find another bad guy

so that we know that

we are the good guys

rushing, rushing, rushing
scenery slides by in a blur
click, click. click

Soon I’ll get there and
then I’ll get someplace else

I get a lot done
don’t I

The Artist’s Manifesto

i am an artist

fuck you!
give me money
feed me
buy me my drug of choice
fuck me

oh Sacred Spirit of the six directions
please take this bourgeois society
and collectively shove it up the ass
of the Great Mother
they deserve it
for not recognizing my greatness

humbly yours,
an artist


a constant flow of gratification
is not gratifying

nothing is enough

Mint tea-Bonnie Doon

drinking mint tea

hot sun

green trees

birds sing


on the deck

in the sun

brown rice-vegetables

on a blue plate

ahhh, bliss

Nine PM

Pastel shades of evening

the tree outside my window

what more could i ask for

than to see the beauty of the sky

Beautiful Path
I walk this path
every day
watching my breath and
hearing my mind race

often i don’t see it
but when i do

it’s a beautiful path


and as you know, poets can always use money. I am putting all my poems and other work up here for free so that everyone can benefit, i have no qualms about soliciting donations to keep that work going.
Below is a paypal button which you can use to send me money to pay rent and buy food, guitar strings and equipment, cell phone time and maybe a few luxuries.

Donate Button with Credit Cards



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