Westerner Motel 2

Westerner Motel

poems by Jay Dancing Bear



Westerner Motel
Wasted Time
Hot Shower

How much time is left?
The Secret of Life
Thin Edge
This is it
by default

Sea Lions
One Day
Such a Good Guy


Westerner Motel

these blankets are thin
but the hearts are warm

the heater doesn’t work
but in the morning the day is beautiful

the bathroom is clean
fresh towels
plenty of soap and toilet paper

Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
have spent an enjoyable night
good sex
dream filled sleep
the comfort of each other’s arms
and in the morning
the prospect of a healthy breakfast


Life rises and falls
You lie here in my arms
we are so warm
so perfectly content
for a while
and then
one of us just has to shift
just a little bit
a few minutes later
another shift
until at some point
we are out in the world
walking and talking
being born and dying
and being born again

day /night
a play
at some point
we are back in each other’s arms
so perfectly

Wasted Time

What is wasted time?

is waiting for a bus
wasted time?

is taking a shit
wasted time?

is cooking
wasted time?

is eating
wasted time?

where is the line between
wasted and unwasted time?

when it’s time for looking back

will chopping a carrot
turn out to be
the most valuable moment of our lives

Hot Shower

When you’re taking a shower
and the hot water runs out
and you want more
wishing won’t make it so


When the load you are carrying is so heavy
you feel you have two choices

Deny the pain
knowing it will get you one day
allow yourself to feel the pain
knowing that you will sink to your knees
unable to go another step

you need more choices

How much time is left?

How much time do I have
in the bathtub, food cooking on the stove
timer set, it’s loud when it goes off
I’ll run naked through the house
leaving puddles on the floor

how much time do I have
I’m 42
with a lot of plans,
how much time until this body drops
I return home

how much time
in a succession of bodies

how much time
out of the body


The Secret of life

this heavy load we are carrying
worrying about the future
we would be so much lighter without it
let’s put it down

lamenting the past
good times and harsh
just takes away from here and now

To be here now
with peaceful mind
and no resistance
is such a cliche
and so true

the secret of life
naked, for all to see
always available
as near as a breath
and as far as the moon

God/Goddess All that is
Grant us grace of spirit


Thin Edge

How thin the edge which
separates the millionaire from the bum

strip away money, clothes, car, confidence
put a wine bottle in his hand
and the millionaire looks right at home panhandling

give the bum a shave, expensive shirt, car,
some arrogance, which he may already possess
and the bum is ready to play the stock market

You and i, a thin line separates us from affluence or despair
a lucky or unlucky break and
would we recognize ourselves

let us hold to our center
observing the tides of life
Thanking Spirit for the warming sun and cooling rain
and allowing our lives to unfold

This is it

this is it
this moment, this sensation
this is what you get

this pain in your hip
this breath in your nostrils

fight it, deny it
you get nothing
allow it
you get bliss
sometimes painful bliss

this is what you get

By Default

By default
I make decisions
miss the bus, miss the boat, miss the movie
please don’t rush me
eternity is just about enough time for me to get ready

I like the feeling of spaciousness and ease
not rushing gives me
I have no desire to rush to my grave,
for that
I will move extra slow,
and by default
live quite a long life



I have become my own shadow
always one step, one moment,
one bit ahead of myself

so impatient, so not present, so unsatisfiable because, really
I’m not even here, in this moment

oh, well
now I know where ghosts come from

Sea Lions

Sea lions

barking at night

down by the Monterey coast

One Day

One day
in a stream of days
good things happened
I got stuff done
I smiled
and played music
who knows


My heart is closed

my smiling face and pretty words
do not tell the truth
that I am not comfortable admitting to myself
which is that I feel no love for you at this time
I wish that you weren’t here
I wish that I didn’t have to take care of you
which I don’t but I feel like I do

You know exactly how I feel
you can feel it despite my smiling words
you are uncomfortable
but what can you do?

How I wish I had the courage to tell the truth
and not hate myself for it, not judge myself
as I judge and condemn everything and everyone
especially me

I would walk off without a second glance
no wave goodbye
If I did that now I would be consumed with guilt
but what a world of radical honesty
if everyone told the truth every second

Does this mean murders would be commonplace

So truth needs limits
Words, yes, actions, depending

How to sustain any sort of relationship
even with the person behind the counter at the bakery
if at every moment
we told each other exactly what we think of each other

My heart is closed
at this moment
and I don’t want to see you
at this moment

Other moments
My heart is open and I love you and
I would do anything for you

How can this be?
It’s so confusing!

Such a good guy

I’m such a good guy, everybody likes me,
they help me, buy me lunch,
do favors for me,
what if I weren’t such a good guy
what if I were an asshole
and nobody liked me
what then
what if I found out that then

I would still be safe and warm
what if it’s really a safe choice to be a dick


Peering through this narrow window I call my eyes
limited in my understanding by
who I am
seeing only what i expect to see
blind to the rest
my mind all the while busily
making judgements
and my desires grasping for satisfaction

How can I know life in all it’s
fullness and glory
When the glasses I wear are ten miles thick and
scratched through and through





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