With a forward-thinking invitation

Devonian Grandchildren in Spring, by John Levin

One time a tree decided
to grow straight up

No one had thought of it before!

Not the ferns or the algae
floating in salt water.
Not the lichens clinging to rocks.

“Nothing will come of it!” the trilobites exclaimed,
poking their stalky eyes
above some transiently
Devonian waves…

But those ancient adventurous trees
were too busy
feeling the joy of their leaves
touching the Sun.

Or perhaps it was pine needles
or other equally
evolutionary adventures.
Things do take time,

You know,

And no one had thought
at all

About birds yet!

Perhaps the trees did get…

On their way downhill

The Question That Gravity Asked, by John Levin

If you fear being normal,
the techniques of being invisible
are so easy to learn.

If you fear being a river, just feel the gravity
pulling your water
out of all
those highest
sun touched mountains,

And the sheer slippery
of the whole
forgetting to ask
the meaning
of all the non-effort,
bubble loud popping,
adventure filled thing,

And any timid fishes
who forget to follow



One time a mountain river decided to visit the city. As she wasn’t used to people (and dogs and children,) she was a little overwhelmed at first, but…

On who should be in charge

Sky, Leaves, & Us, by John Levin

One time a belief decided to take over the entire world! It was a really nasty belief and had paid off all the influencers: The politicians, the generals, the CEO’s, the education ministers, and, of course, the prison guards.

But the Earth kept spinning on its axis anyway.


I wasn’t sure if the Earth had even noticed all of us! I decided to ask her, but she looked at me (momentarily) and said, “Is Springtime not enough for you?”

I realized the point she was making and shut up, but she could tell I still hadn’t really understood.


Even the best of us sometimes get stuck

An Incident in the Story of Don Quixote, by Robert Hillingford, ca. 1870, Public Domain, Source: Wikipedia

I think the obvious answer is to have a 4 shot Americano, without sugar. The pure bitter bite will knock you out of whatever block you’ve gotten yourself into. Don’t try any idiocy with tea or non-caffeinated beverages. The bitter shock is only part of it. The 4 shots of caffeine are what really makes it work.

If that is ineffective, and sometimes you might need even more, then just watch an episode of The Last Kingdom on Netflix. “Destiny is all!” It is, in a way.

One time (I have to admit) even that didn’t work. I was really…

When chili & cheese are trying to find you

2 Spirits Calling to Betatakin, by John Levin

I heard that one time a potato decided to have a race … with himself! Potatoes aren’t that smart (unless they’re chili cheese fries, but that’s another story.) Anyway, because this potato was homesick for Peru, he decided that, as the GoFundMe just never took off, he’d have a race with himself, you know, and eventually get back home.

High in the Andes, the most romantic Purple Potato did call to him in his dreams every night. “Come home to me, you silly Russet! I’m waiting.”

Well, who could resist that?

The problem was, it’s just goddamned hard to race…

Playing jokes & mixed with sky

Into the Sky, and Smelling Water, by John Levin

Trees prefer to have light
raining on them,
water and minerals
from the ground.

They also like gravity,
else they’d just
fly away,
and laugh.

But, honestly, they told me:
“We really prefer
to make jokes, anyway,
just rooted in this ground,
pulling water
with our roots of love,

“Like you do
when you walk,
tightly feeling
that always same ground,
rolling effortlessly,
beneath your lightly touching feet.

“We catch the sky
when it falls on us,
packaged in raindrops,
small wet countless gifts
from weightless white latticed
who kiss us.”

I liked what they said,
so I took a…

Groucho (Julius Henry) Marx, left, & Harpo (Adolph) Marx, right, ca. 1906, Source: Wikipedia, Public Domain

A moralistic Rodney Dangerfield tale

Snow on the Sumida River. by Utagawa Hiroshige, ca. 1835, Public Domain

A tail wagger, for sure

John Levin

Scientist. Writer. Meditator. Blue Tantrika. Mystical Rabbi. Climate & Human Rights Activist. I’m a man of few words, except when I open my mouth.

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