Dues Prepaid



I went on this path one day

off the straight and narrow way

looking to find the unknown

unafraid to be alone

A skip in my stride

my smile a mile wide

passion perspiring inside


Suddenly, there’s a shadow

beside my own. “It can’t be so!”

No one came with me, I know

Nobody else wished to go

Who could it be then?

How shall I begin?

Where did it happen and when?


I’ll tell you a secret now

that only you can allow

Stick with me for one moment

maybe you’ll find atonement

Do you not have time?

It won’t cost a dime

Don’t be scared, it’s just a rhyme


Okay? Now, back to the trail

Not knowing if I could fail

sensing a treasure ahead

I take a left turn instead

And to my surprise

right before my eyes

this other shadow complies


I look, but no one is there

With reason, I must compare

Judging it, I do declare

“It’s not my own!”, but I swear

It stayed right with me

I giggled in glee

Quite strange, you might agree


So I strode on through the wood

wondering if two shadows could

converge as one, if the light

from the sun was angled right

I stopped in my tracks

and checked out the facts

Three as One — sun on our backs


Guardian Shadow appear!

Assurance is always near

Although crossroads never seem too clear

the directions tell me not to fear

Whichever I choose

I know I can’t lose

He’s already paid my dues


54 thoughts on “Dues Prepaid

  1. Thank you, TWM! The preparations have begun.


    Dear friends and readers,

    Another excursion will commence today, and this time I will be alone.
    There is an itch that needs to be scratched whilst I’m still on vacation.
    I am leaving, as usual, to go to a special, sacred place on the Missouri
    River. Indian Cave State Park holds many memories for me. It was there
    that that “something somewhere” laid eyes on me and I found myself.

    The fact is, I had gone there for a specific reason and the most
    unexpected thing happened. The kind of thing that’s not supposed to
    happen happened, and I’ve never seen things the same way since.

    There is no big city within 60 miles, and the night sky can be seen
    for what it is in all it’s glory. Unless of course, it is too cloudy. There’s
    magic in them hills, and if I stay still enough, I might awaken once more.

    The plan is…I’ll only be gone for a day, but you know how plans can be.
    We’ll see you all when I get back. It’s time to remove the binders.

    Bye now! Uncle Walking Tree

  2. Seeking for advuenture you went
    and after walking the path for a short while
    shadows appear
    What where those shadows, who where them?
    Where they your creation. Your destiny, what you are supposed to learn.
    Wheree they all the yous in yourself.
    Anyway you seem protected so the fear does not bother yourself.

    As you can see uncle I am quite perplexed about this poem, although it is a beautifull one. Meanings kind of escape me, who knows why. Maybe we are too different, and something weare unable to understand.
    Love you uncle.

  3. dear Keith,
    as Buddha say, you can never step into the river in the same place twice – but I know new adventures and discoveries await you.
    There is beauty and peace in God’s cathedral of nature.

  4. Brother Ed,

    Sometimes the blessings come well-disguised, and once in a while
    that big, ol’ Teacher in the sky decides it’s time for a pop quiz.
    Testing…testing…one…two…three…”God created orneriness.” Tree 1:1
    “Nothing malicious, and never more then we can handle.” Tree 1:2
    The Book that seems to be lacking in humor could use a new chapter.
    Otherwise, He wood not be presenting me with new material. Or wood He?
    You know…we attend a school that has never had a graduating class.

    I stayed out two extra days and nights, and here I sit; red skinned, bitten,
    sore, etc., etc., but otherwise, safe and sound. The fish weren’t worth
    bringing home. I needed this lesson. “Peace is not exciting.” Tree 1:3
    A couple of events were adventurous, and a little dangerous, but I come
    away unscathed, more or less. Would you like to hear more? Pray tell.

  5. Hello, Barbara! Thanks for being a return visitor!
    If I wrote about all of it, wood you come back to read it?
    It could be titled, “The Great Adventures Of Woody Alan Watson”.
    I’m not sure if a short story wood go over here, or knot. Whaduyuhthink?

  6. Dear Mariana, I hope you’re having a great time in Florida!
    You’ll have to tell me all about it when you get back, if you wood.

    My, oh, my, you have a lot of questions for me about this one.
    I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I wood knot expect someone
    who was raised in a Jewish family to understand this Christian perspective.
    That’s okay, and it doesn’t really bother me at all. I love you anyway!

  7. Dear Kate, that was a very psychic thought. How did you know
    what happened to me Thursday? You were so, so right!
    Wanna hear about it? It’s kind of a long story, and maybe too boring.
    I wood do it for you, if you’re interested, but it will take me awhile to write.
    Geez…even today, I am writing very, very slow, like I’m out of practice.
    Let me know what you think, if you want. Otherwise, I’ll keep being lazy.
    I hope you’re enjoying your summer, and getting a bit of R & R yourself. Luvz!

  8. Bindo, thank you for that lovely comparison!
    No kidding. Eye wish…making up words is gibberishiously fun!

  9. Hey brother, I was certainly primed for more…….

    Did you check to see if either of the fish had a gold nugget in its mouth?

    Yeah, Kate’s right, of course, river moves on.

    You’ve no need to dry up, though ๐Ÿ˜‰


    I may tell you more, Ed, but it could take a bit.
    Is that alright? It won’t be another poem. That’s all
    I mean to say. Hope that’s alright with you.

  10. Okay, Amanda. Good! What should I write about?
    What mystery? The poem or the excursion?
    I am being difficult, huh? Sorry.

  11. Redwoods you probably didn’t see at all, for yourself. Uncle, but here’s Steve’s latest, to encourage you,



    Six years it has been & the path
    is overgrown at the bottom
    Mostly red alders this far down
    & there are loose places where we slip
    but catch ourselves in time

    Further up the path widens
    & we can walk
    side by side holding hands
    Here we are shadowed by spruces
    & lit by a few sun dappled ferns

    Here we enter a zone of unknown silence
    that absorbs any sound that moves
    Even the rushing wind is hushed
    in the canopy & even the dark blue
    & black jay flies elsewhere to cry

    What redwoods we find
    are the useless ones that were
    never worth transporting to a mill
    An uprooted giant has us wondering how
    it grew so far with such shallow roots

    Lightning struck redwoods split open
    hollowed out by fires
    that must have smoldered for days
    Charcoaled all the way to the ground
    yet still living

    One massive stump sends
    seven saplings springing from it
    Four of them have joined together
    beginning one new big tree while the other
    three grow their separate ways

    Place full of mystery
    we take in enormous things
    the higher we climb
    In the forest there is no death
    only the next life

    ~~Steve Toth~~

  12. Thanks for trying to cheer me up, Ed.
    I’m glad you’ve found a poet worth reading in Steve Toth.
    Maybe the “next life” is what I’m waiting for.

    I had to prove a point to myself here,
    and I’ve probably already found what
    it was I was looking for…what I wanted
    to know, or what I wanted to accomplish

    To do something constructive with my time
    To try to fit in without being too invasive
    To see what might have been a feasible possibility
    was to chase something I knew I’d never catch

    The self-serving, nihilistic approach always leads back home
    But there’s no going back, and no good sense
    in chasing all those “what might have been”s
    with the hope of what might yet come to pass

    It ain’t gonna happen, and I may as well
    acknowledge and accept the facts —

    Tree 1:4

    “You can’t become a has-been
    if you never were, and if you think you are,
    or ever will be, you’ve been had.”

    Why that is so hard to take, Lord knows

  13. Aww, Keith, I thought that would spur you on……

    Aint no one can handle words quite like you do. The impression I get overall, is that you are playing with the Infinite just there where it bubbles up all its ‘secrets.’ The mystical convey it, often well out of reach of everyday Man, but you keep feet firmly on the ground. Sleepwalkers, amazingly, manage to do that, as well! That must be down to the Infinite, eh?

    I’d say let the Infinite continue to work its magic in you, and enjoy the skies, just like any other tree ๐Ÿ˜‰ Every man jack just lumbers….

    I has been, too!


  14. the dream can never be separated from the dreamer,
    nor nature be taken from the nature boy (and girl :—)

    Sometimes you can look back – and thank your lucky stars you didn’t get what you wanted, for as mystery loves to play – thorns are often well disguised.

    Your writing Keith shares the beautiful bounty of life, the in’s and outs of your insights really are Insightful!

    On my walking meditations I observe how nature can be furiously growing, new lush greenery all summer long – but die back to (seemingly) nothing in autumn and winter.

    I love the nature analogies, don’t you. ST is a master nature observer. So are you, but I see an added element, ’cause I know you – You are fundamentally ‘real’ – the velveteen rabbit in you is alive and well.

    ~ Katie

    I must be half-blind, dear Kate. I didn’t see your reply.
    You think I’m for real, and I think I need to get real.
    Sometimes people die, or quit, just in order to make
    a great comeback. I gave up golf, and never went back.
    I quit bowling, and never went back. I have no doubts
    about my ability to be a quitter. I’m well practiced.
    I quit…hmmm…something else, too, but that’s turning
    out to be not so easy of a thing to let go.

    Thank you for the wonderful thoughts, Princess.
    I am truly grateful for your friendship and support.
    You have the grace because you are a natural.

  15. That’s nice of you to say, Ed. I wish I could believe it.
    Even if it were true, is it enough of a reason to continue?
    What good is it, if you don’t think it makes any difference?

    I feel like I’m taking up peoples time when they should
    or could be doing something else, or talking to someone
    else more important, someone who would help them
    to further their own agendas or show them the way to go.

    This blogging crap is ultra time consuming, and difficulties arise
    when I compare what it takes to write with what it takes to blog.
    Commenting on another persons work can be fun, but in the back
    of my mind is an ulterior motive for doing so that has nothing to do
    with giving freely/ no strings attached. You’re certainly not like that,
    Ed, and that makes you pretty special in my playbook! No doubt.

    You know who you are, and you never seem to ask or expect
    anything in return for your encouraging words. Bless you, dude!

    I get to go back to a real paying job tomorrow. My spare moments
    might be better spent looking for a part-time job cuz I hate being
    broke. But I won’t do it. There’s no need to feel sorry for me, though.
    I have it way better than three fourths of the world’s inhabitants.
    That’s what I keep telling myself, because it doesn’t work the first time.

  16. Oh, Keith, I just seen your comment on my first ‘encouragement.’ (we don’t get notification for such smart moves!)
    I wasn’t expecting a poem, just the story. The Toth poem turned up in my mail-box and seemed timely, so that made me share it with you, others in mind, too. Hi Katie ๐Ÿ™‚ I may need to Google that wabbit ๐Ÿ˜‰

    ‘Infinite’ is an optional ‘word’ btw. You can hand it over to the Lord knows, whatever, as long as you get my drift. You know how drifty I am with woids!


  17. We’ll see, my friend. I’m making no promises.
    I know what you meant, and how you mean to be.
    It’s still sort of incomprehensible. That figures.

  18. dear Keith,
    I see formless as yet worlds of words falling from your pen to intrigue and delight me.
    Don’t stop!
    please …

    That is such a heartfelt plea, Kate! I can actually imagine
    the guilt I would feel for disappointing you, my greatest fan.
    I can’t leave you this way. Not now, nor anytime soon.

    Tell you what — if you can keep from expecting too much;
    if you can handle not being delighted with everything I write;
    if you can deal with essays and comments in borders (as Heath calls it);
    if you can patiently wait for me to produce who-knows-what once a week;
    then I will be more than likely able to comply with your loving request.

    Speaking of requests…Medicated Lady has asked for an interview of sorts.
    I have been asked to answer 5 questions, and then she will post it on her
    site. I’ll keep you and everyone else informed when it’s a go. Okay? Luvz!

  19. Uncle Tree,

    I am truly pained that you feel your writing is not worthy of people’s time.

    Maybe it’s not about quitting, but about changing the confines of the box. Allow yourself to take root in seemingly barren soil. You might be surprised at how you thrive.

    Of course, whatever you decide to do, I support. I should like to think that maybe this time you’ll come back if you go away.

    Only love,
    Medicated Lady

  20. M’Lady, mah friend,

    You are right. It’s not that I wanted to quit, it was
    about the fact that I’d have to write new stuff in some
    imaginary time-line. A place where there never really is a deadline.

    Remember “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel?
    It just came up in me ‘ed.
    “I am leaving. I am leaving. But the fighter still remained.”
    Hum-ummm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmmm.
    Lie, lie, Lie. Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie…yeah.

    I’ll answer your questions, dear. Even the tough one.
    Thank you very much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Does the essence of life know
    of a space allotted to glow?
    Does the essence of life rhyme
    with an ordered passage of time?
    The essence of life is now
    What a cow!


  22. You are the best super-duper-spirit-picker-upper
    ever, Ed! Thanks for the smile!
    I know what you’re trying to do. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. I do love you exactely the same, I do not mind at all that you are of any religion. indeed one of my best friends from college was seriously catholic guy and I used to admire him a lot cause he really belived in doing good to the othersm and taking care of the poor. But for real. He was also very accepting of most of the people.
    Back from florida state, I have been mostly in the pool, sleeping and when a little bit to the conference, and of course gave mine which was cool. Time went too quick-
    Take care

  24. dear Keith,
    because I see in you – a writer – and your words and insights are all a part of God’s handiwork.

    If you write for the joy (sometimes maybe pain!) of it, and wish to share – it does not matter the pace or output – then in the spirit of the Vedas – you are doing your dharma.

    I really do love the greeting Namaste – you for, for everyone – it is the most sincere and honest of blessings, dearest UT.

    lots of love, always
    princess Kate :–)

  25. Welcome back, Mariana! Good, good, good. It’s all good!
    It’s great to know the conference came out well for you. Cool!
    Please excuse me from commenting on your site. I have work to do.

    I try to be accepting and respectful of people, especially from the get-go.
    I don’t like everybody. I don’t get along with everybody, either.

    D.H. Lawrence said this, and I tend to agree with him.

    “Retort to Jesus: Anyone who forces themselves to love another person
    creates a murderer in their own body.” We don’t have to play God. Luvz!

  26. Dear Kate,

    Kirstie has three 16 year old boys in the living room here, right now.
    Excuse me from being too awfully incoherent. Okay? Geez…

    Only when the Spirit moves me, eh? I wish he could pick up my pencil.
    So much for the blogger in me…he was just an invention anyway.
    I’ve been stuck lately with H. Hesse (reading his essays and such). Guess
    I’ll have to sacrifice something to make time. I think he wood approve.

    Stay tuned, Princess. It’s in the works. Always………………………yes!

  27. I can see that you try to be respectfull from the get got, and you really are, I think, which is great- And of course is absolurd to say you like everybody, that is just not possible, that is lying either to others and to yourself. The one think I do agree with is the exercise of tolerance with yourself and the rest of the world.

    Look what I found in a poem on a blog
    “I thought about one uncle
    sitting in his tree house”, maybe it waas about you

    I loved the quotation, I did not knew it, it is a great one. Let me tell you that I also completelly agree with it, I think real friends or any kind of relationships had to be based on freedom and lack of obligations, is not your duty to write to me, neither is mine to write to you, therefore is beautifull when we do it. I would not like at all to relate with people who tihnk they have obligations regarding to my person, for example they do not need to remember or come to my birthday, I do not care. The think I do care about and that could end a relationship is forcing things to work by doing stuff you do not feel can or wont
    I love you uncle, and I am learning pretty much from you

  28. You are a lot like me then, in that respect , Mariana.
    To be honest with one’s self in that manner is a difficult lesson to learn.

    I checked out Dhyan’s latest, and commented forthwith.
    He’s a good bud, too.

    Thanks for letting me off the hook for a while. I have fatherly
    duties that need attention, and I can’t, and should not neglect
    my foremost responsibilities.

    I’m working on The Medicated Lady’s questions when I have time.
    She’s great! Women like to speak their minds, and will say things
    a man wouldn’t tell me. I’m listening up, but I’m not getting
    dragged by the ears. Not yet that is.

    You are one of a kind, sweet niece! I’m really glad to have made your
    acquaintance. I’ll be seeing you. We’re already here. No worries.

  29. hi ya Keith,
    star gazing last nite and catching the glint of twinkle – strolling along the dark tree lined boardwalk at the river’s edge. it feels like home at these moments, and I try to make the night sky linger …

    heard a new word, hard to type – its ENANTIODROMOS

    ~angel with (clipped) wings

    Hey, girl!
    Home need not imply a roof roof, because the stars are consistently threaded together to give us the highest possibilities. They are entwined and held in place by warp and woof; the tale of invisible opposites coursing through space along imaginary parallel lines. That’s not exactly how Carl Jung would explain his enantiodromia, but Spirit can jump willy-nilly and play leap frog without a need for wings. If yours are clipped, you can’t hardly fly away too far. Now, can you?

  30. Uncle,
    I am from the South…so I don’t just speak my mind, I’m loud about it. Please look beyond this and tell me to mind my own business. I will do my best. ๐Ÿ™‚ ML

    For the dense and hard of hearing, loud is good, M’Lady.
    If your mind is way beyond this, then not only need I look,
    I’ll also need to read your future to know my present business.

    That’s the best nonsense I’ve got tonight.
    Headlines: Beer Beats Pen During Friday’s Happy Hour!

  31. Resolving into one’s opposite speaks reams to me.

    Biggy’s in the middle ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I just saw a dead skunk in the midst of the road,
    so I turned it over to see just who stunk up what.

  32. lol, Keith, was it natural causes ๐Ÿ˜‰

    If we may call the First Cause natural, then the answer is yes.
    What wasn’t so natural was the the feeling I got for picking it up.

  33. You were not the driver, though?

    No, Ed. I was only a witness
    who decided to participate,
    or meddle, in a world event.

  34. That’s true. But if I guess right, would you answer honestly?

    Okay now, Mr. Inspiration. Or shall I say DR. Super-duper S-P-U?
    Have you looked around here lately? See anything new? Well? Huh?
    As Diablo would say, “damn”. I see how you are. Where no longer matters.

  35. Awww, Keith, I should have written ‘ if I could tell you.’ You are better in this way of words than I could ever be. You don’t need me to tell you. I feel we are all part of a oneness but our ‘languages’ confound us…..the way we might read them?

    For me, resolving into opposites is what ‘meanings’ in their fluidity inevitably can do if I surrender. They just as easily resolve back again. Hush my mouth at realising the Biggy in the middle is the One.


  36. You’re probably right, Ed.
    Before one can forgive, two must surrender.
    The idea of a ‘force’ in the middle is an old one. Demigod
    cares not one whit about the seeming differences that man sees
    between good and evil. This is what Hesse meant by “the decline of
    Europe” when he wrote of the Asiatic system of thought in 1919.
    According to you he was right, and the invasion was a success.
    I stand a teenie-weenie bit on the side of good. That’s why
    you see me leaning from my not so upright position.
    The pole has been compromised by a crook.

    There was this one time…during an ‘experience’ that I was having,
    when my train of thought led me to a terribly frightening realization.
    I was with a group of friends, and I was running my mouth in the
    living room, speaking my mind as each thought landed. I came to a point
    where I stopped myself in mid-sentence and covered my mouth with my
    hand. I couldn’t believe what I was about to say. I walked around for
    an hour that way. It was a very spooky involuntary response. Some
    truths are not meant to be spoken aloud. Know what I mean?

  37. Probably it was in context, but now I am dying to know what that truth is/was, Keith. Would I die if I did know?

    I’ve read surprisingly, (perhaps not,) little. I did read The Siddhartha by Hesse.
    It may be an old idea, ‘Biggy,’ but I arrived there myself and I don’t see it as demi or god. That it doesn’t care equates to our hand on the farrah faucet! We can turn it on or turn it off, but never completely. We have to grant self-governance to It as well as ourselves. Oneness can be no other. Words fail me. Should I die now?

    That seemed to me to be your question regarding the blogs. Perhaps the time has come for you to take your hand away from your mouth, you faithful man. Faucets at the ready folks!! We must repel all boarders.

    much respect,

  38. I was hoping you’d answer my questions first. See #46
    Tell me you at least read through the interview and the other two.
    You know how highly I value your input. Don’t you?

    “We have to grant self-governance to It…”
    Then why can’t It speak for itself? And even it It can, does,
    and did communicate with me, I can only put a human
    interpretation on it. It may have nothing to do with The Truth.

    It could have been biological. I wonder which part of my brain was firing.
    It could have been the superego in an act of self-preservation.

    It was in no way an original thought. I found that out later during
    my studies of the Far East, which included a variety of Buddhist literature.
    The reason it is so important to me is how I remembered in a timely
    fashion. It saved me a lot of grief when my grandmother ‘died’
    about 10 years later. It did more than that actually. Much more…

    That’s when I started reading. I had to find out what was happening to me. It is such a long story, Ed. I can’t do it justice here. I think I told about it on Intentblog at one time. You wish for me to make a “public statement”.

    I’m not going anywhere, Ed. Not now. Not ever. As far as I know,
    I am still sitting in that chair in my (now-deceased) friend’s living room.
    But I wasn’t really there, either. I was not anywhere in particular.
    There is no such thing. Never was. We’re all here in the same nowhere,
    and time is calmly passing us by. It is a major projection screen. Take a seat.

    With all do respect, I gotta go to work, man. Luv ya ta death!

  39. Sorry, Keith, because of your amazing wit, one often forgets how intense you are.

    I come to your blog every day and check. I always enjoy whatever you write and the way you find time for tuned-in replies to everyone’s comments.
    Your response to ML’s interview was extraordinary, not least for the dedication and wise counsel you put into it. I actually think you are a teacher and, although it’s only my view, I think poetry is just one mode of the human attempt to fulfil a fabulous connection that is already there. In that sense poetry is just a reaching out for me, sensing that there is more beyond it which would allow it to fall away.
    From that, you can see that this ‘ne’er do well’ is not into worldly acclaim and success! I’m just as connected to my dumbest neighbour and poetry just doesn’t do much for him. I’ve yet to surrender to what does!!

    I think we both tend to write in a cryptic and coded kind of way when we are plumbing depths and trying to communicate the incommunicable. It requires a fair bit of experiment and extrapolation on the part of the reader and for me, at least, it’s much more quantum than linear. I felt a certain sync after my last reply to you, when I went to Intent and found our friend D K Matai’s latest blog :-


    What you think. teacher? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  40. I see he still has at least one woo challenger in MM.
    Boggles the mind, Ed. So the Q Mind is at more than one place at a time.
    It’s no wonder people can’t think straight, or focus on any one idea
    for even a moment without interference. What was I saying? I lost
    the train, oh yeah. Dismembered is the first word that comes into
    my thinking process(es). We are all spread out. I think. I can’t re-member.
    Or can I? Can I pull it all together and shove it up the middle of that
    poles hole? Quantum poop, wah-lah! You just don’t know which side
    it’s going to come out anymore. Both ends at once probably. Just like
    the way I talk. And when I write, I spread It(meme germs) around even
    more. I best wash my hands of this…in every sink hole I have.

    That’s what I think, Ed. Quantum fishies and bread now multiplied.
    Jesus does fast food, eh? We could use more like Him. I’m hungry!

  41. So you tickle me without even trying…..that’s Biggy and puts me to rest ๐Ÿ™‚

    At times, I feel like a rag doll and a wet one at that! Thank you for ringing me out ๐Ÿ˜‰


    psss….I think you are an eacher.

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