The Shaman

by Larry D. Thomas

He gazes
with the eyes
of an ancient god.
For thousands
of years,

he’s seen
as a sibling
of the beast
whose blood

and flesh
have nourished him.
He regales
his brow
with the plumes

of birds, which,
when darkness
falls, roost
in his skull
as dreams.

He wakes, rises
from his mat of straw,
and clothes himself
with his hallowed
robe of daybreak.


Larry D. Thomas, a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, was the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate.  He has published several award-winning and critically acclaimed collections of poetry, most recently A Murder of Crows and Uncle Ernest, both of which were published by the Virtual Artists Collective, Chicago, in 2011 and 2013, respectively.  His New and Selected Poems (Texas Christian University Press, 2008) was a semi-finalist for the National Book Award.