By Rich Ferguson


Be one with the world. One with yourself. One with the tranquility gallery behind your eyes, its humble paintings of peace & prosperity. One with how that gallery is so often under reconstruction, deconstruction. One with how everything is so impermanent, so fleeting. How your every thought breeds Frankensteins & angels. Be one with all your Frankensteins & angels.

Be one with being wide-awake, with everyday magic, the abracadabra of glorious allegory written into your every step. Be one with the forward & backward of all your human steps: how in every positive action, seeds of limitation find their way to fruition. Be one with the bitter fruit of not always getting what you want. May that bitterness help your successes taste all the sweeter.

Be one with money: clean money, blood money, funny money. One with the hard work you offer as daily sacrifice to the nine-to-five grind. One with all the con artists, sham shamans & common thugs: all those constantly wanting to take a bite out of your wallet, your pocketbook, your higher consciousness & life.

Be one with these terrorist times: how glittering guns are the new silver spoon given to newborns, how bombs can be so readily made with common household products; strapped to the waists of suicide junkies, or packed into vehicles & driven to your doorstep. Be one with the song of napalm encoded into your DNA, the inherent & self-annihilating dirge of burn, baby, burn.

Be one with global warming. One with severe weather patterns: hurricanes, blinding heat, polar ice caps melting into water, so much water. Be one with water, all waters: flood waters, baptismal waters. Life-giving, life-taking waters. Be one with how something so clean & pure as water can be both womb & tomb.

Be one with being somebody, nobody. One with how you can write your name ten thousand times across the chalkboard sky, yet still never claim the heavens as your own. Better to share the sun, moon & stars. Better to see your lover’s face when you stare deeply into the cosmic mirror.

Be one with society’s crazy diamonds: the lost souls, lunatics, restless romantics & the like. One with how you all yearn to shine so bright. How you thread flesh & blood through durable needles, sewing yourselves into the fabric of life, staying close to the lines of reality, but often straying to dream.

Be one with your inner child & all the paper airplanes he or she creates. Be one with your inner TSA agent when he wants to check your emotional baggage & perform cavity searches before you board those paper airplanes to take off on great flights of imagination. Know your inner TSA agent’s ultimate job is to ensure a safe flight. But also know that sometimes the safest flights aren’t always the best flights. Be one with your inner TSA agent. One with your inner child & all the paper airplanes. Be one with the sailing away.

Be one with those days when no pill, no liquor, prayer, nor song can make the world numb enough or calm enough; days when life’s knife adds way too many cuts to your palms. Days when the treadmarks around your eyes have traveled too far down the lost highway. Be one with the lost highway & whatever treasures it may reveal to you along the way.

Be one with traffic; the slow drivers & road-rage drivers. One with the boozers & beauties, the deities & needy dancing beneath a peroxide-blonde moon, accompanied by the music of mockingbirds & apocalypse jukeboxes, as coyote radar surfs the airwaves, searching out the perfect thrill, the perfect kill penned in blood & written across the first & last breath of all things. Be one with the first & last breath of all things.

Be one with the tic-toc ticking of the clock. The hands of time that hold you for only a moment, then move on. One with how no moment in time shall ever be repeated the same way twice. Be one with how you are a different person from one moment to the next: you slough dead skin cells; dead hair; fingernails and toenails growing; thoughts changing; the molecular structures that create you, both living & dying at the same time.

Be one with how your body & being will eventually fail you. One with the day when you’ll become a stranger to everyone & yourself. Be one with death: Death of family, friends, loved ones. Pet death. Great big overwhelming universe death. Be one with the final, everlasting great Big Bang of it all.

Be one with the grass on your future grave. May it be filled with a million volts of goodness & green. May it offer a home to insects & other wildlife. May it welcome & bear the weight of those who pass over you. May the grass on your future grave be drunk on sunspeak & rise-n-shine. May it witness the world with eyes of all-seeing bright. May it pray to the saint of rain.

Be one with the world, one with yourself. One with the rich man with slums running through his veins. One with the beggar possessing a cathedral heart. Be one with your Frankensteins & angels, the boozers & beauties, the deities & needy. One with the lost souls & restless romantics. Republicans & Democrats. The sham shamans & bombs, the hurricanes & pain. One with the tic-toc ticking of the great Big Bang of it all clock. Send them all loving & luminous messages through the dark and dead of night,

typed on the telegraph keys of your heart.

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RICH FERGUSON has performed nationally, and has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka, T.C. Boyle, Jerry Stahl, Bob Holman, Loudon Wainwright, Ozomatli, and many other esteemed poets and musicians. He has performed on The Tonight Show, at the Redcat Theater in Disney Hall, the New York City International Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, South by Southwest, the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, Stephen Elliott’s Rumpus, and with UK-based poetry collective One Taste. He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (the sequel to the double Grammy-nominated film 1 Giant Leap), featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, Krishna Das, and others. He has been published in the LA TIMES, Opium Magazine, has been widely anthologized, spotlighted on PBS (Egg: The Art Show), and was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, LA. His spoken word/music videos have been featured at poetry film festivals throughout the world. Ferguson is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and a poetry editor at The Nervous Breakdown. His poetry collection 8th & Agony has been published by L.A.’s Punk Hostage Press.

7 responses to “One”

  1. beautiful. i can hear you saying all this in my head!

  2. Elisabeth Adwin Edwards says:

    What a terrific piece of work, filled with so much rhythm, alliteration and arresting imagery, ie: “the abracadabra of glorious allegory”, “life’s knife adds way too many cuts to your palms” and my favorite, “Be one with the world, one with yourself. One with the rich man with slums running through his veins. One with the beggar possessing a cathedral heart”. Wow! Well done. I’m sharing…

  3. Tracy Basye Hale says:


  4. Stefan says:

    Beautiful, poignant and deep, as I know your (he)art to be. Gave me chills and put me in a quiet space. Thanks for you.

  5. Kelli K. Barnett says:

    I love this. RF, Your words encompass so much of what I wish to teach my daughter. Thank you. Love and light all the way.

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