Chi In

Chi In is my monkey.

He is from the earth,

from the heart of the forest,

summoned by Yuriskali,

my old, wise Siberian shaman

in her hut.

She’d heard me call

for my Sacred Fool,

the archetype of playful

innocence rolled up

with wisdom

in her knapsack,

setting out on a long journey.


A year of new beginnings.

The Year of the Pig.

Chi In followed Yuriskali,

riding bareback

on my wild boar,

dressed in red circus

fez and waistcoat with gold fringing;

singing, laughing, chattering,

turning somersaults

as monkeys do.

With her blessing

Chi In jumped from the boar

onto my shoulder,

another animal guide from

the Otherworld

come to join my travelling circus.

He's here to make me laugh

at what has become

so overly sacred,

a word so overused,

so overstretched

with sacred gong baths,

sacred circles,

sacred organic hot chocolate

ceremonies, naturally shamanic,

filling my news feed

with algorithmic certainty

that sometimes I wonder

if even my shit is sacred.

He's come to make me laugh

at myself, and not care

if others laugh at me,

as I mirror their own Sacred Fools.

For what is truly sacred?

Everything and nothing.

The moment when you hold

your dying mother and

feel so much love

that you see infinite beauty

in her last breath.

When you wash her lifeless

yet still warm but cooling corpse,

much heavier than her slight frame suggests,

mouth fallen open as if crying aloud

to the Universe to take her home.

When you dress her in a fresh white nightie

and comb her soft white hair

and sit with her in peace

stunned, sore, in shock,

feeling grateful for the life

she gave you, so you can sit

and hold her hand in death.

Now that is sacred.

The Performers, 2009, Jenny Keith

The Performers, 2009, Jenny Keith

Gayac - Entr’acte - A beauty flirting with a monkey

Gayac - Entr’acte - A beauty flirting with a monkey