Each evening at Oracle 2022, our leaders gathering held in Potosi, Missouri, we gathered around “Grandfather Fire” to offer gifts of poetry, story, drumming, movement, and song. The following was offered by Illuman Board Member and Wisdom Elder Ned Abenroth.


The following poem came in the depths of Winter, 2021– a dark season within a dark season. In the middle of this night’s night, I awoke, and this rushed out in one frenzied half-asleep gush–I fell back to sleep, and read it in the morning wondering who had visited my dreams…

by Ned Abenroth

This being human is a love dance:
Us, sullenly pretending our dance card is empty
while others unplug the music
dump the punchbowl and
try to forget ancient steps buried deep in the bones.

But our Lover is done playing coy
The beating of their heart-drum
is more than enough to fill the hall

Soon the Friend
has us whirling to a
jig without our consent!

Spinning and tapping in movements
that would make us blush, if we
weren’t so busy
trying to stay

Oh the Great Dancer is no wallflower!
Now the gyrations awaken His pelvis-
Her body presses up to ours

Volts of pleasure shoot to
suppressed organs left
soft too long.

Oh dear friend,
Why fight revelry when
just one dance step of “Yes” would
send the blood coursing through the veins,
free the feet to kiss the land,
uncork melodies that would make
the whole world sing.

Lions stop to admire;
Elephants trumpet in time;
A flock of wren whirl round
bodies pressed as one, bringing
their voice to the party

The ancestors wink at the budding consummation;
Future generations leap in the womb;
Your seed begins its journey of ecstasy.

Clover sprouts where each foot falls
Maples lean in
Even the tides can’t help themselves and rush in
ahead of schedule.

Oh Beloved! There is
no dance more glorious than Springtime
pulsing through a thawing soul
no tune more infectious than the sound of Joy
cascading through old wounds, turning poisoned
wells to springs of sweet living water

Invite your friends and
Keep Dancing!
Even now, some yet don’t
hear the music- their deafness
yields more suffering- their strange glances at your footwork
betray their plight

Invite your friends and
Keep Dancing!
The time for awakening is now!
Your grief cry will pierce the heart!
Your steps are balm!
Your freedom can’t be ignored!

Invite your friends and
Keep Dancing!
Just one crack in the armor of “No”
And soon the Lover is
whirling and spinning another
heart to