the spirit is attracted to humility



advised me to keep my spirit

up in the branches of a tree and not

peek out too far, so I keep mine in the very tall

willows along the irrigation ditch out back,

a safe place to remain unspoiled by

the filthy culture of greed

and murder of the




forget their spirits

easily suffocate so they must

keep them far up in tree branches where

they can be summoned any moment. It’s better

if you’re outside as it’s hard for spirits to get into houses

or buildings or airplanes. In New York City I used to reach

my spirit in front of the gorilla cage in the children’s zoo in

Central Park. It wouldn’t come in the Carlyle Hotel, which

was too expensive for its taste. In Chicago  it won’t

come in the Drake, though I can see it out the

window, hovering over the surface of Lake

Michigan. The spirit above anything 

else is attracted to humility.

If I slept in the streets

it would be under 

the cardboard

with me.


Jim Harrison

Complete Poems