ISSUE FOURTEEN: La Mer Systyle | next poem →

The Vine of the Dead

John Ebersole


And the healing has continued more and more and I've always

had a yearning for learning and I'm quite content that it'll never

be quenched and I'll always be obtaining more and the more

I learn about myself within the more I learn everything around me

and I returned to the world, I told everyone about the love

I was exposed to and let in and the world brought me back down

and the importance of integrating everything into every moment

is a gift and I'll be working with this the rest of my life

and it's so powerful and I'm so humbled and I feel blessed

and I was always seeking myself out there and I found in myself

the memory of who I am and it starts here in your heart

and I guess I've started on my spiritual path and after a while

all the things you hear start to sound cliché

and so many things I'd try to understand but now I get

because I experienced it and experience is the greatest teacher

and now there's no greater feeling and I'm so grateful

and excited to see what's next but I'm also patient

and I want to hear the world and all I want to do is help people

and knowing you can heal yourself, no more and no less.


I was blocked up and I was stuck and then I got a taste of it

and a friend mentioned this and after researching obsessively

I found this and it radically transformed myself and I understood

myself better and my limitations and strengths and I could

always return to a stable state, almost a fearless state

and it was beyond anything I felt and I went away knowing

I had more work to do and I knew I'd come back again

and I'd continue to learn and experience new ways of loving

myself and rendering my fears ineffective and I could be

aware of the exact emotions and feelings that would come

back to me and I'm not a very spiritual person and I haven't

read a lot of books but I was thankful I was relentless

and I searched long and hard for something like this

and given my make-up this is an exception and I've come

to accept and believe that this is the only thing I can

contribute a consciousness to and there's different

reasons and honestly I'm unashamed to call this

a she and asking her into my life and one of the more

interesting aspects is that she never stops working

or is far from me and when I finally moved down

I learned more in those three minutes than years

of talking and listening and I knew she would be there.


I came to it from an intellectual standpoint and I was very

hesitant and everything happens for a reason and this just

fit the time I was going to be here anyway and it just felt

like I was supposed to be here to come and those things

just line up and I'm really really grateful and I couldn't imagine

this kind of experience and it's definitely been challenging

at times and I feel like I'm still getting a grasp on my life

and going through this awakening and cleansing all at once

but it's worth it and I'm glad I came and mostly what I learned

was all about love and how everything is connected to everything

from your thoughts to the cosmos and to people

and I learned a lot of about self-love and I realized the things

I need to work on and things were just kind of flowing

and I learned to trust my intuition and any time I had a thought

that I felt was right I knew came from this space within

and everyone can trust this timing and even things that are painful

at times they always end and it's just really been a beautiful experience

and I've been so grateful for all the people I met

during this experience and it's amazing how much I've learned

and serving others and selfless love and it's just beautiful

and I came out of this wanting to share my light with everyone else.


Before coming here I was lost and I was ashamed of myself and fearful

and I had a lot of issues of accepting myself because all my life I was

folding myself into what everyone wanted me to be so I came here

to find myself and step into the power and figure out what my role and path

on earth should be and I always had self-esteem issues and I feel like this

whole process has been a transformation and I've tried other things

in order to find truth and purpose and I felt even more lost and confused

and it was really the beginning and is there more to life and I started

looking everywhere and all these things and coming here I realized

I didn't need to look outside for anything, that's it's all in here

and I just feel so blessed and grateful and I know I have a purpose here

and to make a difference in my life and continue this process and

transformation and to help teach my family about all this and the best

way to change myself is to change the earth and I'm so proud of myself

and it's the first time I felt unconditional love for myself

and this far exceeds any expectations I had and there's so much love

here and it's magical and beautiful and I'm really going to take

the rest of my life into every moment and interaction I have

and every choice I make and every thought I have

so yes and yes and yes I'm ready to save the world.


There is nothing in my life I've ever experienced to this magnitude

and that has been challenging on an internal level and the ability

to look inward and be as ratified as I could and not trying to come

into this with expectations and all my intentions have been met

and my connection to the body mind spirit has never been better

but more important than anything that I've been on a long search

for years and it was only here that I found the answers and being

able to take that with me into this world will help me share

who I am as a person and those who are called to this should

heed that call and if you are being called to take it very seriously

and we give ourselves to this process, the process gives back ten

fold and take it very seriously and it will pay dividends beyond all

and have every lid blown off every perception you've ever had and

there's no doubt and I have a great deal of gratitude and I wonder

what I did to deserve coming here and yet you never know

and there's no doubt that this is the best place for me

and the word that keeps coming up is that it's magical.


The things that have been going on in my life and I really

progressed my heart in ways I never thought I could and this

experience has taught me more than I could imagine

and I wanted to come here to understand the universe

and what's in my heart and I came here knowing

and the moment I arrived I could feel the love and it just

flooded this space and I was transported into what feels

like another dimension because it's not built with confusion

and more and more I came to realize that I remember

what I have been taught and to remain center in my breath

and energy can really flow through your body because

I could feel the energy just flooding through and I just felt

very connected and I was shown the connection to all

and they were just beyond my expectations and

as I did I could see them move place to place

and the first thing I could see was a bright light

and I could sense their love emanating through

their heart center and I could understand the connection

between everyone who was brought here and it was

just incredible and the energy was flooding through me

and I was experiencing their pain and experiencing their love

and we really are one and understanding the connection

between all of us we can expand and the planet needs our love.


Where do I begin. And I hope I can provide validation for you.

And from that moment on my life changed and I was obsessed

with learning more and I was surprised it was here on earth

and I've come to a point in my life I needed validation and guidance

to leave the past and I feel like a different person and honestly

I don't even know what do with myself and my dreams for those

I love and they are angels and you can't put a price on that

and they are my soul family and they will always be in my heart

and you need to just trust the process and let go and once

I got here it felt like I crawled here but left standing tall and you

can contact me with any questions at


Um it's really hard to articulate. I had such amazing insights and

I feel like a new person and I had amazing insights and revelations

that I really didn't know were inside me and I could talk about myself

without crying and this place has been amazing and healing and

I never thought I'd bond with people so intensely and I had a mantra

that I used to use in the past was NO EYE CONTACT and after being

here that seems so far away and it seems funny and it's sad I ever

felt that way and this experience and we're spiritual beings

and it's meant to be shared with all and it doesn't belong to anyone

and one thing I really learned was realizing I came here to be

present and one thing I learned was the past is a memory and I can't

wait to continue learning and experiencing life.


It's stuff that had been bothering me for a long time and

I tried so many things before I came and immediately when

I came here I felt so welcome and everything and just in general

and it was such a warm welcome and it was such a good experience

and I can honestly say it's been life-changing for me and so

much has happened and it just just I learned so much

and the companionship and confidence and everybody

and I'm not used to seeing this every day and if anybody

has any doubts just come here and just come here to prove

your doubts you'll have an experience and such humbleness

and you just you just you just compassion and just all around

and it's been so wonderful and it's just just the total experience

and again I mean everyone's happy and it's focused

and we're here to heal and understand your life and it's amazing

and it felt so good to purge and something that was making you ill

was coming out of you and it just had an amazing I mean you

just get lost in the air and the power and it was it was like nothing

I've ever experienced before and I wasn't nervous and I'm exhausted

in a good way and you really get what you need and know

what's going on and it's something entirely and it gives you

so much confirmation and never once did I feel unsafe

and I opened up in ways I never thought I could

and I really feel like this is my family and feel one with everyone.


I made amazing steps and it was so beautiful and I never

felt so much bliss and I had major breakthroughs

and I was really resistant and I didn't need this but

the story I told myself was that I was going to bring

a friend but it was really for me and as soon as my

mind's eye went to that image and it was wonderful

to be able to laugh and this went on for quite a while

and it filled my life with joy and it was so healing

and I didn't realize there was still stuff that deep still

to be taken care of and I can see all the things that

were taken and I found what I needed to do was find

forgiveness and I couldn't be more grateful

and having that experience was priceless.

John Ebersole is the founding editor of Tourniquet: Poetry in Review ( His most recent work is forthcoming in Kenyon Review Online. Currently, he is assistant professor and writing center director at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. You can find him tweeting @waveofpanic.

ISSUE FOURTEEN: La Mer Systyle | next poem →


Jana Rosinski
   speaking ovarian cancer

Emma Bolden
   Roleplaying in Boardrooms
      and Bedrooms


Shankar Naryan
   Psalm from the Old World

Heikki Huotari
   I'll Be

Vivian Wagner
   Notes for a Poem about News

Jesi Bender
   The Wedding of Psyche

John Ebersole
   The Vine of the Dead

Lana Bella
   Plank & Resin
   Cocaine Sunset

Travis Macdonald
   A The Is The The Is The A
      by Lila Zemborain

KJ Hannah Greenberg
   Gators Packed Like Multinationals
       in Excelsior

Terry Wright
   Inside the Roche Limit

Donald Illich
   Because an Island is Encouragement