DauphineDreams: Writings About the Travels of Life

In 2005, I created this blog as a real time journal of my post-Katrina experience and have continued it to this day. The mini-essays, observations and little bits of "flash nonfiction" published here now span several continents and almost a decade of my life. I hope you enjoy them! Note: The entries are copyrighted and cannot be republished either in print or electronically without the written permission of the author.

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Location: Taos, New Mexico, United States

Friday, February 06, 2015

Early Morning Train Blog


Green green green
Blue blue blue
Brown like skin
Like fresh tilling
Like life

Stuck in the concrete cocoon
Of the city
The eyesight narrows
Until desperation makes
Fake palm trees and weeds
Shooting from cracks in bare sidewalks
A balm really
The only thing the eyes can see

Sparrows poking at cookie crumbs
And old McDonald's boxes
Are welcome strangers

But here
The passing scene
Is one I wish to immerse myself in
Become one with
Breathe in
Join together

And the pines
My oldest friends
Reminds me that there more
Than just one season
Life from clouds in blue blue sky
Life for my eyes
Surrounded by nature
The only life there is.

So glad to be home!

Nikki Lyn Pugh (c) 2015

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Thursday, February 05, 2015

New Mexico I'm On My Way...

Riding the rails again
Is this a cowgirl poem?
Kinda sounds like one
'Cept my trusty steed
Is a gleaming worm of steel
Gliding thru the industrial complex
Of Lala land.

But still
Does every cowgirls journey
Through God's country
Past sunrises and sunsets
And tumbleweeds and prairie dogs
Start with an early morning coffee
And get - somethin-greasy-and-good-to - go - with - it run
And a friendly smile from a loved one
Who means well and is intrigued by the mystery of what exactly it is
I think I am doing?
And how does a cowgril explain
The lure of mud on the boots
The passing world
The rumble of the steed
And the movement
Of on and on and on.....

Were some folks just born to travel
Live the nomadic life of no home
Just as others, okay most, choose Hoboken
Or San Diego or Detroit

Riding flying moving
The contact rocking back and forth
Of the means of transport.

Is like how the ocean
Use to rock me to sleep
On that duck - ship
Bound for the Med
And how I felt
In a visceral way
That I had finally
Found my

Nikki Lyn Pugh (c) 2015

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Flock of Ravens

Both doors are open. This is my life now. There use to be the possibility of explosion around every corner but this is not a militarized zone that I live in now. It is a world between worlds. I have come from a somewhat solid place, a place of comfort I guess. Not safety really. A place where I knew what to expect. I knew how to tip toe and go unnoticed. I learned to be a witness to a smile or a smirk or a look of panic. Mostly I learned how to become invisible. I got use to heartbreak. No expectations. No future, at least of the one I had once dreamed of. I told those Brite Lites of possibility to lie still. Shhhh girls...don't speak. Lay low under the floorboards. Don't you dare come out of hiding. Don't imagine the possibilities that exist outside of these four walls, the ways you could use the simmering volcano of energy, ideas and heart-wisdom you have inside of you towards service to others, towards service towards your own soul. I was like a rat in a trap, biting her own tail, thinking this would save me from the impending gauntlet.
The body knows however. The body will eventually say NO- loud and clear like a warning wind just before the storm hits. The body is a flock of ravens that descend on the bare trees directly above. It tell of a window of time during which you can run for safety. Do it now! It says, with aches and pains and infections. With sleep that won't come. With a neck that stiffens to the touch.  With flu-like symptoms that persist beyond the binge the night before.  With teeth that fall out for no reason in response to stress that goes beyond what that partucular body is capable of handling.
Before the storm hits there is always a warning from nature. Before everything gets turned upside down again in a blur of panic and confusion, there is a murder of jet black birds, a stopping of the blood in the veins just before fight ot flight kicks in. Must it always be this way? I dont know.
All I know is that there is no safety in illusion.
There is no safety in being comfortable with pain. The storm will inevitably come and one can choose to run for safety or attempt to hide in plain sight. I can't control nature, even though I try. I can't control other humans either, even though I try to do that too.
In the end, there is nothing I can do or say that would turn the perspection the other has into anything other than what it has always been...a hurling tornado of anger, rage and denial. People see what they choose to see and respond accordingly. In this knowledge, there is hurting. There is pain. But for me at this moment, in the seeking of shelter in the warm, calm, cool air of my own life claimed again, there is no shame.
A person can point to the sky day after day after day, trying to get a blind man to see the black feathers ruffling in the wake of the pending storm.  But all that effort on the part of the other has nothing to do with if he will ever ever see them.
The gift of sight, of realization, is between the blind man and his own two eyes.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Dear one I never knew...

Thank you for leading me and my dog down the little trail that led us to you. We almost turned back but a glint along the trail opened up a world. It was your world wasn't it? I would have liked to have known you but somehow I am not sad that you are no longer here. Because I feel as if you are here in all your uniqueness. Yes! You have inspired me with color and you will be there on the page, in a character (or two) immorralized. I don't know what happened to you but I know you were 100% unique while you were here...and that you still are. Live on Eyeris and thank you for showing up, for expressing, for traveling and for showing me your "eye."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How I Invite the Divine Masculine In
(In response to a question and a meadow meditation)
Vista Verde Retreat Fall Equinox Women’s Gathering
Carson, NM

With the clouds
In my heart
With forgiveness
Through S’s loving eyes
In receiving abundance
When I swim
When I listen to a country song
When I stand up straight
When I embrace
When I yell

When I am a warrior.

When I look to the mountains
And see my brothers
Etched in stone cliffs
Standing sentinel
And I with them
Into battle
Red ruby fierceness
In the hawk’s eye
In the coyote’s yelp
In the announcement of morning
In a call of a people
In surrendering to a tear
In a smile
In a laugh
In a moment.

I receive the divine masculine
When I know through and through
“Balls to bone”
That I am worthy
I am the sparkle
I am the coyote
I am the giver
I am the receiver
I am the eye
I am the cloud
I am the universe
I am it all.

Nikki Lyn Pugh 9/22/14

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mutant Spider Crabby Things

Well, I have a new lease (is it lease or leash? I never know) on life here. As of this Monday I officially have a writing space that I am actually renting for real money. I have regular hours for this space that I have kept for three whole days so far and all this is...well, totally exciting and very scary at the same time.

But alas an office does not prevent the critical, editing, monitoring judging self (you know that one, for a lot of us it sounds like our moms. For others it has a strong resemblance to Grandma Clampit of the Beverly Hillbillies) to chime right in. And if that doesn't work, then that voice will be as clever and manipulative as a creepy-crawly. A spider in fact, one of those crawl across the floor and into your pant leg before you even know what hit you kinds...or, in the case of myself the other day, a mutant spider-crab that had busted loose from government-sponsored genetic engineering labs on the other side of the country:

The facebook post said they were genetically-modified super-mutant spider-crab things and so I completely believed it for about 2 minutes, which was enough time in my early morning fuzziness to blast off a facebook post with a share of the mutant spider pics and the appropriate comment "WTF!." About one minute later I had a curt post back from someone I didn't recognize stating "These are not spiders and that is not Moussouri."  By that point, the coffee had kicked in and I sat there with a blank look on my face and thinking to myself WTF? What just happened? Why did I post that? Why did that freak me out so much? And why...even as my conscious brain wrapped itself around the strong possibility that the whole thing was indeed a hoax..was it so hard to concentrate during the last ten minutes of my writing session yesterday morning because of the thought of crabby-legged big-pinchered scaley spidery things busting into the room and clickety clacking across the floor with a bulls eye aim for my big toe. My God, I suddenly thought, my toe is not safe any longer here on the cool brick of this writing space that I have rented each month with part of my grocery money. My little sacred space is being invaded by genetically altered crustatoid arachnids. They are coming from the ceiling with their kelp-like webbing and busting down the door and tourists walking by are being eaten alive by them like the background shots of some B-grade zombie movie. And I cant stop the throbbing in my toe where the spider-crab thing bit it and suddenly I have to open the door and stare down the bland street in the fogginess of last night's storm and I realize...

I just spent ten minutes OCDing about something totally irrational. I laughed. Out loud because this is the extent that my procrastinating self will go to avoid the "torture" (according to that self) of writing.

Ah, Clampit voice, you can't hide from me. And you can disguise yourself as a toe-biting spider-crab thing either to scare me away from the keyboard and the pen. I have a writing space now and I'm on to you... you dusty, pitiful, red-marker sorry excuse for an inner critic. Cuz guess what? Those spider-crabby things were just all in my mind.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sundance Images

That sweet, sacred space that was created over those four days where I felt as if my life had meaning, that I was in right relation with the world. Most of what happened for me was within the four walls of the kitchen. Elders and others sitting in the wooden table, eating meals, laughing, sharing stories. Getting the job done, transporting coffee and dozens of sandwiches down to the sacred grounds for elders and fire keepers at all hours. Getting up at four to the smell of coffee brewing, wiping the sleep from my eyes and diving in to cracking 16 dozen eggs with minimal "shell dropping." Laughing. So much laughing and amazement of the cooks who came out of the woodwork. There was never a fight. It is hard to imagine when you are cooking for over 100. Just breathing and getting the job done. And hiking up to the Moon Lodge in the rain with hot water, chocolate and a blanket for those staying there, mud on my shoes, remembering helping to make the path up the rocky chamisa in the weeks before. Happy as can be, unexplainable in the cold wetness of early morning and standing at the point on top of the world, surrounded by blue mountains, watching the geometry of life, the sounds, the images, colors and a tree swaying and prayers being answered on the spot and me seeing with my third eye just for a split second the merkibah image of ascended grace. This is what evolution looks like.  

It was necessary for me to be in the kitchen. For so many ways, and I couldn't have been happier. It was all perfect. And I am beyond grateful to spirit for persisting, sometimes like a needle poking....keep in touch, raise your hand, volunteer, be available. Beyond all my laziness and insecurity, there is this knowing now. That intuition and spirit will guide me and my job is to listen. And when I went down to the sacred tree on the first day with B and D, and put my hand on the prayer ties wrapped around its white bark, tears of joy and pain, grief and loss overcame me. It was for me about coming home. It was about finally making right something that had been silenced, hidden underground, now rising to the surface. I felt the prayers of a multitude, the stories, the emotions, inside each colored cloth, a tiny papoose of faith and tears, dreaming, waiting to be born.