On a most recent blustery Saturday night, I had the great good fortune to be blown into a warm room full of people at the Algood Barn where Gavin was presenting his original poetry along with gorgeous musical accompaniment by Joey Bradley. Presenting is not exactly the right word. It was more like the floodgates of his heart shot open and out poured this wild stream of pure love, passion, courage and humor browse this site.  Through his impassioned voice and words, he took us on a journey through the landscapes of our own hearts and his homeland of South Africa.  At various points throughout the evening, my eyes teared up and my heart swelled as Gavin’s poetry reminded me of the utter fragility and strength of the human spirit.  For example, he told us of his time at a maximum security prison in South Africa and the 7 holy men he met there who had simply “missed their mark – big time.” I imagined them as bodhisattvas among us who, through their unfortunate wrongdoings and lifelong apologies, allow us to open to the truths of our own hearts.
For me, Gavin’s poetry is powerful medicine that uplifts my soul and clears away the debris that has crept up around my heart in the course of my human fumbling and faltering. I was moved by all of his poems but there were a few that stood out for me, one being “Smoke and Mirrors.” He likened us to holograms that are constantly shifting and changing and if we can allow ourselves the room to grow, wow, what a revolutionary life we’d be living. “Arise from the sacred ground of failure,” is another gem he spoke that dropped like a seed into my consciousness. What an amazing revelation – failure can be sacred and we can rise from this place wholly new and wiser for it. Recovering from an injury that has completely altered the landscape of my life, Gavin’s poetry spoke to the place in me that is undergoing a kind of radical metamorphosis. In this place of not knowing, Gavin’s words float towards me like phosphorescence in a dark bay and remind me that mysterious magic abounds all around us and, just as it arises, it passes away in a graceful dance of impermanence.
Melissa Cardwell


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