Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 74

He came up flailing and sputtering and began to thrash his way toward the line of willows that marked the submerged creek bank. He could not swim, but how would you drown him? His wrath seemed to buoy him up. Some halt in the way of things seems to work here. See him. You could say that he’s sustained by his fellow men, like you. Has peopled the shore with them calling to him. A race that gives suck to the maimed and the crazed, that wants their wrong blood in its history and will have it. But they want this man’s life. He has heard them in the night seeking him with lanterns and cries of execration. How then is he borne up? Or rather, why will not these waters take him?

Child of God

Cormac McCarthy          1973

Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 25

Where’s the man you were with?

He died.

Was that your father?

Yes. He was my papa.

I’m sorry.

I don’t know what to do.

I think you should come with me.


Are you one of the good guys?


The man pulled back the hood from his face. His hair was long and matted. He looked at the sky. As if there were anything to be seen. He looked at the boy. Yeah, he said. I’m one of the good guys. Why don’t you put the pistol away?

I’m not supposed to let anyone take the pistol. No matter what.

I don’t want your pistol. I just don’t want you pointing it at me.


Where’s your stuff?

We don’t have much stuff.

Have you got a sleeping bag?


What have you got? Some blankets?

My papa’s wrapped in them.

Show me.

The boy didn’t move. The man watched him. He squatted on one knee and swung the shotgun up from under his arm and stood it in the road and leaned on the fore-stock. The shotgun shells in the loops of the bandolier were handloaded and the ends sealed with candle wax. He smelled of woodsmoke. Look, he said You got two choices here. There was some discussion about whether to even come after you at all. You can stay here with your papa and die or you can go with me. If you stay you need to keep out of the road. I don’t know how you made it this far. But you should go with me.You’ll be all right.

How do I know you’re one of the good guys?


You don’t. You’ll have to take a shot.


Are you carrying the fire?


Am I what?


Carrying the fire?


You’re kinda weirded out, aren’t you?




Just a little.




That’s okay.


So are you?


What, carrying the fire?




Yeah. We are.

Do you have any kids?

We do.

Do you have a little boy?

We have a little boy and we have a little girl.

How old is he?

He’s about your age. Maybe a little older.

And you didn’t eat them.


You don’t eat people.

No. We don’t eat people.

And I can go with you?

Yes. You can.

Okay then.



The Road

Cormac McCarthy         2006


Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 15

Standing at the edge of a winter field among rough men. The boy’s age. A little older. Watching while they opened up the rocky hillside ground with a pick and mattock and brought to light a great bolus of serpents perhaps a hundred in number. Collected there for a common warmth. The dull tubes of them beginning to move sluggishly in the cold hard light. Like the bowels of some great beast exposed to the day.

The men poured gasoline on them and burned them alive, having no remedy for evil but only for the image of it as they conceived it to be.

The burning snakes twisted horribly and some crawled burning across the floor of the grotto to illuminate its darker recesses. As they were mute there were no screams of pain and the men watched them burn and writhe and blacken in just such silence themselves and they disbanded in silence in the winter dusk each with his own thoughts to go home to their suppers. 


The Road

Cormac McCarthy          2006