Shake the dust – this one is for you.

Via Allie Bombach
on Apr 6, 2011
get elephant's newsletter

A poem that will shake you…

“Do not let one moment go by that doesn’t remind you that your heart beats 900 times a day, and there are enough gallons of blood to make everyone of you oceans” ~ Anis Mojgani

In the back of a large room at Powel’s Bookstore I was half-heartedly listening to a poet I had never heard of.  I was checking my email off my phone and wondering what I would scrounge up for dinner.

And slowly, like he was lifting my chin up with one finger from my stressed and distracted world, he brought me back.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up and stressed about the day to day, and there are times when I have to stop and remember to breath deeply and… shake the dust.

Thank you Anis.

Fan elephant’s best stories here or here or here.


About Allie Bombach

Living in her restored 1970 Airstream, Allie recently relocated to Portland, Oregon where she works as a freelance videographer and filmmaker for the outdoor industry. She graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado with a B.A. in Business Marketing with a concentration in videography. A former raft guide and snowboard instructor, Allie found a passion in inspiring others to make the outdoors a part of their lives. Finding inspiration from the power of storytelling, she strives to promote simple living and environmental education. Only finding true peace while in between the lines, she finds “home” while on the road. An avid commuter in love with her bike, Allie is always in search for the next adventure, a good high five, and a hoppy IPA.


48 Responses to “Shake the dust – this one is for you.”

  1. spiritnetwork2 says:

    Anis grabs you and taps into an emotion you didn't know you had. Also love Rock Out & Come Closer. This poet Paradox also blew my mind today,… >
    a brit brother speaking Truth from the trees. how does it make you feel?

  2. Ben_Ralston says:

    Extraordinary. I had to watch it on Utube because Vimeo didn't work, but wow.

  3. Kimberly says:

    "This is for the celibate pedophile that keeps on struggling." Bold and AMAZING.

  4. Heather Grimes says:


  5. Wow! Thanks for sharing this!!!

  6. GCH says:

    If i was going to be critical I would say self-indulgent and poorly strung together. sorry. but the guy's definitely got amazing presence. outstanding actually. likely has a great career ahead of him.

  7. sabrina.bean says:

    Thank you for sharing!! Amazing.

  8. Deidre says:

    Whenever I have writers block, or feeling down I always listen to him.

  9. Danielle says:

    Definitely loved that he isn't hiding behind the fluff. He shouts the ugly, and that is inspiring. We are all demons, we are all filthy. Those of us that can find love accordingly, regardless of our shortcomings should find it a miracle. I agree it being a little poorly put together, put the heart was bleeding through the phrasing. Can't fault him for that…

  10. Meghan says:

    I can not express how amazing this is. He opens you up to thoughts and feelings you were never aware of before. Thank you.

  11. michelle says:

    Reminds me of the poet Rives.

  12. Dee Empty says:

    900 heart-beats in a day? That's less than 40 heart-beats an hour, which means less than one beat per second. I guess poets don't have to be good at maths (or poetry), or maybe they just have really slow hearts

    • Guest says:

      My goodness….that is ALL you took from this. Cure your embarassment that you cant express yourself with poetry and just be quiet when you have nothing nice to say. You're the pessimist that no one invites to enlightening events because you are a debbie downer. Just stay mute

  13. Echo says:

    900 heart-beats in a day? That's less than 40 heart-beats an hour, and less than beat per second. I guess poets don't have to be good at maths (or poetry).

  14. Mia says:

    Can someone say Shayne Koyczan wanna be… hes not very good – not compared to all the other brilliant poets out there, but hes trying it's a good first step i guess, i think we all wrote this poem when we were in 9th grade.

  15. My good friend just gave me his latest book "The Feather Room" It's amazing. I think what some say is poorly ordered is really wonderfully random, because its for everyone, its for you, its for him, your mom, your enemy…. Fingers trembling, though they may be… rockin.

  16. Jill says:

    this is amazing.

  17. Janelle says:

    ironically we just watched that today in my english class!

  18. menla1 says:

    although a beautiful piece and i really liked it i am pernickity by nature and must point out that our hearts beat ALOT more than 900 times a day.
    9000 maybe 😛

  19. Robert Sturman says:

    I'm a fan after hearing this masterpiece. So much compassion. BeaUtiful. Poetry at its finest.

  20. You know, I just published an article on ele., and I saw this on the side panel and I remembered finding this perhaps months ago – although is it possible I saw you on youtube as well? This poem shook me just as much as it did the first time. Your delivery and poetry is beautiful, how can I possibly find another way to describe? I suppose this is why you're the poet 🙂

  21. […] Feet takes place throughout the continental U.S., but off of its beaten path. Allie Bombach, the film’s creator and narrator asks what life would look like if we abandoned the comforts of […]

  22. […] Because its not just about “being” but feeling alive. […]

  23. SwamiHenderson says:

    I really love this, and I'm not a huge poetry fan.

  24. […] Your heart pumps over 31,000,000 gallons of blood in a […]

  25. Lisa says:

    God did I need this today…my toddler got into a bag of flour while my food processor was smoking and shutting down…it literally took me about four hours to "shake the dust", and I'm sure there's more too! Funny how these things find you when you need them…

  26. […] He shrugged, “It gets slowly better with time and I guess that’s just life. I gotta play the cards I was dealt.” […]

  27. crosas84 says:


  28. alex says:

    amazing…first time I ever heard of him and he blew my mind

  29. johnedwards03 says:

    Extraordinary. I had to watch it on Utube because Vimeo didn't work, but wow.

  30. […] So instead of risking our comfort, we turn a blind eye, avert our eyes to the intimacy of eye contac… […]

  31. thera says:

    how is a pedophile celibate? i find the two terms rather contradicting…

  32. thelindseyoneill says:

    Ridiculously amazing. And truly inspirational. thank you for sharing. <3

  33. […] It’s that moment when the rules or the perception of one’s life have totally shifted, as if having woken up in the Matrix without the tight leather pants and a hot-trench-coat-wearing Neo. […]

  34. […] For the pain and the fear and the agony and the triumph and all of the times when we struggle to start; For the fumbling, and the seeking and the ruthlessly ravaging, through halls of memory and mirrors of learning to grasp for understanding, for insight, for revelation. When we shake the dust to wake the muse and meet only another blank page… […]

  35. Jo Jackson says:

    Shake the dust – brilliant.

    Just don't read or listen to the poem – live it. That's the message here.

  36. Cindy says:

    I smiled for this, and I smile for less these days, and "comments" are difficult to pull from me because most days I don't feel it enough. This, this reached in. Thank you.

  37. Cecilia Mackie says:

    He actually collaborated with Shane Koyczan and a few other poets on this, it is featured on one of Shane’s early albums. Look it up on YouTube, the original version is incredible!!

  38. loveoverberg says:


  39. all I can say is wow! "shake the dust", never heard this before, thanks for turning me on to it. Need to start living my life this way!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.