25 November 2011

This Is The Ground On Which We Meet

you mended
with thread of spider silk
where you touched me
they were opened
until they closed
they were reconciled
without their arcane names
and then you burned
you burned from a dark heartwood inside
your seedself bringing forth a fire
all white-hot and silver 
and like the heavy
perfumed fingers 
of cedar boughs
you burned in your thriving deep green
breathing blood
your sweet-water rain blood
your blood of tall trees
whipped and whistled
in its own storm
no way to stem your flame flood
no wish to stem your fire tide
not even a moment’s contemplation of stemming this
and as you burned
my skin shone
like a plucked harp string
in a stone-silent night
and as you burned
my skin scalded
in exquisite vining patterns of yes
and as you burned
my skin was a silken shred of dove-grey ash
and I shed it
in a new direction

One Of Her True Colours

There was a time
I really thought your flight feathers
were black
as stone-carven sphinxes found in caves over the mighty Nile
Now I see differently
because you have stood
between the sun and me 

just enough times
to let the secretive old earth magic in your hair 
reveal one hundredth of its mysteries
I have seen you wear Sun as your crown 
and you should know that in your coronations
brown does a thing it rarely does

it shines

Tangled through your hair and eyes
your face and fingers
fragile threads and rich veins of brownest brown 
wave their way
The same brown that pools in shadows
of heroic serpentine roots
of the cedars that line our river
standing witness to the passing
of storms fish squeaking children
owls ravens rolling stones
Seen against years of summer’s best and most shattering light
you show the brown of cedars
who stand with their shoulders touching
listening to the passing by
of all the waters of the sky
and their brown trunks rise
in praise of the passing of everything
through the clear brown bed of life

Raven Queen Flies From Mountain Mother

A raven queen, her dark eyes are that bright.
And she drips with golden workings of far and long-gone fingers.
Her mind turns toward things that catch light, 
and if she can’t collect them, 
she makes them.
I know there are gleaming obsidian feathers 
under her shape-shifting 
or river 
or tide 
of hair,
but I haven’t caught sight of them yet.
Today was the first day I was to see her fly, so I waited for feathers.
But she chose humming white wings to wheel over waves
toward a maze of pharaonic towers that glimmer 
in their rows 
and rows 
in the rain.
She will land and prowl for splendid things 
in the dirty shadows and eerie reflections.
In her wake, I am dealing with this mountain, 
rising as she does
in her tawny skin of sodden maple leaves.
I labour, a negligible creature creeping around her knees and feet: 
her apron of trees falls low down her shanks, 
yet it is high above my head.
Much protection here, many sheltered ways, much softness, much to drink.
So secluded not even the sun with his golden white eye can find me
and my ankles want to turn themselves over 
to maroon me here 
for longer 
than I will give 
And they have plenty of excuses for their willing stumbling.
The rounded stones have been bathed in rain so long. 
They gather in slippery herds to slumber.
The trusty paths are full of talkative water.
The moss, 
almost invisible in its meek green blanketing grace, 
sweetly drapes more rounded stones 
to show the world 
their lowly, curving ways.  
Moss gives way most obligingly.
I don’t think she watches me, 
she may not even feel me, 
the mountain woman.
What with the immense emptying of rainrivers over her lips
and their white down-pounding on her lap stones, 
why would she notice that her fierce breath lifts my hair from my face 
as I stand and look up 
at one of her faces?
What with the bounding pulses 
of a thousand streams 
from her thousand hearts,
how could she feel the slow, slipping dance of my faltering feet?
What with the running and racing and tripping and trickling 
of worldwaters down her shins -
skirting nurselogs 
floating fir cones 
between ferns 
through mushrooms 
over roots 
right into my shoes,
how could she know anything but this pouring forth?
I emerge from under the last threads of her skirt: 
tiny trailing swards of moss and grass.
Unseen by any but me, out I crawl.
Out onto her bare stone toes where she dips them into the sea.
And still she covers me from the bald, cold sky.
She holds me here. 
I will not fall up into that space.  
And it will not come for me.

18 November 2011

People's Mic Speech

Repeat after me
All I can see
are seven billion 
heart-beating, people-shaped reasons 
Please repeat after me
All I can see
are elephants wondering
if they can wrap their noble grey heads 
around the idea of offering
their superior mourning rites
to the almost-buried dreams 
of us,
their small, lost, two-legged cousins
Oh my people
repeat after me
All I can see
are trees rooting in the mouths of rivers
rivers pouring from the hearts of mountains
and mountains patiently checking their watches:
when will they GET IT TOGETHER?
Repeat after me, why not?
We know full well
the time has passed
Well before our births
The time to lay it all down
Lay them down
the sword and shield
VISA card remote control
the tax-cut lust
the make-them-pay-in-blood-lust
Repeat after me
and make it loud
This us and them thing
it’s the worst lie 
we ever agreed to believe

And repeat after me
It looks to me
like a whole lot of us
are really wondering
why we ever agreed to need
to divide ourselves
and conquer each other
maybe not a whole lot of us
But more than a few
Possibly just enough
So please repeat after me
and tell me if you believe
that enough of us
have had enough