5 November 2012

Three Poems for Gabrielle Roth: 3, Because


Because of you
my power is not wandering
like a lost child on a crowded street 
without a hand to hold
unclaimed ashamed
small fists balled up tight
eyes terrified
to look into other eyes

And because of you
my power is safe with me
where it belongs

And because of you
there is not a two-legged hole in the shape of me
in this world
and my life is not missing its heart

And because of you
I reach from from the cast seed of my pulse
I reach from where I’ve been thrown down rhythmically
in strands of heartbeat
to the soil

Because of you
I reach from the seed of my pulse to the light
and I grow greener

And I do believe
I do believe
I do believe

that my fruit will fall very sweet
back to earth
when the time comes
for falling


Three Poems for Gabrielle Roth: 2, To The Problem Thief


Gabrielle,
You have robbed the problems from my mind

I am left with me
and with life

My pockets are empty of spare problems
I’m sorry I have no problems to share with anyone today

You make me laugh every day
at my problem-less state
It’s like throwing out your television,
all this time
all this joy 
all this self,
what shall I do now?

No really the safe is empty I’m not joking

Since you burgled me,
silent as a hunter’s wing,
in your black feathered crown 
with your wise thieving fingers,
I’ve got no piles of problems to count

And since I am breathing
and I woke up this morning
again
and there was breakfast for my family
and they are 
not
in
pain
my hands are empty
and free to fly with you

And my laugh has dark flight feathers now too
and my beady eye gleams a lot more often
and my appetite
is so healthy

I am refusing to be bored with myself
and the ordinary is always getting my attention now
because it is perfect

The ebony beads of the ordinary count the days
clicking one by one
to make my rosary of plain old moments

Together they make my 
mad
imperfect
delicious 
slapped-awake dance

I wear your problem-thieving finger marks on my cheek,
where you slapped me awake

And my warrior paint,
the stripes I earned from you,
they are permanent

And I send my blood-tipped arrow
into your sky,
straight up

See me crouched here in my Amazon squat

See my Artemis neck craning my skull 
to hunt your shadow
as you cross the moon again and again,
making your spider’s web over her face,
spinning me a bull’s eye to aim for

You call my sharp gleaming truth from my bow
to stand
and to deliver


Three Poems for Gabrielle Roth: 1, I Have Been Taught


The sacred mountain
let me crawl on him today.
I scrabbled up his toes where they spread wide,
twining with the river's emptying fingers.

Crawled, all the while looking up.

Looking for his several
serious and patient faces of stone,
I entered the shallow earth-veins
that trace his shins and thighs.

I crept under
his thick-woven robes.

His layers and layers
of tufted green needles 
and tissue of gold leaf
hung in hush,
still as stars.

And the birds
and the creatures
stayed cupped in his dark folds
and held their wondrous tongues.

Looking for love,
I stopped to pant a little
and saw my feet
planted there on his brown belly-skin.

Plain grey and humble and palm-fitting
was the little rock heart
he rolled onto my toes then
when I stopped there to breathe.

Looking for more
from the heart-shedding mountain,
I kept walking.
Asking for eagle vision.

I took the beautiful way up.
I took the way that is steep.
I took the way of following the falling edge.

I padded up his great shoulders
that disappear in heroic verticals
of mountain chest and mountain heart.

This is the way I've been taught:

Trace the climb with sweat running over your heart.

Follow the heart's needle
right over the magnetic edges of known ground.

Spread the chest bones to the thin air
of what's left to breathe
when your fistfuls have been released.

This is the way 
I've been taught
to learn 
to see.

And so I followed my feet all the way.
Up even the sharp ridges of his cheekbones
I followed,
and there it was.
The best sight.

The best dance floor,
where I can walk in the grey and the blue.

Where I can be close neighbour and kin
to the black-feathered whisperers -
the sun-bringers, the shadow-wings.

Today they made their chuckling observations,
as usual,
and their splendid thermal acrobatics
were not withheld.

They made their sky-carving invitations
to nudge my breath into flight.

As I have been taught to do
at the Cliff of Raven Dancer,
I was seduced
into selves
that were waiting patiently for me

and into 
the oneness
the great oneness
that is faith itself.