I’m just getting used to the old guys next door
They sit on the back porch
drinking and talking
I can’t decipher what they say
not understanding southern
but it’s not too different
than a murder of crows
across the street
two fire trucks
three cop cars
and the paramedics
blue and red strobe-alicious lightning these guys like to announce their presence
Should I move my car?
Alcoholic James gives diabetic Eddie
Someone calls 911
sister June lover of cats and brother Eddie
comes in and slugs room mate James the neglectful
and the cops stand bACK
a broken hand for June and Eddie’s on vacation for a night
James better hide behind that tree.
Bella and me
sitting on the stoop
eating homemade popsicles
strawberries, yogurt and SUGAR
(a little bit)
It’s a RED car day!
a few silver ones sneak in
but the red cars have it that day
to bury us
in the knotted masks of tall grasses
before setting fire to the cairn of chaff
as seeds of light
as we were
are gone forever
I am here to witness
through my own flesh
I want to thank my fellow traveler, Geo Sans. Even though it is a solitary journey, no one goes alone.
Four years from the memory of water
as you bake cookies
Your pensive industry concentrated, I
by the gray distances you favor.
In our own ways
we are both tempted by sweetness.
I have already learned to adapt
to the rhythms of living in the abstract.
not being within the code
of your weather.
So when you are busy elsewhere
I look in the cupboard
one cup of sugar
intending to make the earth
dirt sugar water
seeming the perfect alchemy
baking all afternoon
on an old tin
in the white heat sun oven
off the porch
The flower swollen and car exhausted air
I gasp in the embrace
When it is time
my cookies still
taste like dirt.
But I am less interested
in this wounded conjunction
than the fine film
that covers me.
Down on my knees crawling through the blanket flap cervix
the intimate waves of heat are in transition but I am ready
even though I’m ignorant and forgetful of this raw intricate birthing
Sweat rides my body in rivulets a waterfall’s surrender
I’m tense, but with senses trusting,
I watch the cindering stones as they concentrate
with love and arrogance
I circle the entrance to myself
and follow them in
The speed of the stones passage to dust
unravels my retread knowing
as their elegant sacrifice eclipses the barriers of skin
and feverish memories collide zig-zag
unable to escape my hollowed mind’s eye
I am everyone pouring through my clearing eyes of perceiving
long occluded by the fallout of the human conceit
where even nature forgets her balance
when time has a mind
Vapors are rising from holy herbs full of grace
Still, the undead congregate here like moths to our pain
every one, I’m learning, has a place in line
and I am naked and grateful on my knees and finally present
almost touching heaven
in the wasteland.
A little autobiographical note….While living intimately on 14 acres situated in the poorest county of NY State during the last decade of the past century, I had the opportunity to participate in monthly sweat lodge ceremonies. The first was on a cold February Sunday…18 degrees outside. I began this relationship with the sweat lodge ceremony after hearing about a local man of Seneca lineage facilitating the sweats, who was being trained by a MicMac Elder from Canada.
During the course of this relationship, through my personal experiences of the sweat lodge and fasting with the Elder, I explored my own personal healing from trauma and our relationship with Divine Nature. These sweats, and all I learned during this time, were only the beginning of this journey.
I’m grateful for the safety made possible and the care taken by the lodge keepers and most specially to Divinity for answering my questions and challenging me to ask more.