The Clearing

~ Dedicated to Cristina Bevir and SETM.

I’m tuning in to this high intelligence

like a tool, a formula,

a magic wand to integrate

all the misinterpretations

cooking in my stew

of yearning.  I listen

to the longing for love

pushing the envelope,

painting the calumny.

“Bad boy,” my grandson says

with a fierce scowl.

I release the heartache

triggered by his tone.

There is an opening in so-called

reality, a way

to mitigate this ancestral

storm by bending before

its force with curiosity.

Allowing every image,

every buried memory,

my faultless intuition

guides me through darkness.

It is constant, holding

mild and humble

as I witness the great

power of healing.

I sit

and offer my expansive

lap: come snuggle.

As our heartbeats connect

we align to the deeper

places of pure possibility.

Inspired by:  intelligence, calumny, cook and mitigate.

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Take To The Deep Snow

I scare up a sparrowhawk

opening the door

treading through the cold shadows

to emerge into

the kiss of apricity,

diamonds gleaming in the powder

I kick up.  If I were a snow-

suited child, I’d be deep

in the creation of angels

smiling into this bright

sun instead of snapping

close-up photos only

to discover no card 

in my camera.  An empty

gesture on a day

I am out desperately

seeking grounding,

slipping on the ice,

stumbling over the plowed

chunks along the road

until I choose to step

into pristine white

waiting and willing to show

my way.

A cardinal sounds the alarm

followed by a lone crow’s caw.

I search bare branches

to no avail.  Another bird chatters,

perhaps a bluejay

hidden, marking my passage.

I allow myself to feel 

the vital pull

of the earth until 

I’m back in the house,

my intestines clearing

in a rebuke at my attempted

natural healing, or

else this is simply letting go

of all the years of being

a doormat.  Stand up for yourself,

my ancestresses shout,

a dizzying chorus of browbeaten

women, back farther than I can

imagine, rattling the chains

of their servitude to abusive

men.  And I want to,

oh, goddess, so much,

even as I surrender

to my sickbed to lie

cold as a stone

until I rise again

to pen these lines.

Inspired by:  Rebuke, Vital, Apricity, and Imagine.

Bless Me If I Stay Alive

Freezing a waterfall is not…easy, since the water molecules are continuously moving and can therefore easily detach from the bonds holding them together. ~ Ashish

 

When I was 10, I wrote a letter

to my grandmother, seeking

facts about her lineage.

Finally, at 26, over cocktails,

she confessed she’d received

a missive from a maiden grandaunt

upon her marriage, an envelope

filled with family facts.

She’d pitched it, saying,

who cares about this shit?

finding out exactly decades later

reading my request.  Those are

our only two encounters I recall.

Still, I carry my grandparents’ enmity

like this photograph, a frozen

waterfall of immense power

inaccessible to two

drunk teenagers, dismayed

by the arrival of needy

children exposing their own

unaddressed wounds.  Only able

to call for more

alcohol and hatred,

finally repelled like magnets

from each other and the seedlings

their brief union sprouted.

I’ve tested the ice gingerly

to arrive at their trauma

locked inside my own genes,

now demanding I thaw

what has been blocked.

And so under the heat of my

regard, I set out to accomplish

this feat, releasing the flow

of energy to my own

descendants waiting impatiently

downstream.

 

Inspired by:  Photograph, Enmity, Letter and Accomplish.

Title inspired by Bert Hellinger in Looking Into The Souls Of Children, “Behind the scene we…see something else is at work, and the individual is at the mercy of something that does not reveal itself easily…other powers are at work, and the people involved do not understand what’s really going on….Go to these dead…and say to them, “Bless me if I stay alive.”  

Photograph taken 1981 in Queen’s Canyon, Colorado.

Past Currency

Locking up every gift,
they’ve posted a no-trespassing
sign. Fencing in the garden
of eden purchased for a song
from people who don’t
sing the currency, but it was easy, really,
to rip the children from their arms,
cut off their hair and drill
them in the notes
of buying and selling
everyone,
even you.
Especially you.

When I first sat on the stage
watching them file in, some
pushing and shoving for the best
view while the pedophile uncles
and the addicts and the drunks
had their own little party
in the back, I certainly
didn’t want to claim them.

Too many transgressions to forgive,
too much wickedness to see.

My own grandson grabs my hand,
follow me, and we start
laughing through the living
room, on to the kitchen,
a perfect circle, vital
life running through us.

I’ve whispered “joy” three times
in my glass today, raising the vibration
of the water to a healing
frequency even as I observe
the hidden currents, the eddies,
riptides and falls
of this life that carries me.

Any scientist could tell you
this is balderdash, a skein won’t
unravel without a physical touch.
And believe me, I used to sit
patiently pulling out the knots.
Clueless about who we are
and how we are
connected in immeasurable ways,
unacknowledged participants in every
experiment. We push and pull
each other, puppeteers
through the centuries, believing
the man in the white coat
who studies the mirrored calm
of the surface and declares
what is,
even as the currents pull us
into behaviors we could never
explain or even witness.

Recovery begins with our
hospitality, welcoming back
the ones we forced into
the shadows. We step into
our greatest fears, feel
gratitude for this chance
to dance in the current
of vitality, that exuberance
hundreds of thousands of years
strong, ripening into new seeds
we plant in the now.

Stepping back from reaction,
watching all these hidden cords
emerge, the secrets pouring
out as each thread
pops into view, our
compassionate interest
in all the things
that triggered us

in the past.

Inspired by this article about Family Constellations and Addictions, Forgive, Recovery, Gratitude and Hospitality.

Plays By Intuition

So many women in my lineage

had no chance to grieve:  

file that in the DNA

and hope for someone like me

to open

a container big enough

to hold the river of sorrow

without being swept away.

Precariously crumbling footholds

where I patrol.  In the darkest hours,

often forgetting who I am,

losing my light,

peering into the rising

waters crashing below me.

The lineage-trauma breathing

through me, and I’m pondering

madness, defined as it is

by people who know

the control of the narrative

is imperative.  I mean, I’ve been 

the pinball

racking up impressive scores,

slamming into an obstacle

and triggered into flight

only to hit the next

target, over and over.  

Is my age

showing here? Does anyone

play pinball anymore?

Such a counterintuitive move,

to simply relax, falling

past the electric shocks

into the drain. 

Not in this society,

missy.  You stay in the game.

All the rules defined by 

the people who need

you to be distracted

when your rage ignites.

Look online, track the

spiky statistics to determine

who likes you.  The days

spinning, whirling, sick

until the sleepless night

claims you

and dark thoughts lead you

once again

to the steep cliffs of despair.

Inspired by:  Madness, Spiky, and Ignite.

Siu Yin

According to the urban dictionary, Siu Yin is Cantonese for little swallow.  It signifies that wherever you are, you can always find your way back home.

We try to scrape off the dirt

from our inception

as teens, denying our roots,

caught in the pursuit

of autonomy, anxious

to wash away any trace

of the entanglements

we struggle against.

Give the finger.

Raise the fist.

Caught in the web

we glimpse its ominous

glimmer in just the right

light.  And the old ways are lost

so we talk suspiciously

of conspiracy, puppet masters,

seizing the perspective

of the powerless victim,

the one that keeps us in

resistance, or medicated, lost

to the dark secrets

of the new moon

invisible before us.

We splurge on a temporary

pleasure, paying interest for years.

And then we are old

and learn to relax — at least,

those of us who have crashed and burned

in an almost fatal crisis —

into the abundant universe

unfolding in slo-mo.

Subtle beauty available always

under the structures of the prison

we build so industriously,

tumbling into bed

exhausted, our only vision

the next layer of walls we can

erect come that nebulous

teasing tomorrow.

 

Inspired by:  Dirt, Inception, Pursuit, Splurge.

If I Were You

But I am you

and each distressing dispute

this black and white thinking

us versus them

good versus evil

you versus me

gifts

so subtle

I must bend and bow

to examine the crushed

twig

like a gleaming arrow

in my narrow focus.

Pointing to salvation.

Salvation, the name of

the highway

it has no end

scenic byways

and hypnotized trancewalks

labyrinths of awareness.

I’m aware that my sanctuary —

long-cultivated isolation

arises from fright

a deepdown certainty

that if you couldn’t love me

it is because at the root

I am 

— oh, god, those harsh hands

those wicked words

when I gathered all the shame

and locked myself 

into the place bad girls

must go —

not worthy.  

A reprisal handed down

through generations

of cowed children.

We rise up

from the earth like waves

the particle we inhabit

seemingly separate

in this one sunlit moment

our chance to sing

praises 

to the skies

muttering I hurt

you hurt me

hurt us

us

hurt

 

Inspired by #OctPoWriMo Day 13: If I Were You (suggested form, blitz, but I chose a different way.  Go figure!)