Naming What Counts

I devised my first pedigree chart

when I was 10, a project

in the Camp Fire Girls

which promised a bead

upon completion. I collected

these colorful wooden signs

of accomplishment with ardor,

sewing them on a felt

vest, so proud of its weighty

importance when I donned it every Tuesday.

Of course, a chart of ancestors

is never done, reaching back

into the mists of time.

It only dawned on me slowly,

the deliberate erasure

of women who bore all these

children blessed with their fathers’

names, while the one that proved

her bloodline was lost.

Here lies Jane, loving mother

and daughter. She gave up her

identity for food and shelter

graciously bestowed by her father

and then her husband. Her mother

doesn’t really matter, let’s forget

about her. Disappointing tombstones.

I have spent so many hours

meticulously searching

through church records, birth certificates.

Determined to find the hidden branches

of my family tree. While all around me,

cultures still swallow women’s identities,

insisting that it is a sign of true

love to abandon a birth name.

My inheritance from the patriarchy

is not worth

mentioning, dirty paper crowded

with archaic words and arcane symbols.

The matriarchy is where the true power

resides, the creative womb,

infused with nameless

magnetic vibrations. That inner stillness

inside beckons us to the truth,

as we unwrap these trappings

and escape the incessant myths

designed to enslave us,

and free ourselves to love.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: pedigree

Travel Guide

“Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.  They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.” — Terrence McKenna

His talisman is a magic mushroom,

the portal to the multiverse.

He’s given up the zombie existence

of constant consumer deadends,

in search of naturally occurring mystical states,

the kind the State doesn’t allow

its obedient citizens to experience.

He diligently searches cowpats

for Liberty Caps, aptly named

for once tasted, a new vision of life

reveals the light and color and love

pure as nature, so lacking

in our uplinked whirling plugged-in

hivemind.  She sips Ayahuasca tea

to enter the supernatural world.

Their mythic journeys bring them back

here: the return of the hero

to a land with no words

to describe the unity and connection

so basic, the foundation of our being.

Do you remember when they burned

witches, clearing the way for doctors

with unwashed hands ushering in

dreadful epidemics?  Do you remember

when they harnessed the wild

woman, and seized her fatherless children,

imposing the patriarchal names?

Suck up the creativity, fuel now for

this brutal oppression.  Most likely

this topic was never addressed in the his

story permeating this sacred space

like fog covering the easy entrance

to the other side.  Now you must painstakingly

sift through the detritus

from these burdensome laws whose intent are

to cage you

and keep you enslaved, passively

running the machines and paying taxes,

unheeding as your powerful soul

reaches for the tools to break free

and create a new reality.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: talisman