Incarnation

Bury me in my immanence,
These bones who hold me in,
Under flesh, underground,
Beneath gravity of skin.

What does it mean
To walk this Earth?
What does it mean
When these bodies come to birth?

Immersed in this flesh,
A mirror from below.
Songs echo from the deep
As the child learns to grow.

Each unfolding limb
A living fossil entwined:
The eye of the storm
In the whirlpools of the mind.

Stretch for the stars,
Bury your toes in the sand.
If I look in your eyes
Will you hold my hand?

What does it mean
To walk this Earth?
What does it mean
When these bodies come to birth?

Limber laughter enmeshed
In each step we take,
From these early paces
To final footpad ache.

Walk with me sister,
Walk with me son,
Tread this careful curve
Where multitude is One.

Sing with the clouds
As they cross the sky,
Breathe out all staleness
With a synchronized sigh.

I want to tread this path,
With you always by,
When we play, flow, and dance,
Hold council and cry.

What does it mean
To walk this Earth?
What does it mean
When these bodies come to birth?

Dance this Earth prayer
As long as we breathe,
Bury me in my immanence,
To find joy with all who grieve.

Earth and Sunrise

Psyche in Breath

“Breathing is our very first teaching—a silent teaching—in the way of interdependency, continuity, relationship, giving and receiving. Our first teaching is one of perfect integration, harmony, non-duality. Breathing comes naturally; it is so rudimentary that it requires no action of volition, no attention or thought. But, for that very reason, the wisdom of breathing is the most difficult, and the very last to be learned.”
– David Michael Levin[1]

Do not put a butterfly in a bell jar,
She is no rose.
No still whorl of petals,
No silent standing stem
To be gazed at from without,
To be denied an inner landscape
From within.

What is this translucent glass,
This invisible barring shield?
Does it keep her safe,
Preserve her from decay?
While a rose’s petals will fall,
A butterfly’s soul
Will not stay.

A life’s breath is finite
When thus closed in.
A life’s breath is finite
When one is shut in.
When all the air’s depleted
What new may
Begin?

Each wing beat a breath,
Each breath a wing beat
In her fluttering breast.
Count each beat,
Count each rest,
Count each moment,
For Self begins in breath.

Breathe deep, wingéd soul,
Sing your heartfelt song.
Expand this element
That you are,
Expand your heart
Beyond the confines
Of this bell jar.

Two images I see
When I say “glass blown”:
A shattering crash
Of splintered glass,
As air forces through
And you fly to the
Unknown.

Or softer yet, though dangerous
Nonetheless:
A warmth, a temperance
Melts the glass from within,
Melting out, melting forth,
Melting away
Oh, begin.

Each wing beat a breath,
Each breath a wing beat
In her fluttering breast.
Count each beat,
Count each rest,
Count each moment,
Now Self begins in breath.

Butterfly in Bell Jar

Work Cited

Levin, David Michael. “Logos and Psyche: A Hermeneutics of Breathing.” Research in Phenomenology 14 (1984): 121-147.


[1] David Michael Levin, “Logos and Psyche: A Hermeneutics of Breathing,” Research in Phenomenology 14 (1984): 129.

Great Hawk: Presence, Presence This

Hawk

Emotion held, a breath caught, dark feathered wing-tips,
All rush, all bustle, all anxiety—all suspended.
There is but you and me caught in the inhale of this moment.
Or are you me? Is this suspension nothing more than a pause
A breakdown of the barrier that lies between what I understand,
Between what I understand makes you be you
And makes me
Be?

Dark wings soar, cutting hawk shape from textured sky,
Yet when you appear that sky is no more: merely backdrop.
Gripped between razor claws, your prey—my attention—is caught,
Passing mere feet from this barrier I call skin
You land, you presence, you settle, you ignore, you own,
You own my focus, draw me in, alluring
Me to drop all my life in this moment
Simply
To watch.

Heart beat, heart beat, wing beat, breath,
Heart beat, wing beat, heart beat, breath.
The branch moves, the outside world closing out—
Am I within your envelope of tearing want
Or has that gateway closed?
You shred, you rip, what lies within your grasp,
Talons, razor beak, dark feathers etched with
Beauty, etched with
Death.

Two cries rupture this world into which I gaze alone,
Yet not alone, no more:
Ravens twain disrupt your reign
A pair, a couple, a bonded force, cry out
No!—Do not enter our sacred nest, for which we give our lives
Do not, be not, crisis cries—away, please God
What have you
Done?

Who do you hold between your claws?
How did it come to this? My heart
It beats with desperate want,
Presence, presence this—this moment, this hour,
These days are lost, all brought to focus now
Great hawk, whose heart do you devour
Please tell me, how did it come to
This?

To Have a Dream

I have a dream
I have dreams every night
I have a dream
But these dreams aren’t right
I have a dream

Filled with fear, pain, and death
They strangle my voice
Cut off my breath

I have a dream

Waking dreams are hopes
Visions of new dawns
Unbound from oppressing ropes

Whence is the source
Of this word, dream?
A dual-edged course
An image unseen

I have a dream
Where waking sleep blends
I have a dream
When suffering ends

For one moment upon one day
Each earthly voice is raised in song
Stopping work, ceasing play
Weaving rhythms short and long

The whale, songbird, wolf, and stone
Bear, fish, leaf, and sea
Vibrating Earth with each tone
Until Gaia’s voice bellows free
And the galaxies all hear her glee

In that moment she will be healed
By the hopeful song her children wield

I have a dream
I have dreams every night
I have a dream
But this one we may get right.

Ode to Venus

This poem was composed by the twelve women in my Women’s Venus Circle. Each woman wrote a single, ten-syllable line, which we each spontaneously read aloud when we felt it best fit the flow of the poem. In order of the lines, this poem was composed by Rebecca Farrar, Molly Johnstone, Erica Jones, Becca Tarnas, Elizabeth McAnally, Jessica Garfield-Kabbara, Lydia Harutoonian, Kerri Welch, Delia Shargel, Alexandra Heller, Annabelle Niebel Drda, and Teresa Adams.

In love and beauty we come together:
Clamshell of pink, my heart opens anew,
Curling waves line my heart’s divine life smiles,
Sweet ethereal songs overflowing,
Femininity rising from the sea.
Beloved, touch me in the womb of your night,
My virginity, blessed in love’s embrace,
Heart expanding, stretching thin, welcome pain,
Cupped in your lovely, mutilated hands.
Behold the goddess behind every face,
In your heart, echoes of infinite birth pain.
I love to walk under stars shining bright.

Soul Twins

Dedicated to Matthew David Segall.

I met your soul as the first star was born,
Our memories written across time’s sky.
Our spirits, once whole, reincarnate torn,
But each life I find you I relearn to fly.

You’ve buried my corpse in wildflower fields,
I’ve felt your screams when you gave birth to me.
The fire in my breast, you melt my heart’s shields,
You conjure the breeze so I may fly free.

My northern tower, my cosmic twin,
Two winged souls seeing eye to eye.
Let me be your light shimmering within
When darkness blots out the celestial sky.

I must belong, in order to be true.
Sweet Eros, this Psyche belongs with you.

Photo by Matthew Segall

Ripple of Reality

I went out walking with two friends,
Allured by the sun after long, clashing rains.
To examine colorful splashes upon the hillside
Left by newborn wildflowers,
Or to ascend to greater heights over the ocean
And over our own lives.
To absorb the sunlight into the depths of our skin,
To be nourished by the Mother beyond all mothers.

The time we walked streamed by
Yet towards its end
The beginning seemed long ago.
Sliding along dry, angled paths
Into the heady shade of bay trees,
The temperatures dropping vast degrees
Between spring’s sun and clinging winter’s shade.
Our track narrowed and descended,
Hiding under slippery, silken leaves,
Or widened into the doorstep of Earth’s blood
Splashing among rocks
That bore our weight without pains.

A height ascended, the entrance unlocked
From the corner of childhood memories’ rusty trove,
To the sacred medicine wheel,
Blessed by whom we did not know.
Silence blanketed, but for the wind.
For a time our number separated,
In body and sometimes in mind.
A direct line from my heart
Led to the shady islands on the furthest curve
Of the blue depths
Silently swelling the full descent below.
So high that no straight lines existed,
Each curve led to another,
Circling, circling our world.

As we returned, I slowed, last in line.
Perhaps a passing cloud,
Perhaps a ripple in the fabric of time,
But for a moment the illusion broke.
Or the illusion was made.
The solidity of the green shaded mountain
Fluttered before me,
As if a breeze had ruffled its reality.
My companions did not notice.

As though an invisible hand
Had grabbed hold of the ripple,
The rich cloth of the landscape
Was ripped away
Revealing iron scaffolding,
The true structure of the world.
We walked upon a massive stage set,
So well painted and textured
As to hold the delusion of reality.
The light of the sun, snatched away,
The rich blues of the sky, vanished.
A heavy, brown darkness covered all,
There was nothing to see
But the endless black leagues of scaffolding,
Lit only from below
By a glowing vermillion ember,
The putrid heart of the operation,
Driving it forward
Constantly and endlessly, constantly and endlessly.
My feet carried me onward,
But I held no awareness that I moved.

“Let’s say a blessing,” came a distant voice,
Pressing through osmosis
Into the pores of my lost reality.
“A blessing.”
The vision was gone.
Or, the vision was restored.
I stood between my two companions,
My feet in the clear trickles of a shallow stream.
We each looked up
To a rich monument of calla lilies,
Grown luscious from the spring waters,
Their sacred candles burning toward the sky.
I marveled at their curvature,
Their striving perfection.
I closed my eyes, hoping to be held in blessing.
My inward eye saw two images:
The furnace-driven iron bars,
And the crown of lilies above it.
Can reconciliation lie in this?
Questions flashed and flowed,
Of illusions, reality, layers, enchantment.
I let them sweep around me with the ocean wind,
Through me to my soul.
I opened my eyes,
Finding myself alone
Standing solidly before the flowers.
I looked forward.
My companions had pressed on,
And I wished to follow.

Haikus

Icy tendrils curled
Inside crystalline grass leaves
To await gold dawn.

 

 

 

 

 

Wet bowl of moonlight
Cosmos enlightening firefly
Descending to dusk.

Torrential wind wraith
With thee I vainly wrestle
As Earth’s fowl-weather friend.

What strange day is this
That sunlight penetrates through
A rent in the storm?

I dreamed a story
Composed of flowing blue ink
But most drained away.

 

 

 

 

 

At last I dreamed once,
One recalled moment of song
Behind dark, closed doors.

The loss of soul’s mate

Could never compare to the
Death of this one Earth.
The death of the Earth
Could never compare to the
Loss of your soul mate.

Pain is translation
Despite our wish that anger
Makes not our body.

Embrace depression
It forges the soul’s spliced self
With tragic stitches.

Sweet woven karma
Bear me forth on knotted threads
Propel me to my Self.

 

 

 

 

 

Standing on the brink
Of golden elliptical step
Into crystalline self.

Warm Winter Poem

Wheeling white egrets,
Glistening indigo waters,
A summer breeze misplaced in winter.
Nestled in long, rich, succulent grass,
Watching as the day
Falls away from the Sun.

The Glass House

Lemon-sugar gingko leaves
Litter the hardening ground,
Lingering remnants of autumn past
Line the path inside.
Liminal land set in glass,
Luscious blooms and humid leaves,
A world within, a world without,
Lapping waters, warm air,
Water lilies, lily pads,
Epiphytes and orchids.

Remove the glass,
Ruin the leaves,
Reds, golds and vermillion
Would not bloom here.
Withered by wind,
Wrecked by rain,
Rattled by winter
Without remains.

No.

Let the leaves live on
In their womb,
A lurid womb of glass.
Let the lilies bloom
Without lapse of season,
Moist moss meander
Slowly over slippery stones.