Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Orenda

Great White Pine, Adirondacks


Beauty, these days,
has become elusive.

You look at the picture of
aspens printing yellow hands
on dark snow-capped pines
and think nothing but the headlines—
the thoughts, the thoughts,
the thoughts without power.

The shapes no longer move you;
the stories are leverage
to define your personality to the crowd.
No wonder your dreaming is as
distant and erratic as your pulse.

What would your ancestors say?
They were tired, too, back when
they had but one choice at a time
hanging there smooth before them.

Perhaps their lives depended on
seeing every shift of the wind,
but even so, only some
sat at the foot of ancient council trees
and saw
the other world.

So it's likely that they,
even now, 
are carrying you with compassion
to that hidden spring between the cliffs
that they, too, got lost on,
letting down your broken body
into the healing water 
that moves like a song.

You must let beauty come back to you.
Seep into your wounds and
into your marrow again;
be the word that makes you clean,
that lifts you into its current
so that you're always traveling together,
keeping watch while the other sleeps.

Oh how it still loves you,
even as you lay there half-dead,
undreaming,
having gorged yourself on all
that promises and numbs.
It never stops its search party,
never hesitates to scale the walls of the fort,
break down the great dark door
and spirit you out of your opulent dungeon.

It lives for the moment
you feel its love again,
when you open the gifts
it's saved up for you
all these wandering years.










Monday, November 10, 2014

Labor


There is no light; only morning.
And so I sleep with all my song-churning
organs awake and plotting. They are
for me when all else in my body betrays;
they plan to live, and live hard, this
blind factory that loves you without
protest, even as I doubt the weather I 
ask for.

I scent disaster, charred aims and burst
hope, yet my gut keeps me alive by making
bargain after bargain. It doesn’t matter
what pain is applied to the skin, inside or
out; the vice in my bloodstream meaningless
in the din of work. Can’t you hear it crash
against your psyche in the middle of your most 
troubling dreams?

One day all this faithfulness will see its 
reward in the shape of itself as a winged creature 
no one would expect. And then, like some rare bird, 
it will wake me with a flurry of unspoken reasons 
and carry my trudging heart in its talons 
to the resting place where 
every invisible sheave
is stored.