Saturday, February 19, 2011
Monday, April 14, 2008
I turned to face The Word
and as it yielded its wieldy wisdom
on golden-edged page
How dare you speak to me,
with such a tome.
If the world
speaks any message
I will learn it
through cricket's crisp tune
and the herb's potent bloom.
I will breathe in
the moist sunbeams of morning
Sunday, April 13, 2008
You are in my veins again --
Ebb and flow of
steel cold blue.
Desert green on a
dark gray cliff,
Creeping hiss of
white lace foam.
Cliff face chills
my resting bones.
My pulse makes time
with pounding tide,
Familiar drug --
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
We are sitting in the unmown grass in the warm afternoon sun, nibbling oregano, peppermint and lemon balm that grow around a small maple tree. Mr. Waterstone tells me that he has eaten leaves and flowers off every kind of plant. I list things I've heard are deadly poisonous -- foxglove, nightshade, poinsettia. He says he doesn't know about poinsettia, but he's eaten the other two. I want to ask him what kind of trip he had afterwards, but I am too busy absorbing this new information.
I was raised to be afraid. Everything was known to be poisonous, dirty and/or evil, including my own body, especially my own thoughts. The world was out to get me, starting with God, who had me born unholy with Original Sin. As a child I made mud pies in the yard, using ice plant for green beans and dandelion flowers for garnish, but I knew never to put anything in my mouth.
Now here I am carefully plucking a small oval leaf, feeling the bright mint oil wake up my tongue, smelling its sharpness on my fingers. I see all kinds of crawling things among the small stems and leaves, including quick spiders and multi-colored beetles. I forget my dislike of insects as I succumb to the urge to snuggle into the greenness, melting down into the lushness, being taken over, disappearing. The breeze will tangle my hair so that I am woven into the grass, the sun will bake my skin so that I am the color of the soil. My fingernails will grow like roots into the ground, holding fast to deep set rock. My lips, nostrils, eyelids, earlobes will tingle with the touch of the light pulling up, stretching up, thinning my skin into delicate leaf shapes to photosynthesize food to feed my spine that turns tough and woody, lying along the ground like a rope of ivy vine. I will be wildness, free and unafraid in the sanctuary of this garden.
Suddenly I sit up. I was on an errand before I stopped off here. I must get to the bank before it closes, drop off some oversized envelopes at the post office, pick up some forms from the school. My body remembers its form and dimensions as I tense muscles to stand. I say goodbye.
As I drive away, the window down to let in air, my body may be the same, but my mind has metamorphosed just enough so that all the green life I see, I recognize as kin.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Photo by Becca Baugher
When I die, I will let go of a breath I have been holding for a very long time.
The base of my neck will unknot, releasing my fear of error, criticism and failure.
My shoulders will relax, letting go of the fear for my children, for their safety, health and happiness.
My hands will unclench as I stop clinging to my possessions, those objects of use, nostalgia or monetary value that absorbed my attention, whose loss I daily feared.
The small of my back will lengthen, unfurl, finally free of the crippling anxiety of rejection.
My brow will smooth out as the unbearable tension of a world plagued with every kind of crisis no longer belongs to me.
My jaw will loosen, dropping to let fly all the angry, sad words I held onto year after year, the stream of letters will soar harmlessly up to the stars for their amusement, to be remixed as a satire of Life on Earth.
My lips will unpurse, widen into a smile of relief as the last puff of air escapes.
For now, I keep inhaling hope and desire -- the inspiration to continue to live fully with every breath I take.