January 1, 2023
Almost two years ago in a What a Year! blog post I expressed my response to the systemic abuses and injustices that were (again) thrown into the spotlight by the murder of George Floyd, and to the reality of our interconnectedness within the web of life on planet Earth that the COVID pandemic reminded us of.
At that time I longed for a form of expression that would include "the dimension of dreams, and all that is present outside of consciousness ... including pathways to some kind of new language, one that doesn't pass through the wringer of consciousness, so subject to censorship".
Although the longer poems here are quite intense, and there is pain, these are poems of hope and healing.
and then and then and then
into the well
of your being
until you find yourself
When you’re there,
and you'll know
1 000 001
(sometimes it takes a while)
oh come on!
but I’ve already told you a million times
it’s much easier thank you think
like Oscar said
be yourself …
all the others are taken!
EVERYTHING REMINDS ME OF SOMETHING ELSE
Pushing through the fog between the worlds,
Blood bones, muscles, heavy
Reluctantly, I accept the invitation to a morning walk.
Eyes, squint, bright sun. The air on busy Broadway, full of exhaust, and I am in Pokhara,
more than 40 years ago,
early morning, diesel bus,
and the surprise
of a girl, swinging by the roadside
small, free, held by high cathedral
of thin branches.
Do these flashes come because I
am scattered, can’t be in the moment?
Or, one day, will this moment
open up, and everything will be here
all at once,
because it is.
WHAT IS IT?
Say, one thing
Who do you think you’re kidding?
Truth seeps out
Out into the world
You can’t hide it
Underneath all our pretending
We humans are
Exquisitely sensitive beings
We can tell the difference
I dream that a tall man is standing almost
hidden in a nook behind a door
there is Light, subtle radiance
And that “Help Me”
That echoes my father
drugged to “comfortable”, comatose,
on his deathbed
Who are you? I ask
With a kind smile he lifts his long arm and points
down a corridor
I see a bright door
Just go straight down there and keep going,
you’ll get to where you need to go
Then he’s gone
My mother and I at his bedside
As soon as she leaves the room for a moment he rouses
eyes open in his fevered face
his pupils piercing
black pinpoints laser focused on me
I stride off down a corridor; it’s dim, not much light
wood slats pattern the walls
At the end of the corridor there is no bright door, there is no exit
No problem. All corridors must lead to that door, one way or another
I turn a V-shaped corner and walk, but at the end it is again blocked
Turning a second V-shaped corner I walk, only to find myself back where I started
But I don’t understand
So he has to do it himself
Months later the doctor in charge tells me that
when they took my father for a final attempt
to insert one last tube, in his stomach,
tied his wrists to restrain him …
In the operating room, he mustered formidable force
broke free and
threw himself off the table
his heart stopped
“We did not attempt to revive him”
I am trapped in a triangle with no way out. It’s getting darker. I lie down on the floor
Pushing the words out takes all my strength:
I wake up and hope my words have not disturbed those around me
But this waking up is into another dream.
This truth then stood among us, we three
a naked moment in which together we felt the gut punch, the pain
but also, unbidden, we honored my father
his courage, his awesome strength
Later that day I meet with my Triad
A special group where we share the secrets
of our becoming
As I tell them all this, I begin to see the triangle
as a hopeless competition with my two sisters
no way out
I could not help him then
But this, finger reaching out towards outstretched finger
connection is made
(the container is everything)
1. Ancestors arrive
Roar of the Ancestors arriving
offering their Power and Protection
speaking their Rage!
2. Slave bracelets
Beautiful, vulnerable on the glowing screen
she shows us slave bracelets that were recently entrusted to her
In Calabar in 1505 a slave could be bought for 8 – 10 bracelets, an elephant tooth, for one
HEAVY metal bracelets
too heavy for her heart to hold
“it’s not the bracelets” … it’s not just the bracelets:
gently . open . heart gate … gently!
some fear flies out, away
* * *
she brings us the bracelets, in person
so HEAVY (don’t touch)
even to look at, heavy; surface
bitten, mottled as by acid or time or Earth
We are many, starting to feel as one
our space Is sacred
we create an Altar, bracelets are in the middle
She carries the bracelets
up the center aisle
dressed in white
holding the bracelets like doves of peace
an invocation, a blessing
May their energy be a force for Good
We are convened before the Altar
words of pain and power
One dressed in robes: Conjures, speaks to spirit, energy focused
(Bring me a scarf to cover my hair; Thank you, no, it must be white; Thank you}
“I have been asked to speak in my own language, and to bring ceremony …
but now I cannot do that, because of Ceremony
I must speak in English because everyone must understand”
Earth from here, I plant a new seed
hold this water with two hands
the air thickens
strong flick of wrist and hand
You sit here
the Colonizer kneels
saying this with love and appreciation,
because you, though you are Colonizer,
have done, and are doing good, bringing healing
White-clothed head bends, left hand on forehead, right hand outstretched, fingers spread
it will come to you, to each of you, what you must do
To all here: let us acknowledge with gratitude this container
never underestimate the container
the container is everything
And finally, a different Voice
Gentle, having been broken
broken loved ones ...
A brave, gentle, invitation –
Dance with me!
Dance with me to MY music
heal us all
SOMETHING GOOD HAPPENED
(leaving me with the next puzzle)
I turn into
a bad dream
Cutting me Open
they are going to
They want to drug me
I say No!
I want to be present for my death
or whatever comes
I am TERRIFIED
I clutch as a drowner
I have been training in what to do
Engage your mind
THIS IS WAR!
I’m not giving up!
I CAN do it!
I wake up – still frozen
in the heart of me
I am dissociated … there is
my frozen body but
my mouth is speaking
Peter, a bad dream!
I want to escape run hide
I feel the pull – strong – leave now!
I deep talking
and guess what
I talk myself out of it
I become a whole
I go back to sleep
there are huge beautiful
snow-white many-petaled lotus flowers
when I awake I can
still see them
but I worry
Is there and insect in the heart of that flower?
what does it all mean?
SECRETS SAY/NOT SAY
What is it about secrets?
Staying inside they swell
all that energy
to keep them from escaping
a sigh of release
what a relief
that’s when I trust you
feel that you love me
But if the conditions are not right
woe is me!
shredded on the network
of tiny swords
that separates out from in
no choice but to dig a deep hole
all of me becomes
Wouldn’t it be nice
if somehow all those dividing walls
networks of tiny swords
that keep the secrets in
All of everyone’s secrets
greeting each other
long lost family
in a love-filled world