Sometimes we’re living in science fiction. Sometimes it’s more like a Borges story.

[I used to publish my non-devotional poetry on my LiveJournal account, but their recent TOS changes make me unwilling to do so.  Until I figure out whether I’m going to bother with Dreamwidth for anything other than reading others’ journals, I’m going to post it here when I feel so moved.  Honestly, since I dedicate all my poetry to Brigid, none of it is actually non-devotional…]

Inspired by this article from Atlas Obscura, I give you:

Uncharted

In some wind of internet terrain,
A program waits, patient, bits
Ticking over.  The glass turns, algorithms wake-
Random bumps appear, are eroded;
Meticulous calculations churn for
Ninety seconds (geologic ages in server time),
And maps emerge- mountains looming over valleys,
Coastlines carved in with bays and capes,
Islands jewel-scattered across oceans.
All this done in hand-drawn style,
Fantasy-labeled with names hinting of
History and deep language, fit for the
Endpapers of novels.  An atlas
Building itself from water and topography
Every hour- and the rivers always reach the sea.

She also rules hearth and home

I dream of the bones, risen ghosts
Flitting fitful from longer poems,
And wake to a more concrete set
Of tasks, still given by Her.
The heart-deep fires She commands
Are also hearth-warmers, and do not
Light themselves.  So, to, inspiration
Leads to a stropped blade, then the sting
Of onions chopped to sizzle, and lay
The ground for alchemy of oil and spice,
Meat and sauce. Her candle burns in the glass,
Casting a blessing glow on the pot
Bubbling slow, transforming, as water
Soap and scrubbing set right the aftermath.
Now only to wait, stir and taste, and let
The spell of sustenance unfold in time.

  • 1/22/17

Esta Noche

Something inspired by our recent trip to Oaxaca for Dia de los Muertos:

Esta Noche (Atzompa Cemetery, Hallowe’en)

The carnival chaos beyond the gates
Fades to candle-flicker, marigold glow,
Copal and mezcal wafting in the air.
A quieter bustle reigns here, under
The pulsing music. Solemn watchers
Everywhere you look- reserved but
Not resentful of us interlopers. Children
Drowse graveside, couples cuddle, and
All around the dead flit, catching at
The corners of our eyes, like the fleeting
Glance of a painted face, skull brought
Briefly above the skin.  We find graves
Lonely, less tended, light candles and
Place them in reassurance: no one,
No soul is left alone tonight.

 

Poem for a friend

Sometimes Brigid has me write poems for specific purposes, or for specific people.  This is one of the latter cases; a good friend who is also one of Her children is going through some rough health issues, and found out that there is a deeper level of work going on…

Hammer and Anvil

Lady, never let me forget that
Your flame is not solely set in the
Heads of poets, or lies within the coals
Wakened from last night’s smooring to
Joy on the hearth.  It also dwells in
Your forge- trying our metal, forcing it
To glow red to yellow to white to
Be seized and beaten, spark-showering
On Your anvil.  As You hammer, I only ask:
Make pure my steel,
Make true my blade,
Make keen my edge,
And grant me, in Your mercy,
Quenching in Your well.

Many or One

Many or One

Her hand turns, the wheel (Her cross) spins,
And Mystery revolves into view.  Many Faces
Of one Power?  Many Voices in one Choir?
I do not, cannot know.  All I can say is:
Each Name- Healer, Warrior, Muse, Midwife,
Smith, Hearthkeeper; Exalted and Keening,
Flame and Well, on and on into mist and flicker-
Is unique, yet each is also Brigid.  No
Choice of mine which way the chance falls,
But Hers to decide; the road of approach,
The easy and the hard paths all are
Hers in this; and if after I pass from Time
To Her embrace I am indulged by Her and
She chooses to whisper the riddle’s
Answer to me, that’s enough- I will wait.

Word sonnet for Simbi Andezo

Galina Krasskovka recently introduced the concept of word sonnets on her blog.  So I decided to do one for Simbi Andezo:

Simbi Andezo

Waters
swirl,
salt
and
sweet.

The
serpent
waits
between.

Sometimes,
His
eyes
meet
mine.

Poem for Brigid

A little context here: in the second act of the Washington Christmas Revels this year, the “Forest Queen” led the other women in the cast in a piece dedicated to Brigid:  they created two symbolic wells on stage, with a lantern in each.  All the women were veiled and had crowns of lights; they were singing Hildegard von Bingen’s “Ave Maria”.  My spouse later asked me about some detail of what they were doing on stage, and I replied, “I can’t help you… I was having an ecstatic religious experience.”

They lay out two wells in cloth, on stage;
Two lanterns candle them, and suddenly
Her eyes regard me.  I am caught up,
Unstuck, suspended in the tree-trunk,
Lightning-stroke connection of flame and pool,
Of land, sea, and sky; the long lines of
Singers, veiled, light-crowned, pass by me
Down the aisles, and all I can do is ring,
Struck by the voices, the light and shadow;
I peal out in my mind: praise, praise, praise,
And hope I can do my tiny part to pulse
Her peace throughout the world.

 

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