Wednesday, April 19, 2017

From the day before today

your smile breaks sunsets
into golden dawns
spilling mana
and honey afire
from the rupture
of the promise
of a new day to be born

the rapture of how one heart
can inspire another
to the forced and rusty
mechanical breath
of one inhalation
after another
when to breathe
is more effort
than to not

and the automaton
that has been sleeping
wakes to grind her gears
inside the prison
of the clockwork tower
where she has been the centre
of the working parts so long
to free herself of dark machines
means to wear away her teeth
and then to fall

and how many centuries
does it take for the earth
to reclaim her
to cover her with moss
and let the ripe of flowers
grow up through the ribs
of the steel that forged her bones

how many centuries
until she can give you stems
yearning toward your light
only just to bloom

who says machines don't bleed
when amputation is the only way
that they are freed
and tears are oxidizing glue
that make each movement
too arthritic for the the dance

but when the sun shines
she remembers
this was never where she fit
inside the shadow of the clockwork
of a life of trapped
between the cogs and gears

and somewhere she wonders
if maybe she has a heart
when the music of the sun she hears
does not fall upon the ears
but melts her from the grooves
of where she's been fighting
to extract herself a century's time
or more

and soon the clock will strike the hour
then never strike no more
and the automaton
who dreamed herself a butterfly
will be something in a garden
inviting birds
and breathing without the need
to count the breath
unhinging the fusing of her bones
just to dance
in the honey of the sweet
of the dawning of the sun

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

thoughts from yesterday...

you come to me as the wind
that holds the wings
of the albatross aloft
the music of spirit
the stars have sang with light

but you are also of the earth
the immaculate temple
of the sacred geometry
of molecules that could dream
no better dream
than to manifest themselves
as you--
you the warm and beating earth
and home to celestial being

and all I have sent to dance
was my voice
when earth should be held
between the hands
and honoured with the soft footprints
of a journey toward a journey
and the warm and beating heart
should be touched with
the naked glory
of nothing left to hide

and for my hunger
to reach into the soil of you
I pulled this stone up
from the ocean floor
to pretend it holds the music
that comes only on the wind
just to have a fragment
of some imaginary land
to convince me
that I can reach the shore

and every day I'm drowning
with the weight of its illusion

for you
for the love of spirit
and of soil
today I let go of this idea
of an idea of you
I placed inside
the burden of mirage
and if you would see me
sacrifice this idol
you would think maybe
it is you
I have just let go

when I have only learned
that to swim across an ocean
one must have faith enough
to surrendered the weight 
of a fragment of earth
to reach the earth

and I am forever swimming
to reach that shore

Thursday, April 13, 2017

flailing to find a refuge
in my mind
some place where thoughts
are safe to think
some corner
of light and calm...

would you know how often
I find you waiting there
and that I am no longer
in my head at all
but safely in my heart

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Chocolate Chip Anarchy: I Owe No One Pretty

women around the world
are dying for emancipation
and Facebook is trying to sell me
leggings to compress my ass
like asses are public property
we've been charged with the sacred duty
of keeping manicured
for the aesthetic pleasure
of whoever wants to view

fuck you public aesthetic ass voyeurs
sometimes anarchy and rebellion mean
it's time to eat another cookie

Friday, March 24, 2017

climb down from the shelf
of the subconscious of my mind
an archetype Pierrot
remind me that to be this way
is to know
the difference between the neon
and the stars
and that scars are the consequence
of surrendering the placenta
of glasses tinted all in rose
to step into the truth
of this reality
and that joy is best achieved
in the authentic of really seeing
because anarchy of the heart
is the only cure
to put this nihilism
in its place
and that to wear the painted face
is only the disguise
to keep safe what is too much
to take so much
of this disjointed world
when the price we pay
for the art we make
is to fall through the existential plummet
of the propaganda fail
and the only hope
for love to be what love
is meant to be
is to bring the laughter
to the places
that have often made us cry
and innocence is not so rooted
in the luxury of ignorance after all
but gets it's chance to bloom
in illumination that's reached
in hunger for the truth
where clarity of reality
in the exfoliation of fantasy
is all a part
of how the alchemist
crafts the dream

Thursday, March 23, 2017

sometimes I dream you
like rain
falling on my tongue
sprinkled in salvation
sporadic and random
in patterns of chaos
that calm the mind on fire
and blossom the shrinking heart
that withered in its parched
like the taste of cactus
or the the swim
in the river beneath the river
where these secret thoughts
are quenched
and I am here bathing
only in the idea of you
drinking the words
falling from the heavens
of your mouth
without the time to question
what is or isn't real
because even mirage is inspiration
to step closer to oasis
when it's the sacred
that gets us by

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

let me send this whisper
my voice is hoarse
but let it soften its wings
upon the wind
let it carry what words
are never enough to say
and like a ray of sunshine
who can say which it was
that gathered with the rest
to turn the light to warmth
but let this whisper
humbly flutter in
among all the beautiful
of today
to add its voice
to the music of your heart

Monday, March 20, 2017

the most important moment
isn't the moment
but the moment before the moment

when the bud has opened
its tender mouth
with vulnerability
either to be stung by frost
or kissed by light
before it can fully meet the world

and the thirst that is quenched
depends on what drops
escape between the fingers
and what remain in hand
to make it to the tongue

with fate delegating
every moment
the moment before the moment
and fear choosing
the moments that we let die
and so all that each of us can do
is open our mouths
with faith
and take our blinded chance

Sunday, March 19, 2017

time forgets me
it leaves me behind
so that I am in this dimension
that only looks like here
and all that is really real
is all that is not
and what of me
there is to see or know
is a hologram
projected on the screen
of this reality
and love is not a verb
that holds physical space
but only the light I gather
to dream
and what light I can flower
from inside the bud of dream
with hopes the illusion of perfume
will sometimes inspire
the illusion of beautiful here
and let something lost
but eternal in the limbo
hold my name for just a breath
in the way that time forgets me
but still the inspiration
of the light of love
sustains the beating and the evolution
of the phantom of my heart

Saturday, March 11, 2017

For Richard (the words that came after the breath)

this is not your end
this is only your
the way you taught me
never to terminate the thoughts
with a stop
for playing elusive
and hiding just beyond
the other side

and from you I also learned
all you need is one more try
than every time that you fall down
and that trauma when it catches you
is only the white space
when connection is momentarily paused

but what tells the story
is what we write
in the in between
and look at the story you painted
in life
and in words
inside your in between

and now you are out there
swimming in that cosmic stream
ready to share your gifts
with all who take the breath
and then dive in
to find a story
that they can touch and share

somewhere in that ancient river
I know the generations
will find you there...

Monday, March 6, 2017

I can't count the days
because they are more
than I have even lived
that the distant light
has been all that I see
to believe
there is something more
than this
that somewhere in this world
that disjointed me from its bones
there are places still to fit
warmly in the warmth of flesh
and that this reality
is only an illusion
imprinted on the skin
as a brand
but not the truth of the spirit
and I am sorry
for the darkness I have offered
because I am lost and cold
and that is where darkness likes to go
to find its fit
when all these days
of too many to ever count
I have thirsted for the sun
even in the times that I have dug
the holes
to burry myself from all the world
and the ones when echoes reverberated
like ricochets
that wound the heart again
there are so many days my dreams awake
to watch the light arise
then find the light within

sometimes the peacemaker
is only the composite
of internal wars
they absorb
from the world around them
the cage of their bones
buffer zones
for all the demons
they swallow to appease the calm
and what looks like weakness
is more strength
than anyone ever sees
and the only way to be free
is to uncontain the chaos
and let the casualties be
and the wounds inflict themselves
on everything
that is dear to the heart
because the peacemaker
learns to take responsibility
for what the wager of war does
when there's no other way
to stop the destruction
than swallow its bombs
to keep the innocent safe

Thursday, March 2, 2017

come and dance with me
my light is tired
remind me that the best music
has always come
from the exhausted and the hungry
who know it is all the world
will give
and all we really have to give
remind me that victory belongs
to the passionate
and empowered
not the ones who wield oppression
in the shade of shames
they cannot face
share the Tarantas the gods
have taught you
to keep you strong
on the days the notes have been
the only food
to feed a famished soul
awaken me from the numb of sleeping
to see my light is not so comatose
at all
and it is only my eyes
that carry the exhaustion
of malnourishment of the heart
and that dancing is the truest way
the light of the heart
may be revived

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

wherever your feet
fall when you dream
wherever your gaze lands
when you close your eyes
whatever you seek
when you lay to rest

if I could be there too
it would be as the dew
that softens the earth
to record the sacredness
of your memories
in its skin

I would be the flecks that glisten
on the wings of butterflies
virgin again to the light
and the scent of the mouths
of flowers
opening to welcome them softly
with serenades
of the sweetest nectars
perspired in desire
just to touch the soles of feet
that leave the ground

I would come as the rays of sun
that warm you
and also the comfort
of the shade
that lets you choose
the balance where balance lies
and the grass
and the rivers
and the songs of birds
so that every step
in every direction
and every stop to rest
would answer only beauty

because all we ever really seek
is the answer to ourselves

Monday, February 27, 2017

I am starving
for the taste of your lips

thirsting to drink
your breath

I warm myself
with the dream
of your hands

I come alive
with the sound of your voice
inside my heart

butterflies and birds
are opening their wings
and preparing for flight

somewhere that can't be seen
but still is dreamed

I lay against
the not yet thawing earth
and give thanks
for the hunger and cold
that has taught me
to know
the depth of beauty
to be revered

Creation is my god
but your heart
a sacred altar

I dream to bless this life
with the reverence
of from the earth
and to the earth
the spirits
who somewhere
have opened their wings

Thursday, February 23, 2017

to feel the rivers of life
flow beneath your skin tonight
to remember to be alive
is the gift so we can love
your heartbeat to drown
the chaos and the noise
and all the silent screams
when capsules of tears
get swallowed
like cyanide
I don't want a place to hide
but only a safe place to dance
to the music of your breath
not to forget
but only just to rest
and celebrate
what illusions cannot conquer
and tell you you are a beautiful
until I remember
that I am too
when all the moments
of every dimension
and every time
every smile
and every cry
have contributed their share
to the miracle
that somewhere in the world
there is a light
the darkness cannot blind
against my eyes
and when the dark
has made me tired
still I can close my eyes
and somewhere safe
I touch that light

Friday, February 17, 2017

it smells too clean here
take me to a home
somewhere where the earth
wears the scent
of my grandmothers' placentas

and wayward dogs
and yowling cats
are showering in exhaust

and love made out of nothing
fries over open fires

where music is perfume
with the musk of hibiscus
swelling in its loins

and the sun bakes stories
from the culverts
with the whispers of
the subterranean secrets
of the fermenting underground

and histories chatter
in the bare feet
of the boys who dance
with balls worn to the rough
like their future hearts
driven forever toward
their glory

let me smell the garbage
and love it too
as the sacrifice of sustenance
and memory

give me mangoes
and red earth

and sweat that glistens
beneath the stars

and oceans
that spray the sidewalk
with the temptation
of the adventures that it holds

let my heart not be so sanitized
as this world that carries
the void of poetry
in the lack of its cologne

Sunday, February 12, 2017

the courage for affinity
the heart for anarchy
where seeing is beauty
in alternate realities

if dreams are more than dreams
your path will cross mine there
somewhere east or west
north or south
where we have carried our regions
of joy
across borders
smuggled in our songs

the contraband of unlegislated love
traded in the dark parque
where music brings the light
of interconnection
that is meant
for the human to be human

and streets and continents
and oceans have been crossed
on passports that bear the stamps
of personal emancipation
from the re-evolution
of the natural state
by muses that dance
as much to love
as for the sake
of being loved

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

you and I
we know the truth
of the irony
in waiting on the system
to yield our share
of anarchy
when everything is all
self serve
even if they hide it
from our plates
because it's up to us to take
and up to us to make
our joy
and of course it isn't fair
that gluttony leaves
only skin and bones
the greedy still pick bare
but sometimes the only protest
we have left to give our fight
is the way we dance with our own light
and the laughter we won't surrender
from our hearts
to outsmart their every move
with a way to live our lives
as ours
and the fearlessness in the rebellion
of the anarchy
in how we love

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

we're not the enemies
of the state...
the state of natural being
don't colonize
our minds
with your lines of status quo
if you are quoting
from artificial power
cause now is time to listen
to the power in our hearts
where our ancestors are playing songs
so our descendants
will one day dance
to something more
than this white noise
of this unreality TV nation
because your alternative reality
does not matter
it holds no matter here
in this world of from the earth
and to the earth
infused with all the stars
where dictators don't dictate the scars
only just the wounds that are inflicted
and our anarchy
is in the way we heal
again for generation after generation
and the reality is
it's coded in our DNA
to be the patriots
of the state...
the natural state of being

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I did not choose
the earth that was there
to greet me
as I exited the womb
nor the bullets nor the blood
nor the drought
nor the poison nor the walls

I did not choose the shadows
that met me with the introduction
of the light

the only dream I carried
with me to this world
was to have the room
for this heart
to just be free
to beat

Sunday, January 22, 2017

maybe there's a difference
between knowing the depth of reality
and opting not to play
and being weaned from the womb
straight onto whatever
makes you numb

like wearing sun glasses
in the middle of the night
doesn't hide the dark
nor make you forget
to bring your light

the way injecting glossy mags
and neon signs
keep some from ever waking up
to learn the truth of dark
and that we are here to shine

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Crone's Dance

she shook her ass
no less than seven times
and with every flick of her hips
she created a star
her pelvis intoning inflections
birthing gyrating galaxies
hungry to be filled
with planetary forces
and the insatiation
of gravitational charge
all of this in the dark
to hide the truth
that she was not so sexless
as she had claimed
but a woman
who perspired worlds
between her thighs
invisible on the other side
where she folded quantumly
and disappeared
in the black hole
of their eyes

This woke me up from the first fifteen minutes of kinda deep sleep I got last night. Heard it and wrote it. For whatever reason.  And forgot it until I found it in my phone notes just now.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I cross the desert
without knowing
if you are on the other side
without knowing
if I hold enough years
to barter for miles
for the dream of a quicksilver sun
dancing always from one horizon
toward the next

I wet my lips
with the thought of you
keep my skin from cracking
with the dressings
of your illumination
when you are made of silver
and silk
and I have become too much
this sand
and would not know how
to touch and cup you
if ever I reached oasis
where dream bubbles from the ground
to be tasted on the tongue

while my left hand
is Hamsa
its dexterity only for dream
inside of dream
my right is rough and blistered
from guiding too hard
with these reins
and it can only be the journey
for the journey's sake
without an end to reach
thirsting with the dream
of a destination that comes to seek
the one who seeks to find
to deliver its quicksilver love
as water in a cup 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

sometimes we forget
this place is a place of forgetting
because we are wanting
to remember
and we think that it's enough

and then when the movement starts
we don't always recognize
the rip has come
to carry us
too far out to sea
or if we do we fight
without the strength to overcome
and drown

sometimes remembering
means exiting out the side
of the path of most momentum
to wait for the natural movement
of the moon
to guide us back to shore

Saturday, December 31, 2016

the bells I ring tonight
are the beats of my own heart
and the fireworks
are the smile returned
to the colour of my eyes

a step out the door
a victory dance
and a celebration
not of good-bye
but a song of hello

and the breath of the extra second
a chance to make a sacred prayer
to gift back the borrowed breath
that got me through this year

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

it's all about
the upper hand
when everyone
just wants to touch
the feel of palm to palm
and even those who admit it
for all the fear
of what we can't
control of what we'll each give up
if we dare for connection between the lines
to we
where I never
broke a single heart
where I was never stifled
and you were never cut or smashed
and nothing was ever a game it didn't want to be
where all that was wanted
was the warmth of fingertips to flesh
and caring not to hurt required no strategy at all

Dec 26- morning

he never visits
the same place twice
at least not as the man he was
unless he's with a childhood friend
and even then
where they're going and where they are
counts more than where they've been
and nostalgia is only paper wings
that fluttered once
to make the storm
with the when and where
lost in history
of neither consequence
nor of regard
with the importance of memories
for the making
of the ones they're going to be
and moments for the taking
like alchemists who've learned
there's nothing much
to worry
when the famines
also hold a feast
though sometimes it's OK
to take from the day
not the romanticism
of what it never was
but a little something
that warms the heart
like a coal plucked from a fire
of maybe long ago
to give a little heat
in laughter
to give a little spark
in dream

Saturday, December 24, 2016

12:45 Xmas Eve 2016

everyone's saying
that this was a terrible year
when really it's only
the truth uncovering itself
and information overload
and the baby boom
that's finally caught up
with us

and yeah the fascists
are visible again
and so many prophets
left to the other side
and the climate is starting
to kick some ass
and nobody gives a shit
when it's the brown babies
that do the dying

but 1929
was a terrible year
or 1942
or just about any year
in a long long time
if you live in Palestine

each year will be what it will
but it isn't the year
that makes it that
but rather
what are
we can blame the world
for oppression
but were we freedom
and while we cried
our tears for water
did we remember
we could hit
the pimps of Nestle
where it hurts

and while the heroes died
we have to ask ourselves
were we just dry humping
their ideas
or did we take those wisdoms
deep inside
to gestate an evolution
and are we prepared
to be our own unsung heroes
or just reality stars

if you rose every day
and did one thing
that was kind
if you loved with a broken heart
if you sang for the joy
of the light
if you planted something
to watch it grow
or dropped to your knees
to pray
for an outcome
you may never know
if you found yourself a little more
and learned to be a better friend
this was a good year

the challenges came
from one solar rotation
to the next
and we survived each one

go out into the snow
or sand or grass
and blow a kiss to a star
to give it a wish
in return
because all we needed
of this year
was to make it to this day
for this chance
to be the better world
to love harder
to shine brighter

and look it...
here we are

whoever she is
it does not matter
except that she will become
a little bit the you
I will meet someday

but nothing so big
as to conquer fate
when the gods have already
betrothed us
to synergize the evolution
they have dreamed
for each of us to find

my heart beats steady
my breath is calm
the stars need not be molested
by the baseness of my wishes
and desires

all I could want
is to grow and shine
and today is to do that
here inside myself
tomorrow holds somewhere
the dancing of the light

and whoever she is
that I am now...
it matters
when someday
she'll become
a little bit the me
that will meet you
the gods and stars

Thursday, December 22, 2016

when spring comes
you will not find me
a snow drop in the sea
I have drowned
we all know this is true
but I sank so low
my lungs evolved to gills
that breathed the water
and the ice
until the gills
evolved to wings
and I was born as fire
to hide against the sun
known only by my shadow here
where none of you can find
what's really me
except for in the safety
of only honest dreams
me...the traitor
and deserter of myself
but there was something left
that needed getting out
before it all was gone
so I sent it on ahead
maybe one day
a boy with an apple
or a man with a broken gun
or a poet with spiders
bursting from his lips
to dream the world anew
but probably an old man
with patience he can't afford
or a child
who hasn't learned to see
what's the missing part of me
or maybe just this woman
who was a snow drop after all
until she resurrected
and made her way to free
will find this shadow flower
growing near the shore
to take it in their hands
and only see
the promise that it holds
to bring the growth of light

I wonder
if more people drank
their coffee black
would Tim Horton's
and Starbucks
be so popular
because you have to taste
the truth
to know if what you desire
is really
what you like

as for me
I learned to take
my coffee black
not for any truth
but more because
I never wanted to depend
on what is
or is not on hand
to leave me vulnerable
in my relationship with joy
(and rations I have found
if you aren't too used
to what you're giving up
are always good to trade)

the trick is
to authentically enjoy
and not to do it
of some kind of misplaced
stoic drive

or to enjoy what good
there is on hand
as long as you don't have to use it
to sugar coat
the hard to swallow
to deceive yourself
they're what you love

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

on the darkest day
I sent my red shoes
to the spirit realm
and burned the shame
of a world that says
you must or mustn't dance
when dancing's all
we're here to do
but only when we choose

because the vanity of rebellion
belongs to little girls
when women who are truly wild
wear blue
and those who feel
they owe their beauty
as a kind of sacrifice
can never sit a number out
with striving toward the vain
an obsession to be loved

but in the smoke that danced
I saw one vision
as the Hermit
the other le Bateleur
and so I knew there was an end
but a beginning also too
beyond the alchemy
I dare to let my waking self
know that I have dreamed

so on the shortest day
I set out bundled sage
to welcome back the light
and I danced not because
it is the lot
of girls beyond redemption
or because I could not stop
the desires that have led me oft astray

but for the light I carry in me
and the snow that lets things rest
while one dream shifts
into another
and a woman claims herself
by the music that she plays

The Secret Language of Crows

On the first day the light returned to the sky, a willow of a woman dipped a vessel into a stream. Expecting to be met only by her own reflection, she was startled to find, just below the water’s surface, a strange creature of a drowning man.
         She grabbed a hold of him, fighting against the weight of the current, and haluled him to the shore, where she stripped off his heavy cloak of feathers, and tossed it back in the water to be carried far away to the distant ocean.
         She built a birch bark fire, and dried the body of the strange man with her hair, then wrapped him in it, and suckled him at her breast. And, because she was a great nurturer he soon became strong, his own hair growing long and dark, until it fell to his waist. She took the many thick black strands of it in her hands and plaited it into two braids that hung over his shoulders. And as she made these braids, she wove into them the songs and the stories of her people, so that he could learn their language and always carry it with him.
To show his gratitude, the strange man made the kind and nurturing woman his wife. And because she was a normal woman with a normal woman’s wants, she made him vow to never speak of how he came to the river, either to her, or anyone else
But, often the strange man would walk out into to the deepest part of the woods where he would practice the secret language of Crows where no one else could hear it, just to remember the stories and the songs of his own people.
On one such day a lone Raven caught his notes on the wind. She held no memory of her own kind, but the song sounded familiar, as something she once knew well, but had now forgotten, and so she followed its calling. However, instead of taking her to another bird, the song drew her to a man.
“How is it you can speak my language?” she asked. “You’re a man.”
He turned from her and looked in the direction of his wife’s home, knowing he could not answer, and so he remained silent.
“Please,” asked the Raven, “It’s been so long, I no longer remember, and I want to remember.”
“All right,” said the man who spoke the language of Crows. I will talk with you, but don’t ask my secrets, for I have vowed never to speak them.”
The Raven burned with curiosity, but respected the man’s wishes just the same, and asked no more than to hear the words of her forgotten tongue.
With harsh throaty cries, the Crowman returned the stories of her people to her, and reminded her who and what she was, in the way only like-kind can after alienation has turned the spirit into something strange even to itself.
Day after day she met the Crowman in that same place in the forest to hear him unfold the tales she was hungry to retrieve. But as time turned by, more and more it was the man himself that drew her to come and listen, and not as much his stories. And this made her sad, because she was a Raven, and no matter how strange he might be, he was a man.
Still, the curiosity overcame her one day, so after he was finished sharing his story, she made to leave, but instead, flew by stealth from treetop to treetop, following him home. And there, the Raven watched as a beautiful willow of a woman, with kind eyes like gentle fires, stepped through the door and took the strange Crowman in her arms, kissing his forehead.
The raven could not stifle her pain and let out a jealous and guttural squawk.
Hearing her cry, the man turned around and flailed his arms at the raven. “Go away, you silly bird,” he said in the language of man. “Shoo. You have no business here.”
The Raven flew back through the woods, so heavy with the gravity of grief, she could barely maintain flight. Until she dropped from the sky crashing at the feet of a miner at work near the river.
“What have we here?” asked the miner, dropping his gold pan and picking the bird up roughly from the dirty shore. The Raven’s cries hurt his ears, and he dropped her again, to cup his hands over them. “Quiet!” he demanded, but the Raven could not stop. “Enough of that racket! Now, tell me what’s wrong?”
The Raven fell silent with shock, to realize that she could understand the miner’s words. Through her sobs she asked, “How is it you know the secret language of Crows?”
The miner released his ears and picked up the raven, more carefully this time. “I was once married to a raven, when I lived in the South where I come from. She taught me to speak your tongue. Now, what is the matter with you?”
“I love a man,” cried the Raven.
“That is not so unusual,” said the miner. “You’re not the first.”
“But, he already loves a woman.”
“Ah, I see,” said the miner. “That is also not a first. But, perhaps if you were a woman too, you could tempt him to your heart instead of hers.”
“But I am a Raven.”
“Yes, but I know how you may become a woman.”
The Raven’s eyes brightened with hope. “Please, tell me.”
“First, you must give me three of your feathers.”
The Raven plucked three of her feathers out with her beak and gave them to the miner.
“Good,” he said. “You must now find me a nugget of gold as large as the nail on my littlest finger. Bring it back to this spot tomorrow and I will tell you what to do next.”
The Raven, having an eye for shiny things, searched the river bed and after several hours found a nugget to bring the miner.
“Now,” said the miner, “you must give me three more feathers, before I tell you what you must do.”
The Raven plucked three more of her feathers and gave them to the miner.
“Good,” he said. “Now you must find me a nugget as big as the nail on my ring finger and bring it back here tomorrow.”
“But I have already given you six feather and a gold nugget,” she protested.
“Well…” said the miner turning to walk away from her, “you will be here tomorrow or you won’t. Depends on how bad you want it.”
The Raven returned the next day with a larger piece of gold, only to be asked for three more feathers, and an even larger piece of gold. Day after day it went on like this, but she was no closer to becoming a woman. She filled the miner’s pockets with nuggets, and stripped her hide bare, to no gain, until she had too few feathers to fly, and was left to hop through the woods to keep her meetings with the miner.
“You have done well,” said the miner at last, seeing that she could find him no more gold in her condition. “Before I reveal the final thing you must do, you must come inside my home.”
She followed him to his small cabin and went inside. “What now?” she asked.
“Ah, ah. First, you must give me three feathers.”
“But, they are the only ones I have left. Surely you could have compassion enough to leave them to me.”
“You won’t need them once you become a woman,” said the miner.
Reluctantly, she plucked her last three feathers and handed them to the miner.
The miner opened a large sturdy box and placed the three feathers along with the others she had given him. Then, he locked the box.
“What must I do now?” asked the Raven.
“Nothing,” the miner laughed. “I have waited a long time for another raven to take the place of my wife, and now I have found one. You are no longer able to fly, and I will never teach you how to walk like a woman, so you will stay here and be my wife and loneliness will never visit me again. Now,” he added cruelly, “don’t cry. Look, you have yourself a man.”
The Raven sobbed and pleaded, but the miner had a cold and selfish heart and took no pity on her. Instead, he grabbed her by her throat and snipped the bottom part of her tongue so she could no longer speak the language of Crows. “I am tired of speaking your words. Now, you must speak the language of man,” he told her. But she refused to utter a word.
The miner had been raised in a large and noisy city and as the snows settled in, the isolation and darkness burrowed into the man’s cold heart. He pined for bright lights and loud conversation. The Raven however, was used to isolation and did not fear the dark, as she was a daughter of the North. And so she took her fate of her imprisonment in stride, while she watched the miner pace, growing agitated at every creak the wind played on the old boards of his cabin.
“Speak!” he commanded the Raven, “this silence is driving me mad!” But still she was silent. “Speak, or I will kill you,” he threatened. And still, she showed no sign of fright, believing that in truth, death would be better than captivity. “What must I do to make you speak?”
The Raven pointed to the wooden box and held up three fingers. The miner could take no more silence, so he drew the key from his pocket, opened the box and handed her three feathers.
“I will tell you a story of what happened to the light, this long cold darkness,” she promised. “I will tell it, as it was told to me by the man I loved.” She sat before the fire and waited a long time before she began, unsure she could trust her tongue to continue speaking in this foreign language. “A greedy man, much like you, stole the light from the universe and locked it inside a box, like the one you keep my feathers in, and then he locked that box inside another box, and another and another and another. He locked it in so many boxes, he could no longer remember how many there were, and then he hid the box.”
The miner leaned forward to hear more, “Well...”
But the Raven was again silent. He cocked a hand to smack her, but she did not cower from it and offered no more words. Instead, she pointed again to the box and raised three fingers.
“No,” said the miner and he went outside to check if there was light enough for him to resume prospecting. There was only darkness.
After several days the silence began to gnaw at his sense of ease again, and he feared the light might not ever return again. He asked the Raven to tell him more of the story, of what happened to the light, but she only shook her head and held up three fingers.
“All right,” the miner conceded and took the key from his pocket, opened the box, and handed her three more of her feathers.
“This greedy man,” she began, “had a daughter he loved more than almost anything...anything that is but the light of the universe which he held captive. A raven who knew that the greedy man held the light, saw the daughter and devised a plan to use her to get the light for himself.
When the daughter went to the river to drink, he disguised himself as a pine needle and entered her drinking vessel. Unknowingly, she swallowed him deep inside of her.”
Again, the Raven fell silent.
“Speak! Speak!” shouted the miner, but she would say no more. She held her lips together and raised three fingers.
The miner turned his back to her and went to check, once more, for the return of the light.
After many more days had passed, the miner came to the Raven with three feathers in his hands. He accepted them and continued her tale.
“The daughter grew large and fat and knew not why, until she gave birth to a son that the greedy old man loved even more than the light he held inside the boxes. But the grandson cried constantly. His wails were unceasing, until the man could stand no more and asked him what would make him happy. ‘Oh Grandfather,’ said the raven who lived in the boy, ‘please, give me your boxes.’ The greedy old man scolded the boy and refused, but as the crying went on without end, the grandfather eventually relented and gave the boy the first of the boxes. Unsatisfied, the boy continued to cry, and little by little, the greedy man gave his grandson box after box, until at last he had handed over the final one, which contained all the light of the world.”
The miner was on the edge of his chair by now and begging for more, but his Raven wife fell silent and would not speak.
“Damn you!” he said, throwing his chair at her. “Speak!”
Still, she refused, again holding up three fingers.
The miner cursed her and went outside to look for the smallest glint of sun to illuminate his pan. There was none. Slowly, he lost hope, and despair set in. So he took three more feathers from the box.
“Fine,” she said, taking them. I will tell you more. “When the grandson received the last of the boxes, the trickster raven leapt from his throat and swallowed the light from inside the last box, then escaped into the sky.” And then she spoke no more.
The miner knew by now what his captive wife’s silence is meant. He looked out his window and saw that the light had not yet returned to the sky and grew anxious. “More! I must know more,” he said. But, the Raven shook her head and raised three fingers.
Defeated, the miner took the key from his pocket and withdrew the last three feathers and handed them to the Raven.
“Well,” she continued, “an eagle saw that the trickster raven held the light of the world inside of him, and so he pursued him through the sky. He swooped down on him, causing him to crash against a mountain. The impact forced the trickster raven to cough some of the light from his belly, which bounced off the neighboring mountains and landed in the sky as the specks of stars you see. But the trickster raven would not give up the rest of the light so easily, and again he took flight. As he did, the eagle dove hard into him and he was forced to release a larger chunk, which floated up to become the moon you see at your sill.”
The miner looked to these things out his window and felt assured.
“Finally, the eagle caught the raven in his talons and shook him hard, until the remainder of the light was shaken from his beak and took its place as the sun. The raven broke free of the eagle, but was so injured; he crashed into a river below.”
            She laughed. “But you are a silly fool, just like the greedy old man. This happened many, many years ago. If you were not from the South and so new to this place, you would know that this time, the light is only hibernating like the bears. It wakes in time, if you give it time. Perhaps tomorrow it will open its eye a spell. And now,” she proclaimed triumphantly, “I have earned my feathers back.”
The miner spat on his floor. “Yes, but what can you do with a handful of feathers? Because that is all they are. A handful of feathers. Just as giving them away could not make you a true woman, holding them between your hands can not return you to your former self. You will always be stuck between.”
The Raven was not finished with her plan, however. Later, after the miner had filled his guts with whiskey and beans, and slept too soundly to wake, she found a needle and thread amongst his things and worked quickly to sew the feathers into a shawl, which she wrapped around her shoulders to protect her from the harsh elements outside, and then stumbled out into the seemingly eternal night.
Reaching from branch to branch and trunk to trunk, she made her way toward the strange Crowman’s house, learning to walk with the partial gate of a woman and the part glide part hop of a bird.
When she finally found the Crowman and Willow-woman’s home, she wearily knocked at the door.
“What are you doing here, and what has happened to you?” the Crowman asked her in the secret language they shared.
“I was captured by a miner, and imprisoned as his wife. He has left me trapped between two forms. Please, tell me you can share the knowledge to help me return to the body of a raven,” she begged in the language of man.
“Why do you speak this way?” he asked her, again as a Crow.
She pointed to where the miner had slit beneath her tongue. The strange man kissed her in that place where she had been injured, whispering a prayer against the wound.
The Crowman’s wife came up behind him and took her husband by the shoulder. “Who is this and why do you speak the secret language of Crows?” she asked angrily. She reached for the man’s face and held it firmly between her hands. Looking into his eyes, she saw for the first time that they were the black orbs of a corvid. “I’ve been tricked!” she cried, her own kind eyes turning hard with hurt and shame. She threw her husband into the snow bank and slammed the door shut.
“But wait!” pleaded the strange man. “It is you who tossed my feathers back into the river and refused to see me as I have always been. It was you who made me promise not to tell you who I really was. And,” he said with his voice cracking, “it was your believing eyes that made me a man and I have I loved you for it. It was your hair that concealed me from the eagle. Your breast suckled me and gave me new life. I was always grateful for it.  Please, open the door.”
A strong wind rose up and the snow began to whip and lash around the Crowman and the Raven. Still, the Willow-wife had no pity to take her husband back in, though he shivered violently in the snow bank where he lay. “You,” he said, looking to the Raven, “why did you come here?”
The Raven knelt beside the man, and taking off her cloak of feathers, wrapped him in it. “I loved you when I thought you were a Corvid like me,” she said, as her naked flesh began to freeze. “I loved you when I saw you as a man. And still, I love you now that I know you are even more as I than I could have imagined. I would love you if you knew no form at all.”
The strange Crowman looked now to the door that had been closed to him. He knew it would never open again, and he wept as much for the love his wife had withdrawn for him, as he did for the love he could no longer have for her. From his throat rose a mourning song in the language of man. As he sang it, he invited cold into the empty cavern of his heart, and his limbs began stiffen.
The Raven remembered the song of hatching now, but could no longer sing it for her cut tongue, so instead, she let the beats of it rise from her heart...and really, the hatching song was always a heartbeat song.
 The Crowman let his song fade to listen to hers. He reached up and pulled the Raven close to him so he could better hear the beginning song of Corvids. It was a song he knew, and so as they huddled together under the cloak of her feathers, he taught her how to sing it again, their voices generating enough warmth to keep them both alive.
 As the winds died and the sun awoke from its slumber, two Corvids evaporated from their half-human bodies to dance up into the lights, their spirits as eternal as all that belongs to one sky—belonging to no one and nothing, but each of them hatchlings of the light.    

The End

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

in the darkest hour
comes the return
of the light
when your world has crumbled in
on the vacuum of itself
and there is nowhere left
to go
and imagination has lost
so much remembrance
for the meaning
of warmth and shine

that's exactly when it comes

because turning points
will always feel like endings
if you keep looking back
and the Phoenix is at its coldest
and most compressed
before the shell is cracked
and it is greeted by the day
though somedays
the darkest dark
will come
and the stars
will leave you abandoned
in the night
in the company of wolves

but that's exactly when it comes

and the universe
returns compassion
to the ones who keep on
holding on
for them it brings the gift of light
to rekindle dying fires
and while the eyes
no longer remember
how to not be blind
against the growing
of illumination
they will learn again
to see
because when there is nothing left
the imagination can perceive

that's exactly when it comes

Monday, December 19, 2016

for the times
you anchored my heart
to this place
when I thought
each molecule
would make its escape
into somewhere
where nothing has been

when you held the candle
against the wind
of the tornado
the night the light went out
and the dark fell in

for laughter
that spray painted
the sky with stars
and smiles that rose the sun

for the nightmares
defeated by dreams
and the lost and found
and lost again
you found

for the way
the compass needle
is forever drawn
no matter which way
it is I face

let me send
this gratitude
for the days
you brought the fire
to thaw the frozen
from where it turned
to ice

and give you
love and also light
and what dances now
by its own breath
to make you prayers
of magic
for the miracle
of your heart

when our love got too big
with nowhere to go
it tore a hole in itself
because it could not stop
expanding the way
it needed to
and now it runs out of itself
while I am trying to catch
every drop
with a bucket made of holes
the way phantoms hold
with what they are not
or hold the counter
of what needs to be held
but at least it is out there
somewhere refusing to die
and growing just as large
as it can find the room
to grow
and there's something to be said
for resilience like that

Sunday, December 18, 2016

To Ever Dream Eternal: Or, Let There Always Be One More Impossible Dream to Make Possible...just one more

let the sky remain
too high to reach
keep the mystery for the stars

every time I stand on tip toes
raise the ceiling
just beyond
my fingertips
beyond the too easy
too easy to take for granted

do not let me play
with constellations
but save them
for the places
only my imagination
can ever find

let the clouds fall on my tongue
to dissolve into the light
I carry in my veins
and to my heart
but do not let me pick
a one with greed
like apples plucked from trees

leave the sky one eternity
beyond my dreams
so I will never run out of wonder
or know the limits
of just how high
the flight of magic
can lift my soul

my dreams can dream me
to the heavens
and dream themselves to true
but these feet must never lose
the space to always dance

and the promise
of somewhere that is left
and waiting
to compel me to dream again
beyond the just beyond

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

when we never learn
how to accept
the mystery of the unseen
with our egos whining
like children 
in grocery store lines
sometimes we give them
the empty of what we make up
just to keep them quiet
and then we tell ourselves
those temporary fixes of stories
are truths
and believe those truths so much
when the facts contradict
the assumption in innocent lies
we have told ourselves
we mistake reality
with what is false

maybe the ego needs to learn
it can't always get
what it wants
this life is a mystery
and each of us a story
yet to unfold
and the truth can only be seen
when we recognize
how we've filled in the blanks
so full to the brim
we have left no space
for reality to enter
without having lies
spill out of the cup

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

it's necessary to hide
like when energies come knocking
that operate in negatives
like helicopters in the heart
that promise to take you high
but amputate the stars
from the skies of your dreams

it's necessary to hide
so when they ask if you are home
you lie and say you're not
or introduce them
to the self you aren't
dressed in a hungry guard dog clothes
who is ready for the bite

it is necessary to hide
because that is how you keep
the softness of your heart
because if the right energy
ever comes along
it's good to have something
sweet and tender
left to share

and sometimes
it is necessary to hide
because scars are part us too
but too many get like heavy blinds
or bars
that block out or in the light
and the light is us forever
while the scars are only now

it is necessary to hide
because the world can be cruel
and if you don't choose
what to hold back
it will leave you
with nothing left to hold
hiding beneath the dark
of your amputated sky
behind the prison
of your scars
so that if anyone ever comes
there'll be no stars left to find
and the authentic
of everything you are
will be only ashes and craters
wearing a mask
instead of light and love
and the tenderness of shine