this massive rage (poem)

(read on adult ISH podcast)

as we move closer to the elections
again we have to contend with
how much we will play the game
showing up and waiting in lines
people of faith as we have had to be
and always been
and really what other option is there
we come in droves
we speak amongst ourselves
if we love ourselves we know
which of these men has less tulsa in their blood
which of these men doesn’t long to see us
below deck, below branches, below the unbearable weight of them
their egos, their desire for us to just take it
the violation of polite conversation
after the abuse
but before the overdue apology
and anyway
so much has been taken that justice is impossible
some days it chills my blood
how will we ever know peace
will we have to forget everything?
will we have to burn the books and make the history fiction?
how can we breathe near you
sleep near you
dream with you
when we remember
when we can be living our lives and be reminded
by griot, thoughtful essay, scathing expose, image kept fresh across years,
by threat, or bullet, or lie, or law
how, when you haven’t stopped murdering us in our beds
gleefully taking our blessings
killing our children
counting us collateral damage as you choose money over masks, over safety, over adaptation, over earth
shooting first and asking no questions, ever
all the while acting as if it were us
trying to take anything from you but our own lives
our own labor
our own right to grieve all that you’ve claimed
beyond your portion of miracle
you lost soul, you greedy, greedy, i lose words
I choke on the anger, even I,
all the time cultivating joy in my heart
even I, seeing beyond the constructs
still
when I come across the artifact
or the present moment
or the border in my dream that says how far I can go
we can go
we can be
I remember we are not yet free
and will not be, cannot be
until you choose to be free
who designed it this way
how will we ever get beyond bitterness
how will we ever get beyond heartbreak
how will we ever be able to tell our stories in any genre but horror
how I wonder
as we barrel towards another battle
that we have no wish to fight
as we want to hold each other
but you’ve made it dangerous
we want to lick each other’s wounds until the scars spell new names
make different promises
fly but not like angels, not like birds, not like anything that has ever moved through the sky before
fly beyond your touch
that’s all we need
and it seems to be the only thing we cannot do, cannot get to, cannot run for
you wait around each corner of history
belly gaping with hunger, eyes pulsing with hate
demonic, vapid, wasting the precious
and only
life you will get
and you even tell your children these lies
to shape into them a foolish worldview in which
we cannot rest and they cannot feel their blessing
I have been casting spells and speaking dreams
my whole adult life
but even I feel the ways you are making me into your nightmare
without my consent
making me your enemy
when I bear no arms
making me your prey
wherever I graze with my children
it has been so long
so long I have to remind myself it isn’t forever
it is so constant
I have to remind myself it cannot last
it is so small
to be a part of the sacred
it is so heavy
this massive rage
I am only able to sleep
dreaming of volcanoes
which peel away the surface and explode and melt down what is
which decimate and steal and swallow and change
which become glass and then green island
which become breeze and beach and whale watching
and song and fruit and dance
and children and children and children
when I feel it inside me
this raging molten flow of the truth
I can only rest remembering
life comes from the eruptions
and nothing you’ve made will last
and my rage fills up my mouth
and our rage fills up the earth
and we can darken the whole sky
and if we can’t breathe then you won’t either
and our destinies are intertwined
you fools, you fools, you flesh and bone
suckle and moan
terrified to be alone
you, there, hiding behind your telephone
you will heal, or your line will end
we will heal, or we will die praying and dancing
surrendering to the joy still beating in our chests
we will find a way to live here on this earth
or she will blow us to the sky
melt away our flaws
leave only a perfect stone
full of story

waning

slowly i collapse
lose light lose warmth
forget everything i ever knew about bright
it is time again to know nothing
to be still and silent
to wait and wonder
to notice exactly what i need so completely
that it pulls me through shadow
pulls me through the cold of my own isolation
back, slower than a dream
faster than a season
i hear everyone whispering:
plant everything now
plant love the shape of gods
the handprints of children allowed to say no
plant quiet contemplation of miracles
the ripple of orgasmic awe
plant the undulation, the pulse, the fusion
plant even the idea of a wave
and let the ocean flood you by morning

a moon kind of night

tonight the moon is bright
not full but so full
telling me she can see the sun
even when I can’t
she can see the light of all our lives
she can share it with me

a creature moves through the woods
and I think, it’s bedtime
but that little hungry one
guided by senses I can never know
says there is life in the dark
and beauty…don’t be so scared

and I am scared
to feel so much about
the so far away people and places
the so mysterious future
I can’t save anything
only love it all so much

and love moves through the fear
reaching and touching me
showing me I am more than I know
and we are, all, doing our best
to be wild, still
to be free

and the moon moves over me, moves through
unapologetic in her power
reminding me I am hers
reminding me I am tides
reminding me I am full
even here, even now, in the shadows

moon tell me

moon teach me

how to wear the scars without masking
how to be all the time darkness and light
how to follow, to be satisfied with reflection
how to be careful with the tides
graceful, but crafting storms
to be the one who gives, who is held in orbit
teach me how to love the sun
please
please tell me
teach me how
to be seams and pockmarks and…beautiful
to be a portal of longing and connection
to take a month
to open and then to close again

because I am not perfect
I surrender to the light every time
if it’s a flash, I sit dazzled in the darkness
I don’t even know how to wane
teach me
to fill up with ritual
to be so powerful
and so very small

tomorrow is the new moon

what we seed in the dark grows
the darkness is so powerful that whiteness tried to turn the world against it
but the darkness remains
the darkness grows everything you love
and when everything dies
it returns to the delicious dark
the wet and waiting earth
who only operates in miracle
nothing is broken inside the darkness
everything is becoming life
longing for life
reaching up from a molten heart
full of belonging
on the edge of flight
so driven
the darkness knows no separation
memory is dream is a thrill in the flesh

i race towards the poem
that i alone can hear
and in answering the call
i remember i am nothing alone, nothing.

surrendering to the truth
frees me, leaves me whole
i overflow with a thundering joy
that only darkness can hold
.

what do you need? what does our species need? write it down, everything, and show it to the dark, whisper it to the dark. fold it and plant it under your bed. in the dark.

earth do what you will/forgive us

prayer/submission/spell

earth do what you will
mother father creator home
full of wrath, molten, tremoring
you show us how to live and to hurt you
all our life, we spiral out from your body
stardust and sea, anemone and feather
flesh and flower, metal and bone

earth forgive us
all children are greedy
we all demand love beyond what we can give
we all expect your miraculous patience
we are nonsensical, ungrateful
we take your hours, wooden toys, all the sweet
the attention, life force, and all your peace

earth do what you will
how long have we terrorized you
we violate your soft/sacred-ness, deny
that you are changed and changing, that your heart is broken, spirit struggling for respite
venom spilling from the wounds, swelling the surface, catastrophic chasm opening within

but earth please forgive us
for we are split as a species
let us who see you and love you
let us join you, we can tell you where the hurt begins, we can tell you where it ends
let us stay and whisper love songs to you in the turning of the cosmos. let us stay.

earth do what you will
cast us into the endless sky
make us brief

earth forgive us
before we learn to apologize
see us whole

earth do what you will
say finally, enough
take back each perfect gift

earth – forgive us
for we think we are walking
when you carry us

earth do what you will
we thought we could live without you
we have been wrong every day

earth forgive us
every step away from you is an error
even now, we love you

stardust and rivers

IMG_7522

sitting at the intersection of life and death, love and grief, waiting for a train.

everything this week has been reminding me i am stardust. i practice non attachment, but the universe grabs me close, shakes me, reminds me everything is connected. the only way to live a meaningful life, a life that is worth the miracle, is to accept the extreme tenderness of connection, to come together with warmth and ease, to be together with honesty, joy, rigor and pleasure, and to release each other with as much grace as possible.

even if it’s a dream, even if it’s a painted sky, even if it’s all predetermined…i feel so much, and i’m so grateful to be able to feel so much, to have this range of love demanded of me. this aliveness is my victory, and i am always free.

now, now, now, with sleep in my eyes and work to do, i watch the human river flow and see poetry, realize i am wet, realize i am weeping in public, glitter on my cheeks, heart growing in a way i can feel. and then it’s time, again, to go.

IMG_7512

IMG_7510

i love the sky

IMG_7327

i love the sky
most of the time i do
.
when everything is too full and it seems we will not be able to do
what it is we are here to do
that victory is impossible
that cruelty and greed and dominance will slowly tear us apart with ravenous teeth and swallow us
broken and whole
when everyone and everything is more than i can handle or hold
and i need no one to need any more of me, when there’s only a sliver left
that is pulsing, and still longing
then, if i can remember
i look up
.
and this sky full of wonders and terrors
keeps humbling me
.
every heart in my lineage lived and died under this sky
it has always been impossible
but they lived the small lives that led to mine
.
and if it is impossible for me, for my people, for my species, to go on
i know this sky will watch us come apart
will watch the earth rest over us
will watch, someday,
our bones come to light, to startle some future stranger
like dinosaur bones
perhaps we will feed that future industry until the sun goes cold
and perhaps that will feel like justice
or liberation
.
or this sky will welcome us
to go beyond atmosphere and ideology
survival and constant war
and the accumulation of belongings
that never add up to enough
to take only what we can lift beyond the reach of gravity
to take only the truth
and use it to seed a new home
.
or perhaps
this sky
will watch us become small and smaller
slower, to fall into her rhythm and sustenance
to submit to this heaven,
to be satisfied with knowing so little
and feeling so much
.
these big thoughts
make me feel small enough to breathe again
to laugh and argue and plan and look forward
these big thoughts
somedays
are the only peace I know

in the dark i see fireflies

in the dark i see fireflies
they are like we are
sparks sometimes shining
rarely in rhythm
rarely together
but beautiful

in the dark i see longing
yawning open, wet and hungry
never full, never fulfilled
star teeth gnashing
(who can swallow scalding food)
and beyond that, a constant empty

in the dark i see memories
distorted by ego
we love being wise
we hate the learning
we love being right
but we’re usually wrong

in the dark i see dreams
and the long distance
between the constant fire
i yearn to be
and the brief flashes
i can pull off

in the dark i see the moon
saying ‘nothing is constant’
even a rock caught in light’s orbit
even these constellations are
a flash across infinity
that brightness doesn’t last

but the dark is forever

liberation

final poem of the month!

write a poem about something that happens again and again

i can only do something small
the ripple still reaches the shore

when we meet you are a stranger
but i knew you, and you become beloved

the days are all too heavy
and then we lift together

we need every thing to be different
so we change, change, and change

i thought this was too shattered
but i am whole, we are whole, this is whole

we seek a way through to heaven
we find we each have our own way