Tara

Earthenware jars awash with ghee,

offering up milk to Mother Earth,

her honeyspun breasts, tumeric cheeks

swell of hips like citrons, rind lemon.

Carved from cavern of Mount Kailash,

beautiful banter betwixt her dakinis,

flying aloft, living marble, towering

over the abode of Tara, where she

weeps rivers of joy at Indra’s birth.

Oh sweet Tara! Manifold clay, reddish

hue a mummer’s play! Oh joyful Tara!

From heavens divine! Dharma and karma

align so sublime. Bountiful Tara! Let us

harvest the rice.  Rain down monsoons

over valleys of your legs, your sex tilled

and toiled, dark earth ripe with worms.

Your mysteries are shadows, Hill Mother.

We dance, weave baskets, wear saris cut

from your cloth.  Humble Tara, namaste.

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A Flower From Inside Eden

And Abel said to Seth, go my son, harvest a fruit from Eden,

the Tree of Life hangs pregnant with all the blessings God

withheld, and so fire-eyed Seth walked his father’s scorched

earth ground where no flowers or grass had bloomed in the

wake of Eden’s death march, following the trail laborious

mother Eve walked pregnant with Cain, her feet swollen with

the toil of it all.  Seth brought back three seeds from the Tree

of Life, and they sprouted into the Cedars of Lebanon, perfumed

the halls of King Solomon’s vagabond temple, provided wood for

Noah’s ark, and the sweet smell of their sap haunts the between

space of Bible and Torah and Koran, linking Yahweh, Adonai, Allah.

All these multifaceted faces of God, strung together on a necklace for

Mary.  Deborah sits in her tent, judging the deeds of the Israelites,

prophetess gone hoary.  Esther pours wine from a carafe in her newly

converted kingdom for the Sabbat.  Ruth and Naomi are each other’s

comfort in travails. Mary and Martha debate the ministry of Christ,

better to bake bread of his body or drink the wine of his blood. The

whole holy tome is a story of sisterhood and brotherhood, Leah and

Rachel, Abel, Seth, and Cain, and only the angels know what fruit will

grow from the Cedars outside the gates of Paradise – they say it will take

another eon, but this age draws to a close, and the seeds quicken, pregnant

with divinity. A woman is spinning flax in a prison cell, churning gold.

A princess sleeps in a forest of rose thorns, impenetrable fortress of her

virginal mind.  Goldilocks has taken up with Little Bear, the bed fits just

right. And Rapunzel took her hair, made a rope, and saved herself, blind

god be damned. God provides, helps those who help themselves, so when

you lose your glass slipper, brave the prince in rags, and when a frog begs

a kiss, give the kiss of Judas, and when a glass coffin is your Cross to bear,

shatter the adamant covenant with your rage at death.  Do not go kindly into

that good night, better yet, be a soldier, a Joan of Arc, a Samson, and slay, my girl.

 

Slay.

Sea Shanties

Deep sea blues, I got the Dead on my mind

Christ walks on water but I drown, and when

he reaches out with lotus hands to lift me abreast

the crescendoing wave, I see scores of bodies below.

Two brothers born of light, one of lightning, one of sun.

Orion and Sirius biting in a swan song the necks of twins.

Raising legions and legends to fight their ego-trip of rivalry.

I say, put an end to the crown sought after by angel and immortal

alike, melt down the gold to make my throne, and I will seat an octopus

atop the celestial kingdom, branching vertebrae tangles like mermaid hair,

suckers of tentacles hooked into the brains of billions, dancing marionettes.

So sweet Savior, let’s reunite Heaven and Hell, and kiss blues away, then sing

of a place where honeysuckle strangles and the figs bleed. Sickly sweet. At the

bottom of the sea is a treasure chest of Heaven’s lost songs. Unlocking it takes my

heart, but I have always been a skeleton key, so come Hell or high water, I will be

undone.

Harvest Tidings

The veins of a leaf have the secret history
of the world in amber and black and gold, thin
traceries in Fibonacci fractals, how acorns fall
from such great heights to plant rumination and
tall ancestors someday sprung forth from black loam.

The dance of autumn is one long elegy, a melody most
sweet, so hold your lover close by the bonfire, whisper
sweet somethings into earthen hollows, spot fox digging
for the best of bones, watch coyote run wild after deer,
nature is unbridled in her passion for the deathly season

that promises new Creation, another song, another Spring.

Rest well, my friend, and drink up to a harvest most green.

Freyr’s Shaft

And like the first sheaf of wheat harvested, your sword
stands erect and proud, blossoming greenery and bread,
but with the sickle, Gerda cuts down the Freyfaxi offering,
and the white horse you pride carries your manhood to the
mill, to be ground down to grain in the still, flour for
us to make sweet crust from and break bread with Odin in
the halls of Asgard, we feast on your body Ingvi-Freyr as
the harvest hallows, and the fields will lay fallow come
winter, falling into etin Gerda’s lap, and we shall keep
your golden grain hair to make Yule Goats out of when the
Wild Hunt rides, and you rest in the mound, churning out
miracles to the Yngling line and the kingdoms of Scandinavia,
it is said on your favored farmer’s grave in Iceland, it was
perpetual spring, and the flowers never faded, and so we gift
you the flowers of our fertility and virility as we turn hay
in your name, oh John Barleycorn of old, our beer and fruit.
Hail Freyr! Hail Skidbladnir! Hail the Boar Rider of Alfheim!
Summer comes to a close, Gerda’s fall draws near, and we make
love in your name, my dearest Lord of the Van! Hail, Hail, Hail!

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Ball Lightning

There is nothing in you that is not blue violet thunder,
a love like rains clefting open the Earth, your dominion
is the lightning strike and petrichor summers, sweet holy
decadence of storms fructifying and revitalizing our bodies.
We eat your blood because your blood is rain. We devour your
flesh breathing because your body is thick, misty air and not
to inhale is to choke on hurricanes. There is no question of
whether or not to breathe you in, and with a love like yours,
why, I stand cradling ball lightning, dancing with St. Elmo’s
fire, and your Holy Ghost dances like a blazing purple white
star, there is nothing beyond necessity in my devotion towards
your blood, your bones, your manna and succor of your veins.
And I am dancing in the tornado, flying through thunderheads.
I meet you where stars kiss the ocean on a stormy night, oh
Lord, lay me down on your crackling bed, make love to me like
the skies weep onto my mother mud, appear to me manifesting
pure being, the heady death of all my fears, a ship set sail
on gales, and I will die, but it will be beautiful, and I will
ascend to vast summits of ice crystal castles, in union with
you, oh my God, oh my Lamb, oh my thunder strike and lightning
whip, the heavens are but a metaphor for airy wanderlust, and
love makes the storm grow bold and prance for the meadows,
the valleys of my heart open up for your rain and holy pain,
oh Christ, do not forget me in your Passion, for I weep rivers
of gold at your feet, and my madness in the desert, hair grown
long to cover my nakedness, is but the raging sylphs themselves.
I will bottle your blood and wine then pour them over the oceans.
I will stand on cliff’s peak and proclaim your love of All.
Long-suffering Jesus, killing himself to make whole the world,
I would but a taste of your Sacrament, like rain, like grain.
I spread my legs wide to receive the Cross, I hug my breasts
and let rivers of milk flow to my cleft, a Sacred Whore who
nourishes the moon at her side, twin sun and lunar bodies,
which are just like your eyes, and Mother Nature is calling,
your Virgin birth, so fly away from my dust and ribs and clay.

I am only made wholly through your rains.

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Song of the Eagle

I look over the mountains and find old ghosts,
roaming these Shenandoah hills with plough and
sickle, there are cairns deep in the woods, where
Iroquois marked the passage of magic, trees bent
to signal the paths of deer, now forgotten signposts
that lead to the summit of Turtle Island. Did the
colonists know, these woods have enchantments of
ley lines and shamans and Butterfly Men? Be careful,
your woman may be stolen by a spirit bridegroom,
tread cautiously, there are arrowheads in the dark.
Witches and sages alike meet at midnight on crescent
mountains, deep in the forests where crow and spider
make their nests and webs, they pluck ginseng, they
smoke tobacco, they dance and revel in the secrets
of a hot Virginian summer, all sweat and blue glory,
flames rising high in shapes like a cottonmouth,
gliding across the river in serpentine coils brown.
We are the poison we bring to the land. We are the
balm to strip-mining and mountaintop removal. With
chains we can bind ourselves to trees deep within
and make our stands, no more darkness, no more
spillage in the waters, stinking with dead fish.
I walk the woods and trails and gather stardust,
brewing a potion of man returning to primeval
dusk, living off land with chickens and bees,
planting tomatoes and strawberries to placate
land spirits, I look out upon squirrel and finch
and mourning dove, we are just guests in America,
those of us with skin the color of traitors.
We owe much in service for our ancestor’s sins,
so be the saving grace of redemption, an ally
to the bruised and broken peoples and land,
make your last stand by the mountain, my child
and I will flute your heart aback eagle wings.

The Bear that Swallowed the Moon

Mei moves with her family to the hinterlands,
where cold gods reign, and colder climes draw
hoarfrost on her coal black hair, this is the
first time the girl, barely a young woman, has
seen snow. The peaks of the mountains are like
icicles piercing the sky, and at night, the moon
is the brightest she has ever seen, like a bright
silver coin, nestled at the crest of the ridges.
One night, the bear that swallowed the moon comes
and bids her “Ride my back, Mei. I am Bei Ling,
the Moon Incarnate, and I shall show you the
majesty of my frozen kingdom.” It is a wooing
of love, and Mei climbs aback the bear and
they rush through pine and red panda up the
slope, in his throat is the lunar disc, shining
every time he growls or opens his mouth to speak
in a tongue not human, but bestial, and that night
Bei Ling digs her a bed of snow and moss, and she
sleeps on his breast, white fur like a blanket,
and the moon in his gullet warms her. “Bei Ling,”
Mei says the next day, riding his star crossed
back, “should not the moon belong to everyone.”
Bei Ling grunts with laughter. “Then I would be
but a man, not the Bear Moon of the Mountains.”
But there is a look in Mei’s eyes like a promise,
so Bei Ling spits out the moon and it sails away,
to crest those mountains he used to reign over,
and then he is tan skin and a cloud of black hair,
he looks down at opposable thumb and bipedal leg
and Mei gives him a blanket to cover his nakedness.
Bei Ling laughs mightily “To give up immortality
for the woman I love, who would have thought a girl
would change the mind of the Moon Bear.” And they
kiss, and they set off to plant dreams across the
world, and sometimes he is Bear Moon, but mostly,
just Bei Ling, the man who swallowed the night,
fell out of the stars for but a girl, and into
love.

Joshua Tree

 
And the whipporwill calls, where is the home of the moon?
Beyond the nest of evening, on an airy mountainside, snow
falls as cranes flock east, leaving behind summer’s bones
as the music of everything, yet nothing, folds into water,
seeping in flows through cracks in igneous, down to springs
in the woodlands of mineral clarity, bubbling with warmth,
we bathed there, when the sun was swollen with ghee, gold
and buttery, and it framed you in a halo like eagle wings.
Oh my love, to return to those quixotic days, or are they
the future? Time to me is like a crow, circling, we swim
through the leaves, through the sky, through the sunlight
and love, your heart is my abode, and I am your sparrow.

Bog Body

Silk and splinters, wrapped in chillblains,
my bones are wood, my skin milk spiderwebs,
I am the body of the bog given woman-form.

I walk on sparrows with bare feet of mud,
constantly sinking as my moss arms branch,
I breathe soil as my hair greens flowers.

Brier roses blossom, and life has no end.