Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Birds Live in Baskets

photo by Lacey Lampe

A mystic will say at the dawn of the day
that meat is a marvelous medium.
So what better way than inhabiting clay
to take flight from a Heaven of tedium?

Here, where we face the illusory fray
into which we have weaved and been woven,
we agree once again to make magic from pain
emerging from caul into coven.

Birds live in baskets. You might have seen
them foraging relics in strata of dream,
threshing and rolling the symbols (a weave)
into wondrous wares we can give and receive.

To thrive without borders, we scavenge debris,
and invest in material reverently
so we can build baskets, invoke pedigrees
to lend us our backbones (roots, family trees).

Arising to bird song each early morn,
we awake from the womb of our slumber, reborn
as the dead and their dirges sound off in horns
(thighbones) and drums beat where hearts do no more.

Birds gather treasures from strata of myth,
imagining baskets, building with bliss.
The firmament reigns, but birds, they persist
in weaving the sky out of clouds made of mist.

Death is the door through which everything passes,
so let's raise our glasses, our urns, and our ashes
to birds in their nests, in their beautiful baskets,
weaving their wares and retrieving their caches! 

Here, where we face the illusory fray
into which we have weaved and been woven,
we agree once again to make magic from pain
emerging from caul into coven.

A mystic will say at the end of the day,
that meat devolves into delirium.
So what better way than quitting the clay
to remember our magical medium?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Swan Song

She gave her right foot to be in your pocket,
And took it right back, warmed it up, and redonned it.
She looks up at you from her bed of bunch grasses.
Love doesn't come cheap, dear, you'd better have assets.
Spider silk hair, a silverleaf bonnet,
An 'A' made of rubies and diamonds upon it.
Would you like to hear more? Come into her closet.
She'll tell you the tale, or at least a composite.
She'll bend your sweet ear like a Monterey pine,
Crooked, wind-shorn, and stunted with time,
Sprung from the shore, where the whales were once hunted,
Their keratin frowns dripping kelp, blood, and brine.

What's stopping you now from stuffing your poppet
With poppies and aster, and chaining your locket
So sweetly around her lovely long nape?
Inside this new heart she sees only your face.
And paste on some daffodil eyes for good measure,
Open and sunny and there for your pleasure.
Sew her back up with your hair and some heather,
Gathered from boglands where Goose left her feathers.
(This is why Cygnus is naked and stark
We throttled the swan and now she's gone dark.)
The rushes rise up like soft down, even higher,
Past tropo and strato and meso, iono,
Did you know the wind howls even here in deep space?
It blows ever westward; stars caught in its wake.

This life is a joyride of nettles and mirth.
(On the one hand, there's blood; on the other, there's birth.)
It seems that your poppet has burned through your clothes,
And scalded your thigh clear down to your toes.
Daffodils smolder (the sun's bound to burn),
And here among redwoods she's made her own urn.
A hobo sack now slung o'er her shoulder.
She's a wandering phoenix; don't try to hold her.
Like reading a love note inside of a dream,
Nouns shifting and changing, the verbs don't agree.
And bright like the moon that waxes and wanes,
And beckons the tides with her slow-blinking gaze.

On our oak woodland ranch, the dogs snuffle roots.
They unearth a goose, and a gosling, to boot.
'Neath twists of ninebark the two of them nestle,
Sheltered by shade of old cans on a trestle.
Now fully glimpsed in the gleam of the sun,
Her feathers alight with the impulse to run.
Barring our way from her wee downy daughter,
She stops and rears up and then lets out a holler.
Eyes widened and wild, she charges the dogs,
Expecting a fight of the worthiest cause.
You step in her path, all hemlock and sedges.
She bites at you once, and then stops and then steadies.
You show her your hands with their six little wounds.
Seeing your scars, which now seem a boon,
The beast sighs and settles and pecks at the ground.
Small gosling is calm now that mother's unwound.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Greedy Wolf

by Amy Sullivan

the wolf has its way
sunflowers sprout from
each bloody footprint
despairing moans
become bells
and drums beat our hearts
back into the shape of the earth