Unwrapping the Message

The message you failed
was schoolyard normal,
your sense of self
pulled down to the pavement,
ground like chalk.
You recover, create someone
who faces the world
in the way you admire
yet even if you fool the world
you know who’s behind the mask,
who you were told you are.
Some appear not afflicted,
others cured more easily,
but there in the dark
no amount of make-up
can hide the broken visage.
This is what the world says
on the tape inside your head.
There’s another message
the earth holds for you
when you’re ready to unwrap it.
It tells you of a kit fox,
a yearling deer, an old stag elk,
a river falling white and cold
and in her wholeness
a place for you, unadorned,
edges fading into tree bark,
rising mist your companion.
You weren’t broken after all.
She’s known it all this time
and now, so do you.

 

 

 

 

photograph by Eilish Hynes


 


Maybe This Morning

Maybe this morning
as darkness thins
with light slowly approaching,
words will fall like rain
to feed the root of trees.
Maybe the trees will forgive us
and take this nourishment,
showing the way once more
to the deep cache of winter.
And maybe then we will know
the way forward through this night,
holding close the faceted promise
of earth’s true love.

 

 

 

encaustic painting by Eilish Hynes


 


Tourmaline and Amethyst

Going down with autumn,
following the rain
along the bedrock
to deep river roots,
the fault line of ages past
marks the way to inner earth,
dark caverns of crystal
where heartbeat and breathing
slow to rest, to learn
the old magic of winter.
Here darkness teaches
to see where there is no light,
where water rises from stone
and the wisdom of silence
hangs in the cool damp air.
In tourmaline and amethyst,
obsidian and malachite
the ancient world
holds the knowledge
of what has been
and may yet be
for the days when the earth
will once again open.

 

 

 

photo from carionmineraux.com


 


Time Capsule

Aged and mellow
like the leaves of autumn,
the drift into sleep,
stooping shoulders
and faltering balance
speak of the body’s winter
with its blanket of cold,
grey fog on the rivers,
the stark outline of crows.
As the sun drops
deep into the south,
the shortened days
and long nights
lead me to the message
you left behind, buried
in the soft tissue of my body,
wanting me to remember
after the fires burned out
and the rain soaked ashes
dissolved into darkened loam.
With the pain and fury years gone by
like white rushing water,
the time capsule unpacks
the soft fur of your animal,
the forgotten touch of kindness
forming new words on the old stone
glimmering in the faded light.
The earth bowl of your altar
burnished and gold
glows as the incense sparks
and lifts into the winter sky,
free to go where the high winds go,
your memory kept safe
in the forest of my mind.

 

 

 


 


What the Earth Says

The winds of November
rake through the valley,
clearing the trembling trees,
whistling down chimneys,
lifting the rivers.
Geese will come soon
from the far north
to feed off the broad stubbled fields
as ice and snow climb down
from the high peaks.
The fog machine
continues its message –
stay busy and buy,
yet turning away
to what the earth says
will warm us if we listen
through the darkening winter.

 

 

glass sculpture by Linda Ethier


 


Knowing the Unbroken

Cut from whole cloth
the unbroken lives
beyond the clutch of madness,
the villains of time.
In these few moments
before we depart
with a soft final breath,
to labor toward wholeness
is our link to the stars.

 

 

 

encaustic art by Eilish Hynes


 


Tying Sea to Stone

The stone feet of the island
rest in the sea, their grass skins
glistening at low tide.
The winds have calmed
after yesterday’s storm,
stillness replacing the rush
of air and breaking wave.
Supported by earth
I sit with the old ones
to search for new stories,
dreaming of fire
and cold water’s brace.
I dream I am human
with sharp teeth
and open hands, welcome
in the cathedral of the deep.
Diving with orca
a lost kingdom rises
in the marrow of my bones,
filling my soul
with the treasure of peace.
As I stretch out to warm
in the light of the day
these dreams become ribbons
tying sea to stone
and in their bright colors
begin the new stories.

 

 

photograph by Patrick Orleman


 


Tracing Mysteries

There’s always more to do,
the world wanting your attention,
hurry now before the circus leaves town.
All that you are not quite enough
with the elephants to watch
and the ladies in tights.
The midway barkers shout
try your luck, here’s your chance
yet beyond the fairgrounds
in a green slice by the river
silence waits and the sound
of the wild, of water over rock.
You’ll forsake the calliope,
walk a lot of lonely miles
but if you’re called to wonder
you won’t regret leaving the circus
or your time beside the river.
The sound of her voice
lilts quietly on the wind,
the fluttering of cottonwoods
and dappled water
tracing mysteries on your heart,
speaking the sacred words
that answer every prayer –
you belong.

 

 

 

 


 


Walks in Moonlight

Ripe and full the harvest moon rises
casting tree shadows from their tops
lifted to the star wheel.
No loneliness or garish glare,
just silver glow and silence.
Orion in the east
signals winter coming
yet still there is warmth
and the sweetness of corn.
The winds will pick up
bringing early storms,
rain again to soak the land,
but for now I walk in moonlight,
drinking deep the night.

 

 

 

 


 


Stone Faces

Grey water and light wind,
the distant call of a gull.
The weight of these times
with me as I settle
into the silence once more,
the presence of the sea
deep and unmoving.
The old voices are with me,
tired of the world,
the many broken places,
and something else
rising from within
to meet her beauty,
greet the morning.
Faces on the ancient stone
much like my own,
dipping into cold water,
lifted toward the light.