Placing My Prayer

The moon rises
before the city wakes,
her bowl turned up
waiting to be filled.
Raccoons roam the streets,
deer browse the river,
the green world silent
beneath sheets of pavement
as I place my prayer
on the altar of darkness
for all who inhabit the night.

 

 

 


 


Headlights

Along the dark wet avenue,
plying your way with other pilgrims,
your radio on morning news,
I reach out to you from this window,
the small rectangle you won’t notice
as you pass a thousand others
in brick and wood.
Through thin glass I see you,
know a portion of your travail,
even your joy. I wish you life
my unknown friend.
May your headlights guide you
to something like the place
we once called home.

 

 

 

The Mummers by Rima Staines


 


The longest night of the year passed
noiseless except for choirs
praising light’s return.
I’m out of step once more,
like bear, devoted to winter dark,
the quiet of snow,
how ice holds the river,
the path to root.
Iris and daffodil
would have no color
except for the soaking soil
and waves of rain.
As salmon smolt begin
their long sea journey
toward the taste of salt
and back to bear’s belly,
beneath fur and claw
in a dry lightless cave
hunger eats last summer’s fat
while bear sleeps, letting old winter
have it’s slow, deep darkening way.

 

 

 


 


Unadorned

Maybe its the way the cards are dealt –
some take the high road,
others down into the fray,
yet no matter how improved or battered
your unadorned self is still the one
the world desires.

 

 

 


 


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 broad stubbled fields
as ice and snow climb down
from 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 winter dark.

 

 

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