What Is Woven

I’ve built a frame and called it God.

I hammered nails into planks borrowed

from cleverer souls than I,

bored holes with years of looking closely,

and twisted joists within.

I’ve strung the contraption tight as a harp,

one string for every breath taken in silence,

in time set apart to honour That.

The threads I’m handed hold clashing colours,

and I’m not told the pattern in advance,

but I’ve chosen the Beloved as a loom

for my task, and in invisible structure

I allow this work to take shape,

this net to catch my despair, or hopelessness,

and spin something beautiful out of it.

Advertisements

From the Healers

I am a bucket in the well,

holding links of twisted hemp

between me and the source,

bathed in darkness, the fall too far –

I know you’re frightened.

You don’t know you’re held

because the grip is so gentle.

Till you can trust the lengths of rope

you’re wrapped in so safely,

the rigging of this ship,

let me fall into black for you.

Let me strengthen my arms

so I can pull myself back

to the surface,

filled with all you need.

More than enough to share.

Until you learn the way,

may I fetch all I can carry,

so we can begin to quench our thirst.

Promising Emptiness

Lost in the empty noise of my desperate mind,

I close my eyes and suddenly You reappear.

I want to cry, to cling to You,

to fold myself into the space

between Your arms and I do –

Your loving hands bend and mold me

into driftwood, a sailboat,

white swathes of fabric floating

above me and You release me –

floating downstream.

 

Then the boat pitches off the water’s edge,

an end unnoticed, disappearing.

Shiva, ever gentle,

You hold Your hands over my eyes.

 

What have I not yet learned about surrender?

Why do I see time like a jailer,

above me rattling his keys?

when every day You pry open bars

and invite me with Your patient smile,

Come out, come out into the sun.

Let me care for you 

as the most doting of parents.

Why do I, so many days, choose

to stay in familiar darkness?

The Gifts of Guilt

The midnight blush of forgotten sins

makes me sit up in bed,

sweat running like tears

as my ego turns my spine to wood,

then forces it to splinter

so I can’t turn my head

without the reminders,

always the stab of needless wreckage to my innards

so I never lose sight of the tar I’ve soaked in.

Remember, remember the words you said.

Remember what was spilt and broken.

The only remedy is to stop turning,

to reside in the stillness

and let the shards be taken

in softness,

let the waters drip over their sides,

again and again,

until my back is curved to the floor

and my hands are thrown open.

And through the mixture of water and salt,

splinters turn at last to driftwood,

and my palms are full of softened bark,

trinkets for jewelry or a child’s game

or simply an adornment for sand.

 

The Taste of Peace

It’s the empty bliss between heartbreaks.

The second your clinging fingers let it slip

over the cliff and in your lightened grasp

colour floods back to your hand,

red rivulets rushing to warm

your desperate flesh.

It’s the golden pulse around you

when at last you reach the surface

and seize your first grasp of air.

Where straining ceases,

the casement flies open

and all that’s ever been floods in

– more than you could ever dream –

till the tears run

at the kaleidoscopic freedom

that was waiting all along.

Fog Into Buckets

Love is buried under fear,

oceans of drops aching for

salt water –

how can I explain it to them?

even as my own mind refuses the truth.

I cast spells with my breath

that clear my sight for a movement,

but it’s like trying to shove fog into buckets,

or run water uphill:

all the forces I’ve been told are natural

course against my will.

Yet I keep hauling thickened air

and tipping it overboard,

sketching dams and dragging logs

to direct creeks,

and even as people shake their heads

and mutter its hopelessness,

I feel the strength in my arms

from lugging buckets and wood,

the quickness with which my brain

picks out alternate routes,

the thickness of hope I’ve built up.

I glance at the rivers

streaming wild and rapid,

and the grey forgiving wall of mist,

and smile at what the world has made of me –

wild and forgiving strength.

It was me that was built for change.

 

Strong as the Sea

I will grow my hair to my waist

so people see me as a mermaid.

They’ll see the soft strength of my body

fluid as water, but swimming against the tide

with a fierceness you might mistake for anger.

They will watch the curve of my waist,

full lips and hooded eyes

and know I have explored an ocean of pleasure

under my own gentle fingers,

that I hold the deed to this landscape I live in,

and visitors are rarely granted entry,

as my rules are strict.

They will notice the way my hands slip

like satin over rocks and shells,

and see how swept away I am

by the beauty this world contains,

how I lean to kiss every skipping fish,

every strand of seaweed,

seeing in it my Beloved.

They will observe my unsteady feet,

and know I’m unused to walking

on the surface of this life;

I am the one who plunges,

who flows every day with

waves of passion,

who dives and seeks to understand.

They will watch how hard I laugh,

how I lick the food from my lips,

how I twist into my bed at night

and allow my back to arch,

my shape to pronounce me woman,

and they will know without a doubt

I am not ashamed of the pleasures of this world.

I will continue to love and swim

and feel and moan and touch and eat –

and never glance to your eyes,

to see if I’ve had enough.