Reflections

The scent of our home,
funky quaint and riddled
with books and bikes,
and the long laid scent of family.
The scent of the kitchen,
yesterday’s dinner
and the overlay of croissants
like fierce french washer women
scrubbing away all other scents.

…the scent of our clothes,
and our laundry soap…
the scent of the air cooler,
that of the soft night air
waltzing in,
slow and sleepy
from her night out
amongst the stars,
and carried in drowsy
on cricket wings…

…the scent of popcorn
shared on the couch,
of our wine wafting
from bottles possessed
by only the last 12 drops,
our lil garden outside,
and the auto sprinkler
which has come on to water
in the dark and the cool…

the scent of your currents,
your deep distant observing soul
that hangs back and watches,
even in the midst…

i do go on…

from here…from now…
in the sweltering heat,
where you and I lay,
you sleeping,
me watching you sleeping,
soft face limpid and languid…here…
listening to tides of eternity
race round and round
inside our veins, our universe…

i do go on…

…watching our breath mingle unseen
as you sleep, and I
my many rounds to keep,
awake as usual.

in your world,
nothing is what it appears to be.

(i mean that “mirror sentence!”
nothing is what it appears to be and
nothing is what it appears to be and
nothing is what it appears to be and…)

well, as I think about it,
it seems logical
you were drawn here…
maybe I was
the one thing
you were supposed to get,
maybe I am
the one thing
you cannot forget…
or get shut of!

regardless…

you now have me,
writing here
my musings and childlike tears,
my laughs and my cold dark fears,
my forever fat and full
wet joys of today

(as long as it is still called today!)

Alas it will cost you,

(I will cost you)

but at least it will
only cost you
what is yours
to easily pay:
everything.

I am here, but you must
look in unusual places.
not in scents (innocence)
from bottles
and spray jars
and spritzers
and cream pots
or flesh pots.

I may be hiding,
laughing in the most
unexpected spaces.

It is time
to set the last croissants…
I am smiling,
and feeling that
wonderful joy that has
a tinge of sadness to it
because it knows
though joy lives forever,
its moments come and go

like the meals of our lives…
the scents of our home…
reflections of what was
and what is yet to be

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Matters of Heart and Bloody Core (for Kat, whom I love)

Disclaimer:  Constance, I was just reading a friend of mine, one of my very favorite poets.  I am in spoken word group with her.  I looked at some old poems she had read that I loved so much she had given me photocopies…and I realized…aaaaaakkkk!!!!
I had lifted the title for this poem from one of hers!!

DANG IT!!!

So I want to , I need to change that title.  If you have a suggestion, please comment.  For now, I have titled it

“Matters of Heart and Bloody Core”

She rides today, shotgun
in matters of heart and bloody core,
matters of blood, matters of bone,
her flesh become word and wing
and flight to wider blue skies
and pastures…
…rides shotgun atop
treasure boxes soon emptied
but not until
the very last second…God forbid…
please.

She sits, still shielding
but fingers open
and heart unclenched
in the green ritual of becoming
yet again repeated,
yet again echoing
those who flew before by thousands,
swarms searching for Capistrano
and finding college and career and clouds
gathered…and clouds parted.

She rides shotgun,
she, shotgun,
rides with diamond frozen tears
pinned back callous
behind both barrels
cocked and loaded,
her tender torn eyelids
primed with tearshot

(frozen tears rip as they sit
gathered, bunched, clenched)

Waves, washing by, wistful,
irritated, emotions
mendacious and mirror walking
around that carriage of connection
to futures unseen
swirl and caress her face
with terrible talking fingers.

Her heart is still,
on hold,

(she holds him in her heart)

what was once,
and is, and knows
what will be comes…

(Que Sera, Sera!)

…but not yet.

Because across miles, time,
her blood calls to bone,
her soul and spirit moan
remembering, loving, memorialized
and set in stone
forever.

Miles will pass.  Time
will roll by, and that
return of body and bone
will glad at last be known…
and her laugh, her squint,
(shotgun)
her head toss
and still wonder
will echo to her heart
from babies to be born,
but still bone of her bone…

and heart will thaw and
throat unclench
at last and swallow
that diamond lump stark and
glistening with inevitability.

But now…
Across miles, time
she rides…
shotgun

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White Privilege Doesn’t Mean What You Think it Means | Kristen Howerton

White Privilege Doesn’t Mean What You Think it Means | Kristen Howerton.

Constance, this one will appear before the other two articles I recently pressed…so the same exhortation I made there applies here…

…simply Go.  Read.  Act.

Charissa

Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person | Gina Crosley-Corcoran

Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person | Gina Crosley-Corcoran.

Another very well written and informative explanation of privilege…please check it out.  If you, as I once was , are blind to the ways your skin color or your gender status or your monetary status give you special access to good things and special protection from bad things, then take it from me in faith who once was as you but now can see…

…the consideration of these persuasive words is essential for anyone who desires to live the best expression of justice, mercy and humility that they can.

And as always, I am grateful and humbled that you come here and spend your time!

Love, Charissa

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White privilege: An insidious virus that’s eating America from within – Salon.com

“But the most insidious power of white privilege, the albatross effect that makes it so oppressive to white people themselves, is the way it renders itself invisible and clouds the collective mind. It’s like a virus that adapts in order to ensure its own survival and perpetuation, in this case by convincing its host it isn’t there.”

via White privilege: An insidious virus that’s eating America from within – Salon.com.

Constance…go.  Read.

But before you do, allow me to comment that there is a direct analogy to cis-gender privilege.

I am in a pretty unique position to make this statement.  Here is why:

Up until last March, when the scales fell from my eyes about my own true nature and the disintegrated state of my being, on a slow boat to death and no better prospect, I was completely blind to all forms of privilege I was granted due to the circumstances of my biological body, my skin color, and my socio-economic strata.

I would have sworn on a stack of bibles that I had no privilege.  Being “male”?  A huge burden! (in my case, this was sublimation, lol, but the point still holds).  Being white?  Big deal, I get no affirmative action…etc. etc. etc.!!

I was totally and completely wrong…cuz I was totally and completely blind to these things.  The oppressive effect of privilege which conceals itself from its host is such a powerful concept.

It wasn’t until my eyes were opened that I had any awareness, let alone interest in affecting lasting change.  But now?  This cannot stand.  I cannot call myself one who seeks justice and loves mercy and walks humbly if I do not eschew privilege and seek to liberate my neighbor as a profound act of love.

This is why I am always exhorting you, Constance, if you are cis, to be continually educating yourself, asking for eyes to see, and then taking the courage of your convictions and putting them into action.

Shine on, eyes steady and heart even steadier!

Charissa Grace

A Dhé le Caitlín Maude – Translation

A Dhé le Caitlín Maude – Translation

Aistriúchán ar an Dán
(d’Adrian Radu i gCluz na Rómáinne)

A Dhé
le Caitlín Maude

Neither blood nor flesh
God
your conjured image
-the dreary mouthful of soil-
but I clasp it heart-wards
until it fuses into life.

The questioning is no comfort
(nor is the answer).

Why should I adore
the lifeless image
that will not explain away
and you
who felt my deepest pains
the way I do now?

And if it’s not the questioning
(nor the answer)
that’s the problem
(nor is the answer)
Oh no God.
I don’t understand.
I don’t know.
I’m convinced only – so far
Of that.
There or not
I am drawing towards you

and if you are
I call for one enchantment
to be saved
from those
who speak of you as
the cold man of the skies.

God,
my heresy is boundless
but would you not prefer this
to some intriguing lover of the world’s plenty
Who would fail to pay heed to you
from one end of the year to the next?

God,
The answer is far from the solution
There is no new mysterious revelation
You still have to travel the path of the thorns
No respite or homecoming at the bottom of the sea
Better the water on the forehead now
than after
My time has come to sow my blind pattern
on the gaping canvas.

I attack the contentious issues of the day
(body, heart and mind).
The temptation calls me
‘Don’t’.
What good is passing beauty?
What good?
But remember
that the answer is far from the solution
But the unsightly remains –
dead ashes of the night –
dirty dishes in the morning –
signs of my own death
and
constantly cleaning them
(dishes, heart and mind).
Forget for a while, God,
the dreary mouthful of soil.

(Worse is forgetting).
What can I do
but worship this bleak life?
I press towards me the curse.
I cannot say how long it will last.

But God,
I sneak, I comb, I tend to.
I hide in the fragrant cloth the ugly wounds.
Concealment is my specialty,
I smile
I stretch,
I kiss your lovely side.
There is hope in Spring.
I covet its pulse.

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Dara Hoffman-Fox and Me

Constance, I want to tell you about a very important resource for your education and growth in matters transgender related.  My new friend Dara (who getting to know is like coming back to a childhood home from long ago, and having memories flood back clear and full) is a therapist, specializing in transgender humans.

darapeace2(I love this photo of her, because it shows the Peace she carries on her shoulders!)

She is a true bright light, and her energy and commitment is literally saving lives that otherwise quite likely would be miscarried and malformed, or even lost altogether.  She has a sense of mission that is of the ilk I refer to when I plead to you cis-gender people to pluck up your courage and conviction and make a place for the dispossessed and stranger and alien.

I truly believe that real significant cultural transformation will only occur when the current possessors of power willingly insist on the inclusion of the outcast.  Dara has that vision, that passion, and that calling, and she dove in with her whole heart. I was fortunate enough to first encounter her thru a podcast that she was on.  At the time, I was at the crisis point, that place where all has fallen apart enough for the power and life in the seed to burst the hull and come forth.

Just hearing her voice, her cheerful certainty that transformation was possible, was enough for me, and i began to nose up once again…and I knew in my heart in that moment that sometime in the future, somehow, somewhere, Dara and I would cross paths.  I was filled with the conviction that our nexus would be significant and that together we would be able to have great impact.  I am mindful of that old prophetic declaration “…and one shall put a thousand to flight, but two shall rout ten-thousand!

I signed up for her newsletter and went to her website where I found links to educational materials, resources for my own growth and mental health, and just that indomitable cheerful strength that she simply exudes.  And then flash forward one year…

…and Dara is asking for input from her readers regarding different resource ideas.  Well, I felt that “baby” kick in my gut, hit the reply button, and jabbered away for 10 pages…apparently those words were a similar lil power bomb in Dara’s heart as her podcast and other writings were in mine!  She liked it!  Which thrilled me, obvi…it has been a struggle in my life to ever know I am liked.

One thing led to another, and we emailed in fun flurries of fancy and vision, and voila!  I had an article written.

This article is aimed at you, Constance…you cis-gendered individuals who might find yourselves tapped by transgendered people who desire to have you in their life as a pillar of support.  It lists a few points that explain why you are the one that has been chosen to come out to, it details what the trans experience is like from a transgender perspective, and finally it gives counsel in ways you can be present and help your loved one to live…and not die.

Please?  Head over to her site?

http://darahoffmanfox.com/ 

There you will find a wealth of resource and support…and my own lil article called

Gender Transition: The Leap of Brave Beginnings, and 8 Ways You Can Help

Dara and I have been brainstorming in a beautiful serendipity over creating some things that would be available for a small fee with all proceeds going to those without anything so that they could live and transition without having to partake of destructive things just to survive.  We have lots of ideas…

…but we are finding that when cis-gender people who are curious about things ask, well it gives us such good direction and focus…so as you read, as questions arise or topics surface, let us know?  You can reach me here at Gracenotes and charissa_grace@comcast.net and Dara has contact information easily available over on her page.

Think of it…one snowflake sets off an avalanche…will it be you?  And if not, will you take your place so that the “one” can have a place to land and set it off?

Thanks Constance, and blessings to you this day

daracharissa

(Dara and Charissa brainstorming!  Lololol!!  🙂   )

 

My Favorite Poetess

Constance, since I am giving clues this morning, I am going to share with you my favorite poetess…the great Gaelic
Singer/Poetess/Activist Caitlín Maude

She is the person that I named our first daughter after, and I was hoping to somehow confer upon her some of Caitlín’s incredible power and sensitivity.

I learned of Caitlín Maude in 1982, and I used to lay on our floor, in the dead of night, her album on the turntable on repeat…and listen to her speak…and sing…and speak…and I would cry and cry and cry.

Sometimes all night long…longing…for…well, at the time I did not know what.

Here is a video of her, and she is worth pursuing, tracking out.  I hope you enjoy her as much as I.

Love, Charissa

UPDATE:  Here is a translation, loose but close:

A Dhé le Caitlín Maude – Translation

Aistriúchán ar an Dán
(d’Adrian Radu i gCluz na Rómáinne)

A Dhé
le Caitlín Maude

Neither blood nor flesh
God
your conjured image
-the dreary mouthful of soil-
but I clasp it heart-wards
until it fuses into life.

The questioning is no comfort
(nor is the answer).

Why should I adore
the lifeless image
that will not explain away
and you
who felt my deepest pains
the way I do now?

And if it’s not the questioning
(nor the answer)
that’s the problem
(nor is the answer)
Oh no God.
I don’t understand.
I don’t know.
I’m convinced only – so far
Of that.
There or not
I am drawing towards you

and if you are
I call for one enchantment
to be saved
from those
who speak of you as
the cold man of the skies.

God,
my heresy is boundless
but would you not prefer this
to some intriguing lover of the world’s plenty
Who would fail to pay heed to you
from one end of the year to the next?

God,
The answer is far from the solution
There is no new mysterious revelation
You still have to travel the path of the thorns
No respite or homecoming at the bottom of the sea
Better the water on the forehead now
than after
My time has come to sow my blind pattern
on the gaping canvas.

I attack the contentious issues of the day
(body, heart and mind).
The temptation calls me
‘Don’t’.
What good is passing beauty?
What good?
But remember
that the answer is far from the solution
But the unsightly remains –
dead ashes of the night –
dirty dishes in the morning –
signs of my own death
and
constantly cleaning them
(dishes, heart and mind).
Forget for a while, God,
the dreary mouthful of soil.

(Worse is forgetting).
What can I do
but worship this bleak life?
I press towards me the curse.
I cannot say how long it will last.

But God,
I sneak, I comb, I tend to.
I hide in the fragrant cloth the ugly wounds.
Concealment is my specialty,
I smile
I stretch,
I kiss your lovely side.
There is hope in Spring.
I covet its pulse.

 

Clues

Okay Constance…I am gonna confess a lil indulgence of ego:  I really like my new poem “Her Door, Her Red Door”, and frankly I am a little disappointed there have not been very many likes on it…but I am also not surprised for it is inference, symbol, veil, subtly blatant while blatantly subtle…

I actually and for real think it is one of my most skillful poems to date.

But I get that it is not necessarily appealing…but consider, if you would, the poem itself in the context of the work of the poet:  I once said “The poet is a desperater man than most. He must get it all down before the ages are up. Which, as any poet will tell you Is A BITCH!” (waaay back in 1982)…

…I was trying to say that there is a “job” in poetry, or perhaps a better word is quest?  No matter…if you consider yourself a poet (and I do) then you find this inability to see life as any other thing but a poem and events/circumstances/happenings are all snapshots into the heart of the poem.

Thus, when I write I try to emulate the layers, hidden and revealed, that comprise this Mystery we swim in.

In “Her Door, Her Red Door”, you find me operating on a few very intentional levels…I do not want to just lay it out there.  That is a bit too clinical, sort of like the difference between sex education class in Middle School Health class, and the wonder and poignant pain of Love’s First Kiss.  But I do want you to have some sense of the structure, the themes and the interplay of them.  I can be obtuse…lol.

First of all, consider that it is a poem written by a trans-gender woman who is in the midst of transition.  This overall context puts the other elements in perspective and frames the picture.

Secondly, it is a poem dedicated to a person whom I have openly spoken of and the role she has in my life.  That role has permutations and multiple facets when considered poetically.  What is her “business” with me?  What is mine with her?  What is our mutual end?  And more fundamentally, Constance, what is your position in all this as well?  Are you somehow about the same things, in the salient areas of becoming that you face?

Next comes the unfolding of my view of our essential business:  becoming.  She is a facilitator of mine, and as I participate in her provisions I aid hers as well…and each of you, as you become day to day, may perhaps find touchstones in this poem’s point of view and approach to that becoming.  You will, of course, have to make inference and feel your way under the sheet to the true bones of your own transitions in this life as a sentient, conscious being stuck between the macrocosm and the microcosm infinities, and with eyes…

I choose a physical aspect of her and invest that with meaning far other than the expected trope culturally in our pornography laced times…there are only three capital letters used in this poem.  That is on purpose.

There are obvious references to musicians…why specific ones?  Why them?  What are the specific characteristics of those humans?  (Remember to ask this inside the “frame” of the picture I mentioned earlier).  There are single words that link back to lyrics, and those lyrics in turn echo back the essential business of this magic woman, which echo back to my own quest of becoming.

There are many puns laced throughout, intentionally slanted in relation to the core…that way they can make the connection and then…like leaves in early autumn, gracefully drop away once their purpose for the tree is completed, and reveal the strong and vital branches of the tree beneath that leafy veil…

The door:  resist the temptation to skim over this, thinking it is obvious…no?  Perhaps, like usual with me, it is a sonar reading on a larger diamond lurking in the dark of unknown knowns…but if you will try, you may very well enjoy letting those things bubble up inside you…from your heart.

Lastly, and remember that I have said before that wine and the process of creating it is for me the central metaphor of the universe, think about the poem again, in entirety (which means you can reinterpret the words on the 4 layers of existential being: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual)…and once you have that palate built?  Start to pull elements from one read through, and combine them with elements of the other…sensual elements mixed with sacred elements…becoming and unbecoming mixed with living and dying…

…and always, always:  Communion.  Bread…Wine…in the presence of knowing knowers broken and shared.

We are given our birth…but we have to achieve our being, and enter in.

I will literally be grateful to Heather for eternity.  She is truly one of the best, and I beg Lady Grace that I am privileged to share space in paradise with her…Be blessed, dearest friend.

You too Constance…I hope these clues assist you into at least understanding why I am so proud of this one.  It was “easy hard” to write down and weave, and it tested my limits at this stage of my becoming…as a poetess, as a prophetess, as a woman, and as a lover of God.

In heartfelt passion,

Charissa Grace

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