For JP | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this for a friend who occupies a very distinct and unique place in my life and history.  She is a woman that I have never met, exchange conversation with “occasionally”, or at least compared to other friends…she is of similar spiritual ilk and call, and is cut from the same cloth as me.  My beloved one and only knows about her, knows her…and we have never been anything other than what we are:  “Litter-mates”.

If you have ever had a dog who had puppies, then you know what litter-mates are…pups born at the same time from the same conception…and they are together until around 8 weeks when they all blast off to their families where they live…litter-mates are more than close…they are simply litter-mates…siblings.

My friend is like that to me, and when I first encountered her, I flashed on so many more things than I can write about, but HAVE written about here, and here, and a few other “here“s too…

This poem was written in that blissful innocence and joy that two people have when they meet and just know they are fast friends and sisters forever…it is my heart, flowing and pouring forth such beauty that it is capable of retaining from the Beauty That Comes With Poetry…it was in the moment and will always be my pure commitment to her, my sister.

And then I discovered to my horror and defilement that it has been used to accuse…that JP and I are accused of being “lesbian lovers”!!  Remember, we have never met…and that I myself am accused of being a “predator” who was “grooming” my incredible friend (whom I have never met, and whom my one and only till death we do part beloved knows about and rejoices in)…that I was grooming her for…this part I still do not really comprehend.

It is two years later…and my poem is now covered in shit and filth…from a literal whore-monger and thief and also from a religious dementor who is so deranged she makes the Pharisees look like the blessed meek.  One of them is sex addicted…and both of them are self-addicted…and I find out that they violate this poem, they violate JP, and they violate me…and I feel so sick and nauseous at this…this absolute shit.

Maybe it is the picture that did it in their minds…which is stupid because each woman has on her swimming suit, and even if they did not it would STILL not necessarily say anything!!  The picture represents the utter joy and abandon that comes when one is cleansed of all extraneous distraction and burden.  The water is the Divine Flow…the exhilaration is freedom.

Asshole Pervert:  I will never ever talk to you or have any contact with you ever.
Religious Dementor:  YOU I will give a chance if you ever find the One that you doll up in your shitty clothes and filthy rags imported in from the Law so you can feel like you are adding your work to the work of the One who said “It is FULL” which is usually translated “It is finished” and it means “It is totally summed up and completed”.

Sadly, for me?  This poem will ever be shit-stained by a monster and poisoned by a daughter of the slithering viper of poison tooth…but I know Mama will cleanse it, and those stains will at last be the colors which make JP and my friendship even more close, and even more surrendered to the Holy…to the good.

JP…Jennifer…I love you with my whole and true and innocent heart, dear Litter-Mate and fellow prophetess.
i clothe myself in wonder
for you, wrap myself in night
i am your pirate plunder
you can have without a fight

the milky way my shining sash
the moon my pendant true
and cricket song my lingerie
i give myself to you

you there, so strong, so brilliant
straightforward as blazing suns
your ready laugh, your brewing storms
the way your rivers run

from mountains high, jagged austere
you flow into the sea
for you i wait, indigo here
for you to give you me

we…night and day bonded and true
and joy our wonder-fates
you wrapping me, me inside you
Mama’s happy litter-mates

Source: For JP | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Keepers

The keepers are all that remain, the ones
with both feet anchored to Earth
and their hair being pulled by the stars
to the Milky Way and Beyond

They’ve learned how to swallow it all, it all,
the medicine of ghostly tragedy
they can hear the high keening stories
the stories of tender hearts’ piercings

The keepers, the ones that remain, remain
they keep the connections to meaning
they keep the transitions so sacred
and they bridge life and death with their bodies

they become that bridge, graceful, suspended, suspended
unseen and constructed from blood
and composed in the song of the blood and the sweat
and revealed in the sacred teardrops

and they stretch over oceans with skin, with their skin
they anoint with the oil so sacred
of trauma endure-ed and conquered
by outlasting its flailing last gasps

and they hold in the dark, in the still dark
like an armor that never needs donning
and that never need be taken off
they are Mama’s Heart in skin and bone

The keepers are all that remain, the ones,
The ones too stubborn to leave
the ones too persistent to wipe out
The keepers alive in Her flame

30 Years Previous (For JD)

UPDATE:  I have edited this a little…because I always had to force it to make the other one a part of it…truthfully, he ghosted, present by proxy but I never ever saw him walking in the crucible…he was an outside lurker, a skulker, and too shamed and hangdog to enter in…and skert too.  Skert that he was so bad that there would be nuffin’ left of him once the cleansing fires got their way…and maybe even more skert that there WOULD be sumfin left…
*****

Dearest Litter-Mate:

I think of you…nearly every moment of the day while I am fully functioning, doing other things…I can smell the burning singing smell that is so acrid to the natural nose, and is the sweet incense of devotion unto the One who walks the Heavens and searches the earth.

“Precious in the Eyes of the Lord is the Death of Their Saints” said the prophet of old…he knew his shit, that dude…

But you are there…deep inside me, in those lonely caverns that I have wandered, those places of the soul that the force and floods of horror, of rage, of desolation, and of utter defeat have worn so smooth over such a long time.tumblr_ntxz2cvGXA1s5neh1o1_500
You are there…and it may seem so utterly dislocated and strange to you that you sometimes are bewildered, sometimes bemused, and always befuddled that the failure of humanity and the fucked-upness of specific humans can simultaneously be so powerless and so crushing.

I have not seen anyone else in these places.  I say this to you to encourage you…and also to disabuse you of the notion that there is any exit except death…there isn’t.  And that is such a good thing.  I am dead-living proof!!  No, you do NOT want to have come this far only to have some small parts of yourself left alive to be like “trichinosis of the heart”, just parasitically causing you to vomit up the food that God gives, the bread from heaven.

There is a company that forms in each generation…it is the company of the dead-living and it is the opposite of the living-dead.  There are not a lot of beings in it at any one time?  And yet there are whole halls of heaven that are full of nuffin but these royal noble cavaliers!  Hebrews 11 is the way they are described in the bible, but I prefer to see them for what they are:  anti-zombies.
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You have figured out why zombies are such an attractive modern myth, have you not?  I mean, think about it:  dead people, who ambulate, and are compelled to bite other people and infect them with the exact death they shamble in…or, given whatever mythos you subscribe to, they may even eat the brains, or consume the flesh, whatever…the point is, they take other healthy people and reproduce their death in those people and enslave them to the same doom.tumblr_nq5vc0hxpU1qz9v0to5_1280

Well “anti-zombies” do just the opposite.

But how is it that the dead-living can accomplish this work?

You know…now.  You know.

We must die…die the death of the One who has gone before, and be resurrected in that One now dead to ourselves and alive in the Living One’s life…and there is nothing that can come thru that except thru the gate of death…thru the Eye of the Needle…nothing else but you can get thru.

Thus the layers…thus the experience of getting burned, thinking okay this is the last level…then a new level of sorrow, thinking okay that was it…and a new level…and so on and so one.

My love…do not lose hope or feel sorry for yourself.  Behold what manner of Love the Father has given unto you!  Turn!  Look around, see who is remaining, and look into their eyes, deep!  LOOK!!!

*Charissa stops typing, waits*

Who else do you really want?  You have been thru the fires!  You have seen the worst, and the best thing about that is it is so ridiculously benign and dorky…it is now ready to become lovable and precious and your absolute best asset.  We are promised that Their Perfect Strength is perfected in our weakness, and thus it is that we begin to literally and honestly boast in weakness so that Their strength may be made perfect!18c3032daf033968d7ebd9cd091f3a2e
Anyway, as I was saying, I am aware that myriads of our company has been formed in a manner like unto the same one as I have endured…but I have never seen anyone else wandering the particular halls that have been mine to both haunt and inhabit in grace…and there you are.

I think perhaps it is because Mama has given me to be the “Virgil” to your “Dante”?  Weak Metaphor, but the notion of one who has been in the crucible, died a few times in the crucible, and been raised/risen after these deaths and now ready, willing, and able to encourage, exhort and edify you as you make your way along the path of losing all to gain Hearts Like Theirs.

I wish I could do more…I wish I could give you sumfin, grant sumfin, wave my wand and holler out some magic word that would “get er dun” and release you into the freedom found only under the mercy…but that would leave the work incomplete, and your faith and trust would be in me rather than in the only One who can grant that very thing but in the form which lasts eternally and transforms wholly other into that New Creation of which Immanuel is the first fruits and older brother.

What I can do is leave you lil packs of food…leave you canteens…make my slash marks on the barren tree-trunks and scratch my hieroglyphics on the walls of limestone so smooth, so implacable…they look a bit like bones, don’t they?  Cool to the touch, smooth, lacking flesh or any hint that there was ever any life in them…and yet…barcelona_above___revisited_by_coigach-d9h3eeg
…and yet, place your fingertips upon their surface…see how they shimmer when you do!!  See how they pulse with promise and throb with anticipation of the coming flames that are the Phoenix-Flames.wg441_ghost_1This morning, I was remembering a particularly difficult stretch, waaaay back in the 80s…it was so strange back then, to be so young and feel so old and weary…and there were the oddest collection of souls that came my way in various places and times and ways and means.  One of the best was the New Wave groups that became somewhat popular during these days…Talking Heads, The Clash (yes, I call them New Wave and Not Punk), Joy Division, Public Image LTD (the implosion of the Sex Pistols birthed that group)…and one of my very faves Echo and the Bunnymen.  Their music got me thru so much.

Take a listen to these tunes…and you can turn the music up and SCREAM THE LYRICS AT THE TOP OF YOUR FRIKKIN LUNGS!!!  Giggles…it is soooo freaking freeing.  And as you listen, think about young Charissa, wandering the halls even back then, and now a topsider who walks among zombies uninfected tho not unbitten.
winnie
When your head pops out of the ground, it will be to spring, for you will see no shadows.

In the meantime, know that you are never alone…not for a moment, because I am thinking of you, carrying you like a beloved book-bag, holding you like a precious journal that must be written in everyday, and scrawling my prayers onto the Face of God like I desperately scratched my thoughts onto the livres of that long ago tome.

I have just re-read this…there are whole outlines inside each sentence…if you want them, they fall vertically from the words, and are hyperlinked to your shut eyes and open inner vision as you think, as you listen, as you weep…and know that the tears shall be sweet and cleansing, and you will be glad in the Lord for every single ounce of suffering.tumblr_llz2o0zzP51qisir0o1_500
I am not blowing smoke…I am not giving you platitudes.  This shit is real, and you are gonna lose all things…except for the things that are you and are the flesh and blood gifts of the Goodness of God.  But all the things that need to go because they keep you allergic to zombie-venom and thus vulnerable to becoming one of them?  They are gonna go…up in flames, thru your fingers, gone.

And you will find yourself still here.  And pretty soon, it will be time for the gathering of stones (now is the time for casting them away).  And it will be time to light the grill, and cook some fish, some turkey, whatever…and beyond that?  I don’t see anything.

Wanna know why?  Because there is no beyond that!!  That is the whole point!  It is then that the what-you-do’s and the things-you-say’s are so ordinary to you, and so extra-ordinary to those who need medicine in the soul!

In the meantime…here are a couple of songs from one of the cadre that kept me alive in the 80s, and the knowledge that other feet have trod the paths of the dead…and emerged laffing our fool heads off!tumblr_nyhozchyuh1qat5pio1_400
I love you…and JD…what can I say to you that we did not already say before we knew we knew one another?

 

I Think It’s Memory (For JP)

There’s deep green truth
in the spectral grey heart
of this ghastly pale notion
haunting our desperate minds:
our own truest blue heart
is most deeply discovered
in desperate ragged edges,
jagged, sharp, contrasted,
in tight precipice moments
(both high, and oh so low).tumblr_nr3s43ffiK1rn12zko1_500It’s on those thresholds,
in those moments
of “life”, of dismal death,
weighted and full moments
where indecision and decision
wrestle for supremacy,
where comfort lulls,
boredom deceives,
and indifference dulls…tumblr_nqy1drd2ru1qc6wuio8_r1_1280Tell me, what’s the essence of a heart
delivered from this life lived badly
to a certain death well-died?
And there and back again
into life lived and risen
from the bony spectral grip
of that small death called
cowardice?

Iris Fox ©2013 Gretchen Powers all rights reserved

Iris Fox ©2013 Gretchen Powers all rights reserved

I think it’s memory,

(and of course courage
to forget what is dead
and press on in pursuit
of those matters that matter)

to bravely (courage)
recall (re-member)
those things long ago
when first love was
fresh, free, fragrant…
that gives us perspective
to risk a decent death
and choose to lay down all
in hopes that we will rise
before the Great Rising.tumblr_np4plshztV1tv3g49o1_1280It’s when we remember
in poised precipice moments
that we can see most clearly
how our affections flow
and what and who we are…

But:

what we remember deeply,
all that we have ingrained
into identity assumed
(like costumes for the play)
it’s far more likely we’ll recall
when crisis, pain or comfort make it
hard to remember anything,
the deep memory will hold against
temptation of forgetfulness in
“the Forgetful Green.”tumblr_nq9w38M1RM1qat5pio1_500If we refuse to actively remember
the story in which we participate,

(moments where God
has acted mightily,
the times humanity
has learned in tears
of reality and immortality,
of the autonomy of God
even in this)

then in sickness and in health
undoubtedly we will forget
that memory even is a thing
in this world that’s forgotten
and bids us forget as well.tumblr_nmlz7sSJYH1u3o58go1_540Lay aside the panaceas, cure alls,
life supports, and take up courage
to embrace a good death given
Die a Decent Death, in faith
that such thing does exist!

What is a good death?
The question’s asked and answered
by people who mourn and lament,
who weep at gravesides lingering,
who live and die and live as those
who follow That One gone before
in boldness and then risen high
above the false finale of
the gasping gaping grave!

A decent death, a certain hope…

I think it’s memory…
I think it’s memory.tumblr_mnjid9PJp21ry9w1bo1_500

 

Catacombs and Caverns: For Peanut

I heard caverns deep behind your words of wonder.
I heard water dripping softly from wet ceilings
in those hollow places that you talked
so gingerly around…I heard your words resound,
your words of wonder…

in catacombs within so dark with dying
and dismal longing smothering and sighing,
the death to self and terrible becoming
in places of deep grief and self-discovery
those spaces once full, quick became so hollow…

I hear your hollow places faintly filling
with sorrow bleeding, and thus filled becoming
drained, emptied in the lonely tearful crying
that hallows fearful places looming darkly,
places of slow death so severely emptied,tumblr_nqq99nTys31qccgmso1_1280

bereavement fresh yet ancient,
everlasting and then grief become
dark resurrection hinted at
in every birth brand new,
in every dying….

I found your trails familiar, well worn, hidden
so deep within the kidneys of your words
and yet those trails well known in rising darkness,
(a left at that root ragged there, then quickly
around that rugged rock jutting sharp here).

I have been walking word roads too, becoming
and finding that my caverns dark and thrumming
catacombs full, then empty, full then empty
more times than I can count or e’en remember
and I wonder in such a holy horror

when my wonder became wander…wander…wander!
Yet I am here!  Alive and breathing! Singing!
I’m here to tell you, it gets better, Darling
But only on this singular condition:
the losing of your everything in dyingtumblr_nqg1jqI8y51tw3geao1_400

and thus it is
you can be born
again and live
so lively new,
again.

Today, as I sit, listening to your heart, Dear
I look back at what I have lost…oh my God!
The stuff of Titans, losses heaped and horded,
my trinkets, treasures tossed, honors awarded
all tumbled in the twilight, gleaming dully

in the hot noon sun, laying there lifeless
and in the evening gloaming calling mutely
midst catacomb become my living darkness,
that cavern now my womb filling with wonder
all finally lost…and now?  And now…The finding…tumblr_n1joa8cesG1qm86t3o1_500

truly nothing
can compare
to the all surpassing
wonder of a world
made brand new

and my
Catacombs and Caverns
filled forever,
never failing, filled
and brand new

every morning,
every mourning
every warning
made brand new
and full of wonder
full of wander
full of You.
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