It’s On…

it’s on the naked branches
stripped bare by winter lashings
frozen crushings and dim light
dark night and the howls and owls
and the lonesome silent music
of lost longings and long waiting…
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it’s on the roof built solid
so snug against the cold
and cupping all the golden warmth
that glows inside the heart
and sings inside the soul
of Spring returning fast…
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it’s on my face that Mama splashes
all Her Love, Her Grace and Peace
She beautifies my ashes
She oils my grieving heart
She clothes me in Her Raiment
and purifies my spirit

and I sing once again
reborn and free again.
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In The Dusky Rose Glow of a Summer Evening

In the dusky rose glow of a summer evening
She held my heart in her hand
and held my hand in her heart
and held my eyes in her forever.

I had placed my heart so tender there
and given it free in moonlight shining on her hair
while all around us silence sang of lovers in the night
And we alone were there and swimming in Love’s magic light

She looked at me as solemn as the owl standing guard
Her breath upon my cheek a sonnet of gravest import
And it did shine there shielding me within its towering fort
My heart safe in her hand, my heart so broken, torn and scarred.

She smiled, she took my heart into her mouth like bread
She swallowed without chewing it to keep it safe from harm
It moved and then it snikked in place so perfect and she said
She’d keep it safe within her as Love’s everlasting charm

Oh Love, to keep my broken heart safe you have shadowed me
Within your care and kindness always underneath your tree
As summer became autumn, autumn winter, then comes spring
It’s in the endless summer of your love I always sing.

In the dusky rose glow of a summer evening
She held my heart in her hand
and held my hand in her heart
and held my eyes in her forever.

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Only Winter Really Knows

That last leaf, on that dry branch
scratching at grey skies and digging for rain,
digging in my heart for seeds of grief
buried so deep.

What is it about the last one?
Leaf, apple, pine cone?
Winds rake and tug, greedily scooping prizes
sweet, tart, bristley, floatey…

but there always are those hangers on tenacious,
and never saying die…
or is it that they cannot do it? Say die?
or even “dead”.

Is it that they refuse
to let go? Or is it
that they cannot?
Let go?

And here is the killer:  some people think they are resilient
and full of perseverance and persistence,
and some people think they are noble
and full of loyalty and loose liberty.

But I wonder if they are
just not capable, if they are
just crippled by their
inability to let go and move on?

I know how many days have come,
winds blowing, raking and pawing at me lusty,
unwanted doggy beasts, knocking me loose
and then away and disappearing.

I know how many thrusts, rooting have picked me over
and my secrets tumbling dead and colorful in air
away to dirt but I left lonely, hanging unrequited there
and flapping solitary in the winds of shame.

But there are still some (leaves, secrets, treasures)
still hanging on and unable to let go,
adorned in funeral robes dolorous
and hued in autumn splendor.

Most see them as emblems, medals,
battle spoils dearly won and worn…
but they are just proof
of my weaknesses and loss

and inability to quit,
to let go and enter
into that towering
still White transition called

Winter…

which, disguised as death
to frighten all assailants,
holds my dreams and hopes and losses
all in trust and buried deep in wombs
of merciful becoming masquerading
as cold tombs silent, dark and numbing,

Winter…

who holds my heart gripped
in her frosty kiss desperate,
longing for her last gasp
before presenting me
to the sprites of spring and then
the suns of summer.

The last one…there.
map, marking ways
hidden and secret to find
my deepest treasures,

or medal, memory of moments
living and filthy with love
long ago so bold and given over now
to the grave so lonely and cold.

I guess only Winter
really knows and will proclaim
when She calls roll and
the Final Thaw begins.

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Comments on Creation’s Communion

I rarely take the trouble to interpret my poems for you, Constance…I think it is part of your own pleasure as a reader to dig in and chew, or to imbibe deep and feel the intoxicating buzz later when it enters your blood and sings its song there…dare I even insinuate it is also your responsibility as a poetry lover to allow it to disturb you, or trouble you, or even flummox you until you suss it out?

My poems are hidden inside themselves very frequently.  They are one thing on one level, multitudinous other things on other levels, they are always the same unless one word is read with different meaning and all is transformed…

…hey I am a transgirl, so is it any wonder that my poems are like me, someone hidden inside something?  Giggles!

Anyway, I want to provide a bit of background to a few things:  First of all, I want to tell you what happened after I birthed the poem, and began to go back to clean up my baby, dry off the afterbirth, feed and nurture it to vitality.  I immediately began to adjust the women-seasons metaphor.  Everyone knows that Spring is the gay and skipping girl, flouncing boldly into Old Lady Winter’s mouldery austere house, throwing up the windows and letting the stale and leaden air out!

Right?  WRONG!!!!

The poem did not give that contented groan (like my doggie when I scratched her secret spot) as I attempted to edit!  No…it went Dustin Hoffman under Laurence Olivier’s drill in Marathon Man!  Screamed in horror, fear, and outrage, it did!!  So…I went with it, and actually I love the way it turns the expected and familiar on its head, and it challenges our ideas that each season is representative of a different stage of a woman’s growth (for to me, the seasons have always been feminine)…it poses the notion that each season has a complete cycle within itself, and in its usurpation of the fading queen, it dooms itself to the same overthrow!  That clash thus takes on a fascinating depth and the iterations of metaphor grow in multiplicity.

Secondly, the word haint is an old slang word for haunt found generally in southern and rural locations.  Consider the variety of meanings layered in haunt, and understand that application of haint.  It is also a funny contraction of “have not” and/or “has not” together with “ain’t”…haint.  So ponder the reference to places as that contraction, and the elevator begins to move rapidly in its own directions thru the poem.  Lastly, haint eventually took on the connotations of a scary-mean woman, or an evil bitch…and thus the poem circles around on itself (even as the seasons chase each other endlessly in a game of Tag) and references the women mentioned in the first stanza, and the whole understanding of who is the biddy and who is the bouncy flouncy Queen B gets tripped topsy turvy.  It plays back in to that cycle of usurpation.

When people see me, they “see” me…and then if they spend any time with me with open heart, they SEE me…that is how my poems are.

I invite you to reconsider this poem with these clues…perhaps it will help with this one.  I quite like it, but only time will tell us if it an unruly towhead that gains dignity, gravity and gusto as it grows…or if it is a juvenile delinquent that is hellbent to be the lovechild of Meatloaf and AC DC!!

 

Blessings, Charissa

 

and High Mountains. 

Always High Mountains beckon me…
years of riding their stringent intractable slopes,
dizzying switchbacks,
and punishingly friendly gradients….oh High Mountains!
Sweat and tears my offerings,
and fitness and expiation
the blessings They bestowed upon me. 

How I long to share with you these feasts,
deep and austere
On this Golden Gravid Spring Day