The Stone Man Crumbles

IMG_2095.JPGIMG_2108.JPGIMG_2019 2.JPG

 

“ A lack of empathy combined with arrogant stupidity and willful ignorance is an awesomely malevolent force to behold.”

 

He works in secrecy

always behind my back.

Never prepared

I am always stunned

by senseless cruelty.

Why can’t I feel the blood rising

a black cloud hovering,

over a baby pink horizon?

The axe is always poised

For be – heading blue.

 

I am not stupid,

Too trusting – yes

But I also know the story.

And it is true that

I once wanted both –

to live in two places

I made compromises

to do so –

working against this body

who has known from the

beginning that evil lurks

bubbling out of hidden human splits.

Chasms of the heart

run through reptilian crevices.

 

Extremes are his trademark

Too sweet, too forbidding,

And always in the Right.

Never Sorry.

Repentance an anathema.

When I refused to listen

body struck back with illness

dreams became nightmares

and still

I persisted.

Not believing myself.

 

So the problem

is not in him.

It’s me. I know

who he is

under the cloying sweetness.

Not a decent man.

A caricature.

Revenge his secret trademark

A man so needy

He cannot stand alone.

Building ugly stone edifices

he imagines he has created

an invincible

image of himself.

But rocks have a way

of crashing down

without warning,

shattering

illusions and bones.

 

He fools the unwary with politeness.

the greedy by casting money

(even at those who don’t want it).

Worst of all he lies…

And lies. And lies.

A man sculpted out of deceit.

Some people believe him.

 

I’m the one that looks like the fool –

or worse,

when I point the finger

exposing the truth.

And I am no innocent

having accepted my due.

I signed the devil’s bargain

the day I moved in here.

Once, I wanted to make this

mud house my own.

 

But the North Country Woman

cried out for rain,

wept for frog filled nights

for emerald green grass

deep blue flowing waters,

fields of wheat and wildflowers –

I imagined the silence of starry

nights when the earth is still…

and eventually felt

the peace of deer bedded

down in diamond studded snow.

 

First nudges, then longing …

Finally fierce aching followed by

a fearful and chaotic return.

Yet the steadfast love of bears

and a “call”

from the old man who loves them

helped me see.

It took three years,

But I am finding my way home.

Advertisements

Bare Bones

IMG_2543.jpg

 

In the pure white sun dream

I wore a necklace –

bearstone and bone.

For months

meaning

eluded me,

but feeling

erupted

from within-

a volcano

was burning

somewhere

beyond me –

destructive fires,

my body knew.

And beyond that

stones and bones.

 

Extremes freeze authenticity.

 

Why is it

that I cannot

hold onto Dark

the way others do?

I keep shedding Shades

like outworn skins –

“Let them go” I pray,

missing the point completely.

An error bordering

on personal stupidity –

Sometimes

Shadow

casts a shroud

to create clarity.

Instead of berating

myself, I need

to look to others

to uncover

what’s hidden

in them.

I own my flaws.

There are dark

rooms in everyone’s house –

not just my own.

October Moon

 

 

IMG_2513.JPG

 

The Earth Goes to Sleep Moon… after the freeze

 

Dawn at the river –

a golden sun

rises over the horizon…

Sea smoke rises from

rushing waters where La Llorona weeps

for those who are lost, dying, or dead.

I am only one of many.

Frosted grasses and dull brown

leaves fall around my feet.

Marsh grasses bend low to the ground

I follow their lead,

feeling the peace of surrender,

the letting go

of the end of a torturous year…

A white moon is washed in

pale pink as she rises

over barren reptilian

mountains –

No mercy there.

Just empty

vast blue sky.

The Bare Connection

IMG_4256.JPG

( Lily who I loved years before I met her… reminding me that love is not distant dependent – not ever)

 

Your voice wakens me

from the deadly trance

that has become my life.

You lift me up through

pure feeling.

Consistency at last.

I take flight in boundless joy –

The knowledge that

this is right –

you and I

coming together

bound by bears –

an irrational connection

so deep it defies

explanation,

until I remember

that bears always knew

what we did not.

Midnight Dreaming

20190824_RCs_Carter_20190526.jpg

Carter, a yearling (20 months old) who I hope survives the hunt

Photo Credit:  Lynn Rogers

 

In my mind

I inhabit a small

cabin nestled in

fragrant red pines

where Black bears

climb rough bark

to peer

down at me

believing I

seek their company.

Boundary waters

surround me

with deep Silence

that allows

me to hear

the Voices

of the Forest.

The scent of

of hundreds of

miles of open water

wraps me in

a blanket of moist

air even as night sky

bowl cracks over my head,

pouring down tales of

primordial story.

The Great Bear

is a spiral –

spinning a cocoon of

Midnight Grace.

Here, living

among the bears,

trees,

and the creatures

of the forest

I remember –

We are all

spun from stardust,

meant

to live in harmony,

as relatives –

In Peace.

 

Working notes:

 

I have just moved across country from Maine to New Mexico – leaving one border- land for another. Yet my dreams do not follow me; Instead, they speak to the bear hunt that occurs each fall throughout this country, a land so hopelessly steeped in human violence. In my dreams night after night I cry out for the suffering I witness as young bears are slaughtered without mercy.

 

When I awaken I am not here or there but in a place in northern Minnesota where an ‘old man’ along with his kind neighbors seek to protect the innocent… Here bears and humans co –exist in peace.

 

How I long to join them…

Stepping Out of Time

IMG_2076.JPG

 

Cicadas hum.

Blushing yellow apples

fall onto grasses that are

fading to wheat.

The velvet tiered buck crosses

the rushing brook,

climbs the

hill to stare at me

through the window.

His lady is not far behind,

her white tail switching.

Cicadas hum.

A single tree frog trills

from a slender swamp maple

whose leaves

are shining silver from

recent rain. Intoxicating scent

still lingers – the sweetest

perfume of all, this moisture

laden air warming

sleeping stones

and the toad who

lives under feathery ferns.

Cicadas hum.

There is a tapestry

of leaves laying around

my feet as I walk up

the woods’ road –

blood orange, lemon, lime

and crimson –

a sense of being suspended

in time.

Cicadas hum.

A few caterpillars spin threads

and hang in thin air

from trees still dressed

in various shades of moth eaten

green, to land upon crumbling

moss covered tree trunks

ripe with mushrooms

birthing new earth.

Cicadas hum.

Hobble bush offers luscious bounty –

Generous sprays of bright red berries,

attract butterflies and birds alike.

Fuzzy beaked hazelnuts are

ripening to warm brown

for hungry Black bears

to pluck and feed.

Acorns fall at my feet.

Canada geese honk overhead,

gathering for migration

as does the raft of loons

floating on a nearby pond.

Cicadas hum.

The sky bowl is full

of deep blue water.

She cradles

a golden star that glides

off center at noon.

And I think I

have never witnessed such

splendor as this prelude

preceding Earth’s passage

into Fall.

 

Working notes:

 

There is something so miraculous about this prelude to the fall of each year. Every day I make a deliberate commitment for time to simply be. I treasure leisurely woodland walks so that I might absorb earth’s subtle changes. The deepening shadows provide such delicate contrasts in color and shape. Familiar trails allow me to focus on details – fiery new blossoms, the ever – changing leaves on a single tree that I might miss otherwise. Unlike spring or summer I never feel the need to hurry or to explore new places. I lean towards the familiar during this season of stillness and waiting, taking pleasure from the places I know so well, a deepening blue sky, buttery yellow wildflowers, and a golden sun that streams in my window at dawn. It is at this time of year in the afterglow of summer’s heat that the sun and I befriend one another once again as we both move towards the darkening of the year.

Beneath a Canopy of Bears

IMG_2006.JPG

Two mourning doves

greet me

at dawn,

fluffed and huddled together

on a pine strewn floor.

Mist blankets a forest

that creeps ever closer

towards the door.

 

The strip of red cloth

tied to a branch

is a prayer

for life or a painless death.

Bears are under fire.

 

I am embraced by trees

whose leaves

are tattered and worn.

All are bowed,

bearing ripening fruit.

 

Clusters of emerald grapes hang from

my bedroom window

The light is scattered – soft

green, sifted gold

filaments stream

through heart shaped leaves.

 

I awakened last night

breathing in

deep woods air,

slow moving waters.

The scent of this

valley stream,

sudden showers,

keeps my senses keen.

 

I sleep under quilts

reveling in cool nights

snuggling into

silky softness

feeling the gentle

rise and fall

of my dogs breath.

Except for them

I am alone here

and content

to be so.

 

I am gathering memories

for a basket made

of reeds to take

with me when I

leave this sanctuary

made holy by

Love and Bear Attention

over so many years.

 

I knew before

I arrived, that summer

carried threats – (bone

chilling foreknowledge

seems so futile –

Dread equally useless).

One cannot change what is

Or what will come to be…

 

There were high points:

Beloved bears,

meeting the old man

who loves them,

kayaking on the pond.

Picking wild roses by the sea…

The horizon was unbroken as

I heard the words

“I am looking into eternity.”

Blessed rain – I listened to

Tree roots glowing, glistening

underground –

hyphae pulsing light.

 

One is always solitary

in unwelcome diagnoses.

A dark cloud hangs heavy

over this tired body.

I am closing the gap

between a life that has been

mostly lived and

the Great Unknown.

Five lives –

only two are human –

hang in a balance

I cannot comprehend.

 

And yet

With the advent

of early autumn,

the turning of the wheel

Silence births peace

A fall flowering –

a thinning of the veil

of fear.

 

Across the brook a single maple

turn crimson and gold

a few painted leaves

drift like the butterfly

whose deep orange coat

signals a time to journey south.

Not just this leave – taking

but others are ahead.

 

The children I bore are gone –

ebbing with this change of season.

Green frogs cheep,

nubbly toadlets trill

cardinal clicks abound.

 

Fields of yellow goldenrod,

purple asters,

spiraling passion plant tendrils

and a beloved yearling’s visit,

attach me to knowing

that to be Present is enough.

 

On going conversation sustains.

Hard truths are exchanged,

passionate

declarations spoken.

“I love you”

translates into action

by two –

Visionaries for Bears.

 

I am utterly real he says.

I say love is not distant dependent.

Who could have known

these insights would bind two

bear lovers as one

under a canopy of roots

crafted by bears?

 

Working notes:

Fall is my favorite season. I love the softening of summer’s harsh light, the deepening shadows, and cooler temperatures… the ripening fruit and seed pods, the sound of cicadas and crickets.

In September I ritually give thanks for the harvest, reflect, and gather in the events of the year through words…

Fall is also hunting season and each year I struggle with the ongoing bear slaughter that has already begun. This year I hung red strips of cloth on branches as prayers to be carried by the wind.

It is an Indigenous tradition belonging to many cultures to hang strips of cloth on trees as prayers to be carried by the breathing earth to the place where prayers can be answered…What follows is my prayer:

May death come swiftly and painlessly to those bears that are shot, or hounded.

For those that will be trapped death will be prolonged…I can barely write the words. Maine is the only state that still allows senseless trapping.