POEM: Devotion

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I want to set my heart on fire
and offer it like incense. I hope
it smells like frankincense
and myrrh. I want to throw
myself at a god’s feet, not
in subjugation, but in
adoration–because my knees
are too weak for this beauty.
I want to be gathered up
in arms that are stronger
than any mortal man’s could
ever be and cherished.
I want to bask in the sunshine
of unconditional positive regard.

I can stand up again and walk
on my own two feet. The heart
is a self-renewing organ,
the original phoenix, sweetly
burning till it’s consumed,
then rising from its own ash.
I can give it away again and again
and still have all the heart that I need.
I am neither a prisoner nor a slave.
When I offer myself, I know I am offering
what I have that is of highest value,
and what I receive in return is equal,
and greater, coming from the god.

Take my heart, divine one, this
renewable resource, this well of
mystery, the inner altar, the place
where everything is gathered and
distilled–eat me, drink me, burn me,
taste me, all that I am is yours
that I might live for you, from you.

(Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay)

POEM: The source of all your power

At its longest your hair
covers your shoulders,
the curls of it over your bones
like sea-foam over the rocks.
When you gather it up–
“Why is it a man-bun?” you ask.
“Why not just a bun?”–
it exposes the bones of you
and how fine the skin is
stretched over them; for an instant,
seen from the back, you might
be mistaken for a woman.
But loose and unbridled, half-
blended with your beard
(which has grown in ginger),
it makes you all man, Samson
or Hercules, its length and
thickness and heaviness
the very proof of your virility.
You smile as you undo your bun.
“Well, yes, it is the source of all my power.”

POEM: Berlin, November 9, 1989

A number of blogs I follow on Tumblr posted images from this date: The destruction of the Berlin Wall. Those images gave me this poem.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.
Our poet said that, Robert Frost, the quintessential
Yank who was born in California
(and what could be more American than that?).
There is a groundswell, a shift in
the tectonics; there are roots, rocks
that freeze and swell and crack.
A wall is a human thing. It means nothing
to the flying crow, the crawling bug,
the leaping fox, to the nature spirit.

Yet the something that doesn’t love a wall
may also be the human spirit: the grandmother
who hasn’t seen her newest grandchild
because she cannot pass the wall; the lover
who has not embraced their beloved
because they cannot pass the wall;
the friends who no longer drink and talk
by night, laughing and discovering,
because the wall rises up between them.
The thing that doesn’t love a wall
may be human hands with shovels,
with sledgehammers, human hands
and human feet, human love and
human rage. The thing that doesn’t love a wall
is love itself, which crosses separations.

They learned that in Berlin, in 1989.
If we put a wall here, where nature only
put a river, if we put stone and steel
or concrete or barbed wire where only
water runs, if we try to build a wall
around the human heart and make it proof
against compassion, against love, against
justice, well, listen to our American poet,
listen to the quintessential Yank:
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.

POEM: To the Queen of Heaven

juno_vatican

Let it not be said that there are no goddesses in heaven.

Let it not be said that all goddesses are of earth.

Let no one deny the sovereignty of Juno,

queen of heaven, lady of the sky.

Praise to Juno whose domain is the heavens.

Praise to Juno whose mantle is the clouds.

Praise to Juno whose handmaid is the rainbow.

Praise to Juno who both stirs and calms storms.

Praise to Juno, wife and mother, queen and matron,

protectress of all women whether slave or free, rich or poor.

Praise to Juno, equal to Jove, wise as Minerva,

steadfast as Vesta, free as Diana, beautiful as Venus.

Praise to Juno, protectress of women, shaper of heroes,

guardian of the nation, noblest of goddesses.

Ave Juno Dea!

 

A poem, inspired by recent events

A voice from the lake

Psst. Hey, sweetheart. Over here, in the lake.
It’s okay. No, you don’t have to get in the water.
Just listen. Listen. I have a sword. Do you like swords?
Some little girls do, I know. They aren’t just for boys.
Nothing is just for boys or just for girls, by the way.
Don’t let them tell you that. Don’t believe them.
I have this sword. It needs some cleaning,
but it’s in pretty good shape. Hasn’t been used in a while.
Would you like to have it? I think you’d take good care of it.
You seem like the type of girl who could be trusted
with a sword. I’ve been keeping it hidden, waiting for
a special person. The right girl. A girl who would be
fair, who wouldn’t just wave the sword around
and smack whoever she wanted. Fair, but strong,
too, strong enough to keep the sword safe from
bullies. Bullies are always trying to take other people’s
things, am I right? You look strong, and smart, and
fair. I’ll give you the sword, and if you get tired of it,
just bring it back here to me, okay? Good luck.

Hey, little girl. Yes, you. Do you like swords?