Journey Work

13 July 2015


A Life’s Long Journey-Work

I’ve got to go outside right soon; for near another Moon’s eclipse,
a Sun keeps homing in; keeps gliding far too near; a sentence trips
from off a tongue that’s not my own—and not a sequence I could want.
Just don’t only understand; it’s twisted, and it seeks to haunt

the magic that keeps singing, singing loud as morning blossoms through
a world of springtime, whilst we lie awake and toss and turn and view
the future through the dreadful cast of lies before and after—here.
Lay your little warm hand back of my wet neck, and say, No fear

can call you back from out of time, for timelessness is where we are.
Fate has proven groundless; we’re a common set of eyes a star
trained gently whilst, in widely-spoken parlance, bright as full-Moons’s lore—
I shall lie down lonely, then wake up with you. She’s who keeps score;

he’s who you’ll want to be and greet when after-evenings draw down dark.
Down the darkened shallow doorways, alleyways beyond the park
where fruit-trees blossom, swaying shade on shade like branches bearing limbs—
Make me go to church where only angels sing beyond false hymns,

then tell the lonely angels who remain, we’ve loved them long; we’re well
acquit of those who only want to tell the world it’s gone to hell;
sometimes souls seek out perdition; ours have cast it off so long,
life’s a job of journey-work to turn mind into real live song.

Little, softly fingered hand who holds my own with such wild trust,
I shall surely fail you—as my own hand trailed away, and dust
secured it through a passageway that makes the sad lungs climbing here
hold out for fear of breathlessness—for fear of taking on new fear—

for only wanting, really, in the end to breathe love’s scented hand,
and hear me hum beneath my breath the song of love’s first table-land,
and then to hear—beneath the deep green passageway new dreams will find—
You’ve heard your own and only voice, its singer, and love’s kind, so kind.

Walk down by the morning tide’s high watermark, and watch the waves.
Swaying in and out, we’re children viewing our own open graves,
yet really feeling—deep, reverberating—steps to come: Let’s dance;
no hanging back; I’ve got to lie down. Journey work: We’ve cast-iron pants.

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YES to Marriage Equality: This Sea Loves You

This is just a bit of spontaneous celebration for the many, many lovely and loving people in my town who are now free to marry their lovers forever.

Why did they not have this always? We know the answer; it is painful to contemplate.

This, our new/old harbor, is very tender. This post is for all of you, whether we know each other or not. If you are here to find a safe and loving home–you are probably already my friend.

I am as spiritual as I know how to be, but I live here on a practical basis. Please do not ever think the two can be separated. Love is love. Spirit is love. God is love. The people who live in my town, more than any place I have ever been, live by the code of love.

You, who live by love and believe in love, are more than welcome to be here.

1 July 2015


The Sea Loves You

We are almost always likely—more than even ghosts in white—
to walk abroad long after darkness seals our dreams in after-sight,
then shows them back as we both lie awake, just staring, sky before,
and little clouds of sad wet pain behind. Behind our eyes, we bore

the burden of a hurtful trail, a line from there, where we come from,
toward the bad new magic that just hates us so, we might succumb—
if that is granted, god to flesh, but now, by god, it’s worn off well.
No one gets to die and be a victim of the nether hell

that’s never held a single inch—by cross or square—that’s angled through
like crying voices, doves’ or ours, that rise toward the coming view
that lights the living casements of the bedroom where we meet and pray.
I will watch these windows day and night, and yet—I’ve heard the way

the tides will turn their softest selves to help the far strange wave come in.
Someone’s riding there, upon its back, or in its wake, a-spin;
there’s a good wild rider who just wants to come ashore and sing;
there’s a mad wild look in eyes that cannot wait to cease to bring

the hurtful currents that once drove them mad toward this mild good beach.
I shall lie alone all night again, but not sway out of reach;
only let your voice and eyes meet mine, and love will grant us grace
to lie beside the turning tide on beaches where we know your face,

and shine it forth from mirrors as the pools you stare well into form.
Only love is deep enough to know its waves will outlast storm.
Gather in your own two hands the tear-salt water love stares through.
You were never going to die. You love the sea; the sea loves you.

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Pain to Be Shared. Be Well, All of You.

29 June 2015


Pain Has Just This Place

Pain has no living place where kindness may, in good faith, conceive and breed.
This is sad pain’s resting place, a series of doors down a hallway that’s heartless at need,
but knows it is always a short breath away from the last that might somehow be gathered up here,
then ferried out, just a wet set of soft pieces that used to be human but now bend our ear

with songs they were yearning to hear, and then caught—maybe, sometimes—in fragments bare memory bore
toward the last landing where love’s shining catch was laid out, then scaled, and then gutted—as sore
were the eyes of the children who witnessed this carnage—unless they were stoic and strong—as they are.
I shall lie under a shadow that glances like you when I seek my long soft bed. The star

that guided my spirit past old contradictions and hands that showed only their backs as we danced—
Magic has lain in our way far too often; we’re waking right now to a field spirit-tranced,
and only a little sad lingering doubt shudders over its own sore left shoulder, and still—
Mine is the hand that has held all the strangers’, and I’m the one they’ll still dispense with at will.

Angels amass and in single file lower their wings and seek signals of lovers who’ll bleed
forever if they will not close their false eyes, then open and raise the eyes I call at need,
but they are still angels, if I and my own call them low, and they’re sighted as caught on dead ground.
I am my soul. I and my own will cry out all this night, till my own soul has found

the hugeness of human transcription, the serial lines where the eyes that glaze over first note
that we were still scrying and scribing, our lives lying parallel, great singing creatures who’ll float
aloft on the coming of storm-clouds. Lovely one, one I would settle with one level breath,
I’ve got to go home alone now; you’ve already left me. I’m now facing more than one death.

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Times Are Quickening Now

Spring has come, true and real:

3 May 2015


Other-Wise Love

The huge, wet, soft music rained down on us ceaselessly; sleep was disrupted where limbs would embrace.
I cannot understand how I was first made to bless myself, then the next mirror-borne face,
and then—someone else. I’m a ghost in a pattern of blankets my own people never once wove.
Now I am sworn to a new magic answer where threads are inwoven with—other-wise love.

Am I a living soul wrought for reception of endless night-magic as songs fall like rain?
Am I the one sense that old solemn trees leak like tears, making flowers that leave a red stain?
Am I the one you’ll still want when you wake up tomorrow, and all this old world’s fallen off?
We might not walk hand-in-hand, though the seas rise and swell, then subside. Let your underhand cough—

and catch the next shy, fallow answer. I’m dreaming outside my own window. Rise up like the Sun,
and let me know—While my love’s dreaming the answer, he’ll only just spare me the dream he’s begun
to let leak on either side, morning and midnight, as new dawnings claim a sweet reason to wake.
Maybe he’s shy, wet, and sad, but he’s already woken to know how much love he can make,

and we are the women who’ve always held out our first arms to embrace a man good as the grave.
He’s not a babe out of every least heaven; he’s a good spirit who’ll always behave—
like prayers in a whirlwind, a silo, a temple—where many grass blades give their all, then give way.
Music falls down here like rain through a memory love wants to summon through wave after grey,

grey wave of the oncoming magic of tides—beneath a low heaven that’s salt as the sea.
When I wake up in my dark, solemn chamber, eyes are alight, and they’re yours upon me.
Child of the ancientest, most sunlit marvel, child whose lorn soul is the source of my own,
when I wake up in the moment of truest true sunrise, your soul will be what makes mine moan.

Other-Wise, and Glad to Be Alive–
your J

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Oh, Hello Again!

Yes, it’s been that long. Yes, I’ve been seemingly quiet, but no such thing in real life. Soon to follow is my latest report, but first I want to share a significant part of the soundtrack to the work I’ve been composing, including last night’s (as I prepare to work again). My main teacher is still Dorothy Love Coates, but this song, and performance, carry me almost too high for words:

Madame Emily Bram

3 February 2015


Say To You Your Name

You read your roommate an old solemn testament’s power of oath right out loud, till they cried
for the most holy angels to signal their presence, and then shadow over the sea so long skied,
the lorn and lone source of true words came well over the both of us. Then we lay down and fell still.
Music, so like a religion, will play itself forwards and back, but if ever ill-will

should take notice of why it’s a frail lonely pallor away from the graveyard, whilst still seeking rain?
Then it’s a weird sort of presence; a dear lovely human who’s reading a mirror of pain,
resolving their own beyond-wholly-unholy recordings of one human shadow cast real
out of sad, lonely, poured-out-of-misery readings of poems I don’t know how to measure. The wheel,

the great flapping masses of huge dove-grey visions play, over and over, in sight of my tears;
their wheel sees the fulness and turn of the Moon meet a river’s low watershed many wild years
have driven toward a low, half-settled place, a haven of ancient reminders of your—
sacred littoral, living alive in a place we were born to behold, but far more—to adore—

for there, in that sad small salt pocket of skin that was where we once carried our far-inland food—
I shall stand tall on a mountain that must have been clam-shells and deerbones. A lover once wooed
the woman who ran with a foal by her side. Her vision was strong, and it carried out far,
but she will lie always alone in the night till the stars shine aright and he questions her star.

If she wakes up in the darkest dark night with her heart in her throat, and her skin slick with sweat,
won’t the most terrible ghost of the half-woken Earth knows she’s dying, but cannot die yet?
Read to me, sharer of rooms in the places where silent Earth shadows bear eaves that cast light.
Woe-holy angels, I need you to know me. Need we turn aside at first shadow-cast sight?

Reel like a wild band of wings in a spiral of gladder than glad uphill motion. Please be
the reason I woke up too early. I fed you; and maybe a little too much, but—we’ll see
long scrolling lines flying fast over a page in which so much true song turns to beauty more true—
and then in the close of an eye, till it opens again—If Love ends here, its last word was You.

I’m still officially Spiritual-But-Not-Religious, whilst growing more and more spiritual every day.

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Happy New Year

Of course, I saw the new year in in my customary way: alone, and singing.

Here is what I heard, as live as may be, and unedited:

1 January 2015


Begin as You Mean to Go On

Most candles guttered out slowly; the few that remained past the midnight’s cold tolling sank low.
Only a frail sense of presence reminded my flesh of the reason love’s song loves you so.
Maybe the Moon comes too frozen tonight, the sky clear as ice in a still windless place,
but instantly I can’t recall how I died of remorse, shame, and bad magic. Show a glad face,
the ghost in the shadows that lurk past the door at the back of my mind tells me: Let your love shine.
Nothing’s the matter with you or with me, and that’s why it’s difficult. Maybe I pine
for something that casts its high shadow, so gentle and fragrant, across my strange, long-casting own,
but till I can know it forever, it just wants to lie in a cold place and dream all alone
of the gathering breath that will soon force its moment. Wakening has to continue, once sleep
has fled with its pale apparitions. Oh woeful astonishment, here’s where we cannot help keep
our secrets inside an embroidered enclosure so delicate, aye the first love-breath will rend
its lightly-plied feathers apart as if they meant to fail. What will next you, dear unweaver, send?
Ghost of a breath as it lightly draws forward, tangled threads lay themselves lightly and long
across the most beautiful bed carved of hardwood and warped only once, by the eeriest song
that now plies your hearing with echoes of where we came first to the knowing that this is the fine
ceremonial blanket about to be woven between us at last, with god’s oldest design
the winding that overlays every cast answer, each small little crossing of vision and nerve.
Meet me awake in the morning, much changed between now and the moment all love songs deserve,
much strengthened by madness allayed, and by dread sorrow changed out of all recognition: You knew
the portent fast-rushing toward you; you knew you would rise amid song amid new morning’s dew;
you knew who I was, and the instant you felt me, the weather beyond the first ocean grew wild.
Aye, we are terrible seers ourselves, yet the tides of our eyes have borne song a new child.
Far, far apart, rise the waves of first hearing. Nearer they come, yet we feel more alone
than ever before. Pain so woeful, yet healing, tell me we’re come to where flesh rejoins bone.

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Still At It

Work goes on, regardless of all else. Here is an intermediary report:

23 December 2014


Will You? Will You Not?

Close as air, when it’s inside, is all the voice I hear. You cry
across the very narrow valley you and I still have to lie
on either side of just a little longer. Whilst your wails ring true,
the words of them, the way you chant—that visits me in nightmares. You
are death’s most dear, embodied outline, ghostly in a right loud way.
If I want to fall asleep alone again—I can’t. You stay
within an elbow’s ribcage—Who’s the bedmate who steals all the sheets?
On and on, a poet dons her mourning dress, a red sheep bleats,
a pair of braidless hands won’t cease to shake, and someone leans too low.
When she rises, taken from her rightful place to love’s wild glow
as if in such a wild man’s eyes he stared her back from heaven’s verge,
and she fell staggered back again, and rose, and then—as souls emerge
from fearful superstition into clear, benignant, streaming light,
she wakes within his arms again, and welcomes double—triple—sight.
Close as very air within the lungs that burst in this deep sea,
won’t you be the one to lay me down and let me die and be?

More updates probably coming soon!

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