Winds Still Easterly

Oh hello–I’ve just looked back at the last verses I posted here, and the last stanza, about the luna moth, struck me. Only male luna moths fly; the females eclose too heavy with eggs to get airborne. They wait on the tree where they entered their brief new incarnation, and the male finds them by their scent. As my partner said when we parted after he was ill, It’s more than some people get.

My thoughts over the past week have been too Easterly to tell. Easter has always meant so much to me. Winters were long where I grew up, and late winter was shades of dingy grey everywhere from mounds of dirty snow. They were never gone by Easter, but sometimes they were going, and at least some flowers were in bloom. New birth, rebirth, hope that this round will be a kind one–I love the idea of redemption, that things have changed, that they will be different from now on, if only by our faith we make it so.

Every day it’s a little clearer to me that this winter was decisive, and that something in me has changed. A few months ago, I referred to a real-life struggle over a loud neighbor and their disruptive activity. The whole quarrel had me so stressed that I became ill, but they backed down. They have been quiet for over a month now. One of my friends tells me I am a warrior, even though she saw it nearly kill me. Anyway, every day I breathe in the peace and quiet and love it more than I can say.

The relative silence that surrounds me now is–fecund. Pregnant. Even though I could, if I had not so many hours to fill on my own, sit down and meditate and never really stop, the stories are swirling around me. ‘Always the way to a new story lures,’ my Muse told me years ago: Samsara never stops finding new ways to seduce one’s attention. I know this, and am wary, but stories are also teaching vessels. So do I stay or do I go? And whose side are you on? We already know the answer to that is…

…there are no sides, not even one. Within the stories–all of them, if they are true, breathes the same wind that Taoist monks learn how to ride. The Night Mare is the Night Mother, but also the Night Ocean. Behind the sky we can see, lies another sky, which is Ocean. The monks ride the wind that comes from There.

Unless it doesn’t, of course. This could all be just–wind.

4 April 2021


The Blanket Chest

She folded the green woolen mantle away–

she expected to need it again, but not soon.

Summer was coming, with such a long day

that wearing it under the new sweltered Moon

would mean punishment, even to still-racing thoughts.

Nay; when the season winds round and grows cold–

under the snow winter’s bound to have brought,

she won’t lie alone, a dead lamb in no fold;

the garment the grass all around had stained green

would still serve its purpose, though stored here unworn.

Once when she ran through the fields all unseen,

she tripped and fell over a serious thorn

that lodged itself under her skin and her ribs–

till she felt herself flourishing strangely. A chill

from two or more seasons away sometimes gives

presentiments chances to haunt with a will,

then to show what lies working within the will’s mind.

Slowly she runs a hand over the wool,

and wonders if this was entirely designed–

this garment, this instant–this growing too full–

this lunar emplacement within a sealed room–

the glowing green stains of a ground without snow–

the fierceness, the plain rapid strength at the loom

where her hooves had grown hard at their work–even so–

she won’t want it out for a while–lest she change

her mind–which was troubled before it was hers.

Under this mantle, the strength to derange

that’s been driving her mad–is the same force that stirs

the blood of the lamb–and remembers its first

home and harbor, her heart. She’d grown fatally cold,

but the one gift he gave–though she still felt accursed,

she saw in its angles a cloth spun of gold,

and she saw it rise up and drape softly and long

all down the tall figure who stood in her way:

I’ll carry it for you; go weightlessly on.

The Sun loses heat at the end of the day.

Yesterday, the day after I composed this, I received an order for one lot of 13 Young Adult supernatural fiction novels purchased on eBay. I wanted to read a number of them randomly, in order to see what sort of archetypal material was getting in. The books I received are very interesting so far, more than I anticipated. And better still, they probably all belonged to one person–they all smell vividly of cedar. They were stored in a cedar chest. Last winter, I spent money I shouldn’t have on small cedar boxes, then was given a little painted chest that proved to be cedar. My bedroom altar is all cedar now, and so are these stories. The Gothic and the Sacred run so close together. And Soul Mates are just everywhere.


About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at
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