12/29/2009

Poem to Turn the Year


The sun is buried here,
nursing loam with fibers of old light.
Until you are lost and sinking in green,

you won't find even a trillium seed.
Until you kneel among weeping cedars
you won't find the footprint
you made before birth.

Just ripen and fall.

Every stumble becomes
a path for your children.
No straight lines among stars:
only circles whirling, rhythms
of carbon and fire.
Disappear in This, too lost
to remember your name.
You'll hear a Mother calling,
"Be still as all is turning."
She'll offer you the breast
you've been too thirsty to notice.
Virescent nipples trembling
out of Winter's brown body,
streaming with the milk of bewilderment.
Sleep, traveler, like a ruined bulb
among these withered vines, your fire
composting in forgotten gods.
Remember moonbeams,
borrowed crystals of another light:
how she held you in her lap
and sang your memory full of heroes
at a hearth of yearning, in a house of bones.
You are not more or less
than the elegant poverty of her breathing.
Coming and going make no difference.
Who told you there is only one?
You have as many chances
as wafted thistle or wind-blown milkweed.
Who told you the path was narrow?
I tell you, there is no path.
Only wandering, discovery, return.

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