Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Visitor

I pushed through the frozen grass
Of Mongolia's ancient steppe.
I'd had to leave my horse behind,
But couldn't pause in my trek.
The wall of wind pushed me back
For every step ahead.
I imagined it was guarding the land
From my foreign tread.
Darkness gathered like a warrior,
Threatening my intrusion.
"Excuse me," I said, and went ahead,
Despite my growing confusion.
The wind resisted and darkness grew,
I heard hooves and saw black eyes.
Before his arrow could find me, I cried
"I worship Eternal Blue Sky!"
His arrow lowered and his eyebrow raised,
And he gave me a yellow grin.
Yet once I blinked, he was gone,
Stars shining where he'd been.
I trudged forward once again,
And almost at once saw a light
Shining from a Mongol tent
In the black November night.
The family, though they knew me not,
Welcomed me inside,
Gave me food and a place by the fire.
No comfort was denied.
The hour grew late, and little ones dozed,
While the rest of us drank mare's milk.
And sweetly, one girl began to sing
In a voice dark and soft as silk.
Though I didn't know her native tongue,
I could hardly tell.
The strength of passion in her voice
Was one that I knew well.
Once her song was finished,
And trying not to weep,
I shared a poem, one of my favorites,
About woods dark and deep.
In this way we passed the night
With songs and spoken word.
We didn't share a language,
But nothing was unheard.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Dispersal of Sara

She fell. Or had she jumped? She couldn't say anymore. But here was the still air, a hurricane against her body. And there was the ground-- oh! Here was the ground.

Her soul jumped from her body, a surprised scattering of particles that flew in all directions like a puff of flour when a bag has been dropped on the floor. Minuscule bits of consciousness, of memories, of knowing, of being-- everything that was her erupted in an invisible powdery haze around her. Fragments of herness drifted in all directions, or settled around her body like falling ash.

"I have brown eyes" bumped into "I love Gone With the Wind" and together collected the memory of her mother's hands pushing the hotly ticking iron around the flowered buttons on her favorite green dress. The summery whisper of aspen leaves fluttering in the wind flew into the heart of a seagull, who suddenly turned inland where unknown trees were calling him. The taste of melted gouda on grilled sourdough sunk into the earth and disappeared, along with her powerful yearning to be loved by Mike Dutton in return.

Molecules of soul-- epiphanies ("God loves me") and dislikes (mushrooms, dirty fingernails, anything starring Mel Gibson) were buffeted about in unseen randomness. Some found a new home, such as the daisy which discovered it had no desire to keep living, and slowly turned away from the sun. Polarized spirit bits were repelled by or attracted to others. There were surprises-- for some reason, "I love apples and peanut butter" immediately glommed onto the memory of her art teacher slicing off the tip of his finger with the paper cutter. Others were more obvious. Lying on a blanket, watching the meteor showers with her first boyfriend, attracted the taste of cabernet sauvignon. "I love the Eagles" and "I love Ozzy Osbourne" were, naturally, repulsed by each other.

In this way, some of her lived, some of her died. Some was reborn, and some is still out there. She herself was Ghengis Khan and Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonardo da Vinci and Nikolai Tesla. She was seagulls and daisies and aspen trees and wind. She was Matthew and Sin Yoo and Mildred and Charlotte. She was Sara. And so are you.