Emptiness is metaphysical,
but loss is a commitment
to follow your pain
deep into the night.
Become the arrow that wounds you,
the green worm entering the pit
of your own sweetness.
Darkness is not the absence of light,
but the womb of light.
Poised in perpetual equinox,
don't be so sure that you ever
got out of the egg.
Bend toward Winter now,
the mothering etherium,
umbilicus tangling backward
into the marrow between the stars.
Let your tears turn to wine.
Then hear the gentlest bird,
the tree frog and thistle-laden
about your fearlessness.
Painting by Caroline Eashwood
Allow your heart
to be drawn ever deeper
into the self-luminous
unbearably beautiful jewel
Something glows here
softer than any touch,
than any lover.
Playful and birthless,
a joy without cause,
this light makes us free.
Silence is the mother.
* Photo by Aile Shebar
For the first day of Autumn...
I'm older now, I travel the stem,
sink seedward, returning to sap.
Then I explode into scarlet petals of death,
the ones you see on the last rose in your garden.
I am the musk of eldering wine
scented from the two oak barrels in your heart.
I am the worn letters of blood
on your stone tablets of breathing.
I make medicine drip from the berry
in your pineal gland.
It runs down a string of pearls
into the place your songs come from.
What kisses happen in the jasmine pistil
of your hypothalamus?
I have felt them.
They set off thunder under your breast bone.
I know what the sounds of unseen wings
in your lungs mean,
and how often stars make wishes on your fingertips.
I hear the chime of darkness, translate it
into your eyes as sunrise.
I smell what inebriates the midnight wind
that rummages through the garden in your hips.
If you knew what I know, which is only one
very small thing, like a black worm
in a bright apple, yet more succulent
than the knowledge of philosophers,
you would keep your tongue naked
and wordless for the taste of the next inhalation.
You would surely understand that though
the journey seems long, when you walk
slowly with the Truth,
you polish the earth, each step
the planting of a rainbow.
Remove your graduation gown,
your belt, your socks and underwear,
your memory, your name.
Now enter the forest, glistening,
slow-reeling through rings of mushrooms.
Don't do it in this poem,
do it tonight in the real forest.
If you don't have a wild place nearby,
you are living in the wrong world.
To dance alone in the exposure of old trees,
bare feet dew-stung, ankles
gathering spider silk and threads
of tomorrow's morning glory,
may be the one solution to many problems
we have not yet tried.
Now let the golden moon make honey
of your silence.
When you return, don't tell.