Becoming an us.

So long held in the strength of self,

warrior, mystic

all lone things.

Tempered with age.

Swan takes long in her becoming,

and wolf, after an era as lone, mates for life,

and births a pack, a tribe

from the union of two fiercely independent beings 

willing to practice togetherness.

 

Boar tusks interlock with goat horns 

and worlds are ripped apart in our stubbornness.

Then hooves move in tandem

stirring the compost,

aligning the rocks,

preparing the bed.

Learning how to hold the obsidian mirror,

to shine on each other’s darkness;

and the crystal,

to magnify each other’s light,

How to not lose one another

in the long shadows 

we ourselves cast.

How to build a love that lasts

through storms of fire

and the falling of empires,

the poisoning of oak

and the raging of what is broken, 

sweetbitter, 

the tender tinder 

within us

that would fuel a phoenix flame.

 

Your body perfectly fits mine.

Inner sanctum of my heart 

unlocks to the impression of your hand on my breastbone.

Harmony is born of very different voices

coming together in one song,

and though the tune at first seems strange,

our souls have known it all along.

Our crowns forged in the fire

we feed every time we turn towards each other:

the journey from co-dependence to independence to interdependence.

 

Unique pillars hold the temple roof

but they are hewn of the same stone;

the story of us written on every shared breath,

lips lost to the illusion of separateness;

the trees’ roots and branches intertwine,

two trunk hearts carved with one name:

mine, yet also yours,

alone, all one, together.

 

patience

paving the road,

one unclenching at a time

placed like stones in a line,

unsteadily yet assuredly

inching towards full presence.

Prescience

of a way of being together

beyond fantasies of forever,

past the tense 

gripping

of the past’s tension,

provides ballast

through outrageous storms.

Outed, this rage,

reveling in unconsciousness

unmasked in its impatience

its inordinate reaction sense.

Rage, born of every wrong,

every misspelled song;

sometimes buried

yet always burning,

 casting blame in widening arcs

charring the hope for healing when hidden,

now brought to the surface

unwieldy,

unwilling,

yet also forgiven,

thus revealing its true form:

the fear, the sadness, waiting

all along

to be seen in its true face,

to be given its proper place

in the open air,

where there is light,

and space,

and room to breathe.

Where, wisely spread,

everything can serve its purpose.

And the love that is our essence,

the beginning and end of all things,

is found again, 

through patience.

What is failure?

What wounds the heart?

The razor’s edge of integrity

a fine line, a vast chasm,

between what is true

and what we wish could be.

How we betray each other again and again.

Lifetimes of layered lies,

regrets, recriminations, revenge.

Born of sorrow, born of pain.

This distortion of creation,

like snaking fire through a wood,

slowly overtakes all that is life-giving,

turning fertility into a dangerous thing

that only creates more suffering.

 

What is failure?

What wounds the heart?

Truth is a fluid thing,

words medicine or poison,

bringing healing,

or piercing the tender flesh of being,

depending on intention, and timing.

Yet somethings are absolute.

I hold a banner high.

Inviting the fullness of pure fire.

Comfortable in my own righteous anger,

Confusing the quest for impeccability with the living of it.

Many times I have lied.

Splitting my tongue, spitting deception, 

needling under another’s skin 

to plant deadly seeds.

Countless lifetimes

marked by fear, need,

sabotage, poverty, hypocrisy,

and other veils of the Maya.

Does my past, my endlessly fractaling failure

make me only worthy of the worst of others?

 

What is sacred?

What heals the heart?

How do I find the glen wherein forgiveness dwells,

the scented meadow where everything has a place

and everything is understood as a gift?

I can hide from the fire,

but it snakes through my veins,

settles into the pit of nausea,

stirs the stench of injustice,

and stealthily laps at the edges of my garden heart,

threatening to make it a barren desert.

Yet this rage only covers the bottomless sadness,

the endless prison of never trusting

never trusting anyone,

until they find a way to prove me right.

Where does forgiveness live

when the wound is ancient, endless,

only inflamed by this latest sin?

Seeking the unconditional in this conditioned world.

Are some actions unforgivable,

words unrepeatable,

windings and bindings 

no amount of prayerful fire can purify? 

Wondering if it is betrayal of self to continue loving one 

who has perpetrated or perpetuated the pain of separation

from the fire of truth, 

or an absolution

that would set us all free.

 

No strategy left but to offer it all up.

All of it a sacrifice.

The despising of self and others.

The layers of blame and shame.

My forked tongue and blood-stained blade,

pulled from my back, pulled from yours.

My longing for a healthier way.

Holding an open, at last unclenched hand.

Praying for the courage to love anyway.

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry