I’ve gone beyond
From where I can turn back
Beyond the horizon
Unspooled threads of light
Straight on through clouds, puncturing
Darkness and my skin.
I am sewn up in skeins of it.
Beyond the beyond is another land
Where every mind might be a nomad.
In the beginning was the beginning.
This is the beginning: Song went out
A nomad and came back a tribe.
TEARS INTO WINE
Embraced in trenches
where we huddle
Heads into our knees
leaning against each other
Whistling of cruelties
overhead, missiles and slanders.
I die here
edge of wilderness, love and barbed wire
Tomorrow another form
Shucking. Old skin itches and splits
Leaves the carcass behind
Emerge. Speaking the dark language.
Soft behold: litter of bodies
splayed across the swallowing mud.
There, yesterday’s tears
are being made into wine.
THERE’S A FOREST IN MY BLOOD
There’s a forest in my blood
Where ancestors come to talk with me.
It’s a place I often like to sit
While sheltered in a broad-limbed tree.
We’ve walked on deep to other worlds:
We’ve gone to bring back healing songs;
We’re coming back with other worlds to sing
To help us all along, along.
I don’t know why this path winds on so long;
I don’t require the verse to every song;
I don’t know where the shadows go when gone:
But knowing you are waiting keeps me strong.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE HORSES
Don’t be afraid of our ancient British horses, grandson,
Heads flying downward, scooped nostrils inhaling the winds,
Black manes on fire, foamed lips howling and screaming over the hills,
Black eyes flashing under dark lashes
Keeping off the night from their sight
As they pound the shadows of earth
Into your stomach, thud and hum your hallowed birth
Deep into your boiling blood.
They carry medicines on their backs,
Leather, bear bladder pouches full of lightning,
Owl talons, wet feathers, apples and hazel nuts,
All for sizzling in your bright veins–
Our ancestors’ councils have been weaving long, healing flows
From now and back and back and farther back
Into mossy oak riding forests and sudden open meadows
Where you, too, have been, are, wild and intrepid.
Stout legged beasts, they are–our horses, you–,
Leaping on hilltops, prancing animal warriors
Rushing downwind towards wallows in your heart,
Circling into your mind on prideful hooves,
Noses high and beating the air–
Carrying bronzed and leather studded men,
Medicines hanging from their waists and necks,
Noticing you, far into this future, smelling and sensing you.
Welcoming you, yet to come, along long ancestral threads.
Don’t be afraid of the horses, my grandson,
Bringing you home to roots and mud.