Unravelling and weaving, sometimes simultaneously

Archive for November, 2014

Danse Macabre

My heart is hushed by thoughts of death
and strangely kept entranced;
Wallflower at the danse macabre
feet still where others danced.
I feel the rhythm of death’s beat…
it echoes in my heart,
a soft and wistful melody
without an end or start.
Do you not feel the tapping spell?
The meter knows our names.
I feel the urge to rise and dance,
to join in morbid games.
My waist encircled by the arms
that never will release,
my burdens left beside my chair,
no pain, no pain, surcease.
If dark hands beckon and they reach,
will I have strength to sit
when I already know the song
And how we’ll dance to it?

(c) RCGA 1/17/09

An old sonnet, written about a half-year after my husband died. I had nearly forgotten about it until I was going through some files on my old computer. How different each experience of grief is. I have had dark thoughts, and I am not inured to loss by any means, but nearly five years later, I feel my despair differently. Losing my beloved this time, though harder in some ways because it was sudden rather than a creeping passage, reminds me that what I felt back then was not just my grief for Mani, but that I thought I’d never know what it was like to be loved completely again. Adam proved that wrong. What lingers is a sense that I am worthy of being loved, and that whatever my purpose for being here is, I have one, so I won’t be actively seeking to join the dance, even if I know all the steps in my mind.


Hello My Name Is

someone brought me
your five year coin today
and she said
she would be coming
to the service

She did not know you
and she does not know me
but we are still connected
by that coin
by her respect for your journey
and my part in it

She held my hand
and told me it was going to be okay
in a gravelly voice
her eyes big and swimming
with unshed tears

I knew she was saying it to herself
as much as to me

We are all hanging on
to the edges of a spinning world
holding hands
makes sense

(c) RCGA, 2014

Creation Story

In the Beginning was the Void
and out of the Void
came Chaos and Death dancing

(Yes, Death was there from the Beginning,
Great, Merciful Death
who accepts everyone equally
and returns them to where they came from
when it is time)

Chaos was the Woman
the original one
beholden to nothing and no one
bender of the Void
maker of the Universe
that emerged from between her wild thighs
stars by the millions
with their planets
and the moons of the planets
comets and asteroids and meteors
falling in showers

So Mother Chaos took Death as her consort
and together they made Conflict and Pestilence
but their offspring were restless
hovering over the empty planets

Then, in a secret corner of the Universe
on a planet that had never been visited
by Conflict or Pestilence or Death
Mother Chaos took a deep breath
and released it upon the water
revealing the land beneath

She twisted the wind into cyclones
and the sea into waterspouts
she cracked the earth and fashioned continents
shook them into valleys
pushed them into mountains
until it was the way she liked it to be
untamed and unforgiving
and then
she reached up to her breast
and pressed a single drop of milk onto the ground

From that one small pearl of liquid life
Love came into being

Suddenly, the hills and valleys spread with life
the skies and seas teemed with creatures
all products of Love
making tender her new home

From far away Death smelled the first flower to bloom
and he made towards it
crossing endless passages of light and dark
seeking this new thing
and wondering at its essence

When he came upon Love
and knew her for what she was
he wanted her
and everything she made
he wanted to possess

But quick, his son Conflict had followed him
curious and bold
trembling and angry and lonely
full of fire

And Conflict stole Love from the verdant hills
took her away and restrained her
made to dominate her beauty
and force her to submit to him

Love looked upon Conflict
and saw his soul was empty
that he did not understand
anything but his own desires

So Love lay down with Conflict
and she stroked his brow and sang to him
of the strong wisdom of change
of the balance of all things
of her place in the Universe

Conflict removed the chains from Love
took away the bindings and blindfold
he had tried to control her with
and with shaking fingers he brushed her hair back
looked into her eyes
and gave her his soul to fill

Love knew him
and together they made The People
children of Conflict and Love
And on this one planet
Chaos allowed them to reign
the tiny flawed offspring
of Conflict and Love

Death would come in his beneficence
to create the cycle of seasons
and allowed his son Pestilence
to visit with him also
harvesting all that lived
sometimes after short seasons
sometimes after long

And always, Conflict was among them
his nature tempered only by Love
and in her absence he made War
and taught the children to subjugate one another

But Love always returns
to her children
Love always tends the broken
heals and mends
and whispers to their hearts
that everything is connected
that everything that came from the Void
has a balancing factor
that everything has a place
in the beauty of the Universe
even Conflict
even Pestilence
even Chaos
even Death

(c) RCGA 2014

The White Clock

The ticking of the clock
you hung on the wall
just days before you left
is louder in the house
than the sound
of the crickets and cicadas
protesting autumn
through the glass door

I’ve never wanted anything
that I couldn’t have
quite as much as I want
your voice in my ears
instead of the relentless tapping
of that second hand’s progress

Soon the nights will be silent
as the cold comes
and even the insects will sleep
their tiny mechanical dreams

Yet the click of the clock
so much slower than my heart
replaces the beat of yours
reminds me how relentless
how oblivious is time

(c) RCGA 2014


Her mouth carries a drug
whether she wields it
with bites or kisses;
her tongue is the bitter truth
wrapped in a snug cushion of longing.

There is no sleep for you there.

The couch is on fire
and you must rise and witness it
staggering from the poison
that eats you from within…
Her gift
her gift
her only gift to you.

(c) RCGA 2014


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