Today is a good day to ponder the sacred, to feel that aching quiet deep below the surface, to stay with it long enough to taste its bitter and its sweet. Whatever form that takes. I have spent years wrapped in one particular expression of that endeavor, but today, I tried a new one. The NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) prompt for the day was a challenge to write a poem about an animal. I knew immediately what animal that had to be for me: an animal that I’ve admired in different stages of my development, from my earliest memories to the present day. One of my earliest posts was devoted to this animal, entitled “Nature’s great masterpeece…the only harmlesse great thing – John Donne”. As I closed my eyes, opened my heart, and began to brainstorm various words and phrases, I realized that I was indeed pondering the sacred. In order to invite you into that relationship, without influencing you too much, I will end my narrative here and simply share the photo and poem that arose and offer them as icons to stimulate your own thoughts.
Her skin was visible from outer space
criss-crossed trails in the dry expanse
seismic sections of caked mud
pulsing with the rhythm of the magma core.
She walked as continental plates on tip-toe
shuffling through the sanctuary of time
in ponderous planetary procession
chanting sighs that shook the stars.
She raised her tender tip
a stroking, soothing, searching spirit
a whisper enfleshed, intuitive, inquisitive
and opened her sky portals, fringed with boughs
so heaven could gaze freely down.
Her wisdom reigned in sacred skull,
the holy archways gleaming
until her desecration reduced
to catacombs of dripping blood
that mammoth cathedral.
The matriarchs lie raped in heaps
across the countryside.
No longer shall we place our heads
on gentle, heaving breasts to feel
the wide embrace of a universe.