keep moving: turn the knob and open the door

Whirlpool In Air, Landsat 7 Satellite Photo
Whirlpool In Air, Landsat-7 Satellite Photo

This is what I lay at your feet:
The elevation of your sin above my joy
Your immutable commitment to your own swirling Charybdis
Your lust to live a life predicated on lies
And an insatiable appetite to manipulate
Every tender expression
into a gamble against unbeatable odds.

This is what I own:
Enchanted by sugarspunfine words and misguided supplication
I willingly unshrouded,
Exposed crystalline layers to malificent tundra
Shook the heavens in fervent self-immolation
Stripped bare to bone,
I led myself to the altar time and again
And bled a distillatory elixir for the delight of a desiccated crowd.

This is no place for angels!
They fall under the muddy wheels of a dispirited populace
Unavoidably drawn to light’s incandescence
Lost souls parade their moral ambiguities through the center of town
Stripped of inheritance, the meek plod to the slaughterhouse
The strong crack whips against a blistering wind.

Keep moving!
Mighty forces hanker crazy to drag you down,
Hold you in a tangle of sucker-bearing arms
Suffocate your senses with a vague elixir somnambulant
And cloak your eyes from that which is your birthright to behold!

Do not lag yet walk without destination
In circles labyrinthian, ovalis, volution
Terra firma rests on her haunches, receives your every step
It is now time to push from within!
You have labored wearily long, hard
Protected your precious offspring, fruits of creation
How deeply will you dive?

This is where the tale takes on a different hue
The table is laid for those ready to break bread dripping with honey
For you who have maintained the thread of connection against all odds
For every soul who has drawn back the veil and held steady gaze
Upon the city on the hill.

The original dawn calls your name as it rises from pale horizon
Tear away the drapes,
Awaken from your golden slumber!
The mastery that has eluded you waits on the threshold

Turn the knob and open the door.

The Optimist, Kalahari Desert, Namibia
"The Optimist," Kalahari Desert, Namibia

On the edge of the Kalahari Desert in Namibia, sand dunes are encroaching
onto once-fertile lands in the north. Healthy vegetation appears red in this image; in the center, is a (barely visible here) lone red dot. It is the result of a center-pivot irrigation system, evidence that at least one optimistic farmer
continues to work the fields despite the approaching sand.
From NASA/USGS site here, “Earth As Art.”

4 thoughts

  1. RE: Bittersweet
    Rachel, you have been blessed with the ability to write eloquent words on your pages and in your books. Words that we, the readers, appreciate so much. I have many thoughts but I do not have an easy time writing them. Your comment is a welcome compliment. I thank you, Rachel.


  2. Thanks to both of you. Your thoughtful comments – eloquent poetry in themselves, actually – are music to my ears, and inspired me to research some venues that might find resonance with this piece. I hit on a “spiritual literary journal” that may be a fit, and buoyed by your feedback, will submit several poems in an upcoming competition. I am so very grateful for, and humbled by, your support.


  3. Wow. I cannot say it more beautifully than the words in the previous comment, but I echo the sentiments. I want to comment on the rhythm of the poem. The flow of words is so natural and elegant, from mono-syllabic to the poly-syllabic, and each turn of phrase rolls from my eyes to my heart to my brain and thunders through me. You use some unique terminology here and it works. Oh, does it work. This, this is a fine piece of art, and I, too, have poems that inspire me printed and taped to my wall.

    This poem will take its rightful place there, and i just hope a little of the talent of its mother rubs off on me.

    Great, great piece.


  4. How can I even say how deeply this hits me? Do I flatter myself unduly to see myself and my (recent) heinous situation and Those Certain People in it? I do not think you wrote it from any place in you that isn’t you, but the place in me that has the same content feels a direct hit.

    This poem is intense. This poem holds no punches. This poem is from the core to the core.

    You are a treasure: national, cosmological, personal. You are so freaking talented it’s terrifying. You are deepening into something primordial.

    I have printed this poem out and it is going to hang on the wall in front of me, along with Rumi’s “Inside this new love…die” and Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Kindness”.

    Drawing back the veil and holding the gaze, I pray. Thank you for this, again, one in a stream.


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