I will clothe myself in sky
and plant one foot upon the earth
the other will be washed by tide
as fire plays the dance of mirth.
Stars will gather in my hair
lightning loosed by chant of tongue
gather herb in fold of skirt
quickly while this day is young.
I free the night from heaven's rule.
I greet the golden orb.
Walk with me into the wood
I tell will ye tales of yore.
"Children of the gatherers!
We remember ways of seed--
here there is no finger's blame--
the only path beneath the feet.
To stray is but a following--
shadows stroll behind a lead--
I caution you, don't follow me.
But I pray you'll meet me there."
Here is parting of the ways
for truth is something you must find...
so meet me in the forest--deep--
there you'll find a gasp of sky
once shaded by the branch of oaks--
two which cradled witches souls
graves of sister sacrifice
memorial to burning times.
"As above is so below."
Keep this vow of witch's rede:
"As ye harm none, do what thou wilt"
remembering that will is free...
Gather berries on the way,
herbs and flowers for the feast.
Meet me at the opening
in the center of the wood.
* * *
Part II (Into The Wood)
soles of feet--
I enter under canopy
I enter blood's divinity
there the snake becomes the wheel
swallow tail's eternity
ouroboros is calling me
deep into the mother's womb.
is a lantern's light
in black and white
giving vein to leaves of tree--
the wind in shake of tambourine
branches quake in giggling
like geisha blushing behind fan...
There--I spy a shape of leaf--
I stoop to take just what I need
here, there is no need of greed--
I leave the plant and it re-seeds
to feed another's traveling.
I pick the berries black and wild--
smiling when the bite weeps red
juices on me reconcile
bleeding proof that I am wed.
Bloodstains on the marriage bed
witness union of divine--
water changed into the wine
watch me stumble in the wood
tripping over oaken root--
I have found the centered sky.
* * *
The Clearing Part III
a ballet in my bones
even in my awkward toes
a tilting of one wing
this brown wren can fly.
How could I? I pray--tell me--
deny the sky in beckoning
the bright of Him so cradling
arms in span and loving wise
begging me to sing again--
applauding this bedraggled child?
So I stepped out from the wood
in the meadow grasses tall
spears of yellow turning green--
technicolor healing glee
this time mother welcomed me--
This time there was no wailing wall.
Butterflies and bumblebees
dragonfly of lavender
sparkles dervished in my eyes
spiral mystic from the sky
reminding me of Gatherers--
I wanted them to see this too.
So I picked up branch and twig
and bundled them in circling
around the trunks of fallen oaks.
I twined the herbs of borrowed time
blessed them, "make ye heady smoke"
Praying friends would find the way--
for I cannot feast alone.
I sat in wait upon the trunk
of the huge uprooted oak,
the other stood there skeletal
split in two by lightning
dark wood splintered in accuse:
"You rest upon a sister's grave."
Shamed by this admonishment
I sat cross-legged on the ground,
and there I prayed until I dozed--
dreaming I was wren in flight.
* * *