Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Homing: Poems of Self Arrival

High Desert Spring
photo by Renee Podunovich

How She Awakens You:  Wind Triptych

For so long now, her airy body
was saturated with water,
adorned with moisture and unpredictability:
holding space for what needed to be sung
in tones of wet and hues of blue all winter.
In the endless opaque nights—
you were entangled in a sleepy dream net,
in dark imaginings, still swimming the invisible.

Suddenly early spring, and she is simply wind.
Be certain: she will not spare you.
You will not be left to linger, dreaming
yet of frozen stillness and arctic rest.
She jabs you awake, fingers like thistles and gusts,
pulling away the imaginal filigrees
that tangled around your limbs like moonflowers,
just illusions, blown into the surety of impermanence.

She is how things move through vastness,
over eternities and infinities,
nothing and no one can hide
from her ambition to heal and change.
She awakens you from inertia
and there is nothing to do
but let her have her way with you.

Sand Canyon
photo by Renee Podunovich
Bracing against her turbulence is to remain stagnant,
a stubborn icicle unwilling to melt, refusing to fall
into the embrace of the barely thawed river,
that beckoning spillway of snow disguising
the coldest water imaginable—
imagine how it will shock you         
once you find the courage to let go.

Turning your back on her flighty chants
is retrograde, a default to familiar landscapes
—the terrain of your wounding
and your addiction to the wounds—

Stand and face her, in all of her intensity,
if you flinch at her ferocity,
you will miss the gentle caresses,
the touch that finally melts you,
frees you from years of aching,
held within your need for holding.

Stretch out your curled up body
inside the basket of her tempest,
unafraid of the sound of her moaning
as she flies unencumbered over sagebrush and irises—
become the spores and pollens
carried to unknown lands, taking hold on new ground,
let the husks of what you are no longer
peel away by her force,
uncovering a tender skin you thought you had lost.

Your new skin tingles
under her feather breath —hush—
she gathers the years of grief,
spins that suffering into a cyclone or spiral,
flinging it to the edges of this atmosphere
or maybe into the arms of the furthest cosmic storms:

And you breathe deep
inside the fresh territory of possibility
and your own ground calling you home. 

-Renee Podunovich, 3.28.2019
A 50-Year Hike 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Healing & Flight: Poems of Letting Go


Black and delicate,
I let you loose onto a current of red wind,
unsure how well you will fly—
            I know you will.
You somehow landed in my lap
for just a minute in the immensity of time,
just long enough for me to wonder
how you became so broken,
long enough that my heart would open
to your dark feathers and sorrowful songs,
and to my own veiled wounds,
exposed to me again.

I imagine the time I stroked your soft head,
the feathers there tender and downy—
            just for that instant, you were completely loved,
you let go of the need to harm yourself
and considered your own beauty instead.

The second before I let you go,
I became a window, panes of glass
transparent and unafraid to open fully.
I have closed the shutters now,
can no longer track your flight.
Where you journey,
it isn’t for me to know.
You were not mine to keep,
were mine only for that brief moment,
a fragment of a dream,
one note of interstellar song:

            the impression you left—
            a thousand times the actual weight
            of your light, hollow bones.

- Renee Podunovich, 2019