Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Almost Spring Heart: Poetry for Unsleeping

Butler Wash, UT
photo by RPodunovich

Waking from Ever-Winter 

I.

Wetfrozen silver leaves,
the cottonwoods let them fall
last autumn, their bodies now a pattern—
            grey decay against ochre sand,
            a trail lined with death
            even as we live and walk and breathe.

Inhale — vapors of desert snow,
mist from a storm now past,
in sunny spots ice gives way
to transparent pools of that melted chill.
            I look for signs of life, movement
            in water’s depths, and even though I know
            there is nothing yet to find,
I can’t stop wanting that wordless thing,
how I long for something I can’t quite name—

the lasting, timeless, beckoning call inside
bodycells, the dreambody, our ceaselessness
through deep time, dimensions and multiverses.

Ice Pools
photo by RPodunovich

II.

Hibernation still calls to my bones,
even as my blood runs fire.
Despite the sway of cross quarter quickening,
the full moon is a stronger sedative,
            lulls me back to sleep,
            an ever-winter slumber:

It takes all of the seasons for the heart to mend,
for new awareness to find hold,
and what is next is just a seed dreaming
in the still frozen ground of February.

I settle myself back in, invite that vision to find me—

            I am quiet, still, receptive, silver,
            lustrous like these small pools;
            vessels inside a canyon spillway.

Movement Becomes Us
Sonja Horoshko, 2002
III.

Rivers I cried, they flooded this sandstone wash,
red dirt hewn by that outpouring,
earth polished so fine it is impossible to capture,
            the tiniest, smoothest gemstones,
            cherry and glistening in the light,
            falling through my fingers like an hourglass—

this is how it is to fade: appearances gone,
just the bare facts are left, they are hard to perceive,
like staring into the sun on a winter day:
            we live and disappear, we are only ourselves.

Ancient Frog Petroglyphs
photo by RPatten
IV.

Ancient frogs painted yellowred on stone
snap me awake, suddenly,
they steal my breath away, they chant
their long ago song; it’s my own heartbeat
            pounding my ears, then wind, then stillness.

I let the ice deliver its cold smart to my fingers,
I let myself be affected again — I won’t hide from living —

I will walk alone or with another,
I will sing more songs and I will not sing,
I am going to dance when the moon is dark,
I am still falling apart but something whole is emerging,
            the way water invites everything to be near it,
            I drink my fill, then offer some to the world.

I am mystified by simplicity;
there is nothing to be other than my next breath.

-Renee Podunovich, 2/14/20