LET EVERYONE BRING THE GIFTS say the Bird Women

 
Let everyone bring the gifts!
The air is full of wings beating,
calling.
Let everyone bring the gifts!
This is the calling, the sound of spring,
the birds singing the plants out
of the ground, the buds
ready to burst,
the color, the immediate saturation of a
sigh
the word ah —again and again—
the sound of the origin,
a beginning,
ah,
Thank the Goddess, angels, Universal
Mother beings, thank the
ancestors, thank the bird people
and the seed people and the sea
people and the wee people.
Thank the forest and the wave and
the clouds and the seals and the mountains.
Thank the trees and the sands and
the chemicals and the stars.
Thank the pens and the inks and the
poets.
Thank the swimming creatures without bones.
Thank the eyes glowing in the dark,
thank the tremors and the volcanoes,
thank the dance classes and the musicians,
who feel the life blood of the spring,
thank the tender Earth, in whose footsteps we
walk, thank the curled and unfurling
ferns, the softnesses of the Earth’s body and
our own bodies.
Thank you cats’ fur, thank you breasts,
thank you sheep, thank you lions thank
you reeds and berries.
Thank you fungi.

The glow we receive we return back
again, again, again.

The birds sing and I remember.

The birds sing and I remember,
and my memories become a song in my body.

The flowers sing and I am reminded
instantly, to exhale, to feel the muscles
deep in my belly, my neck, my throat,
my ears, unclench and re-order,
ready to listen again
for more

xoc
3.18.21

words and image C.Savage 2021

listen to this poem read by the author (on Soundcloud)
LET EVERYONE BRING THE GIFTS say the Bird Women

The Formation of Light

 

photo Anya Segalovich

When I think about you
I think about the formation of light
I think about how light is made.
I think about slipping between worlds
I think in terms of potentials.
When I think about you
I think about the absence of longing
I think about being poured into a cup the shape of your heart.
I think about over-late parties where night wakes to day again,
and a continuous unraveling of stories
having been wound in to a ball for
well, a long time.
I think about
the slow intensity of surprise
and standing or walking in space.
I think about time,
and how the light comes to us.

xoc

On Landscape and The River Is the Path

 

photo Luis chumbe

On Landscape

Texture and Heat. Having been there makes a difference (does it?). (It does).

What I say is: “My body misses Latin America.” What I mean is: After 3 days in Iquitos, my body has recycled most of its water. I am now a living exchange with the air breathed by the Amazon River via the trees. I am made up of madura tierra, dolphins swim my blood, my body re-orients itself as a boat—after all the river is the path. (Wow, that one took a long time. 10 years maybe.)

As I am re-inhabited by the river, my body re-orients itself as a boat. The river is the path. As many times as I need to hear it and lose it. I lose it again.

Presently my body feels hollow, greedily metabolizing rare sunlight, missing the rainbow-haze droplet filtered quality. The water is life component. The swimming in the water-air component. The each footfall is a blessing communicated to the earth and lifted back up and out through the trees to be reabsorbed component. The roundness of walking as blessing and being blessed by the moisture in the air component. The Softness—if earth can be silty, slip silky, this is the quality applied to air. A warm stone feeling, hand warmed clay as walking environs.

Yesterday someone asked: How could you not miss the forest (la selva)? I miss the forest like I miss my sister, like I miss a birthplace, like I miss knowing where I actually AM.

Well! That was true! And elicited some breaking up of the dam inside of myself. I place myself there inside of it and the river land calls me, immediately, you can come home, you can come home. Yesterday I thought about it as my “spiritual birthplace” and that is not really it. It is the place where I became (and become) re-oriented to myself and to the world. My first and dearest long-term, long-distance relationship—with a river, weaving herself underground. Yes, I’m getting it, I’m hearing it.

Do I have to say, so obviously, the paintings with the black backgrounds are true. They are dreams, map flashes of landscape, they are connections of the human turned back in to communion with/of the larger experience. In the realities of Westernization we have an idea that perhaps were are floating in a kind of void, why we are obsessed with a cold-metallic-alone version of space craft and exploration, instead of an organic, community version. In the forest, I met a tree who is a spaceship. The presence of this craft-self was so obvious that it reminded me to myself, and that is a feeling that no longing for it could match. Coming home. Coming home.

That I will not be returning to this beloved, to this mother, this sister, this homeplace this turn is suddenly present with me. The recognition shuts something down in me, in the relationship, in the dreaming. But perhaps something else is being born in me, some hybrid seed of self that is both river and boat.

And to think–I was trained to feel that weaving myself back in to the dream is lonely. But that’s not true. It is Full To Bursting with Life, Blessing, Purpose, Meaning, and Beauty. It is filled with Truth. It is filled with the Real World.

Blessings on Your Heads,
Ashe
Charlotte

The Impasse

The Impasse

The implacability of it. the unmovableness. the immobility. the stuckness.
Two mountains face off. the size doesn’t matter.
A bird flies between them. sigh.
No rope can be stretched taught enough to hear between them.
A slack bridge is erected. we run out of wooden slats less than halfway through.
Is it better to burn down a half-built bridge? Does It, Itself, pose added danger?
Some people will cross on foot (ok Many Many people will cross on foot, especially the people who were here Forever—long before any idea of how many wooden slats would it take to…)

A bird flies overhead. sigh.
My mouth is dry and I drink gulps of joyful water. after months on this bridge-building expedition I
hear something
I hear the mountains talking
I am swallowed up in their singing
I am between the two, radiating to one another
Have I crossed between worlds?
(Certainly I have crossed between worlds.)
I am pressed through to the languaging of mountains, to older ways of hearing.
I am at the bottom of the river, the salmon rushing over me in their leaping.
I am dancing. I am the dancing water.
Do I have eyes, still?
(Most certainly I have eyes, still.)

A bird flies overhead. I am the bird.
I sigh.
(I sigh and a mist fills the valley, covering it in quiet, wrapping and warping the airs,
dampening, bringing down from the mountains the hovering, quivering sound. The waves of language sink and become the joyful river,

20.6.2
c.savage

Real Magic is in Relationship

I dream you
dream to the reaches
beyond my own ability to conceive—
what has been carried
was not carried by “us” only
but by things we didn’t know we once were
we still are
things that (we) will continue to be
long, long after we are gone…
maybe, just maybe, until we are here again…

what, in you, gives me the gift of sight
of breath catch in sudden altitude,
what, in me, allows you to star-skip
freely, with the whisperings in your ear and
galaxy seedings in your palm

what is it, in recognition, in relationship,
in allowing, that allows the fun-house
distortion of space-time,
inward, outward, inside-outward,
zoom lens like a merkaba ball,
like a slinky sent sideways down
a wormhole, like water become wave
like…something I cannot place because
it is not fathomable by myself *alone*

real magic
is in relationships
the trick is we have been deceived
to think we cannot see
that which is right in front of us—
it must have been veiled, concealed,
sewed up in a bag, hidden, buried
it is right here

it is right here for the taking,
right here for the making
spinning into now like lightning
strike
like sound that makes the Earth wave
boom
like molten core made island like
gas made environment— things that we in our minds
have made separate that laugh, laugh,
laugh at these imposed restrictions…
ah, but let it be
let it be. let “it” melt back into “be”
verb become noun, concept become wing,
bird become sky and toadstool become voice
ah, let it all be

the miracle is in the heartbeat, that we
can see it, hear it, feel it, touch it
in self, in other.
inward/outward, so far outward…

it reaches, us to us,
it is imprinted, unable to be removed
I see you
I hear you
I love you
Sonic
Boom

X.

listen to this poem read by the author

Real Magic is in Relationship

Casting the Net Wider, and Coming Back Home

 

we are insatiable—
our minds designed to crave,
to seek to hunt to track to
record to remember to find to
experiment
to pass on these traits to our progeny,
to figure out how to share these winding ways as far and wide
as can be imagined
and

we need to both cast the net wider
and come back home

we need to cast the net wider:
“man” has not made it past the moon.
a child born after 1969 does not know the taste
of that thrill
(Mars rovers incorrectly programmed between the archaic
“King’s Own” and
near-globally agreed upon metrics do not hold quite the same j’uj)

we need to cast the net wider:
our possibilities need to be set free,
released from the restrictive confines of
just one way (or the other), from mono-anything,
that we might see hear taste and
rejoice
in the Everything, in the
muchness of everything

we must cast the net wider:
we must begin to believe, once again,
that something new can happen, that
alchemical change can bring forth
something never before seen
in our neck of the universe (or not for a long long time), that
something new can become, out of our selves

and so, like those ascended of every age have tried to impress,
like tired children, like birds, like whales, like herds of
multitudinous ungulates (caribou and deer and such) we must
(don’t you think)
recover, dust off and shine up our inner compasses
and come home.

Return home like a wren to the nest, to where
life comes forth, to where hearth is warm
(or supposed to be), to where
loved ones wait with open faces,
open arms, open hearts, open minds,
just for the chance to light up
in greeting, in sharing story and song and
willingness to collaborate, to
sift through and shift orientation
to home, home, home, like a puzzle piece
turning to be settled and nestled
in place, it cannot be
reshaped by force or complaint, but
by movement, re-orientation, patience,
and time.

and now, now of all nows, it is time to come home.

it is time to come home to ourselves, to the possibilities,
to the potentials not yet uncovered nor turned over,
it is time to reformat old systems of
disparity—between I and other, between mind
and body, between self and world

coming home to ourselves as an act of
closing the gap and sewing it shut, of
leaping chasm and bringing two sides of
something together, forever (or for the mean time)

coming home as a radical act of care for
self and planet and universe and any and all
lands we walk in, home as beam
of light, home as beacon

come home body, come home Earth, come home tree, come home water,
come home wind, come home squirrel and antelope and humpback and hummingbird and snake and crawling thing and winged ones calling from the skies, come home to me rabbit and fox and fur and tooth and dirt and rot and claw and antennae. Come home to me transmission and transformation. Come home, home.

And so, in our capacity to cast the net wider,
let us not forget to catch
ourselves, too.

And in our coming home, let us not forget
the chance to include other.

May we hear and heed the call,
may we become, already, that which
we do not know we seek, but that which we are.

X

 

listen to this poem read by the author on SoundCloud:

Casting the Net Wider and Coming Back Home

You Can Come Home and The Bear, The Wind, The Bear

“the World and the Bear” 2011, C.Savage

You Can Come Home
and
The Bear, The Wind, The Bear

1. You Can Come Home, The Wind

Is the feeling I am mistaking for love free fall?
And is there anything inherently incorrect with that?

There is talk of “groundedness”
and then, the visceral feeling,
of the sprinting spiral trajectory of our entire solar system. **
Of our star shooting through space, even as I sit and type.
**(the former-physicist me wishes for a moment for a memory)

The plane of Between in all stillness practices,
in this moment, is this the feel of subspace,
the place of acknowledgment,
the yogis flexing and bending as their bodies hurtle through an incomprehensible galaxy,
you can come home
you can come home
you can come home

Here.
A dance of matching speeds
human v human on horse
wood v wood-fired metal
glass v gourd
bear v car
nature v structure
speaking v understanding knowing
is it a set up?
is it a construct of the walled mind?**
**(bridge v river)

existence in a spacetime of
imminent collision…
inevitable…
there is no toward
or getting away from

and what is it really,
and what does it matter
and I’d rather leave the
strict suburbs of why
for the open plains of
star time
and
your mind
and weeping until we are done

the rigidity of opposing
v
the flexibility of intertwined roots
lifting the land
breathing the wind

stone, water, love
beyond what is time
beyond what is concept

the feeling of my body
the feeling of knowing
the feeling of wind
the feeling of the whole thing coming down**
**(the feeling of the potential of the whole thing coming down)

i’m all shook up

2. The Bear, The Wind, The Bear

What I know is there is nothing to argue about
A state of wonder is a state of wonder is a state of wonder is a state of wonder is a state of wonder

what is being in love
what is world worry
what does the Hubble space telescope show us
what is the movement of planets
I gotta stop I almost started to cry

why spend our time arguing about the existence of love?
altho it’s me who squirms away from philosophy.

3. The Bear, The Bear

In August I arrived from Peru with Amazon River water, full of pink dolphins, still on my skin
I drove to pick up a friend, hearing his voice after years and years
gravelly like my Russian brother, and the same opening statement
Sorry, sorrysorrysorrysorry, I’m sorry
I know

In the short timespan I drove to retrieve him:
a big, fat-flowing male bear galloped across the highway, I almost hit him,
on the way back, he was dead, huge still, on the side of the road.
We didn’t have time to stop for him. I felt awful. We were on a mission.
The Kontomble had sent a recipe with bear fur.
And we couldn’t stop.

On Tuesday, now three months later, after the weekend of shamanic wind and weeping through music, I was driving to drop my child off at school and saw another bear, dead on the side of the road.

At first I thought it was a dog, a German Shepherd, but it was a bear. I felt sick. I had just mentioned the bear the night before. Here was the bear. I took my child to school. I borrowed children’s scissors from his classroom, I remembered, in my rush of the morning and all the bags, leaving my bag with the knife at home.

I was distraught, I called my friend, I drove up and turned around at the next exit and came back, looking for the bear. I saw it, lying the the grass, and as I got closer began to cry for its smallness. I pulled over next to its body. My friend asked me to be careful, to be aware and present for other bears, if this one was so small, to make an offering. I hung up.

I went over to the bear, crying, truck sound roaring by, I stayed close to my car, I felt fear, I felt a large bubble of fear, pain, disaster. It felt warm, present, watery, a different quality of air. I looked over my shoulder, feeling another bear may come barreling down the hillside on the opposite side of the road. I saw the blood pattern on the road, of the bear coming across, being hit, and stumbling to the side, collapsing. The head wound, the killing blow, was resting on the ground, the young bear’s eye half open. She looked alive, still, resting a moment before death, her spirit still in the air around her.

I was so sad and afraid. I pulled tobacco from a cigarette and sage from the window, I did not have a lighter, I ground it between my hands and sang two songs I do not remember, tears falling into the grass. I was hot and afraid, feeling the bear. Was there another bear? I opened the plastic bag I had pulled from my car door and there were feathers in it. I looked around again and felt there was no physical danger. I knelt by the bear and snipped some of her fur into a towel. The warm bubble disappeared, my tears stopped, I was able to breathe normally again, I got into my car. The Bear.

More The Wind another time.

xoc

Iquitos, Freaking Center of the Universe, 2018 ed.

Iquitos, Freaking Center of the Universe, 2018 ed.
I.

+swimming in the energy of Belen

+pink dolphins like twisting flags, traveling

+tossing friends into the air

+dancing and throwing limbs to the edges

+deeply surprising lunches and motorides

+witnessing transformation, mastery, awareness

+making a magical, medicinal space

+being held by the Amazon, swimming in space

+being healed by the hands of my community, creating a space for safety and direct contact

+listening and being delivered treasure

+receiving indigenous wisdom via community and plant medicines

II. Thank yous

Thank you
for the gifts
the gift of murga
the gift of seeing and being seen, of being heard
the gift of meeting, encountering, moving together like a cloud of birds, vapor,
molecules in a container, together, and flowing out to join with what is, with other, with water

Thank you
for the gift of your eyes
the gift of your heart—wide
thank you, thank you for your pouring
of intention and commitment to task
thank you for your sensitivity, your sensibility, your gentleness
your creativity, your flexibility

Thank you for bringing your magical self,
your mystical, mythical self,
your self as you walk in this land and other lands.
Thank you for bringing your awareness,
your care,
the extension of yourself in this and other worlds—your love,
your body full of medicine

Thank you for your kisses,
your hugs, your squeezes
around the middle,
your loving gazes

good morning, good evening, good night,
blessings, blessings on your heart, your eyes, your life

Thank you for being light bearers
thank you for being
thank you for thinking of water, and
river, and
grass, and
eyes, and
plants, and
hands, and
carrying,
carrying the gifts in
your hands,
your eyes,
your heart.

Thank you for your blessings,
Thank you for the blessings that you are.
Thank you for being kindness
Thank you for bringing joy.

xoc

for breakfast

I weep for the magic of the world. And yet. And yet. Does it need my weeping?

Holding a small round of bread spread with white cheese and Imladris Farms raspberry jam and thinking of [slipping into] some far off homey fantasy perhaps populated by hobbits my still-physical body/eyes sense that the bread is steaming, though it is not hot in my hand and my dreaming-mind is providing the perception of molecular events…I hesitate to use the word “reality,” it has myriad personal connotations and while there are facts existing and we all share this world, etc, where our filters meet there is a glamour..[of…]

So my brain and mind are trying to make amends/make sense of this observed phenomenon and somewhere in there, in the next few [following] seconds I see the coffee cup, partly obscured and steaming in the background. And I am overcome by the desire to cry.

Though I do not believe I am a particularly special specimen, physically or chemically, my allowing of events to unfold in their own time gives me something I cannot find, could not find if I looked (and I am looking) [that i cannot find though i am looking] elsewhere. Somewhere other than my own mind. It’s not that it’s fascinating (here I am considering what my counselor has to say) but that time seems to slow down/alter in story. It is not My Own Story. It is a story of being in the world, and the curious moments that open up when the sensory input says something is happening [that is not happening] that is not corroborated by other senses. What then? That it is not “real”—well, in a sense, “who cares,” or “everyone already knows that.” But for a moment, I don’t know.

I am thinking of the parts of life the memory immediately erases, unable classify and place, and this small occurrence among them—a fucking piece of toast and some coffee steam—that would disappear before I leave the table, without this examination of the brief confusion I felt, between breaths. Most often they are in nature, colossal and unreal to the modern mind, unused to such patterns, unable to identify and store—a nearby breaching whale, huge beyond belief, a murmuration of birds (my, I really must have overdone it, or overnight without training become a mistress of object manipulation), the last moment of birth—my own body doing something beyond my imagining or processing though I have seen it on film and with [viewed happening in the body of] others. Those seconds disappear, replaced (if allowed) by wonder, by a sense of profound order of Earth.

And so here I am again, my hands covering my eyes and a lurch in my stomach. We need the magics imagined by women. We need the creation and the recovery. We need the rolling of the heavens, of the stars, of the…of the beauty swelling through. We need the memories, the singing, the trades. Do good deeds with your hands, I am tasked, I am asked, I am given. Do good deeds with your hands. My son sings seeds into punk music. Respect, love, honor, true love, true love woven into everything we do—the net must be created, or repaired, recreated for this era, the strands unravel, all hand-created objects must have care, must be made with care. Must be made with care.

Where is a place where we could go to figure this out, some fallow valley land, some mountain green nearby, some stream, some place, some heaven. Where could we sit on the ground and run in the sunshine and let our hair grow long and our minds grow wild. There were places like this and somehow the weavings were not enough—aha I am now thinking of old California and the idea of freedom The Idea of Freedom where there is already a system of unfreedom, of oppression, of struggle. I am thinking of the societies before ours, based in art, in making, in creation, in pulling the threads from the very atmosphere and I have seen it. I have seen the threads and sat in prayer and here I am with my eyes closed and my hands clasped and the streams and waves and waters of knowing and disbelief descending on me in ribbons of light. All parts of myself making amends, I stretch my arms and open my eyes and here this strange experience is happening to me in public, in an unassuming coffee shop, and I am thinking of my friend across town and perhaps she has been lost, separated from the web, and I don’t want to write about that.

Mine

I want to exchange words.

I want to absorb your vocabulary, I want your words in my mouth, I want to speak your language. I want to see recognition in your eyes. I want you to know, to understand, that it is you, a part of you, taken in, loved, and given back into the world (like breath, like breathing).

Communication, Relationships, Meaning—cornerstones of (my) life, beginnings of (a) path. They make my boat, and river, and body, and forest-mind or mind-as-forest. They make up my lake, my star, my mountain, anything I extend my hand toward or could even address as “mine.’”

“Mine” as not a possessiveness but an offering—fingers outstretched. “Mine” as “I am willing to believe you if you tell me you see me as myself.” “Mine” as “I can sink into this physical environment and know your eyes are everywhere, because I see them//because I see with them.” “Mine” as a feeling just had, fleeting, a feeling of between-two. A sensation of confirmation, ever-curious, never-guessing, something only briefly known, waiting to know again. “Mine” as “myself—in relation to—…”

The mountains claim me
“Mine.”
The sea claims me, the air claims me, the trees, the birds, the whales, the insects, the spiders claim me, wrap and prod me with their stick legs, their mossy fingers, wands,
the birches and the birch springs claim me,
the rushings and the whirrings and the whinings and the silences,
the soft paddings of feet and the intricate markings and the innate swivelings of ears
claim me
more than myself
“mine”
mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine.
Ours then.

Audio on soundcloud