From poetry

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as embers cool across the forest floor

it is terrifyingly humbling to drown in smoke

witness chimneys made of old growth

watch mushroom clouds rise from the canopies

warm our bodies at mountain range hearths

wade through plumes of smouldering incense

 

you can watch it all from our front stoop

or the passenger seat of our beat up butch toyota

see the sun set neon clementine between the western ranges

watch the gleaming blood moon rise from the eastern cedars

 

tears are chased burning from our vision

while breath clings hidden deep in the roots of our lungs

begging for lungwort. usnea. cabbage and cottonwood.

every living thing is bent in prayer for rain

 

i can’t help but wonder, is this our life now?

will we ever see the river from this perch again?

will smoke masks keep arriving in the mail?

is this what breathing has become?

 

as the smoke clears we bath in the sweet milk of relief

relief that our home still stands, surrounded by sprinklers

relief that we have last minute refuge in every direction,

but we didn’t need to use it

we didn’t pack our goats and chickens and memories

into a pick up truck and drive in any direction where the road is still open

relief that the the rain has washed away the ash from our windshields

relief knowing that “burnt to the ground” happened across a different highway,

than the one in front of our house

relief in the sweet sunbeam of temporary blue sky reprieve

 

we are dancing cautiously with a fleet footed fever

our backs turned, we’re whispering about her

bouquets of yarrow in our hands

 

we are praying at a hearth brought to our feet

an altar built of our desire for convenience

we are being smudged clean by lessons we neglected

ancient wisdom we turned away from, called primitive

our path is a trail of spilt blood and gunpowder across the forest floor

we are walking blindfolded, into the end of days

our hearts yearning to be cleansed

palms open, waiting to be kissed by lightning

 


if you’d like to support my work, you can purchase my poetry chap book 13 months feral. it’s also possible to become a monthly donor to my site, order a tarot card reading, an herbal consultation, or purchase something from my shop the witches cabinet.

artwork by @jona_shoe

swallow

the children sit by the shore line
swallowing shards of broken glass.
broken bottles tossed from boats
by old men remembering each other.
they wish for touch and life jackets.
they wish for adult arms to catch them
as they tumble off broken swing sets.

most of the glass is broken bottles
tossed through storms, whirlpools and drownings
but some are left with messages in tact:
“the way i love you terrifies me”
“you are my compass”
“i need you like breathing”
“i think they saw us”
“one day we’ll be together”

the letters are spotted by ocean blood and tears
aged and faded by sunbeams
begging for the waking breath of sunrise
the tender steady holding of a sea shore.

the children clutch their shredded bellies
their burning cheeks rest against pillows of sand
in their dreams they touch each other
and silently pass tide-smoothed sea glass hand to hand.
they sing the songs of letters sung by mermaids,
soak in ink resting peaceful amongst the bones
of whales left to rest in shallow sunny water
ribcages empty and welcoming of heartbeats.

the children pass each other dandelion roots
rose petals, nettles leaves and fiddleheads
and fresh hand-cupped creek water.
they nurse each other patiently
tend to wounds and salt-water crumbling
lay the dead to rest with elder flowers
and pray the songs sung by mermaids
tucked amongst the haunted whale bones
finally resting peacefully, at the bottom of the sea.


this poem is from my poetry chapbook 13 months feral. i’ve shared it here today in anticipation of our upcoming workshop tour glitter rebellion. in these workshops we will explore using creative process to get in touch with and learn from our ancestors. this poem came to me through a dream and is an exploration of how plant allies and queer ancestry support healing from trauma.

the wonderful art for this poem comes from @jona_shoe. you can check out their work on instagram and on their website.

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Firewood Season

love affair with a mouse fed cat
turning round on shoulder pin point
warm whisky whiskers brush cheeks

roads cobblestoned of shit and straw
dirt birthed beneath rain boot steps
chainsaws cutting through overcast

sap sizzles smokey in the stove
living room hearth
no south facing candles needed

recently seasoned cast iron pan
soup pot cauldron
kitchen witches summer savoury

canning lid opened for the first time
peaches and cream winter solstice
elder berry hot toddies

morning light through shower window
tears drops gather on plastic
flush steam pillows

snow:top of inhale
ice: bottom of exhale
frozen bouquets of medicine

wood splits straight down
queerwood|knots
tetris

tattoos of dirt
creosote
bacon grease

at sunrise, at moonrise: pillow forts
glowing skin for flashlights
crayons, felt tips and kisses glitter


this poem appears in my chapbook 13 months feral.

also, i am hosting a poetry workshop at the Nelson Women’s Center on January 16th 2016 from 1 to 4 pm for women, folks who have experienced trauma and LGBTQI+ folks of any gender. if you’re interested, stop by. it’s a $20 to $40 sliding scale with no-one turned away for lack of funds. you can learn more details about the workshop on the facebook page here. and if you’re reading this past that date, but want to hear more about my workshops, you can join the mailing list or check out the community education page of this site. <3