To the Blood Pool
In the green garden of the heart
a lusty sea god fountains in a bronze surf
of mermaids. Bluebells are out
under the tender green canopy of the beeches.
A bee is unscrolling a hibiuscus under a wall
and lavender fields beyond the far terraces
tempt me with their perfumes, I answer the call
of the mettled horses, drilled for dressage,
that are prancing in place under the bridle.
In powder-blue coat and tight perruque
I mount my favorite creamy mare and ride her
round and round the great ellipse until it is time
to leave the grounds of the winter palace
for wilder places. I fly up stone-cut stairways
to a cobbled street that smells of oranges
and find myself, at last, at the blood pool.
I did not know it until I came here.
The blood in the round pool is fresh,
flowing from a secret spring. Seeking its source
I see the faces of those I have loved and lost
and unhealed wounds and interrupted dreams.
A black dog comes to guide me,
walking on my right. A lion flanks me on the left.
They bring me to the antlered one.
He glows like electrum and between his horns
sun and moon float together.
How could I have forgotten him?
Blood flows unceasingly from his great heart,
freely and unobstructed, into the red pool,
where it is thinned as a painter thins his oils.
Here the lion laps courage. Here I dip
my pen in the inkwell of the heart
and find regeneration in the ever-giving wound.
- Mosswood Hollow, March 1, 2009
Note: One of the exercises at my recent gathering at Mosswood Hollow in the foothills of the Cascades (Washington State) involved opening a door to the heart center and journeying to a garden within.