Call me Orpheus.
The one who charms the wild beasts
and becomes what he sings.
The one who goes down
to the Netherworld
to rescue a lost soul
and braves Death on his dark throne
and sings so sweet and strong
that mercy flowers from stone.
I am not the one in your stories
who lost her again by looking back.
When those who can't have me
try to kill me, their weapons won't obey them.
When the jealousy demons
turn their fingers into claws
my body yields, but I go on singing
until my severed parts come together again.
I speak to you in golden leaves
I give you the best directions
for the journey all must take.
Go right at the fountain by the white cypress.
When the Gatekeeper challenges you
remember to say:
I am born of earth and of starry sky
my race is of heaven alone.
-Big Sur, California, November 13, 2013
Photo (c) Robert Moss. Orpheus mosaic in Archaeological Museum, Istanbul.