Monday, April 27, 2015

Where worlds meet

Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California

A seal is basking in the sun on a rock
below the Place of Leaping
where sweet water joins the salt

This is a place where worlds meet.
I remind a woman who may be a selkie
to be careful where she leaves her skin.
I follow a path of monarch butterflies
to the bridge over the ravine
where a woman comes swinging a broom;

she left her other ride at home.

New altars to ancient gods are flowering
Poppies are the color of blood and of desire.
I offer tobacco and spirit to the head 

of an African gatekeeper
I give breath to a goddess of the sea.
I walk a plank hung with prayer flags

where they say it is not safe to walk alone,

Fox showed a laughing face in a pink cloud.
A flighty bear weathered a cyclone 
in my birth country to join us. 
A latecomer arrived from the hot land
where the Dogon remember the blue star.
Stag instructed a dreamer to shoot him
and when her arrow touched his heart
she vomited frogs, and was healed.

A dead Romanian scholar got a message to me
through a traveler who came here because
she found a book she dreamed  
where he instructs that it is not only shamans
who go through crises of initiation.
I met him in Transylvania and in Chicago  
and he suggested books for me to read and write.
He had been dead twenty years at the time,
but only in one of the many worlds.

A brave woman plunged into a mountain lake
where a man left her baby self to drown
and brought her back with the help

of a king-sized salmon and a star child
who showed her how to play with sun and moon.

A faery gave me a message for the morning
singing, "Look for me in the avocado tree,

that is where I'll be." When I thanked her
she invited me to come inside the tree
and shinnied up the trunk with simian grace
and threw down grenades of green joy.

In the baths a benign conspiracy of sisters
is plotting to soak this world in dreaming.
Eight cormorants on their own rock

pause from their exquisite fishing
to tell me it is time to communicate
with those I love in all worlds.

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