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  Pure As the Driven Slush (Personal Journal)

Priapus does not tend an English garden ~ 2008

I find I move between wanting to hold you
and wanting to shake you. I am imbued at once
with both faces of this thick, green energy.

I’ve a desire to nurture and soothe with a gentle rain,
a cleansing breeze, a warming light,
to be the softest forest floor to cradle all your steps.
There is another stronger desire in this moment
to crack open the ground,
throw waves of water,
spit fire, shout thunder,
stand imposing as the Himalaya,
all merely to remind you of this power
and loudly demand the proper reverence for it,
an unquestioning awe which accepts
that it is – we are – too large
for simple creature comforts here, right now.

There is sanctuary here for you,
but you must always remember that we
become, and have always been, elemental together;
we know this to be
irrefutable, inarguable, unchanging.

This is no new discovery.
We seem to tend to err most
when we get the strange idea
that you can mix phosphorous and oxygen
and not expect some manner of combustion.

This is not often a sanctuary
for small, broken-winged birds,
a Muzak-humming rest home for invalids.
It is where the giant-footed few
who have the seemingly strange inclination
go to toast marshmallows and sing campfire songs in the midst of an apocalypse;
it feels a temple for legend, not leisure. 

We seem to tend to err most
when we underestimate the nature of who we are,
what our unique alchemy is,
and try and fit magnitudes into the tiniest of boxes.

You are as welcome in my heart, my life, my world
as the marrow is welcome within my bones,
and the suggestion you are not
rings hollow in me and chafes. I sit here now, 
and have for days,
still startled by a fact I cannot feel
is anything but fact ­
that I may well have managed to leave
exactly the right room for you, for this,
with a vague feeling of idiocy
that until now it has not been clear 
how very much was leading here,
how very much I must surely have known
my life, my heart, all of my interconnections
needed to have an ability
to give way for this ever-familiar wave and recognize, 
honor its import and its intrinsic home in my every sinew.

Through that lens, I cannot help but wonder
­ even worry ­
if you feel unwelcome
because you are looking
for the wrong house, knocking on the wrong door.
I know this, we, do not look like
we once wanted, or fit, neatly,
into the kind of crevices love
is supposed to fit neatly into.

…but we never have, and we should know, 
too well by now,
that is not who we are,
or who we have ever been.

It is not an insult, nor even a loss
(though I know, not understanding, I once thought it so)
that it does not resemble the mundane,
that it does not fit easy into daily life,
that it is not a place of warm milk or quiet.
We can find, have found, those things
well in other places and should know,
by now,
this is not what they look like,
nor are we the dwelling they’d likely choose to inhabit.

Imagine a person dismayed
they could not fit
a tempest in a teapot;
Pompeii into a pocketbook.

I hear
some part of you wishing
to have this be
shrunken, diluted, 
but I am not sure why,
because my hands tremble
no less than yours.

I hear
a fearful echo from you in a canyon past,
still reverberating from another time
when we were not
as strong, as able, as whole, as brave.

When we were not who we have since become.

We have grown larger, more deft with the years,
our feet more firmly rooted, our shoulders more broad.
We have hands fully capable
of holding this, knowing now
that we simply cannot close them upon it,
but must leave them palm-open,
playing the electric waves of this
the way one plays a theramin.

It seems you may hear dischord,
while I hear exquisite harmonies,
crafted by everything that lives as both one and many in my heart.

When you underestimate yourself,
I grapple with a sadness, but more so an anger,
because you are part of we, and I know us to be
as powerful as exactly our sum.

This is only as – exactly as – powerful as we, 
so if you feel yourself as smaller than I thought,
it invades my feelings of largesse.
I find a resentment in myself
towards anything that makes me feel I should question
what I know to be true,
which is that what we are, what this is,
is exactly as mighty
as me and as you.



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