Thursday, January 22, 2015


Over Soul

Leaping from rock to slippery,
Unstable rock in Big Creek,
I cross in search of artifacts,
Scrambling up a steep slope
To find shotgun shells sprinkled
On a house pit, mortars claimed
By humus and moss. Trampled and
Uneven, a trail snakes along a cliff
To a confluence where I choose
A faint path unmolested by cattle,
The trail soon vanishing under dry
Sycamore leaves webbed by tribes
Of spiders. Poison oak blocks
One side and a buckeye looms
On the other side of the ravine,
So I grab a long, dry branch and hoist
Myself onto a boulder that topples
To the stream bed after I leap
To another rock. Nobody knows
Where I am. I scramble higher,
Grasping grass and roots, in my first
Initiation by this stream, finding
Primeval woodlands above the lip
Of the waterfall, and I plod forward,
Without much faith in my feet,
Sure that I'm being watched by
Something, animal or spirit,
Not human. When I discover


A pounding stone with two pestles,
I am afraid. A skirt of dried earth
And moss clings to each tapered
Stone after I pull them from the cups.
Like some shaman, I feel an Over-Soul
Is aware of me, and there has not yet
been a parley. A rattlesnake, 
Camouflaged by roots that stick out
From the embankment, shatters
The stillness and slithers
Into its hole, the Over-Soul
Aware of me like I
Am aware of the snake. 
I open my senses
To feel what it's like
To be a newt or frog or snake
Or waterfall or redbud reflected
In still water, and I let
An image of her rise from a deep pool.

Pounding Stone

I fashion a living image for her spirit
To ensoul, her hair winding down 
To her feet like rivulets, 
A crown of moons in different 
Phases, a bobcat at her feet, 
Doves fluttering nearby, green robes
Gleaming with embroidery
Of gem-like flowers, behind her
A towering oak, the branches
Like streams, its trunk
A river plunged into earth.
I invoke awkwardly
At first, then more powerfully
As I stand on the pounding stone
With her form in my imagination--
For the Over-Soul to pour her essence
Into my soul, a small channel
Into the soul of the race. At first
I am black, primordial ooze,
Fetid decay, suddenly warm
And compact, webbed by veins,
Then rivulets trickling down
The ravines into still pools
And down to a river that once
Flowed to an ocean under an ocean
Of breath, and then I am all
The plants and animals, one love
Of everything ever connected
To this stream, the solar fire
Scorching my soul to a clinker,
The Over-Soul suddenly
Pouring into me
A timeless peace.

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