POETRY 

 

Making Passage

 

It’s like swimming across a river

with our eyes closed, this passage 

through the center of our life. 

 

Sometimes we have to navigate

from the inside out—when the stars

hide their light, when we cannot see the bank

 

on the other side, when the hounds

of our past bark on the shoreline

braying their mournful song at our leaving.

 

It is the stillness at the heart of the fire

that guides—the voice of our angel of mercy

that rings out when we look over our shoulder

 

at the old life with longing. You cannot go back,

she says, that place is gone now. And for a moment,

we freeze in the river sure we will drown,

 

forgetting which way is up and down,

forward and back, as the roar of the roiling rapids

pours through us, our heart filled

 

with all the questions that have refused

to leave us alone. And then something

remembers itself, lifts our shoulders above

 

the swirling cauldron of in-between,

and we simply let go of the fight to stay.

The tangled paradoxes flow on through

 

the body of the river, and we are carried

by an invisible current that draws us closer

and closer to the edge of a new world.

 

On our knees, we find root and ground,

give thanks for this fertile soil, seeded

with our dreams, thirsty for our arrival.

©Laura Weaver

 

 

Sacred Wound 

 

In every being there lives a wound. 

This is the nature of being born here, like this.

And in every life there is a choice—

to wrap ourselves around that wound,

protective of its shape, its cadence, its nuance

to build our life around that story—

or to extend through the fire of pain

to some other horizon.

 

The seed knows this: how to arise

from the dark tight curl of itself—

to bloom from the dark. As does the butterfly,

as it emerges from the chaos

of its own dissolution into winged delight.

 

It is the impossible miracle

of the luminous heart that brings us

to the hearth of our own awakening

that risks stepping forward to broach

illusory walls, that opens against all odds

seeing that we have nothing to lose 

but our own false protection, 

our own holding back.

 

In every being there is a wound~

a fissure where sacred longing is born

so our gifts can be revealed, 

so our gifts can be given.

 

©Laura Weaver

 

The Vow

 

It was the chasm below the sacred cliffs

that called me that spring morning to climb,

step by step, into a knowing of what I must do.

 

Burning in my ears was the fierce song of a vow

I had made long ago, not to bend the truth inside

or live forever in a house of mirrors.

 

There, perched high on the granite rocks

I listened to the high, insistent cheeping of peregrines

sounding out like this forgotten one of me.

 

And as I watched, out of the stone spires

the mother falcon shot, dove down deep into the soul

of that canyon—the ribbon of riverlight moving far below.

 

She showed me a thing or two about the source

of my own desire—the glint of her arrowed wings,

the heat of her body searing the air.  And just before

 

certain death, she caught a swallow in her beak,

rose to circle these impossible heights, then slid

into an invisible crack in the cliff to feed her newborns—

 

still crying out as if they had been forgotten.

What it is to be half-blind, vulnerable, hungry for the world~

not yet seeing the coming fledge, but knowing,

 

deep in bones, this compass of primal instinct.

What it is to understand just how to ride the current

at full speed, to lift before colliding, to break buoyant

 

into that late afternoon canyon light,

wings thrumming, filled with the ecstasy

of your own mysterious wild.

 

©Laura Weaver

 

Cornucopia

 

The riot of the earth’s wild feast is laid before us,

daily, in places we have forgotten to look. In the veins

of the leaf in the sunlit corner of the room.

 

In the depths of the tiger iris of the daughter who has grown

into a woman overnight. In the clear pools of water

where night animals bend down and drink.

 

If we have any task it is this: to live in this exquisite seeing,

to clear our eyes of the dust of memory and expectation

that would leave us blind to what we most long for.

 

For even in the leanest of years, when our bodies are wracked

with grief, there is more than enough beauty to feed

all the species of this world. Take the Pleides.

 

Take Jupiter arcing west in the night sky.  Take, the bees

that roll over on the flowers drunken with nectar. Take the globes

of squash and the sage brush in the russet hills. Take it all in.

 

For even in the bones and cinders of the old world, children

reach into pockets for marbles and a man gives another man

his coat. Even in the skeletal remains of fields gone fallow,

 

seeds settle and germinate. This cornucopia is what you came for—

for this chance to tend life, to give back to that which gives.

To be breathed one breath at a time.

©Laura Weaver

 

Heart Sutra

 

Beyond hope and fear

good and bad

low road or high road

curse or blessing

there is this moment

this invitation to arrive

on your knees

in your glory

awake.

 

The forestlight trembles

the mountains surge and quake

the meadows exhale wildflowers.

For even as you see, you are seen. 

As you bless, you are blessed. 

As you drink, you are drunk.

Nothing is outside of this.

 

Even when

we are dis-mantled

bone by bone

cell by cell

taken back

into creation’s great belly

there is no where to go.

 

I once dreamed

we were a winged people

who had forgotten our wings

and then designed a whole world

whose sole purpose

was our re-membering.

 

Can you see us?

Violet feathers

silver sky

singing on the wind?

 

©Laura Weaver

 

 

The Story

 

Step closer to the story that scares you~

the one that has you gasping for air

in the night, searching for ground.

This one wants to take you past

the lip of the void to the birthplace

of stars, where all stories dissolve

into the blessing of original song.

 

Leap into the love that terrifies—

you know just what it will do.

It will un-hinge every door in your house.

It will blow in like a hurricane

and re-arrange your furniture.

It will howl like a banshee through your bones

and leave you delightfully hollow.

Without this love you are only playing

at this life– and you are so tired of that!

 

Turn your wild horses out

into the fields in the morning,

when first light purples the hills.

They are hungry for this earth

under hoof, this thunder of full gallop.

They may trample all the places

you have so carefully tended.

They may leave you in a cloud of dust.

And yet, this is the only way

they will return to you truly,

without a fence to keep them in.

 

Let the current lift you

out of the churning eddy. 

There is only one place where this river flows—

through slot canyons and the eyes of midnight,

through singing valleys and greening glens.

These holy waters will have their way with you.

They are dreaming you into a body of light.

Why fight what you most long for?

 

©Laura Weaver

 

Beauty

There is nowhere to hide

in the desert, under the full moon

in the blue light that pours

through the body like water.

It as if we are born again

in the open air, to feel our bare

skin against the world for the first time.

And from here, eyes untethered,

we see a different kind of beauty

that lives underneath the surface,

that quivers in the thorns

and breaks out of the volcanic rock

like a song you hear in a dream,

when your mind has gone quiet.

To meet this kind of beauty,

Make a slow approach,

a spiral walk to the center,

leave offerings, show up

in the odd hours of the night—

then she may let you see her fur, her sharp teeth,

the flash of her pale underbelly.

For this beauty moves in the spaces,

in the interior of things, in the rivulets

of a dry land that rarely sees rain,

in the seed that blooms once in a hundred years,

in the sap of a Joshua tree lifting

its arms, heavy with blooms, to the piercing stars.

This beauty leaves you weeping

in the blue of that moonlight

with nowhere to hide.

©Laura Weaver

 

Creation Stories

 

i.

It wasn’t long ago

when humans and bears were one tribe,

when in the winter freeze

down in the hibernation caves

dreaming would happen both ways~

from bear to human and human to bear~

in this way they kept their clan intact

and remembered together what it is 

to live in sacred reciprocity with this world.

 

But lord knows

there are so many distractions

so many ways our importance pulls us

from the center of that circle in the heart

where the fire burns.  At times we may forget

that the whole destiny of the world

hangs on that blue flame. 

 

ii.

Years ago, a baby hummingbird flew 

into a window, fell to the ground

in a dark heap before me. I picked her up

in my hands and still, for moments, 

she did not stir. It was only when I placed 

her heart against mine, then blew my breath

into her feathers, that she trembled again

with her own life. How many times

have I flown into that same glass

thinking it was sky?

 

iii.

I remember the first flicker

of my son’s body swimming in my own.

A miraculous sea creature in my depths—

this exquisite intimacy. I remember long walks

in the forest, my hands on my ripe belly,

whispering secrets to him

that I have never told another.

 

iv.

When you held me like that

in the middle of the night

in the middle of a dream

when I had forgotten my own name, 

it was like touching starlight for the first time.

 

It’s been a long, fierce voyage, I said, 

tracing the fine line of your spine, 

remembering the ship of my body

sailing in the sea of eternity.

Even with this tattered sail

and bruised hull, I remember

how to ride these storm-tossed waves.

 

v.

It wasn’t long ago

when eagles and humans flew together,

hunting on spiraled currents 

diving into life after life, rebirths 

that turn on the same bright still point.

Making love is all there is, they cried

to each other as they soared,

burning feathers in the sun one last time,

before trading wings for limbs

to walk the sweet meadows of this earth,

to know root and bone as home,

and learn the heart’s morse code

of longing and bewilderment.

©Laura Weaver

 

Where the Honey is Stored

 

Beloved, we do not have to do anything to deserve you.

And yet we are always trying to prove ourselves~

 

asking about purpose, looking for meaning,

when all along we are swimming in the coral reefs

 

of your warm oceans and tilling the soil for the next season

of waving rye. This is the home we have always dreamed of~

 

the garden where we once saw a no trespassing sign

and believed it!  The drill of the mind bores down

 

through layers and layers of solid rock searching

for answers. Meanwhile, a dance is wildly unfolding

 

just outside our seeking. Nothing to do but love them—

these bees of our thoughts, buzzing the summer flowers.  

 

Quick! Run past the construction sites of the self

to the hive where all the honey is stored!

 

©Laura Weaver

Clematis

 

When I reach into the earth 
I reach for stars—the rough bump

of seed swelling itself into flesh. When 
I search for you in the middle of the night

I move towards the beyond—the curve 
of your hip a valley I have walked over

and over like a nomad. The cottonwoods 
shed their fluffy seed, the tender grass bolts,

the press of summer is upon us.  I shift plants 
in moonlight to act out this restless

stirring to spread beyond first planting.  
We build only to tear down, to relocate.  Tonight

your fingers rub tomato vines, trace the tendrils 
of clematis dancing up the lattice on the axis

of the sky.  Already we have forgotten the barren 
nights.  We stand on teetering apple ladders, reaching

for the fruit just beyond the green fur
of leaf—our want a kite tugging to get off

its leash.  Then where would we go?  Would we find 
sky in that floating?  Or would we long only

for our feet on the ground, hands in the earth, 
mouth upon mouth in a wild, unweeded garden?

 

©Laura Weaver