May 13th, 2007

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Good Morning!!

Happy Mother's Day Weekend!

It has been a week, quite a week, and so I pause to find a place to enter, begin.  

Perhaps with reverence for this day.  I have been lovingly feasted and celebrated by my children since Friday afternoon.  I stayed at Jeff and Jan's on the way back from Esalen and would still be there if I followed their preference, but knew I needed to get home and re-adjust to life here.  Chris came down and we shared the most wonderful days and food, relaxed.  I sit here with cards of love and the scent of roses.

I give thanks for my own mother, her love that still shines down on and in me.

So, Esalen - where to begin and am I yet too fragile to speak.  I may let the poems speak.  I became very sick, am still struggling with diahrhea.   It is as though my insides have liquified, or that everything I eat is completely absorbed.  I felt the Esalen Natives at work in me.  There is no question the air and plants dance.  The sparkle is so intense, and I was blessed enough to experience, sun, heat, fog, and cold.

I am still resting and assimilating, and I believe I will post the poems as I re-locate them.  The workshop was intense.  We met Sunday night from 8:30 - 10:30, then, needed to appear with a poem in the morning.  The calibre of the poetry in this group was intense, so each poem was an experience that did, in Emily Dickinson's words, fit the definition of poetry.  My head was lifted off again and again. .  We met until 12:30, and then, came back at 3:30 or 4:00 with a new poem to read and share, and hear and comment on the other poems, and then, it began again.  Meal conversation was poetry.  There were nine of us and Sharon, so it was hearing, assimilating, absorbing 20 poems a day, and creating two of them.  I walked through my own insides, and the insides of trees and rocks.  I write of nature, my own and what I see around me.  For others, I see with childhood eyes and write of regeneration.  How could I not?  I know it well.  The words of my chemo oncologist were with me: "We take you as close to death as we can and bring you back."   I know the theme of regeneration.  I lived it eight times and it continues to be my spring. 

I think, also, I finally felt what happened last year, realized the horror of it.  This was a place to let go, a huge play-pen.  I was cared for.  When I became so sick, that ginger ale was it for me, Michael Murphy himself made sure I was supplied.  Perhaps it was all more than I could digest, or perhaps I am digesting it all, and there is nothing but liquid to emerge. 

We spoke of political poetry Friday.  I was reminded of the poem of Carolyn Forche that I will post here.  It says it all for me, and perhaps I am now creating a body that can write words such as hers.  I am resting.  I am tired, and I am renewed.  Both at the same time, you say.  Yes, it seems so.  My eyes sparkle with the new and unfold what comes now to emerge.

Now and now and now  -
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Poem by Carolyn Forche -



The Colonel
  (From The Country Between Us, by Carolyn Forche.)

What you have heard is true. I was in his house. His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over the house. On the television was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes, salt, a type of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. There was a brief commercial in Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was some talk then of how difficult it had become to govern. The parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck themselves. He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held the last of the wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground.


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More thoughts -

I can't seem to return to reading the news.  I am also aware how much spam I get.  Being away from email and internet, one notices differently.  No news for almost a week - what a treat!    And I will come back to reading it again one day.   : )

Again, Happy Mother's Day, the mother in you, and the mother in me!!