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April 4: poetry's seed

my body crumbles into words
poems in my veins
my breath is breathed in song
there are secrets in the wrinkles of my skin
i am buried
poetry's seed
stories rise from my bones

April 3: Melancholy

Melancholy

there are moments
fragments of time
places where life cracks
grey is edged with gold
scent of ash at the edge of a room
dull-edged blades of bone

I seal the cracks with love

April 2: change

This is my shot at bad rhyming couplets.

change

My soul is not immutable
As songlines cross my palms
All change is indisputable
Through rain and rage and calms
Our difference indisputable
In time that salves and balms


(Yeah, like I said -- bad rhyming couplets.)

April Poetry month - April 1: when i ran

there were days when i ran
	side aching
	head throbbing
	breath scraping into lungs
days when i ran
	stumbling
	flashing down deer trails
	legs burning like suns
days when i ran
	heart banging ribs
	muscles pulling
	mouth dry and sticking

	gasping
anywhere but here

April 30: Gasworks Park

Gasworks Park

bells ring, songs resound
the Morris side approaches
bringing in the May


And that's the last of the poems for April's Poetry Month!

April 29: incubation

incubation

beneath
the darkness is profound
the body rots
fuses with earth
this is the alembic
this is transformation
the soul's heat strikes sparks
a forest rises from the grave

April 28: haiku

arabic music
pulsing drums and melisma
quiet night at home

April 27: Asklepios

Asklepios

I sing of the Healer
Child of Coronis
Lord of the Serpents
Bright Ophiuchus

Muses make music
Songs for my singing
Freeing my tongue
In Asklepios' name

Pour out your blessings
Brew precious philters
Bright blood of Gorgon
Saving from death

Darken your temple O bringer of dreams
Snuff out our candles
Visit our sleep mats
Breathe in our incense
Dance in the chambers of our hearts

Health is in your body
Life is in your fingers
Breath is in your passing
Even the hem of your robe is healing

You emanate serpents
Rough and reptilian
Glycon you fathered
And serpents of wisdom
The art of elixirs you give

Praise to the dreamer
And bringer of visions
Measure of wholeness
The fruit of your lips

Each word you utter
A great incantation
Holy physician
My song is for you

April 26: Suibhne 3

Suibhne 3

down at Gleann Bolcain
moss and watercress grow
we meet and speak in council
birds of a feather
our cloaks are ragged wings
we flew once
in bright, bloodied battle
but blood became too much
red in our sleeping
red in our waking
red in our words
here by the water we
dance
like cranes
here under hazels
speaking of flying
wearying travels
fear in our blood
nothing heals the past
wearing our feathers we
speak
like starlings
perched on precarious branches
our colloquy of madness
wild-eyed
soul-barren
we whisper of times to come

April 25: Muirgeilt

Muirgeilt

long among kelp strands I wandered
swimming the sea
silver with scales
my voice a song in the wind

no salmon's mouth have I
but human lips and tongue
human eyes
bright poet's mind
fingers like fins
my silver tail flicking

I long for the land
shape half-shifted
no foot shall strike stone
nor leave wet trails in sand

all traces of me vanished
only my song remains

April 24: age

age

this is a map to nowhere
marked on the leaves of my skin
veins tracing rivers of truth
tidelands of loss
streams of subsistence
deltas the palms of my hands
bones grown reefs and ligament shoals
my body the ocean of time

April 23: Suibhne 2

Suibhne 2


my madness is like yours
the horror of events astray
	blood all around us
terror of truth
storm of sounds
	thunder and bird cries
	the howling of wolves

memory mangled
	the past will not leave us
no peace is persistent
	everything mocks us
breaching the borders
	evil abounds

I am free in the forest
far from all fields
only the voice of the wren will soothe me
	stags in company	
		belling
babble of brook the sound of my heart

forcefully fleeing
you leap from the ledges
I fearlessly follow
	spreading my wings
		I fly

April 22: When words do not come

When words do not come

when words do not come
	invite them in
when words do not come
	lay out your bait
when words do not come
	plan for their arrival
when words do not come
	lie in wait for them
when words do not come
	keep your pen in your hand
when words do not come
	write anyway

April 21: Venatio Apri: Boar Hunt

For today's Megala Antinoeia

Venatio Apri: Boar Hunt

Today I prove myself to him
Prove that I am more than beauty
More than youthful grace of form

With spear in hand
I shall take my horse between my knees, champing at his bit
I shall command the hounds, eager and baying
My hand will be sure and firm
My strike will be true
I shall not falter in the face of danger

The eyes of my prey will glisten
Fierce with bristling rage
But I shall be fiercer than boars
Fiercer than slashing, bloodied tusks
My prey shall fall before my strength
For it is not youth and beauty that prevail
It is courage
And steady hand
And foresight grown to wisdom

April 20: Brig Ambue

Brig Ambue
if you believe I am the comforting mother
	you are wrong

if you believe only in the creation of my forge
	you are wrong

if you believe my songs are only to praise
	you are wrong

I am the cainte
	singing curses on my enemies
I am the destroying flame
I am the wolf
	who lays low the tyrant

I am wrath and fury blazing
I am the brown swan rising from the lake
I am the torch in the hand of every díberg
I am the poison of satire and pain
I am the anger that calls to justice
I am the foot that treads upon evil
I am the fear in the hearts of oppressors
I am the shield against every attack
I am the courage that streams in your veins
I am the death of every illusion

my children shatter every binding chain

April 19: Seshat

Seshat

I am neither daughter
nor wife
the ibis came to me to learn his trade

I am the Mistress of the House of Books
the stylus and the cord were mine already
when time came to dawn
before all others
I - I - I
touched stylus to papyrus
wrote the first words in brilliant inks

my name was the first name written
my star was the first in the heavens
my house was the first filled with wisdom

all you know, you have learned from me

April 18: Nemesis

Nemesis

Also deadly Nyx bore Nemesis to afflict mortal man
- Hesiod


I was not always fury's sword
judgment's scales

you fear me but I am only balance
justice
I give only what is due

Hadrian's Freemen worshipped me --
to them my face was kindly
my sword struck off their chains

I bring bright fortune
holy retribution
cosmic restoration

no man knows my origins
daughter of Okeanos
or Nyx
of Erebus
or Zeus
the poets do not agree
only I know the name of the mother who bore me

I am called beloved
I am called implacable
they say my vultures feast on the bowels of my enemies

they are right

April 17: Airmed's Reason

Airmed's Reason

my brother's knife is sharper
than any cainte's tongue
severing sickness
surgeon supreme

i laid my cloak upon his cairn
plucked the herbs
laid them in lines
sorted by symptoms
parted his bones
	rising from stone

Dian Cécht
when i was done
he shook my cloak
he cast the herbs

they fled on the wind
blown like feathers in the sky

	there was a reason

knowledge is earned
wisdom grows like trees
	still
	slow
	subtle

no one should be immortal
even stars and planets die

so my wisdom 
must be sought
sown like seeds
tended in the garden of your heart

April 16: Miach's Gift

Miach's Gift

they say my father was jealous
	they say
i had more skill

they say a lot of things

yet without him
	Nuadha would have no silver hand

without him
	no diagnosing
	no charm for thorn
	no healing skill
	no well of sláine

without our battle
without my wounding
without my death

without that cairn of stones

no herbs for wounds and strains
no green and verdant cloak
no cures for all your ills

my body is 
	your garden
my flesh your healing meat
each joint and sinew a day of the year
	growing from fertile soil
When at the Altar of the Flame

burn juniper
plucked by your own hand
sung over with spells and charms

with the water of wells and of rasps
wash your face and hands
singing "gabhaim molta bride"

the flame is passed from hand to hand
rough, calloused fingers
used to work of forge and pen
of weaving and ploughing and toil

her hand the hand of sister
of brother
of uncle and aunt
of cousin and parent and child
her hand the hand of the world

sing to the spark between your palms

light your lamp

April 15: When She Appears

When She Appears

When She appears
	She is flame
Her eyes are flame
Her palms are flame
Her voice is flame
I am enflamed

April 14: haiku - untitled

muscles ache in cold
mauve skies are worth the long walk
Everett springtime

April 13: Suibhne 1

Suibhne 1

my verse is sharp
as the sword of winter
cold and cutting
eviscerating
like a black feather on a raven

like a black feather on my wing

my voice is sharp
as a raven's croak
hollow in the frost
biting and raw

my poems burn like stars
they fall like spears from the oil-black sky

April 12: tanka - untitled

soft white camellias
mist rises among the blooms
torii gate -- bells sound
low chants before the honden
Shinto shrine in April rain

April 11: Descent 7. Ennugigi

Descent
7. ENNUGIGI

your dry bones click
and rustle
on the path

you may go no further
	nameless
	breathless
	bodiless
	lifeless

i will carve your bones
hollow your thighs to flutes
sever your joints with my blade

sharp obsidian
	marks
what's left
whittles bones to lace

flecks of bone dust fall
like snow at my feet
drift in the slow dark air

only your dust may pass

April 10: Descent 6. Endushuba

Descent
6. ENDUSHUBA

none who pass this way return

empty within
empty without
i take what sustains you

no breath
no pulse
no voice

no food

you starve for light and bread
	and music
you starve for warmth and beer
	and incense

i take the grain of your soul
	you cannot sprout
	you will not rise
	the yeast of your hope
		dies
	in my hands

your drying bones rustle
desolate
as you pass

April 9: Descent 5. Nerubanda

Descent
5. NERUBANDA

your flesh decays
	food for worms
your very shape is lost
consumed

and i consume what eats you
wiggling
wriggling
falling away
fat with your flesh
	it is the perfect circle

what muscle is left stands here
	trembling
before my polished gate
thin, bloody shreds on bone

my gate is black obsidian
finer than Ishtar's blue enamels
	what you see reflected
is body-truth
writhing

worm-food
i will swallow you

April 8: Descent 4. Enuralla

Descent
4. ENURALLA


			who
who are you child
		child
	who are
			child
				ild
					ild

hollow
	like bones sucked of marrow
			marrow
		echoing

without name
	you come
without heart
	you come
without bowels or lungs
	you come

and i will tear away
	your voice
	your tales
	your songs
i will take them for my own
	to join my choir
				choir
		choir
	yes
when you are silent
	then only
you may pass
	may pass
		pass

April 7: biopsy

biopsy

thin clear plastic tubes
i hate that i am screaming
over now, thank gods

April 6: Tahoma

Tahoma

praise to you high southern peak
you stride above the wide horizon
your great trees scent the air
your breath is incense

the flowers of your slopes are
the sun of my seasons
the mist of my mornings
rivers flow from your breasts
white as milk
turbulent
strong

your glacier teeth
consume the unwary
the arrogant
the unwise

fire is in your mouth
red beneath rock
waiting

What day is it?

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