A Harvest Calls

When the winter stole my song, all the lovely bits of me blew away
and the night chained the dirt of my soul to the earth,
a forest of dead leaves and berries cloaked my blood.
So I wailed into the mire, a sort of siren sob for ice and snow, but no.
The season remained anchored to an epoch, bored by all my ire
and, instead of relenting, carved notches in my throat,
binding my voice to memories of long ago, whispering secrets stored in lifetimes past.
And so I listened.
And the notches cut deep, freeing waters dank and tired.
They ran in rivulets down my neck and into the valley hardened by hope’s abortions,
flooded all the flotsam jamming up my flow and washed old corpses out to sea.
And I listened more
as the ice and snow melted down into my core, warmed by embers unseen.
Then a new song gripped the heart of every screenplay refusing tRuth,
wringing out the lies, peeling back the armor ancient,
fucking the mindlessness out of every habitual, knee-jerk bullshit
reactionary presentation.
Stripped, disintegrating but the truest hum emanating.
Out past the dirt and mire, through the cracks in my grave…
a harvest calls,
a song is freed,
and these feet remember the dance.

j. ruth kelly, 2017, all rights reserved

With the Makers

I’m all done with notional condemnation,
nonsense posing salvation
suggesting pre-birth agendas and all the control
a robot might covet.

Take me to the truth, down to the bone of it.
Marry me to the wonder found in the midst of
all this chaos and randomness daring us all
to make meaning.

I see their meaning made in fear.
The meaning they make
spews the poison in their hearts,
the snare in their aid.

Take me far away from the righteous.
I want to live with the undone and undoing.
I want to dance with the makers and shake
every foundation lost to the mold of stagnation.

Deliver me to love, love in spite of it all,
love because of it all,
love morphing, rolling up sleeves
and shaping this mound of flesh into new and ancient songs.

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2015

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2015

A Strange Feast

Spent petals fall to the ground…
closing in…
no more will you hear so much from heart.
Maybe then we can survive
this tide of blithe, unkind,
belittling,
begrudging find.
Maybe too much spills and roars
from depths long lost on those ears,
so…
here’s to days of still and silence.
Pass me the pin, the tag,
the warning sign that says
without saying:
“I’m in silence.”
Let it sound out a rhythm
and grin in the hush of my flow.
Maybe something new grows in the wake
of all the granted taken tokens
rarely really known and sown
far too profusely to be seen here.
So,
raze the fields’ constant yields
with daily ingratitude
and my burgeoning awareness…
and let’s sit in all we don’t say
as all the harvested silence holds sway
in the court of my alleged guilt.
Maybe then new words can bloom
when scales from eyes melt,
revealing a strange feast.

j. ruth kelly, 2015, all rights reserved

j. ruth kelly, 2015, all rights reserved

An Engaged Life…

“There was a time when we humans were not so separated from the natural world and the spirits as we are today. We lived directly on the Earth, in nature, honoring the cycles of all things, where we could see the interaction and manifestation of Spirit easily. This way of living is not some kind of revisionist utopian fantasy. Rather, it is the nature of an engaged life, lived close to the environment and in symbiosis with the immediate world around us. As we have hidden our natural selves, and from our natural selves, in the sanitized boxes of suburbia, office cubicles, congested cities, logic, reason, science, technology, and the myriad traps of modern civilization, we have segregated ourselves from nonordinary energies and perception, seemingly banishing them altogether…This separation of ourselves from the natural world doesn’t make sense on any plane of existence, high-vibrational or otherwise. It is essentially an unnatural by-product of the complete removal of our culture and peoples from the natural world. it is antievolutionary.”

Colleen Deatsman and Paul Bowersox – Seeing in the Dark, Claim Your Own Shamanic Power Now and in the Coming Age

Church of The Flesh

“The cultural power of the body is its beauty, but power in the body is rare, for most have chased it away with their torture of or embarrassment by the flesh. It is in this light that the wildish woman can inquire into the numinosity of her own body and understand it is not as a dumbbell that we are sentenced to carry for life, not as a beast of burden, pampered or otherwise, who carries us around for life, but a series of doors and dreams and poems through which we can learn and know all manner of things. In the wild psyche, body is understood as a being in its own right, one who lovs us, depends on us, one to whom we are sometimes mother, and who sometimes is mother to us.” Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, Women Who Run With The Wolves…

I need these words as I traverse a path here that unfolds historical self and transforming person along a story of acceptance and change. When my body was perfect in the strictest sense of aesthetic flawlessness I was horrifcally harsh at the slightest hint or ripple of imperfection. One dimple on my backside and I was undone for weeks, working out like a maniac, starving myself. One. Only one.

wild psyche

I got married, had children and kept that inner demon on a long chain, that shredding perfectionist sadist rearing her ugly head when life gave me two seconds to breathe. Self-acceptance was an occasional seasonal jaunt down luscious lane. But the time of facing what and who I am after many years of parenting, chronic illness and so much else reveals a deep need to embrace that deeper truth of inherent power in the body. Funny…I get there when I just give myself with joy to life and to being. But I struggle still with this particular monster. I’m fine until I have to reveal my arms or. Oiy. Practice of self-acceptance requires embracing moments of exposure and risk. Who would think a sundress could put a woman in a tailspin? I want to announce first, “Um, sorry for the flaws it’s not that I’m lazy. I have had a few challenges and you wouldn’t believe how often I lift those weights that sit in my living room waiting for my perfection and my sons who weigh a ton and.” Forget sunbathing…

But not…

So, come on life, take me to that naked place in the sun baking mind/body/soul into a new perfection fearless, a worship of what is and what can be, of all that created the body of being and the being of body. How much mechanical duty piecemeals the parts meant to flow, glow and sigh in a restful acceptance of this am… melt the mountain of resistance and leave me to sparkle in the sand.

a view to perfection