Twisting it into a mountain, setting it free to flow – prose and poetry from the May workshop

As always there’s fantastic news from the Monthlies for May/June – talk about a group of women who simply and unerringly go from strength to strength! So don’t forget to click on the news page above!

Right at the very bottom of this month’s blog you’ll see info about submitting to Itch Magazine … …. … do  have … a … look … at … this …!

Thanks as always to the monthlies whose words supply titles of categories and quotes for pictures. One thing I never  have to do is visit quotation sites and look for inspiration!

In case you are wondering what happened to all the group poems  you sent through – they have blended and merged with each other, offered lines where needed, scampered, strolled or walked with ponderous tread to new places in a poem of epic proportions called Bring Mountain The Monthlies Mountain  has become herself. She’s been tucked away in the archives, because the poem is so long – far too many beautiful lines to choose from! Click here to read.

Mairexx

PS A very beautifully South African theme for this month’s blog – the images of mountains from create.design.co.za really do make us realise what a magnificent land we live in.

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Nina Geraghty

Hearing Voices, Dowsing for Words

Angel: By the time you were 5 years old, you had lost your voice.  In the beginning you used to joyfully shout your wants, but then you were told to hush, to stop crying, to keep quiet. Your whispered wishes became softer and softer until you could only hear your voice in your head.  The words no longer found their way to your mouth; or if they did they collapsed, lying jumbled on your tongue like stillborn alphabet.

Jewel: though I can’t speak I can dance.

Angel:  Throughout your childhood, you tapped through your feelings.  Your voice blind, trying to find its way out.

Jewel: My belly flexes, beckoning. Innuendo slides in the slow sinuous weave of my fingers, enjoying my power.  Like flames flickering in the shimmer of my hips, the dance in me flares up, living bright in me like words burning,  each fluttering movement rising from the ashes of my voice.

Angel: I dream of you, the child you were then;  short dark hair cut straight at your chin, pale-faced, dark-eyed, mouth silenced over with white tape, a lipless shroud pressed flat. In the dream you are solemn, unnaturally quiet and when you look at yourself in the mirror, you discover your mouth has disappeared, leaving a smooth blank space of flesh beneath your eyes. You try to scream …

The woman dowses for buried voices. Words that were buried now find themselves poised on the tip of the tongue of her pen.

Jewel:  Rubies and emeralds gleam luminous on my breasts, gold glitters in my navel.  My eyes invite you but behind my veil, I am dormant.  Only my dance is there, whirling more and more furiously, drumming feet, stamping feet, drumming up rage, rage, rage …

Angel: … and the scream surges up from your belly until …

… it runs like molten red hot lava into her pen and erupts onto the page in a  splatter of words.  Drawing blood.

Angel:  and they always said to you you’re such an angel, so quiet and good. Only you longed to know:  when will it ever end, being an angel?

Jewel:  … because what my body tells them is only part of what I have to say.

And the woman pours forth words, bypassing her mouth, her body, redirecting them to her pen. She writes them into being and releases them, watching them dance and swirl and fly till they disappear.

Freed.

Conundrum
Holding It All Together
Releasing and letting it go
Twisting it into a mountain
Setting it free to flow
Between the tension of holding together
and the relief of allowing release
comes the terror of Falling Apart
that keeps me awake in my sleep!

Christina Coates

Sediment

In water I was formed.
I had to push up hard
into my parents’ arms.
I grew up in the slums,
cradled by the ground,
by the belly of the mother city.
There was no one there
except a mountain.

I played alone;
my legs hooked over a branch.
I stared up at the high peaks;
I knew I was born to higher things.
I embraced it all.
I knew this was never for me;
I’d just gone into the wrong room.

Sometimes I was so angry
people were afraid,
they’d climb over me.
I had no chance to talk;
I’d just swing upside down.
The longing for the cliffs,
the clouds whispering my forehead.
They said I should reach
my arms to the ground.
I fumed with fury,
wanting to change it.

Then one day my father came
and took me to the mountain.
The weather turned and
the images of my geography
came searching for me.
High among the clouds
I saw angels.
I made a leap, reached to them.

Sandstone and magma gave birth to
a person no longer me.
Someone forgotten
drew me like a bee
to my dreams.
I melted and allowed
them to come.

Now I was a mother city,
managing the controls.
I flashed my eyes
I was the cup holder,
known as the Flying Angel.
My name was my lucky star,
young and beautiful.
Someone with golden wings
gave me a hand up,
and taught me to fly.
We met quite by chance
and I flew by his side.

After all the years
I am alone again.
Peace comes over me like rain.
An angel like me
whispers.
I have time to write my memories;
I paint pictures
and dream
of hanging upside down
in clouds.

Ruth Mattison


Mountain Memories

I am the peak hidden in the swirling mists
I am the craggy summit on a windy day

The Traveller
I was born upon a mountain top
My feet were nimble
my heart was free
From the summit of my rocky garden
I became curious to see
the unknown places all around

I descended from my mountain world
and followed the tumbling stream
‘til it became a river
that ran through vales and plains
When I met the tumultuous ocean
my Spirit called to me
‘Sail across these mighty waves
to meet your destiny.’

I am dark caves full of old bones from bygone worlds
I am crumbling ledges beckoning desperate fingers seeking lift

The Warrior
I was born in turbulence
The time was dark and drear
Storm clouds gathered overhead
Children cried aloud in fear
My parents kept the windows closed
and played their music loudly
but all the crashing cymbals
could not drown  the weeping
Children’s cries seeped through the cracks
and pierced my ear like an arrow in my heart

As I grew up tales of derring-do
led me to believe that
I could make a difference to
all the children in the world
So I donned my magic cape
and set off to defend
those weeping ones
who had no one
to lend a helping hand.

I am mountain streams bubbling up from source
I am mountain embraced passionately by sky

The Grandmother
It was never my intention
to start a dynasty
I thought that I would travel
and be forever free.

But along the way the children came
and shaped my hips and breasts
to hold and hug and cuddle
for better and for worse

Motherhood has taken me
and made me strong and wise
Now that I’m a grandmother
nothing can disguise
the wisdom and the wrinkles
that came with babies’ cries

I still feel like a girl inside
fresh faced and full of fun
My Spirit soars and giggles
and keeps me on the run!

I am mountain timeless and full of wonder for all that I Am.

Epiphanie Mukasano

The perfect juggler

When comes the time to define herself, the words hide themselves. She feels scared like she has never before. Death itself becomes less ugly.

She sits and finds herself panting even before she throws the first ball. Then one, two, three, the juggling starts. How many balls? How many colours? Maybe a dozen, maybe more. She always wants perfection.

Blue ball in the air for the perfect mother, the mother of perfection, spreading her perfume of love around her. Always feeling guilty even when things get beyond her control. With no certificate, she has to adjudicate in the squabbles that are forever arising.

Red ball in the air, for the perfect wife, unselfish, erasing herself for him to be. Nostrils wide open to smell her perfume of love.

Green ball in the air, for the perfect house wife. Clean shack, clean pots, clean rags, made beds. Last to sleep, first to get up in the morning, a beaming smile on her face.

Orange ball in the air for the perfect breadwinner. Love smells stale when the stomachs are empty.

Pink ball in the air for friendship. She must chop her heart to satisfy the many hands waiting to be served. None is to be hurt or treated unfairly.

White ball in the air. Apprentice, she needs to be a perfect writer. She cannot allow herself to stumble. The spelling must be right. Each sentence well said. Punctuation must be right. A ballad is a ballad, not a ghazal. A ghazal is not a haiku. She needs to know the rules and follow them.

She must be true to herself. She has to find the right song, the rhythm that will sustain her balance. None is to touch the ground even if the juggler is left breathless. So many balls in the air.

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Alison

I guess I am the kind of person you don’t want to be in a disaster with. Not because I am unlucky, not really. I mean, I don’t die or anything. But if there is a weird thing going to happen I am almost always involved.

Not big stuff, though, not newspaper headlines weird, just odd. Like when I got on the plane, and I put the boarding pass between my lips as I went through security. You know, the whole scanning thing, and take out the lap top, and take off your shoes. And then when I went to grab the boarding pass, it was stuck to my lower lip. Swear to god. So I had to peel it off, and I’m buggered if there wasn’t a line of skin on the boarding pass, a semi circle, like the shape of your teeth, only in skin. And my lower lip felt all swollen, like I was in a fight with something. My tongue is still hunting for the soreness, and finding it.

My glass of wine on the plane stung a little. It’s never good wine, but it doesn’t usually sting going down. That sort of stuff. It’s  enough to make me feel, like, marked. Not in a 666 devilish  sort of way, just that if there is a weird thing going to happen it’ll happen to me.

Like the time I locked myself between my own front door and the security gate. That was weird. I managed to get someone passing to call my dad, who has my spare keys. You have to have spare keys, with my kind of karma. The guy went to the bakery on the corner, and called my dad, and he came and let me out. Laughed like a hose, he did. He shakes his head when that sort of thing happens. Like he thinks I should be James Bond and always have a snappy comeback, or a martini. Not be keyless, in Gaza.

Cynthia Mac Pherson

Now this is a pleasure I wasn’t expecting

clouds scudding rolling darkening, leaden on my shoulders
dark regrets – mistakes I cannot forgive myself

The fear. The worry. The horror of my husband’s death.

many faces of the mountain, many faces of me
moods filter across my face like clouds

The smell of aromatic wood crackling in this remote place. The river murmuring and hippos grunting in the reeds. This warm blanket around my shoulders in the cool evening by the fire, which reflects on round, shining, golden brown faces of the women around me. Dark eyes soft watch the flames lick golden, turning the logs to glowing embers and a bubbling black pot of spicy stew. Now I hold to my lips the communal clay pot of frothy beer, yeasty, gritty but delicious and later I sleep. This is a pleasure I wasn’t expecting.

like a queen protea, I lift my leathery arms
and join my palms to salute the mountain

In the bright morning sun, peeping over the mountain, is a verdant field of vegetables. I pluck a green leaf of morogo, tangy, refreshing, sharp as rocket. on my early morning tongue, furry from last night’s beer drink.

mist  rises in lace carpets round my feet
many faces of the mountain, many faces of me

The woman, Thea, takes my hand.  ‘You are welcome my sister,’ she says. ‘ Come with me.’
We walk to the swift flowing water of the mighty African river, dark beneath the trees, not yet lit by the rising sun. And here in a pool is a wonder of water lilies.

‘They are edible. The water is our goddess,’  Thea says.

bright morning lights sandstone, wet with night rain
mountain’s veld cover is green after winter brown and black of fire

‘Tell me your story,’ she says.

‘I left his body in the river.  Oh why did we  come on this adventure? We set off a week ago. We paddled each day and slept overnight on different islands.

‘ “Scatter my ashes here, one day,” Greg told me.

‘At the most remote part of the river, before the waterfall drops into the pools below, Greg and I sat silent our canoe drifting with the current, thorn trees on the shore moving slowly past. The heat was intense. I sat in front with him at the back, steering, and then he grunted and I turned. His face was ashen. Clutching his chest and gasping, he collapsed forward. I moved clumsily to the stern to lay him down and I saw his paddle floating away in our wake.

‘I knelt down, both hands on his heart, pumping and breathing with the kiss of life. Oh God help us! Make him breathe. I was sweating and panting, trying to keep panic from affecting my breathing. I gave up when he didn’t respond. In the bush cicadas shrilled. The hippos had disappeared under the
water and the canoe was drifting sideways to the bank.  I sat motionless with the paddle across my sunburnt knees, feeling the sun searing into my neck. On shore a lone elephant grazed. The bank was steep, where the canoe nudged, and bright crimson bee eaters were busy on the sandy cliff high above me.

‘A bird called, “Too late. Too late. Too late.”

‘In the shallow water, a carcass lay stripped clean by vultures. Small fish surfaced, open-mouthed, and flies were settling on Greg’s eyes and mouth. What do I do? I prayed.

‘I had to use all my weight and strength to lean the canoe over on its side. Finally I rolled his inert body off. I left him there in the shallows. Pushing away from the bank with my paddle, I drifted on and on.

Thea encloses me in her arms. ‘You are welcome, my sister.’

I look across the veld at the wakening village. Women in the morning mist pulling close their blankets and children, round cheeked with glowing skins and strong bodies.

Clouds scudding rolling darkening, were leaden on my shoulders
dark regrets – mistakes I could not forgive myself.

The fear. The worry. The horror  –  fall  from my body.

cool wind off the river chases hot air and
my black mood of sorrow and anger

He lies in the river that he loved.

like a queen protea, I lift my leathery arms
and join my palms to salute the mountain

Ruth Carneson

The Spinster, the Mountain and the Traveller

I am strong, I endure quietly. On the surface I am busy, but underneath are layers of darkness and silence. I was born here and never left, it was only fragments of myself that were hacked off and carried in suitcases to other parts of the world. And now some of the fragments have returned to form a new layer of myself.
…………………………………………………………………………………

Magdalene is my name, Maggie for short. I never married; the old fashioned word for me is Spinster, a woman who spins. Single, unloved, dry, left on the shelf, a maiden aunt, but not lonely, never lonely. I am safe in my solitude. I could have been a nun and gone into a convent and taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Poverty and chastity I can handle, but obedience goes against my nature and the choices I made.  The choice not to get married and not to measure myself against other peoples expectations and rules.
…………………………………………………………………………………..

I have been travelling for a long time, spinning around and around, as the earth spins around. I am homeless and restless. My family slipped through my fingers. Too much drinking, too much fighting. I wouldn’t recognise my children now. I have lived in a lot of cities with no connection to people or places. I survive quietly, slipping through the cracks. I know how to make myself invisible, how to blend in. I don’t look like a homeless person; I look like Mister Average. The only tell tale signs might be my eyes, women become uneasy when I look at them, but usually I wear dark glasses.

……………………………………………………………………………..

Maggie can see me from her window. I am the reason she never gets lonely. She studies my moods; she knows me intimately. You might think she was my lover, the way she explores all my paths and hidden nooks and crannies. We have a marriage of sorts; ‘ till death do us part’ but Maggie will be gone from here long before me.

…………………………………………………………………………………

Today is my birthday, as a gift to myself I will climb to the highest peak of my mountain. The spectacular view is always my favourite gift to myself. My mountain and me will spend the day together.
…………………………………………………………………………………

A stranger has climbed up me, he has the energy of a ghost, there is nothing solid about him; it is almost as if he is no one. It is hard to tell where he is from, he is restless, disconnected. He has climbed up to the very top of me and is looking down into the city. He stands on a ledge, he might jump or fall, there is very little to stop him disappearing into the void.
…………………………………………………………………………………

I am tired of wondering from place to place. I could settle in this city below me. By now my traces should be safely covered. I must put my guilt aside and reconstruct myself, forge a new identity, one that feels authentic. I have enough money to set myself up and live modestly. I made a killing, literally, but I must put that behind me. Too bad people had to die. Remorse and sleepless nights won’t bring them back to life. There is a strange woman walking towards me, she is alone, vulnerable. It would be easy to vanish on this mountain top without a trace.

…………………………………………………………………………………
Some one has got to the peak before me; he will spoil my view and my birthday party. Why has this man come here?
I should push him off the ledge, he has ruined my solitude. I don’t like men climbing on my mountain, you can’t trust them.
…………………………………………………………………………………

I watch Maggie looking at the man; I can see her muttering to herself. He looks back at her, he thinks she’s mad. Maggie has climbed up to the top of the peak. He smiles at her and doffs his cap; he is standing too close to her, she can’t see his eyes behind his dark glasses. He is saying something to her. He has a crisp white handkerchief neatly folded into a triangle in the top pocket of his jacket, he looks the perfect gentleman.
He slips his hand into his pocket, inside is something dangerous, sharp and shiny; I can see Maggie is uneasy. A body hurtles down my slope, followed by a fluttering white handkerchief. I can see Maggie. She is laughing to herself as she cuts her  birthday cake.

…………………………………………………………………………………

Gillian Barton

ONE HEX MOUNTAIN BEGINNINGS/BONE WOMAN/GHAZAL MIX


Millions of aeons, countless parabolas ago, in the long slow evolving of all the luminosities, when earth, sun and moon were one, the big becoming of starry space and the myriad of heavenly bodies began. The sun, a furious gash of sulphur bequeathed a molten core, then exploded space with light and ripped the gods of fire away.

Moon and earth in heavy unism swung amidst dark stars and luminous black holes. Under a hard cold surface solidarities condensed and auras for airy beings opened. The big chill settled in.

Bone Woman, craggy, cavernous, lined like a mountain, stood where she’d been before, enduring. She knew the place at the crossroads, by the way, the weir where the water flowed or gathered in pools beneath One Hex Mountain.

The many raptors, mountain boats, float above the high horizon
Deep tree eyries and many snakes in holes hide below the pilgrim stones

Here she read the hands of those that wept or came with hope and prayer in smiles and shining eyes.

“The many mountain streams run dry as unfilled fingers in summer,”
Bone Woman said, reading the lines in the young woman’s palm.

The girl closed her hand.

“When the moon falls out, earth’s crevices collapse. The lonely planet spins in ice and silence,”
Bone Woman said, looking into the young woman’s eyes.

Little silver birds flew down the girl’ face.

Sometimes Bone Woman was there with the others of the carved faces and sticks – the mountain crones. They gossiped, watched the weather on its way, and read the signs of footprints and wind in spilt leaves.

In winter storms they roar and whip the pilgrim stones

Plates shifted. Glaciers crashed into crevasses, descended deep into blue. Boulders big as clouds piled one upon another.

At new moon, the crones heard small animal talk and replied in a silent speak that brought the mice, the deer at night, snakes to the stones, and bats at dusk. They fed them seeds and pieces of rind. She alone, Bone Woman, drank from a yellowed skull, talked to herself, and cackled like a raucous parrot in an acacia tree. She gathered up the dark fruit pods in her
pockets.

The many stone pines in cold west winds roll in the rushy rain

Her skirts billowed and breathed like sheets on a line.

Huge cumulus covering cloths blow the pilgrim stones.

The crone concocted magic potions. Dark of the moon she laid and lit a fire of cones and eucalyptus logs. She chanted strangely.

The earth’s red core boiled and grumbled. Tamped tight it sought out funnels and gulleys and in a spectacular show, molten red rock and smoke exploded to the sky. A thick river of magma galloped into the cold oceans. Enveloped by mammoth clouds of vapour the dancing landscape heaved, roared, groaned and … disappeared.

She lay awake all night in brilliant sleep.

The volatile elements subsided. The seething ocean, the crushing and exultation of stone, the steamship clouds, earth’s ice and fire, torrential lava, and the travelling crust of earth resolved.

‘Stones and stars are good for bones next time around,’ she said.

The rushy air whipped around the globe and the blue-black oceans tossed and crumpled; shouted yes, yes to the pull of the beaming moon.

‘And for the telling o truth,’ she said, “at

the many edges – some stand on them, some drop to death below

from loft to lowland, on rocks and sands, in striations of sediments, volcanic stone and ash, crushed marble, dolomite, coarse-grained granite, feldspar, mica, quartz

some come to kill another, another pilgrim stone

In her house, alone and straightened, she knew the song of Death, when he was about and what business he was for. Some of the time she told the ones he touched that he’d fine fingered them.

‘For some o the time, for some,’ she said, ‘there was a candle’s way out. For others, other times,’ she said, ‘it be a done deal, and there be naught to plead or wish for. They will obey. As will I too thus soon.

‘And Death, the lonely visitor will release me to the deepest treasures of my nature, mountain bone,’ she said.

One Hex Mountain with its vast, sharp teats enclosed in snow waited for the sun’s orange sticks to pull the cloak of night away. The earth turned towards the fiery chariot of day. And vanished time gathered in the landscape to the riddle of the fading moon,

in this forsaken land of pilgrim stones

Ilze Olckers

Mountain Ghazal

In my chest there is a mauve poem
I can find in me many earth-coloured poems

Canyons are the colours of clay ochre red sand
Mountains are blue purple and from above grey-black poems

The only green on the slopes are the stone pines standing
slightly awry with their crowns dignified against the wind poems

or the emerald vein right at the very vortex of the fissure
throbbing silently once every million years a poem

I am this vein keeping the earth alive,  I am those crowns
sheltering sacred circles of petrified life poems

I am the koan of the canyon – all the tears and struggle
of those unanswerable story poems

I, Ilze, am all the poems written about all the mountains
And all the joy and inner knowing of all those wonder poems

Karin Andersen

My soul is a scrap of paper blown by the wind,
my cold tears have named themselves sorrow and loss.
I lie awake and listen to the crying wind.

Come beloved, walk with me through our secret garden
where sparrows gather, waiting for your crumbs to fall.
The petals of summer’s last rose flee from the wind.

They tell me that God has one hundred and one names
my tongue stumbles over saying one. In the face
of His glory I am but a reed in the wind.

The aloe’s spiked flowers pierce the grey clouds, blood red.
The waterfall merrily counts the steps to the sea.
Seagulls soar, suspended overhead in the wild wind.

Winter settles deep in my bones and makes a home,
My love is a flame grown cold and grey with waiting.
Even the brown tortoise turns his back to the wind.

If I surrender to this voice where will it lead?
The ship has lost its captain and blows rudderless
across the sea, hounded by a following wind.

In the calm after the storm the birds sing a new day.
Golden sunlight slants warmth through an open window,
one cloud still hangs, motionless, waiting for the wind.

Cathy Stagg

Come on, come up here, let me share my views;
some were shaped by mentors, others are mine alone.

Persistent roots push through the granite of injustice,
but the crying wind of self-doubt is heard by me alone.

An avalanche of anger unleashes words that wound,
they injure people who think this happens to them alone.

Fires rage like traumas, fascinating, we can’t look away,
are we mountains of strength in a crisis, or frail, and alone?

Truth can’t be unsaid, harsh criticism can burn.
But, through the charred ground, a green shoot emerges alone.

and when we see the sun sparkling on an agate of wit,
we can pick up the phone, reach out and share it.

Gushing hysterical laughter, helpless as a waterfall.
Finally the realisation: No, we are not all alone.

What’s the point of knowledge in a rock-like skull?
Cathy, you must share it, even if the writing gets done alone.

Joelle Chesselet

Mountain mantra

Hidden from the hunting gaze of the black eagle
the secret lies in the cloud that shrouds
my foothills in a mantra

I am the song of crystal water
The sub-sonic smelting rumble at the
core of a mantra

Brushed by the tradewinds wild and fair
I am the russet restio hair
O! earth’s restless mantra

I found footing between two ancient random pebbles
unseen in the fecund kloof
of a mountain’s mantra

Waiting for the parting of your crags
I, Jaël, am the deep black-green of
Love’s dark mantra

Sally Ball

Mountain Memories

Friends gathered together in the waning twilight
murmur memories in the flickering firelight.

Cliffs of silver crags soar skywards;
sigh secrets in the soft starlight.

Petals peep between beds of spongy moss;
gleam pale in the brooding moonlight.

Far horizons warmed by a gentle touch;
peaks glow gold in early-morning-light.

Streams skip over stones and slow-slide into pools;
dragonflies dance in jewelled sunlight.

Who am I?  Carried across years and continents:
Sally, giving glory to He who is Light.

Jaine Hannath

Lion’s Head (Leeuwen Kop)
From Eastern Boulevard
she lies like a majestic Goddess
warm and burnished by the morning sun

Slowly she reveals herself to the City

Created by forces deep within the earth
her form she took from the winds and the sea
that choose to pound or caress her

Much like an avid lover they have left their mark

She glows – rounded, swelling
pregnant with energy and life –
life that she holds within and upon her

She hosts flora and fauna as best she can

Mornings I have sat on her sun-warmed lap
contained, comfortable as in my favorite chair
Only once I dared not tread her usually welcoming path

Was she angry or was it me?

Her ravines hold my heart
her rivulets carry my blood
She is authentic and bold

Am I?

Gertrude Fester

Gertrude’s Ghazal

What is this dangerous spiralling inside my self?
I am searching for the Stillness of granite, of water, of self

The mountain purples in morning sun, soft sun’s caress on rock
Where is this Stillness of granite, of water, of self?

Inside me is a Samurai sword, piercing pain
I gasp for the Stillness of granite, of water, of self

I am an oak leaf dancing, a pine’s rigid spindle
floating, searching for the Stillness of granite of water of self

I am a gushing river rushing, a meandering stream of melting snow
Confusion abounds still, no Stillness of granite, of water, of self

I’m a swallow merrily singing, a fish eagle swooping on prey
I grope, strive, deprived of Stillness of granite, of water, of self

Yellowwood, elm, fynbos, iris, orchid, protea
Accepting my diversity I reach for the Stillness of granite, of water, of self

The mountain maroons in orange twilight. In the warm embrace of the hazy moon
I celebrate. I am Stillness, granite, water, myself

Deirdre Hewitson

You never know what’s going to crawl from her, or when (you have to think)
In her sunny, fresh-aired, clear-visioned spot at the very top (she thinks).

Then she falls, smashing down and losing bits of herself in painful chips,
ending up in a her-sized dent, bits of self scattered amongst the gravel (to think).

Now a smooth, interesting, though not really pretty pebble they all want to have,
and next, a solid and lazy rock warming herself in the sun (forgetting to think).

Soon to be kicked up with the dirt and sand, left even further behind than when she started,
again becoming the loose, ungrounded gravel (too painful to think).

And, sporadically, surprisingly, a top rock, though never a king rock,
but Deirdre would rather be home to snakes and skinks (I think).

Lynn McGregor

Who?

Always the same and never the same
I am the many and also the one

I am many and one of the hungry and scared
for the wrath of the weather will not save us

My mood shifts.
Clouds cover, then leave my steep sides

As my tears fall gently on your parched soul
your spirit rises, shining sunset gold

Sweet smell of fresh rain on hot rocks
many voices sing for joy

Keep still. You can hear
the silent alive singing

In the shade it is cold.
On my sunny side mountain berries grow

Those before you and those after you
will tread the same paths

Always the same and never the same
I am many and also the one.