Winter's Mara

who are you without your identity?
lay down, settle in your bones
let your self release above you,
a balloon you are disconnected from.
you are your body, too, what is left
when your soul leaves. feel your body
breathing, digesting, slowing,
churning, falling apart an inch at a time.

she keeps us alive, feeding us,
but in the Winter she will bleed us
and cut us down and leave us
to others who seek sustenance.
she is not concerned with
what comes after aside from
decomposition.

we break down with our
component parts. we go on to become
part of others’ cycles.

Fallen Off the Earth?

Not quite, though I’ve been trying to be more mindful about my social media and computer usage in general. April is for poetry, so I’ve been poeming.

Most of my poetry so far has been related to one of my fiction projects and posted on Dreamwidth as a collection and a second, longer piece. I also wrote a sonnet about lunch.

I also published A Home Made of Bells over at October Country.

#domagick – Day 0

The most intimidating part of this remains having to find something to say everyday about what I’m doing. I’m anxious about doing this, and about doing it publicly. I already committed though, so I might as well.

To start with, here is the short daily prayer I wrote for Mara:

Good Earth, be with us
Mother Market, be with us
Lady Luck, be with us
Hearthtender, be with us
Bread-raiser, be with us
Mother of Rot, be with us
Bountiful Harvest, be with us

It’s a set of seven because she always prods me towards sevens or multiples when I’m working on things like prayer beads. Wednesday is tentatively for Ganesh and Bluebird, so we’ll see how the first day of this goes in the morning.

Meanwhile, this post from Circle Thrice turned out quite timely. Using the household as a focus seems so obvious, and yet I realize in a lot of ways I was overlooking it. While we have a kitchen shrine and offerings for the wights, a lot of my wards at the old place were physical, and it showed when we moved. I still have physical wards planned that I haven’t put up yet, and I’ll hopefully be doing that this month, too.

I started a couple of seeds in the house this week. Nothing much, just a cucumber and a tomato plant, but I wanted to start something. I bought strawberry seeds to start with the kid, too. So far she’s only focused on getting strawberry pancakes at the end but it’s a beginning.

New Moon

there is incense and honey and wine
there is the figure on the altar
glass eyes catching the candleflame
there is music pounding out
the beat while I chant

there is a headbutt against my ankles
warmth, humming thanks
the sense of her in my lap
weight on my legs, claws digging casually
into my calves and I reach out of habit
to scritch and touch nothing
then I understand how long it’s been
since she was actually here

there are arms around my shoulders
heavy, muttering nothings
quiet like she always was, waiting
for me to talk and me not knowing
what to say but it
doesn’t matter anymore
maybe it didn’t then either

doesn’t she look like Blackie
Blackie died when I was a toddler
I don’t remember her but I agree
the weight in my lap readies itself,
jumps higher than she had in years,
is caught by insubstantial arms

I’m so glad you called and
I’m proud of you and too soon
well I’d better be letting you go
I don’t want to let go
but there’s a different hand
on my shoulder now, black marble,
linen-draped, and it’s time

the offerings go to the crossroad
the rain has stopped for the moment
her presence is solid when I begin
and by the end I am alone
I leave her altar bare in the dark

Spirals

down sie went into the mountains, into the earth
deeper than sie could ever remember going
down this far, hir head hurt and sie lost track
of where sie began and ended
there was so much sie had not remembered
and hir Mother would only say that sie
had already chosen not to know

deep in the earth are the labyrinths
past the grass snakes and the turnips
past the springy loam and the roots
past the groundwater and the worms

you are here again, the labyrinth said

again?

you may walk. the price does not change, wyrm.

unsure what that meant, yet
unwilling to wait and miss hir stop
sie went down, down and curled up
shed hir skin and diminished

The Banquet

she knows what it means
to drag a body up
from the ground, from nothing
taking sharp steps on the way
care, love, giving, all knives beneath
calloused feet and dirt-brown footprints

the black crepe is hung up in the corner
out of the way of smiling life
but always in the corner of your eye
she has waited, frozen and unsure
she has torn lovers apart
in her despair, and mourned

she has made a feast of loneliness
so none will go hungry
there is always another to your right
and another to your left
no matter the laughter in the conversation,
we all know what we’re drinking

salt and copper and spoiled milk
sitting in our mouths
we look straight ahead
stumbling forward, and she will catch us
as we fall and she will free us
from the dirt and she will embrace us
as we are burnt and we will go on walking

Let Your Breath Out and Wait

the river called me down
I didn’t know her name
just the voice calling
across summer so hot the air
stole back everything I drank
til it hung on me, a heavy
drunk like Josh expecting me
to carry him home Sunday morning
I collapsed under the weight
of the shore

I burned the bridges I stood on
collapsed into her arms
and wept, or drowned,
shrouded in charred skin
mourning as molted feathers drifted
across the surface of the water,
gathering in waterlogged eddies
like rice left along the curb
as the car pulls away

she was so close as I stood on the rocks
just past the riptide, just out of my depth
all froth and lace and brokenshell-sharp teeth
the song pounds through my chest
stone brown as my skin, hot as my blood
under my feet as my heart picks out
the rhythm of the river and I jump

between the beats

too fast and not far enough
I can’t tell if the shock is the water
or the rock or my lights
going out as she pulls me close
whispers the lyrics as I hum
vibrating with melody
coughing, choking, spitting her out
but never straying far from her either
never listening to good sense
when she opens her arms and calls my name

An Invocation of Captain America, Nazi Face-Puncher

Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941). Cover ...
Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941).

Hail and Well-Met, Captain America!
Friend and Shield-Brother of the Odinson!
Unaging one, and most super of soldiers!
I call on you, Puncher of Hitler,
in this most dark of hours, when heathen
brothers and sisters revel in darkest ignorance.
I ask you, oh First among Avengers
to grant me your strength in Nazi-punching
as I go forth into righteous poetry fury
to defenestrate, metaphorically-speaking,
the Nazi before me who would dare use
your heroic ally, Thor, Lord of the Lightning
and his father, great Alfather Odin, and others
to justify racist views that are without honor.
Help me punch faces with words, as you would
with fists, and lay all Nazis low!