Friday, July 24, 2009

Works in progress: Poems from France

Here, the Rocks are Alive

                        Southern France

            The highest human purpose is always to reinvent and celebrate the sacred.

                    -Native American writer, Scot Momaday

Ripe in your caverns, cool and damp the milk of the ewe threaded with fungus,

where stonewalls crumble, mottled with moss, blue green the veins, 

the mold in aging Roquefort, a delicacy 

pungent with raw life, inside the depths of you.

The scalloped lines of coquilles du St. Jacques buried in your soul,

and spiraled beginnings of life’s pilgrimage pressed into your bones. 

Here the rocks are alive, where swallows flit out of the crack in barn walls,

walls built of stone, two hundred, six hundred, nine hundred years past.

From inside the wall of a village church insistent peep of hatchlings echo from your rock 

and the cat sits, tail twitching and the parents scold in sharp flight

disappear with a worm wiggled into the dark space between the stones. 

Here the rocks are alive with stories of prehistory etched in your bowels 

horse and bison, mammoth, woman, spirit, death.  

A hand stenciled deep inside where stalagmites, pearl white 

stretch up into the drip, drip, drip of water.

A hand, five fingers and a palm mirror of my own

stenciled with charcoal spewed through hollow bone by the breath of the first man 

deep in the earth,  deep the connection.  

I would place my hand on cave wall feel the cold, fill the space 

The space, a hand reaching through the ages; grand, mysterious legacy.



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