The Bear that Swallowed the Moon

Mei moves with her family to the hinterlands,
where cold gods reign, and colder climes draw
hoarfrost on her coal black hair, this is the
first time the girl, barely a young woman, has
seen snow. The peaks of the mountains are like
icicles piercing the sky, and at night, the moon
is the brightest she has ever seen, like a bright
silver coin, nestled at the crest of the ridges.
One night, the bear that swallowed the moon comes
and bids her “Ride my back, Mei. I am Bei Ling,
the Moon Incarnate, and I shall show you the
majesty of my frozen kingdom.” It is a wooing
of love, and Mei climbs aback the bear and
they rush through pine and red panda up the
slope, in his throat is the lunar disc, shining
every time he growls or opens his mouth to speak
in a tongue not human, but bestial, and that night
Bei Ling digs her a bed of snow and moss, and she
sleeps on his breast, white fur like a blanket,
and the moon in his gullet warms her. “Bei Ling,”
Mei says the next day, riding his star crossed
back, “should not the moon belong to everyone.”
Bei Ling grunts with laughter. “Then I would be
but a man, not the Bear Moon of the Mountains.”
But there is a look in Mei’s eyes like a promise,
so Bei Ling spits out the moon and it sails away,
to crest those mountains he used to reign over,
and then he is tan skin and a cloud of black hair,
he looks down at opposable thumb and bipedal leg
and Mei gives him a blanket to cover his nakedness.
Bei Ling laughs mightily “To give up immortality
for the woman I love, who would have thought a girl
would change the mind of the Moon Bear.” And they
kiss, and they set off to plant dreams across the
world, and sometimes he is Bear Moon, but mostly,
just Bei Ling, the man who swallowed the night,
fell out of the stars for but a girl, and into
love.

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Joshua Tree

 
And the whipporwill calls, where is the home of the moon?
Beyond the nest of evening, on an airy mountainside, snow
falls as cranes flock east, leaving behind summer’s bones
as the music of everything, yet nothing, folds into water,
seeping in flows through cracks in igneous, down to springs
in the woodlands of mineral clarity, bubbling with warmth,
we bathed there, when the sun was swollen with ghee, gold
and buttery, and it framed you in a halo like eagle wings.
Oh my love, to return to those quixotic days, or are they
the future? Time to me is like a crow, circling, we swim
through the leaves, through the sky, through the sunlight
and love, your heart is my abode, and I am your sparrow.

Bog Body

Silk and splinters, wrapped in chillblains,
my bones are wood, my skin milk spiderwebs,
I am the body of the bog given woman-form.

I walk on sparrows with bare feet of mud,
constantly sinking as my moss arms branch,
I breathe soil as my hair greens flowers.

Brier roses blossom, and life has no end.

Red Edifice, Silver Window, Black Mask

There are Frank Lloyd Wright red soliloquies,
windows upon redwood upon cheerful cherry paint,
shingles that shackle New England to the waves,
and architecture of artful rolling wooded roads.

The buildings breathe, the log cabins carefully
creak, they sing of wood and stone, home, bones
of the earth made for loving human inhabitance,
and a visage of you is by my handmade blue quilt.

But this is the land of dreams, and you are dead.
Not truly gone, but Death wears your pale skin,
and not-you is sharp in ways you are sweet-soft,
and ghost-you has hair of night, not bright day.

I touch the muscle of your impostor, and he laughs
like the shadow of spiders, darkness enfolds your
ghost, he was always jealous of my golden love,
Death can look like anyone close to you, after all.

Death slips away, your mockery vanishes in mist,
and the crashing waves of this quaint sea town
dissolve the fire of my angel as he exorcises
devilish masks, and I hate anyone but your truth.

Can You Feel the Winter Coming?

Kneel for the Alfather, in standing stone,
bloody runes on the boulder and crawl in,
soak in mead and honey, tangle your hair,
it is golden in the dark cave, burn burn.

The firmament churns like Urd makes butter,
Frigga spins flax and cards heavenly wool,
I make rainbows out of Heimdall’s breath,
but the Wild Hunt does not ride my Bifrost –

No, my path is for the dead, past Helheim,
in unions in darkest earthen cauldrons,
slick with the dew of Ymir’s icy wastes,
I am alone in Ginnunungap, paltry salt.

I am Mordgud Blood Maiden, I am bell toll.
Watch me weave my arteries on my spine,
pay my ferrywoman price, tithe your Hel
I will offer you to Her, nothing more.

Nothing less than a table at Hela’s dry
feet, the dust bread of dead, silence.
Down here it is cold but no one wants.
Down here it freezes, but we don’t feel.

Can you see Her spread Her fingers aloft
in the vines of veins, veins of leaves,
ribs of trees, trees of the nine worlds?
Winter is coming, Odin does not own it.

Winter is coming, and Fenrir howls high.
The moon is eaten by wolves, the sun bleeds
gold then darkness in Hati’s lupine womb,
plant seeds in beast’s black after harvest.

Winter is here, Hela walks as ice maiden.
Autumn just a passing fancy, and Valraven
rots on a yew, corpse bloated and swinging,
in Dying He is more alive than the Living.

Know the secrets of Hela Half-Rotted, see
the pennants of flesh on her corpse breast,
smell the compost and dirt of Her skin, kiss
Her bone hand, and sleep until springtide.

Sleep, dream, die, it is all the same to me,
for I have dreamed and died and eaten ashes,
She was sweet to me, He was a thunder strike,
in autumn He and She make a secret only I know.

What is the secret of Bolverk and Loki’s Pride?
It is sweet Balder on a shiply pyre adrift to
seidhr waters, golden Nanna enflamed, safety
is only found after Ragnarok, wouldn’t you know?

Winter came for Balder come mistletoe’s kiss.
And Odin rides the worlds for His son’s ghost.
Sweet Frigga weeps tears of sapphire, then snow.
And Hela and Nanna talk long by the hearth-side.

Winter comes for us all, even the gods, even
Death will Die, and in Dying, Live Again,
Anew, Life Eternal may be found in snow.

Nature, You Queen

You must love the hurricane for what she is
nature is not gentle, nature reigns a queen,
you must love the tsunami for how she flows,
nature is not benevolent, nature sings supreme,
you must love the wildfire for brightly burning
she is not your warmth, she is heaven’s bellows,
you must love the earthquake for intense desire
that clefts the earth open to bring in the rains.

Golden Eagle

Eyes of fiery south and
crystal amber knowing.

Wisdom of to fly as grace
through cerulean blue sky

I become Golden Eagle
unflinching, unfettered
fierce in my skyhunt
tender to my nestlings.

I eat rich raw meat,
I am the peace before
a gale, I soar up
thermals. I reign.