fierce love

they say that death
might come
like a thief in the night,
but love knows those paths
through the deep mystery too,
asking nothing of us
but all we are to give,

and waking one morning
early summer light
to find my belly stretched taut
marked welt-red and wild
like the skin of a shadow-play beast
rippling with life,
i knew this love would be fierce –
that i could be swallowed,
torn sinew and bone
from what i thought i was

the animal snuffle-yelp of the newborn
would devour and devour completely
until nothing remained
but that which was always becoming

and years later
i would come up for breath,
those marks now long faded
to lightning-strike silver scars,
the girls grown like saplings
reaching for the light

and winter would find me
sitting forest floor,
hands deep buried
against breath bite cold,
heart gulping radiance
that spills through tall trees
until i come undone
unhinged
skinless in the morning,
becoming this place
we always were

always loved.

For Sherry at Earthweal’s weekly challenge – Fierce Love.

https://earthweal.com/2021/05/10/earthweal-weekly-challenge-fierce-love/

12 thoughts on “fierce love

  1. Ah, the girls grown like saplings, us on the forest floor, trying to catch our breath after being wrung dry, but always loved. This mother definitely resonates with your beautiful poem. Awesome.

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  2. ‘the animal snuffle-yelp of the newborn
    would devour and devour completely
    until nothing remained
    but that which was always becoming’

    I remember it well. There is no fierce love quite like the fierce love of a mother.

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  3. Jesus. These fierce poems are splitting me wide. Such a powerful sense of place and time and body and Earth here, woven with the most gossamer thread. How many poems did it take to arrive here? How many to stay? – Brendan

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    1. High praise indeed. I suppose what I would hope for is body as expression of earth here and poems that are an expression of body that is an expression of earth here. And then sometimes to use it the other way, to let the words re-member ourselves – to write ourselves back into our bodies, back into our earth bodies. How many poems will it take to do that? I don’t know.

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      1. A great Florida poet who went on to become the state poet laureate told me once after a local reading, “it takes decades to write poetry” Long gestation, in the world and our body in it. The great news is that our best work lies ahead, somewhere beyond the next poem. Maybe that’s an article of poetic faith, and it’s good to have it amid so much uncertainty and despair.

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      2. I absolutely agree with the long gestation.(and hope you are right that the best is yet to come.) I find the idea of living poetry useful – not only in the sense of written word being alive – like a seed or medicine, but also in the sense of outr daily lives being infused and embodying the poetry. An engaging in the world in a physically tactile way that allows me to breathe and feel and move and think. A removing where possible of the buffer between us and the living world. Beyond that what words come, come when they are ready. Or something like that.

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      3. Thanks — a poetry of earth has to be embodied in its makers — a symbiosis of I and Thou between word and world. Or something like that. Removing the buffer, and remaining (yes) patient.

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