once upon a time before the shame and the sin you were a cartwheel hair flying in full tumble throwing yourself with mad delight into the arms of wind and spirit
once upon a time before the shame and the sin you were a starkeeper your wishes alone kept the stars aloft in a velvet sky of invitation and belonging
you knew the sylvan truth of fireflies and trailed their golden lantern path over silvered meadow into to the lullaby of fairyland
the moon was a grandmother from a tale you still remembered watching over your every move look! you said. Look! everywhere we go the moon follows us all the way home
once upon a time before the shame and the sin acorns were goblin hats trees were secret keepers clouds were sky puppets butterflies and honey bees were emissaries of otherwhere guarding the old stories adults had already forgotten to remember
once upon a time before the shame and the sin you moved through the world like it was your back yard elbows made of frolic knees made of wonder fingers and toes a whirl of color and possibility
your mind was full of neverland and your heart was full of Oz your body was still a playground and a confidant and a friend
remember her? she got lost somewhere between the shame and the sin but she’s still there cartwheel smile moonbeam soul fairy tale girl in love with her own life in love with you bawdy and soul
she’s still in there daring, brazen wild with possibility let’s go get her.
Anyone who says, “Here’s my address, write me a poem,” deserves something in reply. So I’ll tell a secret instead: poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes, they are sleeping. They are the shadows drifting across our ceilings the moment before we wake up. What we have to do is live in a way that lets us find them.
Within this black hive to-night There swarm a million bees; Bees passing in and out the moon, Bees escaping out the moon, Bees returning through the moon, Silver bees intently buzzing, Silver honey dripping from the swarm of bees Earth is a waxen cell of the world comb, And I, a drone, Lying on my back, Lipping honey, Getting drunk with silver honey, Wish that I might fly out past the moon And curl forever in some far-off farmyard flower.
god is a mother and with that sentence the world stops the world always stops when woman and divine commingle as if the feminine dilutes the miraculous when in reality it embodies it when jesus turns water to wine they clap but when women turn breasts to milk they cringe a broken man’s body is celebrated each sunday while a broken woman’s body is just hidden away and it’s no wonder that mother is a word used by men to demonize those who don’t claim the name and weaponized to shame those who step out of line because their ideal woman plays the role of nurturer and silencer in pews built and led by them but when god becomes mother she is neither quiet or compliant she leads confidently she questions authority she commands respect which might be the problem for mother god did not gather us up carelessly but took her time with it she fed us milk birthed our souls and broke her body and the permanence can be uncomfortable and to disentangle god from motherhood Is impossible but to disentangle god from womanhood is sinful because seeing god as mother is one step closer to seeing god in me and it’s in that i am truly born again
~Kaitlin Hardy Shetler
Image: A new mother nurses her baby unknown photographer
Down near the bottom of the crossed-out list of things you have to do today, between “green thread” and “broccoli,” you find that you have penciled “sunlight.”
Resting on the page, the word is beautiful. It touches you as if you had a friend and sunlight were a present he had sent from someplace distant as this morning—to cheer you up, and to remind you that,
among your duties, pleasure is a thing that also needs accomplishing.
Do you remember? that time and light are kinds of love, and love is no less practical than a coffee grinder or a safe spare tire?
Tomorrow you may be utterly without a clue, but today you get a telegram from the heart in exile, proclaiming that the kingdom still exists, the king and queen alive, still speaking to their children,
—to any one among them who can find the time to sit out in the sun and listen.
She is the Life/Death/Life force, she is the incubator. She is intuition, she is far-seer, she is deep listener, she is loyal heart. She encourages humans to remain multilingual; fluent in the languages of dreams, passion, and poetry. She whispers from night dreams, she leaves behind on the terrain of a woman’s soul a coarse hair and muddy footprints. These fill women with longing to find her, free her, and love her.”