Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Burning Bowl - NaPoWriMo #1

Burning Bowl

She blends right in.
into the solemn lines of women
advancing from the north,
south, east, and west
from roads commonly travelled;
desire lines are well worn paths through time.
she blends right in.

slip of paper in hand
hope in heart
desparately seeking release and relief
names written over and over
one for every “if only…”
trying to fit every regret and disappointment
on the ridiculously tiny scrap

along with rages and weary troublesome thoughts
that stick to the cerebellum
like cave dwellers
digging their tiny feet into synapses
firing on repeat
gray bats resting in their chambers
startled into flight by the bright light

as the ladies stick lit candles into their chest cavities.

the walls alight to show remnants of
cuneiform conversations
etched on clay tablets
their longings and lonelys spindle as stalactites
extending endlessly from the ceiling

if only she had said no
if only she had said good by
if only she had gathered her boundaries around her
and politely declined
if only she had remembered the lessons already learned
if only her parted thighs sent up smoke signals
instead of siren’s cries

the hieroglyphics tell the story
“There was a fire here”
Where feelings used to burn so brightly,
white hot, daring reason to intervene,
there is now just the charred remains
and scripted promises on flash paper
as each is dropped into the burning bowl

They take up arms lifting their clean slates to the sun
sage smudge sticks and damp grass swirl
smoky tendrils signaling the end of retrospection
and the beginning of their healing
giving permission to breathe again
leaving behind names spelled out
in a never-ending thread of ashes.


Notes: My list of 5 things in front of me was


I considered a needle of rain, a thread of rain, a rain of ashes, and a thread of ashes. Challeged myself not to use rain, so thread of ashes it is!!

Inspired by reflecting on a New Year's Burning Bowl ceremony I attended.

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