Yesterday at the dVerse Poets Pub, Lillian asked us to write about some object we have hanging in our homes. I have so many things hanging from all sorts of places. My walls are full, as is every vertical surface. But, it was something sitting, not hanging, that insisted on First Voice. She’s a little darling about 6 inches tall, who sits on my computer desk next to the printer and blesses my writing. I actually found her years ago, on a writing retreat in Oaxaca, Mexico with Donna Hanelin.
Contemplating all this stuff I have to wonder why I keep it. Basically it makes me feel good. My stuff is full of meaning and magic, each piece a doorway to another place and time, most of it is lovely to me in some way so that I always find something pleasing upon which to rest eyes, heart or soul. Everything hanging in my house shimmers with symbolic significance forming connections to other realms. Much of it makes me smile. Did I mention that Rabbit is my totem animal? But enough – the picture – the poem – Ta da!
She came with me from Oaxaca of her own accord,–
this biscuit colored goddess
smoothed by deft brown fingers from cool river mud.
A traveler like me, calla lily skirt hiked high,
sleeves rolled up above the elbow,
a calf tucked tight beneath each arm,
two more hugging hidden legs.
I knew she had anticipated me – stringing
cobwebs between her lofty ears, cloaking
herself in dust till I could find her in that crowded shop,
hiding behind the potter’s newest figurines,
and carry her, wrapped in the Spanish-flavored ink
of old newspapers, out of the shadow of Monte Albán,
away from ruined pyramids, enfeebled gods,
hanging high above the tree-lined streets
of Santa Maria Atzompa.
Ready to go, whiskers combed neatly
back against her cheeks, breast
pointing firmly forward, eyes
wide-set and open; she looks as modern
as the morning, but she is older
than those ancient ones whispering above –
a creature of the jungle people,
predating priesthood, flaunting the powers
of vine, blossom, pistil and stamen,
surrounding herself in heady perfumes
protected from intoxication by deep grounding.