December 12, 2015

the great Mother was in the reeds...

the great Mother was in the reeds

She fished by looking

broken pottery savior prophet and wheel womb to seal, 
steal and reveal those things when pressed and pushed 
towards indignation...I will choose to be savoring, in the 
music of all our little salvation(s)...witnessing the armies 
of butterflies, we humans can command, demanding 
that every other week be Spring...

tell me what She wanted from you, I'll let you hit me 
first...test my resolve to survive these bones...the koans 
came in, beached with the soul knew the 
sea, spoke in a language of rain and rivers...mouths, 
every hunger, in the dark, was an open, were dressed finely...tattered 
thoughts though thoroughly lingered...



  1. So first you should know that I read every poem as if the universe has written it to/about/for me. This way, I get messages "from beyond," so to speak, about who I am, what I should be/do, etc. "Answers" can be found everywhere we look, as long as we look.

    I am a mother of four, so the title immediately sets this off as being about me, telling me what makes "a great mother." She reads. And any mother who reads also teaches her children to read, love books, and live in their imagination. [Check. Got that down.]

    If she "reeds," then she hides herself in the reeds (meaning that she takes personal time for herself) and also hides her children in the reeds (like Moses). This means she protects them from harm. She screens them from the screen. She keeps them innocent as long as possible. She lets them be babies while they're supposed to be babies. Also, she knows their great purpose (like the mother of Moses), and she prepares them ... even if she doesn't know the specifics; she knows they are destined for some sort of greatness, even if their particular greatness is small. Much greatness is invisible, in fact. There is no play without the stage crew.

    And that's just the title! :)

    This is my favorite: "She fished by looking" ... It's set off on its own, so it's clearly the most important part. And she's using her eyes to catch food, to nourish, to provide. Also, she's a "fisher of men," serving God, not with her hands, but with her eyes. She is a seer. A prophetess.

    "when pressed and pushed
    towards indignation" ... How interesting. I think she has to feel alone to truly be able to use her gift. She perceives that others judge her, dislike her, distrust her. But perhaps she creates this tension to set herself apart. If she is "friends" with the masses, she cannot activate her "eyes."

    I love this line: "I will choose to be savoring" ... My ears want it to say "savored," meaning that you want her to eat you, slowly --- to taste you. But no, you are going to be the one she is feeding ... I'm picturing either eating a fine meal, slowly, closing your eyes to really taste every bite ... or eating the baby food she's putting in your mouth in tiny bites. You can hardly wait for the next taste, but Mommy makes you wait too long, to make sure you don't choke and/or make too much of a mess.

    Also, what if "savoring" is a new word ... another word for "seasoning," perhaps? What if you are joining forces with her. She catches the "fish" with her eyes, and then she sprinkles you on top. You serve the people together.

    "in the music of all our little salvation(s)" ... I live for music, so this speaks to me. So here, I think the food, the provision, the nourishment, comes in musical form. "Little salvations" is a fantastic phrase. That's exactly how we're saved, isn't it? Not just once, but over and over again, be it by God or by love or people ... or prophets. Saviors come in many different forms. The point is that there is great need. Your own need, but also I think you're channeling your need into serving. When we are in the greatest pain, we can find healing in meeting the needs of others instead of focusing only on our own misery/circumstances.

  2. Side Note: My name starts with an "S," so every time you do that (s) thing to make something work both as a singular word and a plural word, I think the universe is speaking to me specifically. (I do this in my own writing; that's why I see it as such. I float esses in all sorts of ways to make it personal for myself.)

    Love this: "test my resolve to survive these bones"

    "my soul knew the(e)
    sea" ... In poetry, sea references always make me think of sirens. So I think she herself IS a koan.

    "spoke in a language of rain and rivers" Gorgeous.

    Love, love, love that whole last section: "mouths,
    every hunger, in the dark, was an open,
    wanting" ... the way the words can be reworked into different phrases by moving/deleting commas ... "wanting windows" "mouths every hunger" "an open wanting" ... see what I mean?

    Excellent line breaks. For example, breaking after "tattered" so that it describes both the window dressings AND the thoughts.

    So my overall view of the story is that she caught you, even though she was the one in the sea. (I can turn most poems into siren stories, so I don't presume this was your intended meaning; I just find such readings interesting.)

    "broken pottery savior prophet and wheel womb to seal" ... I love this line. You're slamming together a hodge-podge of words to ambiguously tell a story. The word "seal" makes her a selkie, and also glue and also a mark/symbol showing authenticity. She's the real deal. She comes from somewhere important. Good luck finding her address, though!

    I love that that "broken pottery" line could tell us what she's looking for and/or what she is. Maybe she's broken pottery fishing for more broken pottery. Maybe she's a savior looking for a savior ... a prophet looking for another prophet ...

    Hmm. "What's a wheel womb?," I wonder. A pottery wheel, the womb of a pot being formed, shaped, created. This is what she is. This is what you are. People are always in clay form, hard and cracked/pristine (waiting to be broken) or wet, soft, and malleable. She knows the value in being soft, even though her inclination is to be hard. You are the same. "To seal." To close what is open. The womb of the pot, the "room," a letter, a relationship. That is always our battle as humans who crave connection: should we let it grow (inevitably hurting us), or should we seal our feelings in an attempt to protect ourselves and others?


    Okay, that's most of what I've got. This annoys most people, but this is how I read. If you hate it, I'll abstain from commenting beyond "the normal."

    1. Well I'm most grateful and a little surprised(pleasantly) with your generosity of has taken me a few days to respond, as I have spent some time reading your response, both literally and also as a hologram of the poem itself...the pacing of your response(piece), with its choice words, captures a rhythm that taps into the melody of what I believe is my intent, so succinctly...that it left me wordless for a few days...much appreciated...and by all means...share away...Edward

    2. Thank you, Edward. I primarily speak in holograms, which seems to be quite off-putting to most people. So I appreciate your kind response, understanding, and acceptance. And I thank you for giving me the pleasure of being invited to read your poetry. ~Shawna