Dogspel, Ann Cefola


In the beginning was the Bone
and the Bone was good and strong, it grew
outward in layers, flushed inside by beating blood,
held by organs, muscle and sinew, until with a yelp
and flash of water emerged with other bones, blind
and mouthing toward a teat, squirming bones,
minute paws and the long-sanded tongue that cleaned,
organized and let the tiny sacks of calcium sleep and start
the mysterious journey where dream and life are one,
rolling back and forth, entry and exit
scented and calling
Come, come.

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Late Fragment, Raymond Carver

ophelia, odilon redon

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
to call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

~Raymond Carver

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End of Winter, Louise Gluck

Over the still world, a bird calls
waking solitary among black boughs.

You wanted to be born; I let you be born.
When has my grief ever gotten
in the way of your pleasure?

Plunging ahead
into the dark and light at the same time
eager for sensation

as though you were some new thing, wanting
to express yourselves

all brilliance, all vivacity

never thinking
this would cost you anything,
never imagining the sound of my voice
as anything but part of you—

you won’t hear it in the other world,
not clearly again,
not in birdcall or human cry,

not the clear sound, only
persistent echoing
in all sound that means good-bye, good-bye—

the one continuous line
that binds us to each other.

~Louise Gluck

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Light is the Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guinn

Light is the left hand of darkness,and darkness the right hand of light.  Two are one, life and death, lying together like lovers in kemmer, like hands joined together, like the end and the way.

~Ursula K. Le Guin 1(21 Oct 929 – 22 Jan 2018)

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The Waking, Theodore Roethke

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

~Theodore Roethke

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The Real Thing


And what is the real thing, the thing for which she longs? The love affair with her own spirit, the inner marriage that commits her to her destiny, the rituals of soul that feed her deepest hunger, and the sense of being pregnant with her Self, her creative essence.

~Jill Mellick

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W I T C H – H O U S E


There is a forgotten path in the middle of a ravine,
where the hills rise upward and the creek runs downward,
and a little house lies in between.
The roots from the trees grow down to the house,
the stones from the creek roll toward it,
and summoning them all ever forward it seems,
lives a witch, there, though most don’t know it.

If you should enter this house,
and you would want to,
just as the roots, and stones, and the one-eyed fox do,
just as the owl, and the serpent, and the wolf-spider try to,
you would find yourself standing in a poem.
See, the conjurer chants the words of an old rhyming spell,
words you won’t understand,
which is probably just as well,
for you would be ever-changed if you could decipher them.

Imagine it, then, this small house with many rooms,
filled with old sacred books,
powder jars and twiggy birch brooms.
Where spiraling hazel wands, and green herbal potions,
are just waiting for the cunning woman to put them into motion.

There’s an old phone on the wall that’s hooked up to nothing,
but the spirits call often, so it’s connected to something.
She doesn’t speak into it with a voice of her own,
but with the croak of a toad and a coyote jawbone.
There are masks on the wall, and an obsidian ball,
that she uses at night for scrying.
A mortar and pestle sit high on a shelf,
next to charms, bells, and herb bundles drying.

If a curse or hex are what you need, she will certainly know it.
If it is bone-knowing you desire, she will be able to throw it.
If foretelling the future is what you seek,
she has the cards and will read it.
If healing powers are what you need,
she will have just the right weed for it.
If it’s cord or knot-work that you require,
she is the one who can bind it.
For, if it is magic that you are looking for,
it is in this house you will find it.

So, should you find yourself at the nighttime crossroads,
somewhere just beyond the thick growing hedgerows,
in the place where path, hills and creek meet,
there will soon be a spae-wife for you to greet,
just past rabbit den and nest of grouse,
you will knock upon the door of the old Witch House.

~Erin Gergen Halls

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