I am not usually a fan of poetry which is too sing-song-y, but this one popped into my head almost fully formed and begged to be used as a prayer for the new moon ritual I am planning tomorrow night in honor of a renewed friendship and lessons to come.
Welcome, The Morrigan
The Raven wings, they suit her,
because the birds are quick and smart
Feared by ancients when her legend formed,
She took their spirit to heart.
Softly borne on blackened feathers,
She now wings into my life
to guide me deeper into my truth
and help me shine my light.
The Bear could be her totem, too,
for her ferocious guard of the land
and her gentle, nurturing other face,
her firm but loving hand.
And then, there’s the playful maiden form,
dancing in on faery winds!
She catches me up in her arms
and we giggle as we spin.
This goddess guide, The Morrigan,
a new and ancient friend,
your faces I remember now
from other wheres and whens.
I honor you and welcome you-
I’ve missed our moonlit meetings!
To my friend and teacher once again,
I offer love and warmest greetings.
My path is strewn with love!
I feel the embrace of the Universe,
Reminding me that all is well.
The light that glows at the end of this
Flowery and tree-lined tunnel
Is not my future, but my Now
Seen from the perspective of a world
That lives in three dimensions
And believes that Time is a Thing and a Line.
I sink down into the sweetness
Of every moment that is Now with a sigh,
As if sinking into a warm bath at the end of a long day.
Remember, I think, the sweetness of all Moments.
Remember they all brown and wither and remain pink and alive forever
Like the flowers at my feet.
Now, rise, my Goddess
Into the light of morning
So, what would happen,
if I just stopped trying to fix myself?
(Am I really so broken
to begin with?)
What if I stopped reading
the books, the blogs, the articles, the keep-your-chin-up posts?
What if I refused to keep seeing myself as missing something, like a car without electric windows or satellite radio?
What if I just rested and ate and slept
and colored and cut things out of paper?
There always seems to be something to “heal”,
something to “process”,
something to “release”.
And I am exhausted and flat as a bicycle tire.
“Fill your own well first!”
“Set your boundaries!”
What well? What boundaries?
When was I supposed to learn about that stuff?
And, who was supposed to teach me?
I think it might be a sign that,
instead of looking for my next fix,
I am getting really pissed off.
But, I’m not sure what it’s a sign
Alone in the evening, I pause at a sound I love:
I go in search and find you sleeping, snoring gently,
My pillow wrapped in your embrace.
Borne on the breeze of tenderness that wanders our home,
I hear the echoes of a love that sustains me:
There is laughter…yours and mine
Mingled together like tea and honey:
Intimate, entwined, joyful, loving.
Traces of discord…only sometimes:
Misunderstandings, the sounds of two separate souls
Struggling to become more
Intimate, entwined, joyful, loving.
A ribbon of sorrow, shared together
As we face the deaths, tragedies, disappointments of our lives,
And try to remain intimate, entwined, joyful, loving.
And whispers of passion as neither of us has ever known it-
Frightening in its beauty, its ferocity, its innocence and
Always intimate, entwined, joyful, loving.
You stir in your sleep, and the breeze of echoes is disturbed.
I slowly prepare the house for sleep and
Gently replace my pillow still in your embrace
(Nov 16, 2004)
Come and grow with me.
We shall be two trees entwining,
Both striving for the sun,
Both digging for the truth,
Supporting and nourishing
each other, wrapping
around each other in love
and in strength far
beyond the sum of us two.
And no one shall separate us,
And no one shall destroy us,
For in joining, we become invincible.
Under starry heaven’s sky,
Face to face, the lovers lie
gazing into eyes so deep
‘Til, sighing once, they fall asleep.
And in the starlit skies above,
The dance begins – a tale of love,
Of loving once through winter’s cold,
Of dying together when they were old
And, young again, they met in spring
‘Til, hearts entwined, felt not death’s sting.
And so it went, through times untold,
The dance would countless times unfold.
Now, stars are stilled, for we lovers rise,
And look together to the skies.
We see the stars, know the dance,
Feel the fate of our romance;
Each sees truth in the other’s eyes,
Knows the heavens are on our side.
And so we’ll seek each other’s arms
Under the heavens’ dancing stars.
You never know, really, what effect your words and actions might have on another.
When I was in 10th grade, I moved with my family from Ohio to central Georgia. I was very introverted, shy, self-conscious (because, who isn’t at 15?) and also very smart… the girl who sits in the front row and raises her hand to answer every question, but never, ever makes eye contact or speaks to the other students.
The second month of school, my English teacher, who was an extraordinary teacher and became one of my favorite people, tasked us with creating a poem. I don’t remember why or whether it was part of a larger assignment. I have a vague memory of being divided up into groups for this.
A week or so later, a poem found its way to me. It was written by a classmate, a girl I really was drawn to, but, in my shyness, would never have dreamed of attempting to make friends with. She was tall, blonde, witty, and popular. Also, she was kind and compassionate and had a sweetness about her that tempered her wit and caused all who knew her to want to be near her. The poem, to my utter surprise, was about me.
by Leigh Coffee
Quiet and mouselike she sits.
Hardly ever speaking except when spoken to.
One must wonder what is going
On beneath the soft black curls that frame her face.
What kind of fantasies does she have?
What dreams? What aspirations?
They mock her and she
Stands strong, the only hurt feelings
Shine through her eyes.
Big brown eyes that see the world
Through the lens of knowledge.
She is brilliant, yet she doesn’t boast of it.
She smiles sometimes,
Though no on really notices.
Does she have her own little world?
Or does she just refuse to participate
In the selfish, immature world we know?
Angelic face, soft and pale, hiding
Behind the frames of her glasses.
I notice you. I admire you.
You are, in a way, my hero.
Nothing can really adequately describe how reading that poem made me feel. Seen comes close. Witnessed, observed, valued… all those things. It literally changed my life. To read someone else’s private thoughts about me that were so curious and so observant shifted my own view of myself so profoundly. I was left with a deep feeling of worth and value that no other person had ever gifted to me.
Over the course of my life, I have returned to that feeling again and again when facing hard moments. It gave me the courage to stand up for myself. It gave me the courage to believe that I am worthy of whatever I want from my life. It gave me the courage, finally, to fully commit to living, instead of riding the fence of suicide.
The author had no idea the effect her brave witnessing would have, but her vulnerability in letting her own soul be seen in the witnessing of mine has been a shining example of what it means to connect, to be kind, to be brave, and to own one’s own gifts.
So, if you have something nice to say, don’t hold back. Don’t be shy about enthusiastically expressing your love, admiration, respect, awe, or friendship. You never know if it could be the thing that makes the difference in the small moments, the wee hours, the critical split-seconds.