Friday, July 7, 2017

Medicine Bag


Medicine Bag






A bag too small for summer
and not so big as a heart
but sufficient for
crucible's residue
burnt fine, 
ash and
the errata and
the mouse-bones
of dreams.

I wrapped these things
in heat and feathers, 
with the sleep
of flowers laid on them
into its soft doeskin dried in salt,
beaded with the name of dusk, that
kings' song of battleroar
lost to cricket-harps;
my talisman ticket,

my blue rose bag of wishes;
to close
or to open so
the petal that falls
is the drift of your step,
is the corn-colored wind,
the easy air 
that knew your face
by starlight, your bright cadence

your fragrance and the savor
of  meadow moon sun-broken
floating on the slope
before the raven's rattle,
before the long defeat.


~July 2017




for M.'s   summer words














Process note: The phrase 'the long defeat' is spoken by Galadriel in the seventh chapter of The Fellowship of The Ring, by J.R. Tolkien: “For the Lord of the Galadhrim is accounted the wisest of the Elves of Middle-Earth, and a giver of gifts beyond the power of kings. He has dwelt in the West since the days of dawn... I have dwelt with him years uncounted,...and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.” It's become something of a catchphrase among Christians and/or conservatives, but we won't let that stop us from appreciating the metaphor.




 Image: Native American Medicine Bag, author unknown, via internet; fair use







14 comments:

  1. A wonderful piece, a delight to read and well written. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. or to open so
    the petal that falls
    is the drift of your step,
    is the corn-colored wind,
    the easy air


    Truly, if such magic exists in this latter day Middle Earth, I want some of it. It is so wonderful to read your words, Joy, always so richly layered, steeped in myth and humanity and so beautiful to read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your imagery is especially gorgeous in this one, Joy. I loved every line, especially the mouse-bones of dreams and the corn-colored wind. Wow. I need to make a medicine bundle.

    ReplyDelete
  4. All those images and sounds and esp "raven's rattle"

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love how you have filled the medicine bag... especially the sleep of flowers. A long defeat is a bit like survival I would think.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a phrase:
    'the errata and
    the mouse-bones
    of dreams'!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I should have known better, but the first line had me thinking shoulder bag, when of course, I know you would never be writing about girly stuff like that! I liked the "long defeat", and since I have not read and will likely never read Tolkien, and don't hang around right wing spaces if i can avoid it, it was new to me.

    There is a wonderful shift mid-way through this, from a poem that might have gone very dark, to something--dare I say--light (as in agreeable emotions, not light-weight) and then it ends with your signature reality check. What a treat to find a poem from you today, and such a satisfying one, too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This caused me to look at my medicine bag in yet another light. Corn-colored wind...lovely phrase. The last stanza...wow.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Every poet should shed a tear for that "blue rose bag of wishes," its like singing "Danny Boy" in a convention of Irish drunks; what is left of our verses is made and charmed and fades in such a construction. The banished witch and evicted native and stranded poet carries all of their power, all of their love, all of their connection there, for better or verse and soon enough in some hearse. As if christians knew squat about the long defeat--Galdadriel left the GOP long ago, and those guys are so bent on winning what they so happily abandon for the afterlife is beyond me. Great to read you, friend.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Such a collection of "paired words!" They are amazing! I find the "mouse bones of dreams," stops me, spins me around, and asks me to look again. I hear the beautiful sounds of summer, when I read your words.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A medicine bag full of treasures to be called up when needed..mouse bones of dreams.. Beautiful writing

    ReplyDelete
  12. A poetized spell dancing withe images that are all trance and wonder. I love the scents and colors and truths dancing with wishes... The reality of it is my favorite bit.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "crucible's residue
    burnt fine"

    From this opening i know i'm in for a treat...such a deft weaving of words and meaning and all possible because of that fine burning.

    ReplyDelete

'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg