Archive for the ‘Fiction/Poetry’ Category

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Creation

15 July, 2018

The waters of the cosmos
Were still and dark
Though not empty
Because even the void
Contains potential

This was my soul
Suspended
In the primordial dark
Undiferentiated

A breath
A whisper
Your voice,
“Let there be

“Warmth”

And there were
Atoms vibrating
Creating heat and light
Matter
Expanding outward at
Three hundred million
Meters per second
Seperating space
Tearing firmament
From sky
And in the gap
My spirit
Resting in Yours

And Your voice,
“Let there be

“Connection”

And there were
Polypeptides and
Carbohydrates and
Covalent molecules
Knit together to form
Double helixes
To bind my
Disparate parts
Into a beating heart
My pulse

And Your voice,
“Let there be

“Mindfulness”

And there were
Patterns
Of neurons
Branching and crackling
With electric impulses
Carrying sensations
And perceptions
And self
And doubt
And shame

And Your voice,
“Let there be,”

“Love”

And You spoke my name
And You declared me good

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(Facing God) פְּנוּאֵל

12 July, 2018

How vivid is the memory
Of being pinned between
The arrogance of man and
The scored, arid earth
From which You drew him?

Does your being still ache
From the slow radiating
Of ancient desert heat
Where his inflamed skin
Pressed down on Yours?

Now, do You weep
When you remember him
Whom you had grown beside
Tearing from your parched lips
What you could have offered?

Did You speak a blessing
For that fossiled ass’s bone
Which aided your liberation
As ruddy gleams of dawn
Set blaze to the horizon?

Did you bestow on him
With greater reluctance
That new song of name
You would have whispered
Into his cradled head?

Now, do You weep
As you see him pin others
To Your once creative earth
And wrench what he desires
From their broken, gnarled hands?

Do You see and do You wonder
If You had held that one blessing
For a day, a month, or forty years,
If the generations who followed
Would have learned to touch

with Love?

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No’me and the Great Fire

24 June, 2018
No’me and the Great Fire
 
 
They were always deemed a little off. Just a tad, not enough to really make people wonder, but they knew something wasn’t quite right with them. As they grew, they began experimenting. Making crowns from nettles, using masticated berries to dye their hair a variety of startling shades, and asking to be referred to with they pronouns instead of the reasonable he or she. But things escalated when they moved out on their own. To start, they didn’t build the traditional wooden fence around their home. How they expected to keep the dangers of the unknown from their home was beyond comprehension for the folks of the village. Then they began telling the villagers they wanted to be called No’me. That, of course, was blasphemy. The Pursuit of the Self was faith’s founding principle. Followed by: guard your understanding and hedge your hearth and home. No me was a denial of the Great Self. All this is to say, when No’me began tamping out a foundation and laying stones around their house, well, no one was surprised. Concerned, mainly for how this would impact the village and how the already rare trader or collector passing through would shun it, but not surprised.
 
The villagers grew even more concerned when No’me began saying the Great Self had spoken to them. Well, they referred to Him as the Heart of the We, but it was clear enough to the Elders that No’me was talking about the Great Self. It was not uncommon for the Great Self to speak to the Elders with guiding rules to maintain the purity of selfhood, a sort of communal individuality where everyone could seek the self within the established order. It was unheard of that the Great Self would speak to an outcast like No’me. They were not quite right and what is not quite right cannot be a divine instrument.
 
The things No’me spoke of were disconcerting, to put it politely. They spoke of a great fire that was coming. It would burn away the walls and leave only the unguarded heart. The fire would cut across the length of the village and would torch every home. No’me insisted everyone could be safe from the danger if they were together. Ridiculous, said the Elders. If we were really meant to be together, the Great Self would not have instructed us to build our fences. That made sense to the villagers. Talk of a fire from a no-self with queer behaviours did not make sense.
 
Still, No’me worked. Laying down paving stones and surrounding their house with a ring of open space instead of a well-tended fence. No’me was an odd neighbour. They visited each of the houses learning people’s names and talking about how the village was strongest when it worked together. No’me was an odd neighbour. They worked from sunup to sundown in plain view of everyone, waving, and engaging in unnecessary conversation. No’me was an odd neighbour.
 
Months passed like this until, by midsummer, No’me had constructed a circular patio around their house with a radius of twenty-five yards. There were words inscribed on the pavers, but no one ever got close enough to No’me’s eccentric design to read them. After the last stone had been set, No’me came to the village centre and stood in front of the great fenced-in tree and called to anyone who would listen: It will happen tonight; please, visit the patio and stand with me. The young laughed at them and the adults gave the tree a wide berth. One of the Elders approached No’me and denounced them. No’me insisted the Heart of the We was open and inviting all to a place of strength and safety. The Elders declared them possessed and a threat to the faith.
 
That evening dark clouds rolled across the sky. Though ominous, the clouds did not bring rain. Instead gashes of lightning rent the horizon and winds uprooted trees and battered fences. In the deepest dark a jagged bolt struck the fenced-in tree and its branches began to smolder. Behind high picket fences, the villagers could not see the smoke, but No’me did and, with quiet diligence, set out lanterns along their patio so others could find the way.
 
The smoldering and the smoke thickened and another crashing bolt set flame to the leaves. The wind stoked the small fire and scattered burning twigs down upon the fence. Within moments the centre and its tree were a bonfire spitting embers across the sky. These embers leaped and danced, alighting upon rooves and picket fences and sunbaked lawns. Villagers roused from their stupor, throwing pails of water across wood panels in hopes of dousing the flames or soaking the boards enough to prevent it from spreading. Futile actions. The great fire was upon them.
 
As the smoke weighed and choked and the flames leapt from thatching to plank to lawn, a great wailing could be heard from the houses of the Elders. Many were lost, but some remembered No’me and their promise of safety. Some sought out the lantern light spread across the stone patio and could be seen, by flickering flame and flashing lightning, making the trek across the village toward its outskirts and No’me’s refuge.
 
The villagers approached, at first, as single individuals looking for a way, any way, out of the inferno. Coughing out burning lungfuls of acrid smoke, they pulled themselves across the pavers. They huddled together in small groups, holding whoever was nearest, and wept. A young woman pulled herself from a group of five who lay panting on the stones. She stood by No’me and took their calloused hand in hers. Together they called to the other villagers.
 
As the blaze grew, lighting the sky with a false dawn, more of the exhausted and frightened villagers joined them on the edge of the patio. Together, they cleared away grass and leaves, raking down to bare dirt and expanding the circle. Some held tight to each others’ hands and set out in small parties to search for those who had not made it to safety. By the time the morning light cut through the haze of smoke and the wind scattered the dying embers, the entire village had burned to the ground. Many were safe on No’me’s patio but many more had perished. Yet, whether lost or huddling together in traumatized groups, each villager’s name could be found beneath the ash, inscribed in the stone pavers.
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Abide With Me

11 September, 2017

Abide with me, let me know rest
Relieve the sorrow in my breast
Let not my strength or joy recede
Divine-healer, abide with me

Light my way in the darkest hour
No foe’s aggression robs my power
Let fear and doubt and anguish flee
Divine-healer, abide with me

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Poem 1612

4 January, 2017

​Injustice came and I ran.

I ran to the politicians, but they said you’ve no power here.

I ran to the courts, but they said you’ve no voice here.

I ran to my faith, but it said you’ve no redemption here.

I ran to the shelters, but they said you’ve no place here.

I ran to my blood, but its beat had stilled.

I ran to the rock and hid beneath it.

Injustice found me and used the rock to seal my grave.

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Moon Prayer

3 December, 2016

​Moonbeams shine

here on me

Grant sacred dreams

So I see

Blessed truths

Meant just for me

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Tonight/Tomorrow: A Poem for 23 Lives

20 November, 2016

​Tonight the storm is strong and the winds are bitter. Tonight 23 transgender people are remembered, whether they are trans women, trans men, or gender fluid. Tonight we whisper 23 names in the dark.

Tonight we remember 23 hard earned lives that were lived with strength. Tonight we eulogise 23 lives abruptly ended this past year by people possessed by hatred, by fear, by violence. Tonight we hold hands, we circle one another, and we grieve.

Tomorrow we draw the circle wider and yet wider again. Tomorrow we seek with our feet and comfort with our hands. Tomorrow we reach out and draw our neighbours in with open arms.

Tomorrow we stand with our heads high and our eyes open. Tomorrow we stand firm in the face of hatred and discrimination. Tomorrow we say no to hate and we act with love.