My Name

I searched and found that I have a name of kings.  In an ancient language it means gift.  It was chosen because in my father’s mind it was associated with outlaw.  My parents were smitten by the rebellion and freedom-searching of a generation that wore flowers in their hair.

Along with my first name—a short name with lots of sound, a boy’s name in a girl’s body—came my second, or middle name.  This was a cool sip of water that had Gaelic origins and whispered and sighed, saying yes to unity and divine power.  It welcomed all the gods and spoke of its feminine gentleness.

Together, I was one.  Clad in both my costumes I became whole.  I contained the sun and the moon.  The male and the female.  I had strength, frailty and awareness.  I was the giver and the taker.  The fountain of life from whose source clear water sprung for others to drink.  The one who also drew in and absorbed, and perhaps often, redistributed in one form or another.  Sometimes form became ethereal, and in its diaphanous shimmering it sang into the moonlight evoking an echo from a distant land that resonated over time.  Who are you?  Speak my language…

Growing up I always wanted to be a boy, and yet have come to find myself in my woman’s body and mind.  A revelation in happening, I became who I was meant to be. I have walked on many paths and am now finding the road that leads home.  In its authentic moment of genesis my destiny was chosen and prescribed.  My identity was written in my name—short sounding and sliding in its simmering emphasis.

Followed it was by a long whispering and secret sigh.  This word was humble and yet stood apart defining the identity of that which came before it.  It made me a woman in my boy’s garb.  Somehow it was my true calling and, if I could, I would have chosen it as mine—as a way to make myself known to the world around me.  Not as a boy, a bandit, but as one who spoke truthfully, who in her wholeness contained wholesomeness.  Who could describe the rainbow in its evanescence and sit by the side of the river contemplating the passing water and its shore.  In that relationship—of shore and ocean—I found devotion and also my true love whose name speaks of salvation.

It was later when I discovered in the gift of my name a most profound essence that had meaning beyond words.  It signified that I was the bridge between opposite shores.  I could speak both languages and make hands shake.  Peace was in the making.  I contained the power of the gift and was able to receive it.

At the top of the stairwell

At the top of the stairwell
I rise to find the blue sky
An ancient symbol dangling in the wind
Its chime resonating deep within me

In the morning wetness I find peace
In the crispness meditating on faith
I cling to your trust
Where the thread of my mind is worn bare
The warmth of love and possibility
Of life a kernel of strength
Somehow lacking

At times dawn brings
Evil tidings
Fear carried on wings of dreams

Lost footsteps down winding stairwells
Leading across dusty paths
Backwards

I see the skyline across the water
Reminding me of the ferry-ride in

You held my hand
And windswept all was there
In one breath
Which meant I am you
And you hold the twinkle
Of moon sapphire
In those child eyes

In them I see the span of time
The laugh of a child
And the wisdom of an old soul

My heart speaks in tongues
In the primordial language of the leaves

Questions arise and fall
And sometimes answers falter

In the midnight light
I catch a glimpse of you
Shining
Your armor is your truth
Your stance in its gentle tautness

Embracing in the loll of our bodies
Morning warmth of rising bread

I can forget everything
And come to life again
Invigorated into recreation
In your hold in my arms

I am the woman who walked your city

I am the woman who walked your city
To find you in between the layers of fog
Caught in the intricate and glistening weave of the spider’s web
A fine yet sturdy filament creating a design finer than man can imagine
In its midst a dewdrop precarious before its fall

In the diaphanous span of an insect’s wings
I find myself
lost in spirals of thoughts
Between the past and the future
I move into the knowledge that composes a seashell
Only the present actually exists

I am your city before you
In its meandering mystery of interwoven connections
In transit my thoughts arc the horizon
On their way to catch a passing plane

Action brings me to an onward transition
In which links in a chain suddenly propel me
Into another dimension

A watery world blue and misty contains my fears
Yet transformed into aspirations
Forms are thoughts that determine content
Like butterflies in flight

At the airport I lost my baggage—forever—
Here I wander led by my nose and toes

Somewhere there is distant music
And I know I will encounter all those
Who share a spot in my dreamworld

There is no denial
Only laughter
And sometimes a slightly larger dose of truth—
I swing in the full of things
Wishing for more—
My teacup close to empty
And the friends have gone to the beach

In the velvet night I make
A chain of thoughts as though they were
Paintings—images—poems

Tomorrow I am back at the airport
To be transported into the city of time
Where minutes eventually add up to days and sometimes even years

For now I look at you in this moment
In which my cup is half empty
And yet the feeling inside radiates of fullness

Tomorrow always comes
And my heart then may sing to the dewdrops
Or shed a tear in reminiscence of the child
Who visited and has now left

[In her red cloak she came and went
Left the blues in me
And a trace of emptiness
That wafts into the dampness of this November air

In this city mine and yours
We hold each other tight
And know our sun is shining]

Bright Red

soaring above the clouds
a kite in the November crispness
to see as far as the eye
the horizon curving at the perimeter
mind agaze

a calmness pervading
as all releases to the witness

layers of sedimenting tiredness
life piling—transition after another
ingesting what came before it
can be digested—
already one step ahead
looking forward
pushing onward?

I lie on a mound of grass
taking in the freshness of
the golden leaves
breathing the air in this
rainbow time of consciousness
sucking it in and letting it ever
so slowly out—
expanding
over the solar plexus
into the solar hemisphere—
an asteroid colliding with my thought
of sapphire clarity

I sit comfortably
without the desire to move
and absorb the red brightness of a Japanese maple
its stance intoxicatingly passionate

digressingly I let my mind wander
into a stream of pearls
where daisies strung together
resound in harmonious wavelengths of auras

in the touch of an epoch
the clap of a butterfly’s wings
echoes on my doorstep
I hold the moment precious
and let my tea steep

minerals absorbed into the ground
through circles of life passing
into you
and becoming the passerby
who tomorrow, unknowingly,
will be your lover, your friend, your mother

I ordered a book from the library—I am 8th in line
in a weblike connection
of all those with common interests
traced into the airwaves of our collective dreamworld

I took a sip of this world
in this life and it turned me
inside out
knotted I am unwinding
to find my stance beneath the Japanese maple
bright red

I seek to crack the nut

Turn the corner
Empty the bag
The towel is heavy and wet
But I have wrung it
All is transitory
Aleatory

Fate appears in odd or even numbers
One day the moon shines a wane smile
The next day she disappears into the velvet black night
Leaving me to wonder
Upon the woes of gone people and those to come

I sit and gaze at the water before me
The blue mountains covered with snow
I think of the days when horses covered in blankets
Rode up these winding paths

Confidence once won
Does not disappear
But creeps into a cupboard
And watches with surreptitious eyes
For the moment to make its entrance

Once again
Asserting itself
In the assured certainty

Of life abundance
In the spectrum of human emotions
Feelings, inventions, principles

Seagulls rise and remind me of my volatility
Limitless limit of imperfection
The ferocity of this wild beast
Whose taming is so arduous

The flame burns high and low

Masking tape holds me at the seams
My thoughts bursting
Through to fickle reality

I purge the voices from within
Creeping to the fingertips

The caterpillar crawls on its million legs
Leaving no traces of its path
The process is endless

I seem to forget
In the acquiescence of my breath
The soaring of the gulls
The clouds gathering tears

Sometimes the sky exudes my fears
Giving birth to my certainties

I lie in the hull of time
Waiting for tomorrow
For time to grasp me
And take me seriously

My love is not a fickle pose
Nor a sour pickle
It is whole

I hover above
With widespread wings
Fluttering
Accepting and caressing

My voice is the churning of the stream
Limning the pebbles
Honing away your wounds

I speak to the lightning
In my attempt to mitigate your thunder

I lie in the wake of these seconds
Holding the cracked vase
Watering the thorns
Expecting them to bloom

The sun is meek
The road home winds up the mountain
And down the valley beyond the ocean

My eyes will see water
Blue on the horizon
Feet stroking the warm sand

I lie alone in the light of the candle
Shadows on the wall
My night companions

Musical instrument

a body lithe
bouncing skipping jumping
allegro pizzicato delicato
like notes dancing on a page
between parallel black lines
heading to infinity

dancing
in the sunlight
a field of green in the distance
the sun my halo
a light breeze setting the melody

her footsteps happy
as fire burning
in the red twilight

body dynamic
taut strings
playing

climbing to the top of the hill
to view the city
performing in the echoless hum-drum
of modern traffic
can you hear me
she shouts
the cars busy honking
no one pays attention
as she leaps off the bridge
my heart skips a beat

the fugue spins from aria to inferno
roaring in the soundless moment
flying through time
the dancing of notes on a blank page

once she tried to explain
the inexplicable feeling
the craft of its making
the perfection of her body
made from blood
water heat love
emotion

the symphony of the moment
the passion of her frenzy
her body a perfect vessel
to carry her soul
the instrument that played those notes
that then appeared as black dots with swirly legs and flags

the music has stopped
the body is gone
the memory is lost

my eyes lie in my heart
my unstrapped strings by my side

I spin the bottle

I spin the bottle
and the water drips and glides
into a reflecting pool
I watch the limpid glass pane
it is sweet
there are no tears, no salt

I climb the stairs
into the factory
there is no mudguard
for the pain that seeps against my heart

I feel as if a generator is using up
the extra energy lost in my soul
spinning it out like wool
braiding the threads like a dynamo
weaving my thoughts
into a quilt
a sheepskin
with which I can clothe myself
hiding from the monster
inside and out

I sit on the chair
staring into mid air
hoping that the bread of life
will prove to be more than the jellygraph
that resembled the jellyfish
I once saw melting on the beach
which reminded me
of glue and of lost thumb prints

the sky is steel grey
I aim for the truth
and seek perfection
striving to prevent my fears
to harpoon the unicorn
that symbolizes this divine beauty

the old man smiles
and twirls his mustache
as he looks down upon the world

I run in circles
mesmerized by the memory of days past
and those to come

once again I climb the ladder
descending into the pool
spiraling into a jellygraph
that melted into a jellyfish
hallucinated high
on glue into that unicorn
that then appeared so perfect
and now monstrous and odorous
a skunk escaped into my field of vision
and poured into a grain of salt
transformed into a diamond
that spun back into my bottle and was flung down the rabbit hole
along with Alice

A one way ticket

[I am given a one-way ticket to anywhere
What would I do and where would I go?

I am given the possibility to be free
To create my own universe
Defying the laws of physics and of time

A one-way ticket to ride
The rollercoaster of life]

In the shallows, in the thicket, in the forest
Along the barges of the Hudson River
Down to the center of the Earth
Out onto the Yellow River
And over the Himalayas into the Ganges

The possibility to see corpses cremating
People gathering to celebrate life
—and death also—

I am given a ticket to be me

To glorify this moment
To find the shining gem
To grasp it and hold it
To carry it with me in this soul journey
Over the purple mountains and into the valleys beyond
The shadows of civilizations

To discover the principle dear to Man
That we live and love and create
For each other and with each other

I am the bird that flies in the sky
The fish that swims under the hull of the boat

The ticket is a piece of paper—and yet—
It represents the past and the future
It is the threshold that becomes now
Through which I step into the sundrenched hope of tomorrow—
The way I see life as a seashell unfurling inside and out

I step on the sand
Creating a footprint
A small vanishing form
Shaped by particles into particles

My shadow unfolds
I bend and pick up the seashell
Inside it is pink and shiny
It sings of an underworld that I have seen only in dreams

I listen, in solitude
I hear the sirens, the whispers
Hoarse and clear, laughing and crying
It seems that the boundary between the two is ethereal

A ticket to ride without a suitcase to hold
I stare at the sky
There is a plane
Where do all those people go?
How many lives exist in one life?
How many times do we get to reinvent ourselves?

I waged a war against nostalgia
And seemingly I have won
It is but a meager surmise
A summersault into thin air

I am the clown and I am still walking
On the same tightrope
At times it is taut, at others it lolls and swings
And I see the world upside down
Right side up

The sheet is white and lying open before me
There is no way back—
Or perhaps is it a circle¬—
Is that the ticket?
To circle through time?

To swing in the full of things
Hoping for more
Wishing to survive and to dive deeper
Into the blue
Into the ocean of time
Of life

Where does it start and where does it all end?

All today’s funerals… all tomorrow’s parties*

tangled fibers mixed with tousled emotions

i long to drink in a dark stream of pure water
to watch wild horses running across the plains

the loss of moral code makes everything relative
but inside my heart it is not so

red is red
and blue is blue
and i know you

so long the stars have linked us
it is not up to us to break the bond

the mind an unstoppable maze
in which the flowers of evil spread and bloom

can the core of beauty be re-established?
has unity been destabilized?

i long for the breadth of things
to be together
because of choice
ours

sounds become muffled
as do beliefs
in my dreams
i hear names called millions of times

i have repeated visions
rapping the inside of the hall to my brain

does it all have a meaning?
do things happen for a reason?

the world tumbling down the drain
like Alice down the rabbit hole

i want to be able
to look in your eyes and dream
to have faith in my visions
and to call them ours

i want your skin grafted on my nose
my geography navigated by yours

to hold the key to my heart
is heavy like water
and angels wings do not fear to tread

the key is heavy and leaden is the door

as i fear to look inside
purple clouds arise in gusts of doubt

can you hold the pebble of my life
in your hand without destroying it?

Atlantis sunk for the third time.
i know that the fourth it will drown forever,
sinking to the bottom of the sea.

* “All Tomorrow’s Parties”, The Velvet Underground