My Name

2013 copy

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.

Yesterday my name was mint leaf

Yesterday my name was mint leaf
Cool and crisp
An oasis in the turquoise stillness
The cries of the flycatcher above
In my pale green

Today my name is abyss
Wide and void over the wild expanse
A tornado cracking
Over the mouth of a volcano
Its molten center about to release
Destruction and creativity at the core

Tomorrow my name will be Shiva
Yellow in the noon hour
I cross the shadeless square
Holding the handle of my pistol cocked
Poised to take flight

My father called me Jesse
A bandit in making
Leaving me to unfurl
And shed the skins of experiences
Lives lived like indelible
Watermarks on the soles of my hide

My grandmother called me “gioia”
A joy to her heart
Her voice an echo in the sunny afternoon

Sometimes I was also the oximoric giant dwarf
An outgrown baby swathed in silly innocence

Today I look past the broken eggshell
At what lies ahead
Sifting seeds through my fingers
They are earthy and warm

The story is there to be told
Of the nameless mother who
Lost in time, forgot her story
And now it is ours to unravel
Through capsules of life
Ours and hers
In a mouthful of bliss and a tear of hope

Was the river flowing to hear my name

are the pebbles in the stream marked by time
is it sharp or soft
wet or dry
watery or grainy

swallow: perhaps my mind is the disc of the moon
the vitamin in the pantry, the reflection in the mirror
the hole where the lost key used to sit

smoke rings float with a bouncy swirl
into the night velvet black
plush blindness of sensing skin

maybe I forgot my lines
maybe my dreams are my fears
maybe you are my savior