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Thanksgiving, Gratitude and Whatever

Thanksgiving, gratitude

Whatever

This week

I sit and remember

The litany of what I have and hold

That so many will never see

The warmth

The shelter

The creamy bittersweet reishi-infused liquids cascading over tongue

The lack of pain

Or extreme imprisonment

The solitude

The health

The vehicle to transport me into varied realities of my choosing

The consciousness

To transform pain to blessing

Almost instantaneously

The wise, deep, cackling crone

Deep within, everpresent

The guides

The teachers

The plentiful food on my plate

The laughter

The sunrise

The immediate access to webbings of knowledge

The freedom to say

“I want a relationship

Where we’re aware and committed to

Working on our shit together”

And the self-love to not care

If the listener runs screaming haha

.

The voice

The sound

The art that now can come through unobstructed

Through this vessel

The witnesses, holding deeply

The love, the carved out

Empty full compassion pulsing

.

But

Whatever

What lies beneath

On this day of great trespassing

Aware of that too

Not gratefully bypassing

The millions of original beings

Paved over, passed over

Starved, forgotten, shackled

Extinguished, tricked, lied to

Forced to psychically submit

Gutted and soul starved

.

Healing the Soul Wound

Healing the Soul Wound

Healing the Soul Wound

Do we now see it?

Can this day be of gratitude

That we might just be seeing it

Grateful that the festering wounds

Repressed rage, bigotry

Unspoken for centuries

Are being released

Sometimes uncouth, often offensive

But released

Like Wednesday Addams, smiling

Match in hand

Thankful we can burn that old shit to the ground?

.

Thankful

We may be seeing the People

The human and non-human People

These beings, given Voice

Rising up

Transforming?

.

But

Whatever

Giblet laden gravies

Shimmering, reverberating

From distant relative argument

Over recent propositions

And how Sally should have never bought that car

And did you hear the price of gas

And how hard it is to build anything anymore

Without those codes gauging you

Lalala dancing words on aching surfaces

While Sally vomits in the bathroom

While Uncle Jim hides in the car

Taking another hit

To make it through

.

Whatever

Both eyes open

To my extreme Wealth

In contrast to many

As well as the bowed down

Hoping, praying, singing

To our seeing

To our healing

To our waking

.

Grateful

Thankful

Whatever

The Soul Wound

The Soul Wound

The Soul Wound

Featured

The Dance

There is a part

That wants to lay it all out before him

In fresh bloomings

Blow by blow

Intensity of the path she’s led

Situation after situation

Violation after violation

Allowance after allowance

Twisted shreds and fallouts

Visceral evidence of the place she stands

.

There is a wild, unbridled force

That wants to see his eyes

To feel his heart

To know his Truth

In the face of the litany

In the face of the pain

To see if he turns

To see if he shudders

To see if he

Stays

.

Hanging by slippery threads

On this fire escape ladder

It’s a long way down

If she surrenders to the fall

.

Scrambling

Anxious

Terror

Old, tattered parts come forward

Protect or die!

Protect or die!

Get it all over with, now

Show the portal he’ll enter

See his choice

With no delay

See if he’ll stay

Hoping he’ll go

To calm these demons

To calm these demons

.

This, of course, is such a metal way

Teeth dripping saliva

And balls to the wall

Go hard or go home

This part wants to live it

Speak it

Shove it

These rumblings have been waiting

These rumblings designed

To push away

.

And yet

Hidden, ephemeral

There is this other, more gentle force

Gentle, but not weakened

Gentle, but not naive

Gentle, and Knowing

Who appreciates

The Dance

.

She wants to unpeel, slowly

Revealing layer by layer

Watching his eyes

Feeling his breath

Tuning into the particles

As the skins gradually fall away

Microcosmic realities

Dancing, dreaming

Mysteries touching

At eonic speed

.

She is an old part

She is a deep part

The one who wants to witness his music

Deep bass resonance on golden crisscross strings

Who wants to hold the gentle fierce line

Of looking for hours into

Trailing light tendrils

Along shivering surface

Stepping back from this Mystery

Allowing space

A roaring, intimate silence

To hold the shimmering portals

Of beauty

And pain

Yet to become

.

She is an old part

She is a wise part

She is a deep part

This smiling-eyed Dakini

Will She have voice in the great trembling?

Will She stand, in her Love, gleaming?

Will She cradle the demons

While making room for the Other?

This time

The wildness

The fierceness

Channeled not to push away

But to slowly

Gently

Fiercely

Pull them into

The Dance

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Pain Body

There was one thing you said

(It actually pissed me off at the time)

That I now see is true

“There’s such an intense pain-body around you”

.

I dismissed it

As your rationalization, jab

For why I didn’t want to be involved

A unicorn dancing once more

In a loveless matrimonial tie

.

While perhaps that’s correct

While perhaps a wise woman sensing

The statement you hoisted

That statement is true:

I

Like so many

Have an enormous, unexplainable field

An invisible armor, always at the ready

To attack

Anything that comes in too close

And reminds of unconscious catastrophy

Its hairs bristle, teeth expose

Protecting, protecting

.

Unable to manage, primal

Mind goes murky, tongue ties

Frustration sets in

As I feel the rage of eons

Simmering, thrashing in my field

.

She roars, silent

Recounting unintelligible

Trauma chants

Pushing like the crown

Too large to exit the canal

Nowhere to go

Wailing

(External trained and unrevealing)

Against her ancestral cage

.

To hold and dismantle these plates

Requires more

And to this point

I’ve found nothing

I don’t want to be your mistress

Your fill-in, rebound lay

This same repeating pattern

Pulling me into its spiral

To learn over and over again

.

I bump against it, attempting

And am taken down repeatedly

I back away

I slither

Away from this gigantic roaring hoarde

Ignoring, avoiding

Ignoring, avoiding

In my temple

Of ritual and aloneness

.

Pretty good

At controlling

This pain body activation

Only marginally triggered by passersby

But when You come in close

When you completely step over Her line

(Most just avoid Her quills)

Here I am

Aware of Her pulsing, raging, fiery breath

Dominating and confusing reality

Taking over

Emanating miasmic sludge

My power lost, understanding decimated

Head hung low

Cup clanking on prison steel

Each time

She’s here waiting for me

For You

.

This pain body, hovering, enmeshed

Ironically

I’ve attended others’ for so long

But Her? Rarely do I hold Her, fully

Explore Her, listen to Her

How could I?

Like the Void, She’s massive and yet elusive

Nothing’s prepared me for this task

I stay safe, in patterns and routines

Of nun-monkhood

While She waits, simmering

Simmering

.

This Pain Body

When You come in close

When You completely step over Her line

(Most just avoid Her quills)

Here I am

Aware of Her pulsing, raging, fiery breath

Dominating and confusing reality

Taking over

.

It’s true

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A Ritual Of Death

Oh Great Ones

Well and healed lineages from Beyond

Help me, help me

To bring Death

.

Death to the old way

Death to the outworn patterns

Carving catabolic caverns in my heart

To the demons, circling

Ripping quivering potential

To shreds

.

O Great Ones

Well and healed lineages from Beyond

Help me craft, by candle

A ritual of their Death

.

A ritual of honor

Of the many ways they’ve served

Of the protection, shielding

I’ve needed for so long

The Old Ones, shrouding

I require you no more

It is time

.

Help me

Craft ritual of their sacred slaying

Psychopomps, I call you

To guide them Home

Beyond this body

Standing now, in safety

.

Oh Great Ones

Well and healed lineages from Beyond

Help me line the altar with silver blessings

To spread the path with dark kisses and heart

Sword gleaming, turning

Sending, parting

Across and through the veils

.

Help me

Help me let them

Help me let them

Help me let them die

Help me, release, return, unemcumber

These loyal soldiers

Give them honorable Death

So that I

May Live

.

Oh Great Ones

Well and healed lineages from Beyond

I am ready

I am willing

Like a great tree,

Sad to see its cloaking

Release

Sail

Fall

Die

Transform

Sad to see

This turning

Of such loyal, long time protectors

But knowing

Knowing

The time has come

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Our Raw Heart

A late afternoon beam

Trickles through the canopy

Glowing redwood remains

Hush splintered in our wake

You stop and listen

To the leaves, falling

And silence, unfamiliar

Smiles between us

.

Further into the canyon

Of waiting fern-graced water trails

Jaws wiggling, diaphragms dancing

You ask me to go deeper

.

The space I land is remarkable

With these wounds, this heart

And the leaves, they fall

Your depths emerging, extending

And then silence, smiling, returns

.

I hold myself

And my spirals

Re-storying grand illusions

Into beauty and hope

But somehow, in this reflection

With the leaves falling all around you

I hear myself, in new ways

.

Many years on the mountain

Conversing with spider and brook

I’ve forgotten the medicine

Of humans

I put my heart

Beating, pulsing, a beacon

Out in between these bodies

And oddly, it’s held

Invisible webbing emerging from two

Deep waters, much solitude

And a bubbling wisdom of Nothingness

I step closer

Into the spiral core

And feel

.

Perhaps, this heart ponders

It is possible

Two humans

Can heal

As the leaves fall

As the world crumbles

As the core of ourselves and all reality

Is pierced, composted, rearranged

Perhaps, this heart, laughing

Watches, waiting

As I manage to step closer

Into its beating, pulsing

Knowing

Of what’s been true

All along

.

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The Mother

Staring

At idealized images of your Love

I’m searching

Searching for the image, words

To describe the archetype

Of your dismembering embrace

.

The Mother

Quiet, inspiring teacher

Mistress of the inner realms

You

Were not Her

Or rather

You were Her

Reversed

.

Underworld

I seek the card for the Underworld

That of your smoke-shrouded throne

That of what hourly chants of death

Of haze filled raging

Pleas of victimhood

And bloody stomach incisions

Inspired, quietly

In these bones

.

This Mother

My Teacher

Upside down and hanging

Beneath the flowers

Beneath the waters

Beneath the calm, smiling Wand

Dripping in gore, ash

And decaying earth tendrils

Where is this Mother?

Not Death

But not Life

You who inspired, quietly

A passion

An obsession

A mission

To Die

.

The Mother

Mistress of internal Hell realms

The one who inspires

A twisted initiation

Quietly

By the life She “lives”

Surely

There’s a card

For

You?

.

Image credit: “Loki’s Brood” (1905) by Emil Doepler

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Father Earth

Father Earth

How I yearn for your eyes to pierce me

For your arms, warm and generous

To hold me

Father Earth

With your hearty laugh, your contribution to the Land

Despite the Tragedy, your utter enjoyment

Of this dear life, this dear animal body

Father Earth

How I yearn to feel you close, steady

To watch your attunement to the fields

To experience your resonation with Her cycles

Knowing when to seed

Knowing when to caress

Father Earth

You have seen much, and learned through your impulsiveness

Enough to be here, by the fire of your own temple

Father Earth

How I long to be with you

To truly absorb your vibration

This counter-cultural maturation

This example, shimmering

Father Earth

May I one day

Feel your staff in my hand

Your laugh in my jiggling belly

Your bountiful riches

Flowing through me to assist

Your court, safe and deep

.

Father Earth

How I yearn for your eyes to pierce me

For your arms, warm and generous

To hold me

And

To let my Priestess

Hold you

Inside

~Image credit: https://www.pyreaus.com/tarot/pyreaus_tarot_court_Disks_Prince.htm

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Brother Wind

Wind Brother

Brother Wind

Brother of the slashing sword

Slicing

Spinning

Sobbing

Amidst all of the noise

Universal Mind

Expansive

You who reach beyond, above

Yet unable

To form a plan

For your own, embodied life

.

Swirling

Spinning

Slashing

Holding back the darkness

Ideas, grand, so many

You cannot choose

You keep spinning

You keep slashing

You keep

Heaving

.

Wishing for calm

Wishing for the Core

Wishing to find your Way

To the soul heart

Your own Center

.

Body

That dear body

Carrying you

Carrying this electrified, pulsing antennae

It

Is calling you home

.

With pains, radiating

Below

In the very center of your being

Screaming

Pleading

For you to come down

For you to pay attention

For you to decide

.

Wind Brother

You are the lightning, brilliance

A champion to many causes

Aside from your own

.

Soul

Will you commit?

When

She asks

When She pleads

When She begs you, radiating

Will you come home

To be held

By Her

Center?

.

Brother Wind

Wind Brother

Brother of the slashing sword

May your power

Spiral inward

May your brilliance

Serve the soul

May your tired

And spinning

And slashing

And heaving

Heart

Come home

.

If you’d like to hear this poem recited aloud, go here: https://anchor.fm/raven417/episodes/Brother-Wind-e1oo7jv .

I suggest you gaze at the image while listening!

~Image credit: “Brother Wind” from Tarot of The Spirit by Pamela Eakins

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Watchtower

These walls, now empty

Nonetheless, have eyes

Thick, steel enforced…

Peering

Materially, since 1952

In the cold heart of war

.

These eyes

Looking out

Across ancient untouched lands

Midden, perhaps, bone laden

Dappled with quickly vanishing

Wallflower, Lupine, lizard

Peering

Across and through the great ventana

Over this deep and sacred canyon

.

Watching

Inward, observing

These eyes have seen so much

The drilling military

Preparing for interception

Pacing, plotting, planning

These eyes watch them, suspicious

Watching

Watching

The West

.

Inward, observing

These eyes witness

The transformation

To changed attention

A new war, perhaps

The countless hours

Of impassioned hands, minds

Amidst the hum of suburban expansions

Tireless calculations, analyzations

Of this great mystery beyond the shore

Hoping to know

Hoping to understand

How she breathes

How she swallows

How she creates

And decades later

Inward observing

These eyes watch

The rush of divers

Assembling for

The scouring

Of this same blue Mystery

Swallowing

The clues to Denver’s demise

.

These eyes look out, and behind

Over lands

Separated by thick concrete

Watching over the divide

At Hundreds of burials

Over Grieving, releasing

Citizens of place, the recent ancestors

Remembering, honoring

It watches

It watches

.

A short shadow in comparison

To the adjacent pulsing light

Guiding, protecting the sea

This atomic proof sentinel

Watches nonetheless

Unacknowledged

Over lands and hearts and species

Its gates, protecting

Cradling the lands of hummingbird

And the rough and sandy microcosmic

Worlds of dune

.

Watchtower

Did the land rise up to create you?

A result of thousands of years

Of ancient worship, community, respect

Of bare feet honoring these shores, that Mystery

Before the Fall

Did the land rise up to create you

Impenetrable, solid

To see

To hold

To be

To Protect?

.

Watchtower

Sentinel

Watching over me

As young child, exploring

Tiny plump hands, I grip your gate

Looking up

And wonder

Have you always been here

Watching?

Will you always be here

Watching?

Protecting?

.

Whether regarded

With the cloak of history

To these eyes

In her-story

You are seen

You will always be sacred

You will always be

The protector, and perhaps someday teacher

Of these lands

The fortress

Now graced with the eyes of the Ocean

In her-story

You

Will always be

The

Watchtower

.

Thanks for tuning in to this series of poems honoring the NOAA building in Pacific Grove, CA. If you’d like to hear this poem recited, you can find an audio version here:

https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/GPYglr5jEtb

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Toes

Chubby toes

Squirming in the tiny particles of dune

She giggles, warmed

Eyes raised to the

Shrill call of the overhead gull

.

Mother, at a distance yet here

Beneath and between these toes

She feels held

By the microcosmic worlds

Scratching between

Brushing over

A fair and childhood skin

.

Glancing, searching back

To uncertain ties

Her chubby toes take her forward

She the great adventurer

She amongst vast nature, calling

.

Coastal dune scrub

Sedge meadows

Salt grass flats

Iceplant figflesh squeezing between fingers

The large cement fortress, the castle

She smells, she tastes, she listens

.

She doesn’t know the names 

Of these beings

Of these worlds

Of the creepy crawlies working in the sands

She, an adventurer with chubby toes

.

She doesn’t know the bones

That lie beneath her

The fractured history 

Of peoples long forgotten

Or the quickly dissolving presence

Of lupine

And wallflower

Of bluebird

And perhaps, Cypress

She only touches, smells, hears

She only trusts

.

She doesn’t know

Its as if they will last forever

She, so small, cradled by their largeness

Ancient, pulsing, alive

She feels it all around her

And between 

.

She doesn’t know

She looks forward

To this ancient pulsing

To this web

Holding her

Being here

Forevermore

She doesn’t know

And she looks back towards her mama

That painful tie

And is grateful for this holding

Certain, generous, nourishing

She trusts

It will be here, forevermore

.

These chubby toes

Inside, grip the Shell avenue shag in fear

Alone and rocking

But here, outside

Her mama, soft and forgiving

This castle, mysterious

This ancient, pulsing 

Web

Holding her

Forevermore?

.

Chubby toes

Squirming in the tiny particles of dune

She giggles, warmed

Eyes raised

To the shrill call of the overhead gull

Mother, at a distance yet here

Beneath and between

These toes

.

If you prefer to hear this poem spoken out loud, join me here for a listen: https://anchor.fm/raven417/episodes/Toes-e1o38sa

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Initiation: A Spoken Word Podcast

Greetings! Just wanting to share that I have begun to pay attention to the part of me that really wants to share my poetry verbally and with music accompanying it. There are only a few poems recorded on the Anchor podcast site, but I aim to add more each week. I also aim to use my own music versus the canned, but for now its pretty groovy to have such an easy option. If you are interested in tuning in, the site is below and I will also be linking at the end of my written posts if there is an associated recording. Enjoy if it aligns!

https://anchor.fm/raven417

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Likes

It starts with an idea

A giggle

A smile

She thinks of ways to capture, describe

She thinks of the simple joy

Of sharing

.

Or perhaps

She thinks

Her ideas, profound

Healing, helping

Needed

.

Yet underneath

A shadow, nervously paces

Does this not grow at the root of things?

Acceptance by tribe?

Will she be run out

Shamed

Ostracized to empty, dry deserts

Hung from barren branches

Left to rot

Picked apart by beak and claw?

.

Or will she be welcomed, celebrated

Will she

In this big bad world

Have the networks

To survive

.

Shallow

Yearning for your hearts

But ultimately, it’s reason

Just another version

She’s a puppet

To ancient, gossamer feelings

Mycelial

Connect me

The desires are primal

The desires are real

.

She’s posted, laughing

But

After a moment

One moment

A breath

The Silence…

Now

The pacing

Her racing

Heart

Begins

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

**If you’d like to check out my first endeavors with creating a podcast with my poetry find it here: https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/BiLo7d1s5sb

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Imaginary

What the hell am I doing here

With these see-thru hands

She asked herself this question

Over and over again

Imagining some day

She’d actually feel real enough

To know the answer

.

Class after class after class

Accolade after accolade

And rarely, another’s skin to confirm

Always

She came back to this feeling

This question

This ephemeral evanescent vapor

Her mind and body seemed to be

.

What am I doing here

With these see-thru hands

She asked herself this question

Over and over and over again

Imagining some day

She’d actually feel real enough

To know the answer

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Magical Child

She came into this world

Full of dreams

Fairies in the concrete

Spirits in the bog

Images on the screen encouraged her

Everything around her was alive

Except

For her mother

.

Now that was a strange blip in the equation

She

Her mother

Was dead

.

Well, not really

She walked and talked and stuff

But the light

The light

Was gone

.

There was a hollow

Inside of her

Something even the most powerful wizard

Could not reach

But even this

Became part of the fairy tale

The sleeping dragon, the Dark Witch

For awhile

She made it all

Make sense

.

At decade’s crossing

Theta slowly fading

Suddenly the whole world became grey

The fairies retreated

The spirits, unable to compete

All grew quiet in that magical land

.

As if a veil was lifted…

Or perhaps, applied…

.

And she was left

With the cold reality

Of heaving

Bearing the grief, the suffering, the hopelessness

Of everything around her

Instead

.

It didn’t take long

For the child to grow sleepless

And searching

Yearning

She found a portal

To make it all go away

.

A portal of daring

A portal of transcendence

A portal of rebellion

A portal of

Maybe if I just do this

I will see them

I will feel them again

.

Searching

Yearning

Numbing

Tripping

Starving

Wrathchild

Probing for a portal

Maybe I will see them again

.

This magical child

Born with dreams in her eyes

Searching

Probing

Doing whatever it took

To feel them, again

To be on that edge, again

To pierce into that world, again

To not have to carry, anymore

.

That magical child

She, with a fervor

Aimed

Even

If they said

It would kill her

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Class

The time is now

The place is here

There are teachers all around you

Lessons unfolding in the flat tire

The nightmare

The deep love

The lost job

The constant nagging pain in the root of things

You

Are already in the class

.

No need to sign up for fancy trainings

You live in a training of how to unlearn old trainings

Just by waking up

Breathing

Stepping out into your day

You are already in the class

.

If you wish, you can continue

Spending spending to get somewhere you’re not

Entertaining, and for some, necessity

But remember

You

Are already in the class

.

The time is now

The place is here

There are teachers all around

(And inside)

Of you

.

Listen

Take notes

Don’t go back to sleep

Everything

Is speaking

For you

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Sounds of the Abyss

Droning, rhythmic

Stretching out the empty in my mind

Turning, molding, wailing

These unspeakable chasms that linger within

Rooting prone-to-wither tendrils

Magnetic, pulling under

Into deep soil, reminding

Remembering

.

And sly smiles

They creep onto my mask

Familiar only to my intersecting horror

The Darkness, arises such strange joy

.

These days, taken medicinally

And often, alone

Sometimes through these fingers

I’m grateful

And always reminded

Of the sonic elixirs

That freed me, held me

Throughout the heartbreaking, terrifying

Stripping, unbecoming

The solve et coagula

Time and time again

These sounds

These sounds of the Abyss

My Abyss

Plucking

Reminding

Reminding

Laughing

Laughing

Laughing

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Bones

~image of National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration property in Pacific Grove, CA

The bones of my grandmother

The bones of my grandfather

The bones of the Esselen

The bones of the Ohlone Costanoan

The bones of the Rumsen

Land

This land tilled, taken

Our ancestors still lie, together

Coastal, beauty

Country club laughter

Ignorance

Of what lies beneath

.

Hundreds of years ago

Spanish grants

Relocating the rooted

Tortured and “cultured”

In sandy walls deemed holy

Still I remember the echoing bells

And fascination of child eyes

Strolling

Through the mission

On Sunday afternoons

.

Now

Called back here

By tribe, ally

To these same sandy dunes

Hundreds of years later

The bones are in danger

.

Standing on

Contested land

Broken treaties, how does this still go on?

I lean in

Across lichen laced barriers

Spirits of Hummingbird, Yarrow

Speaking

.

Don’t act

Just listen

Don’t act

Just listen

Don’t act

Just listen

.

Whose voice?

My grandmother

My grandfather

Ancient peoples?

My Self?

Who calls me?

Who speaks to me?

Can I ever really know?

.

Ancestors

Well and healed ancestors

Why am I called back to this land

Where I look to the right

Under manicured lawn

European privileged kin

And to the left

Through chainlinks

The untouched dunes in danger

With your bones

With their bones

With our bones

How do my bones

Holding me tall

Tend

.

The waves crash

And I pray

And silence is all there is

As I stand here

On top of bones

Original bones

Beneath Cypress-studded vastness

Ancient grounds

That may not last

Much longer

.

Do I really

Just

Listen?

.

This poem was inspired by the recent contested sale of the NOAA building in Pacific Grove, CA. For more information on this issue you can go here: https://www.change.org/p/jimmy-panetta-rededicate-the-noaa-building-in-pacific-grove-for-the-public-benefit/u/30678313

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Witch

Four hundred years later

The General appears

At first taken by her, giddy

He leaves gifts and poetry at her door

.

Not especially interested, but clarified

She nods kindly, shows him the gate

Her boundary

And sees him on his way

.

Yet she senses something coming

Murky tendrils weaving, invisible

As he looks back, a subtle leering

Rippling the quantum, rippling

.

She’s wondering

Whether to prepare or forget

Defense has long worn out its usefulness

She puts

Her sword down

.

Over time

The notes keep appearing

The gifts somehow making their way

Across the gate, the line

Subtle,

Cloaked in saccharine

.

She realizes the need

She stands at her doorstep

She waits for him

And when he appears

She looks into his dream-filled eyes

And draws out

Her blade

.

She clarifies

She slices through

The thick projective miasma

She points its tip at each stake

Of her picket

She calls him

To look

.

Woozy, smirking

His gaze wafts playfully

Down

He sees it, eyes widening

This gate

As if for the first time

And realizes his slumber

.

Embarrassed, he steps back

And away

She remains

Watching

As his body pivots and strides

Fake confidence towards his city

This time the leer

Has turned cold

Something’s coming

She knows

.

Next morning sunshine

Greets her

A soft fur winding against her leg

And she walks to the gate, curious

Of the note tacked upon it

She pulls off the memo

And feels its searing

She drops it

Watching it fall to the cool earth

.

Crouching, wary

She reads the now dampening parchment

Not too surprised to see

WITCH

Emblazoned upon it

And lengthy explanations

Of her wily ways

Of deceiving and be-spelling

.

Saddened, she knows him

This General’s story

Of tending his own Anima

Cruel and illusory

Suicidal and death dealing

His own loving

Entwined with the torture he served

.

This story, it keeps repeating

It is his, it is hers

.

She pierces the memo

The tip of her sword saves her

She brings the burning accusal

Walking, sword outstretched down the roadway

To a small clearing in the wood

.

Here a brook babbles

And hawks sing

And she sets a space

And she calls to the wise ones

And she gathers the waters

And she hums

.

Here, she immerses

The age-old fires

Of trauma, projection and cruel self-story

Into rock’s crevice, holding

Waters trickling from her hands, heart

Waters holding, cleansing for a better way

Washing her past, his

Tending the blood wounds seeking

Mouths hungry to be healed

She offers, she offers

Iron Goddess of Mercy

Iron Goddess of Mercy

.

She sits

And waits

Letting the sunlight peeking sparkle

Upon the cleansing pooltide

With the pain

And sorrow dissolving within

Knowing her hands, her mind

Indeed offer healing

To re-member

To re-story

To let the old die

To create space

For the new

.

Hawks circling

Cries piercing the air

Holding her

Sonic, salving the lineages

With their love

She knows not

What may come

Of the General

But dirt beneath her toes

And wind against her skin

She holds clearly

What she knows

She is

.

Featured

Cold Case

~Cold Case~
By raVen lakins

Thirty years ago
A gun flew through the
Night air
Wiped clean
The grip
Still warm
From frenzied
Discharge

Its body
Landing amongst
Innocent carousel brambles
Hidden, hidden

Like a ghost
He’s gone
Although surely
Something pierced through
Surely something
Ripped open his aorta
And led to a mother
Kneeling
Keening
Roaring
In a cold hospital atrium
As the koi flipped and swished
In its chlorinated pool

Like a ghost
He’s gone
Both perpetrator
And perpetrated
Poof

Is
It
Just
A
Dream?

Thirty years later
Still, no one’s found him
And I wonder if he’s living
A stunted, child possessed
I wonder if he holds this
Hidden, hidden
Or if he’s died
By his own hand
Never being
Truly found

Hidden, hidden
Like my deepest rage
Like my
Orphaned
Hollow
Resistant
Aorta

Like this
Heavy
Heaving
Grief

Thirty years later
It remains cold
Still no one’s found him
And the Wolfman’s
Ashes
Have gone
To the wind

~Written for “Justice: Sisters of The Holy Pen” edited by Pamela Eakins

Spoken Word version available at: https://anchor.fm/raven417/episodes/Cold-Case-e1nlm2s

Featured

Death Lodge

How shall we begin?

We begin

At the end

The end of all which needs to die

The end

Of the beginning

.

She doesn’t stare straight at me

But I know, I know

She’s calling

Pay attention, She says

It is time

To die

.

Now I’ve heard this before

She’s no stranger in these parts

But as always, when She speaks

I listen

.

Such an odd concept

To have to die

To live

To have to let go of it all

In order to truly embody

.

Listening, I’m listening

But I

Am confused

So many layers already shed

What more do I have to release?

The traditional path

Identity, belongings, desires

Already decomposing miles back

On this Wanderer’s road

.

So I ask Her, humbly

As I accept my place in the Death Lodge

What else is there to lose?

And of course

I know, I know

There is always another layer

Hiding

.

What then, is this layer

I cannot drum it up from my mind

I look around me blankly

And the only thing I can do

Is ask

The only think I can do

Is listen

The only thing I can do

Here in this Death Lodge

Is open to the Way

The Way hiding

The tendrils grasping

The deep and precious rootlets

That don’t want to be seen.

Way beneath, in this colonized earth

Lurks these questions

Lurks these answers

Lurks these ancestral memories

Traumas

Waiting

.

Here in the Death Lodge

Cailleach laughing

She tells me not to worry

She tells me, simply

To ask

To listen

And to begin

.

~Image https://www.elitarotstrickingly.com/blog/the-tarot-of-eli-the-druid-craft-tarot-key-13-death-and-the-thoth-tarot-atu depicting “Death” from The Druid Craft Tarot by Philip Carr-Gomm.

Featured

In Flames

Five years passed

Since I sat watching

The face that raised me

Propped, cardboard prosthetics

Forming strange countenance

Ready to go

.

Strange too, this feeling

You, in a box, ready

And me, watching

The face that raised me

Ready to go

Into flames

.

These were your wishes

Decided, after all, naked

And following, swallowed

Swallowed by the great one

Countered with brine

.

Strange though it was

To sit by you, watching

Floating, still shaken

Flowers ’round your head

The caked foundation

Hastily applied

Over fake arches

And greying mottled skin

Pretty, they tried to make you

Smiling, they tried to mold you

Strange, almost laughing

Darkness peeking through

.

Sitting there, watching

You in a box, naked

Ready

Into flames

The face that raised me

I remember

I remember

Mussels in seaweed

I finally let the last of you

Go

Featured

~Questing~

Vision

Vision, Quest

Vision Questing for a Vision

.

Crying

Crying, Quest

Crying Questing for a Vision

.

Fasting

Fasting, Quest

Fasting Questing for a Vision

.

Fasting

Fasting?

Does this shadow hold the keys?

Full participation

In village witness

Ceremonial holding

Mythological re-weaving

Does this shadow hold the keys?

.

Far off in dusty deserts

This rite beckons

But not now, not yet

For now, it is receiving

.

Receiving

Receiving, Quest

Receiving as Questing for a Vision

Fullness

Fullness, Quest

Fullness Questing for a Vision

Sitting with waves of terror

Receiving, not fasting, cracking open

Feeding, ceremony

On wild lands, hawk and vulture witness

Sitting out, sitting in

Circle, Utiseta

.

Utiseta, faring forth

Journeying, singing ancient emblems

Into Winds

With fullness, receiving

With pleasure, receiving

With sacred witness, receiving

Midnight forests holding me

.

Sitting out

Taking in

Singing out

Receiving

Fullness

Receiving

Whispers

Receiving

Lightning

Vision

Vision

.

Questing

Featured

Freedom

She rises, arms outstretched

A bright beam penetrates the pane

Lap warming

A moment, with feline vibrations

Soft fur, gliding beneath palm

Transitioning, transitioning

Breath

Dream to waking

.

A vision emerges, the image nation beckoning

A purpose, a plan, a grand plot for the day

It fills her with Fire, an excitement for living

To do this one thing, this one thing

In the minutes of the sun

.

Hand gliding

Across feline vibrations

All mindforms redirect to this creation

And a deep sigh comforts for what is beyond

She pauses, she opens, she forms

.

Without deliberation, she’s now in the kitchen

Feeling into what deliciousness can be received, as fuel

Her senses guide her, plump peaches gleam

The cool, smoothness of vanilla to greet them

She feels, with her mind

A dancing across her tongue

.

Instantaneous

Without deliberation

She’s pulling them close, plopping and slicing

Swirling admiration of how chunk and silk and silver

Arrange in vessel

.

Together, inside her, without deliberation

A deep sigh comforts for what is entering

Fuel for the larger, the beyond, that which keeps beckoning

The vision, beyond, this sense explosion

Calls to her

.

Satiation guides, and she rises

Now letting the cool water trickle over

Clearing, clarifying the weighty brown ceramic

The spoon

Gleaming, gleaming in her wet hands

.

And pulsing, now, stronger

The visions, grand purpose

Call her, undeniable strength

Away from the kitchen

She knows not when she’ll return

She trusts it

And full belly moves into

Manifesting the dream

.

The sensation explosion

Controlling, plotting, leading into, moving out of

No longer is all that matters

The visions, grand purpose

Calls her, undeniable strength

Away from the kitchen

She knows not when she’ll return

The feline, vibration, reminds her

She trusts it

And full belly moves into

Manifesting the dream

Featured

~Messenger~

Somedays I feel you

So close

Soft, ancient feathers inside thighs

We’re soaring, lightning

From Mystery to Manifest

Vibrations, great warbles

Shudder through my casing

My fingers, gripping

Ever fearing the end

.

Riding, this fire

Mouth open

I remember aliveness

I remember purpose, initiatic

I remember voice, cawing

I remember…alive, clear

.

This

So unlike the Darkness

The stillness

Etheric goo of Void

More often than not

My thighs feel Nothing

Aside from the air

Hovering, directionless

.

There, more often than not

Is vast, open, empty space

Potential, and

Mystery

With no function

In such embodied worlds

.

Hovering, this potential

Yearns for your feathers

Pressing between me, inside

To ride, to become

To carry this Mystery, on lightning

Skilled

To its place in the world

Reception, form, purpose, home

.

Ten stations, looming

And dull eggtooth

Pecking

Thickness overwhelming

And aching

To ride you

Sounding Mystery

Sounding Message

Riding, lightning

Messenger

Messenger

Messenger

Come

Featured

Returning

Returning, returning

Always keep returning

To the scene of the crime

Struggling

Scraping

Thrashing

Pressing

Wailing

Against these walls

.

For a moment or two

The box becomes bigger

And ahhhh, sigh…..

.

But returning

Returning

At some point always

Returning

To the scene of the crime

.

Commonly, to push through

Ensures probable long-term

Shifting

Perseverance, toughness

Not letting walls win

.

Unsuccessful, upon pressure

Over and over

Returning

Returning

Always returning

Unsuccessful,

Lurching in abysmal hopelessness

.

Returning, another round

Broken, open

Tools, spent

The question starts forming

Why

Does this body

Want to go back?

Spirals, spiraling

Years of pursuit and defeat

And now

The question

Is there wisdom in the

Returning

Is there wisdom in the

Struggle

Is there wisdom, hidden

In the symptom of return?

Turning towards

Instead of pushing forward

The question, holding

The question, exploring

The question, honoring

The question

Asking

Why do you keep returning?

Why do I keep returning?

Is there a who, urging returning?

Same numbers

Same boxes

Same terror

Hovering ’round

The scene

Of the crime

.

Returning, returning

Spiral, spiraling

Wisdom, not pushing

Wisdom, turning into

Wisdom, asking

Wisdom?

Asking

Asking

Returning

Returning

Returning

Featured

Sisters

Slowly, like moon emerging from cloudy bank

They came

Circling, circling, circling me

In their Love

Out from weathered, beaten cold

The Badlands, wandering

Androgeny outcast always thought I’d be

Never had I known the medicine

Of sisters

Circling, circling, circling me

In their Love

A silent Love

A listening Love

A knowing Love

A sometimes screaming, dancing, howling Love

Here, no answers

Here, no fixing

Here, no labels

Here, in their Love

Tomboy, trying to make it alone

Whittled down, rascally

Trying…to become a man?

Connection never found

Odd one in the mosh pit

Odd one in the catty conversations

Trying

Trying

Finding home

Only in deep forests, outside

But here, in their Love

I was surprised to find

Human eyes holding me

How could eyes hold me?

To depths I’d never felt

With understanding I’d never felt

Woman

The power of deep Woman

Medicine holding me

Circling, circling, circling me

In their Love

In Her Love

To whatever conjured

Finding the Sisters

And

Sisters finding me

I am forever grateful

For their remembering

I am Woman

Circling, circling, circling

Medicine

Deep forest

In Her Love

Featured

Coverage

the System says

everything’s okay

how is it then

i feel like i’m dying

.

invisible pain, from waking til rest

extreme anxiety and overwhelm

at each new turn

tossing turning

every single night

terrors of vision

haunting me

a small, small life

squeezing

empty

and dry

.

the System says

everything’s okay

no signs on the screen

how is it then

i feel like i’m dying

.

past experience shows

emergency begets real help

i know how to do emergency

i need real help

but do i have to create emergency

again

to get it?

how i yearn for

the level of care

the level of seriousness

the level of focus

the level of support

the level of transformation

the level of

Coverage

that emergency seems to yield

.

but i don’t want to do this anymore

this starving, torturing of dear body

just to get 

to this level

just to qualify

for this level

how can i

access this level

without

bringing myself to emergency?

surely there must be another way

its the only way this psyche knows

and so it expresses

to the System, hoping

.

but please

tell me there’s another path

to address this feeling

to address this suffocating

to address this pain

to address this 

dying

to get Coverage

than to put myself

through the crucifixion 

again

so they 

will see

.

is it me

or is it the System

that creates such a desperate need

to qualify

for Coverage

((a note from the Underworld times))

Featured

Knocking, Reversed

The vibrations, jarring

(I don’t want to do this again)

Knocking

Knocking

Knocking

Same story, same outcome

They’re always trying to use the System

Knocking

Knocking.

.

She, she’s knocking, I know that vibration

(I don’t want to do this again)

Open, I see you

Rage, like lightning, bolts through

Attacking, jousting

All I want to do is slay.

Slay that demon inside you

Wake you up from that dream

Get you off your sorry-ass victim horsey.

Usually, I win

Usually, I penetrate

Usually, I hear my voice echo, triumphant

Over yours

Smaller

So much

Smaller.

But this time

(I don’t want to do this again)

You’re not responding

You’re not fighting

You’re not reacting

This, this seems to be a different kind

Of demon

And I look in your eyes

And you look into mine

And I don’t know who is what

And my voice cracks

And I stumble.

Remembering, quickly remembering

I shore myself up

And pretend

But you standing

But you looking

But you, curling hand back to heart

Staring

Something is different.

My heart hurts

And I feel very strange

But I know what I have to do

And read off of

The system generated steps

The typical offered plan.

I’m thankful for this script

As my center is evaporating quickly

My tower crumbling

(I’m a good builder so I quickly replace the bricks)

But you standing

But you turning

But you, not fighting

I’ve forgotten what’s next

I just watch you walk away

I just watch you walk away

I just watch you walk away

And try to forget

I don’t want to do this again

Featured

Knocking

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Limping, exhausted, overwhelmed

I arrive at your door

Again.

I’ve stayed away from this portal

As for so many years

Over and over

When it opens,

It hurts.

This door of “healing”

Systemic scientifically proven

Cold lenses full of

Twisting realities

Shaming

Preconceived notions

Tales of resistance and

Non-compliance

Before

I say

A word.

I’ve been trying to find my way out here

Alone

Amongst the wind

Amongst the death

Amongst the hopelessess, terror and fear

Amongst this collective self-destruction

I’ve been trying

Trying to see myself anew

Trying to see this world anew

Trying to hold hope, shining

That really, there’s something sacred going on

That really, with faith, we can make magic

That really, these wounds are teachers

Showing us the way home

If we could listen.

If we could listen.

I’ve been grateful

I’ve been in surrender

I’ve adapted

To the incredibly tiny trauma world

That keeps me, and perhaps you, safe.

But now the nightmares

Now the pain

Now the plummeting evidence of lifeforce

Declining earth within me

Stares back, gaping.

Now, body revolting

Now, soul refusing

This cage, ancestrally repeating.

I know what will help me

The vastness, potential of deep soma, holding

Facing terror with arms around me

But lacking privilege

I turn to the only source I can afford

Hoping

Hoping

This time it will be different.

I pray to the invisible potentials

To show me something different

To open me to something new

To help me stretch beyond my assumptions

Of what I will be met with.

I show up at your door

Limping, exhausted, overwhelmed

Frustrated at my own failed heartful attempts

Frustrated that the spiral keeps spinning

That my mind keeps collapsing

Frustrated that I’m here, again.

Knocking,

The door opens

You stand there

And instead of holding

Instead of asking

Instead of listening

Once again

You hold out your list

And begin to remind me

Of the mistake you see me as

Of all of my failures

Of what I should have done

Could have done

Were I really “ready.”

My mouth opens

My voice tries to speak

My fires try to rise, defending

This wounded one, returning

But blankness prevails

Although simmering beneath

Silence prevails

All I can hear is the next item

On your system-generated list

My hand retreats

From its hopeful opening

Back into my chest

Curled inward.

At least this time

My frozenness thaws

So I can see

So I can see your heart, broken

Your wildness, shackled

Your soul, grieving

So I can see,

And finally walk away.

Turning,

Away from knocking,

I step out of the stream of your misery

And back into my own Love

Ever-searching

Again.

Featured

Testing, Testing…1,2,3

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Crumpled and tiremarked

A disposable mask flutters across the road

Opened tubes, drop laden cartridges

Overflow receptacles

Another swab, another swirling of saliva

Another

15 minutes

.

Another, grateful, sigh of relief

.

Grateful for this privilege, time, communication

Grateful for science

And for possibly true proof

That restrictions will not descend

That health is clear

.

Possible, only possible

Attempts

Attempts

To understand

Mysterious illusory possible truths

Ones worth fighting for

Ones worth suspecting for

Ones worth judging for

In three drops

In 15 minutes

All these etiquettes

All these plastic remains

All these flattened, discarded shields

Blowing across highways

.

Another illness, another industry

.

Possible, only possible

Sighs of (naive?) relief

Hope

Gratitude

And rumbling paradoxical questions

Of control

Of illusion

Of industry

Of privilege

Of truth.

Questions in

15 minutes,

Waiting.

Grateful,

And questioning.

And testing…

Testing…

1,2,3

Featured

Shutdown

Photo by omar alnahi on Pexels.com

It doesn’t take much these days

Oh were we back in the olden times

Where choices and new adventures

Brought excitement

Giddiness

Joy

Where choices and new adventures

Didn’t just collapse her

Today, she stands at the refrigerator

Yearning for a way out

But choosing

The Same

.

Its an over and over again thing

The thing that keeps her safe

Safe

But

Nearly

Dead

Ironic, that

What once was crafted for safety

Now imprisons her

High above, crumbling

Standing at the edge, frozen

Standing at the refrigerator, frozen

Standing in the face of

His pulsing and

Unexplainably overwhelming

Energy, frozen

Standing before the page of purposeful, frozen

Standing before the questions, frozen

Standing before the gaping maw

The Invitation of her life,

Her one precious life, frozen

Again

She chooses the same

Where less always makes it better

Just to thaw a little

Does she

Really

Have

Control?

.

He asks her

Unconscious, profession

What’s wrong with you

And she replies

Everything

But Nothing to be put into words

For your system to compute

And come to tidy conclusions

That exist manually, chemical

.

Everything is wrong

Despite emergency lacking

And what she needs is support

To find the voice within the terror

Within the Shutdown

Digging way deep

And perhaps far back

Cradled

Beyond what meds can do

.

To finally find Her

And where she’s been

Frozen

For so long

The collapse of mind

The mush of executive function

The wordless, stammering

The blankness, the blankness

Everything is wrong

But Nothing to be put into words

But Nothing that fits into old paradigms

But Nothing to be medicated

Frozen

Again

.

A Shutdown

Its the only clue, left without crumbs

How then

Will She

Ever

Be found?

Featured

Spring

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

Why commit, she asks

Again?

Why push through obstacle

Beating sun, erratic rain, whipping wind

Beady-eyed Invaders and

The threat of those who may

Cut me down

Hacking through essential limb

All that time it took to grow!

Again

Why commit?

To opening tender, hidden center

Unfurling, reaching, receiving

Again

Why invite

Pollinators

Who dance with temporary passion

In heated summer mirage

Why

Commit

Again?

To this extraordinary

Alchemy

This focus of all lifeforce

Risen, pushed forth, creation

Expressed…Exhausted?

Over and over and over

This cycle

Why commit?

To emerge from safety of root and bud

Knowing

Again

It will grow cold

And this form

Will die

Dissolving back into Void

So far away from Sun’s garden

Hanging

Knowing

Again

It will

All

Return

To

Zero

Why commit?

To this great and effortful creation

Again

This great reaching out

Into material physicality

Again

Does the Springtime ask?

Again?

Does the bud

Remember

The

Zero?

Featured

Luminations

Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

Actually, She’s always full

Only choosing to lift Her skirt

To show us the meaning of Time

Laughing

.

Bathing under ever-present

Full and glory glow

Run rampant with climax

She knows, She knows

.

She knows our hands

Need tempering

Our wild mind wolf soul

Needs titration

The lucky

The lucky

The lucky

Can follow

.

Actually

Her ever-present fullness

Unseen

She knows

She knows

When Void will deepen us

When the knife will push us on

When the contrast

Of sparkling nightime oceans

Will give us strength

And awe

To continue

As our tears, begging

Dissolve into sand

.

Light and Dark

She’s all of this

Always

.

What we see is another

And Her magic

Her rhythms

Her wise coy reveal

Always, actually

She’s full

.

And with Her magic

We learn

How to Be

With the fullness

And the emptiness

Of the everything

And the nothing

And the in between

And the question echoes we hide,

The terrifying disappearances

Floating, thrashing

Desperate for core

She knows

She shows

This

That we truly are

Always

Featured

A Sense of Comfort, Pt. 2

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

The warmth of sun

Graces

Sneaking leftover pastries of wealthy

Chocolate milky coffee silkness across tongue

Glass latte mug, smooth on palm

Bubbly effervescence ale

Clamoring dishes, hearty laughter

His hand on mine

His eyes on mine

His breath on neck

Darkness around me

Leathers and blacks and chains

Deep bass pulsing

Electric vibrations squealing

Bodies smashed and circling

Collective roaring, thousands

Viking hair brushing skin, ancestral

Dancing body, drunken

His kiss, in haze

Papers, goals, shuffling in fingers

The sound of pen scribbling

Kitten fur velvet on cheek

Fabrics variety, costuming skin

Sliding on identities

Rough taffeta, smooth polyester, heavy

Vinyl

Eyeliner tip on lid, transforming

Wine, astringency puckering and calming undefinable terrors

Neon shadows furry desert dances

Fishnet leg over lap

Sunrise rooftop afterglow

Tiny gelatin circumferences, azure and cream

Resting in shamed and methodical palm

Odorous vapors rising in dry heat of trail

California sage, Manzanita holding

Bright blue contrasting desert dust

These eye portals

Eggy brunches and green tea

Cool shade air under pine forest canopy

A place of purpose, embracing

Until there was none

.

Ancient drumbeat earskin

Elders voices tendrils re-minding

Diagnosis aura crumbling

Terror, excitement mingling

Sweaty bodies lodges, chanting

Kachina dreams

Re-membering

Re-membering

Re-membering

Featured

Food Memories Hits The Shelves!

Pardon me for interrupting this regularly scheduled program, but I’ve to announce…Food Memories is in a real live bookstore! This is The Kingfisher Bookstore in Coupeville, WA where the virtual has become reality:

Meg and Brad Olson, owners. Neil Gaiman on shelf :}}
Photos from Carolyn Tamler article in Whidbey Local:https://www.whidbeylocal.com/article/view/2615///the-kingfisher-bookstore-in-downtown-coupeville-has-doubled-its-size-providing-an-even-greater-selection-and-space-for-events

This is so exciting. Said bookstore has arranged a book signing for me to enact my author identity with others…and I love a good role-play :}. I’m also honestly nervous to becoming more visible as the author behind this book…but I’m giving it the good ol’ heave ho. The soul creation that is this memoir deserves it from me.

I am also incredibly grateful for this unexpected opportunity and look forward to meeting the Coupeville community that is welcoming me. You can read more about The Kingfisher Bookstore here: https://www.whidbeylocal.com/article/view/2615///the-kingfisher-bookstore-in-downtown-coupeville-has-doubled-its-size-providing-an-even-greater-selection-and-space-for-events to find out about the deliciousness they’re brewing up (Coupeville = filming location for Practical Magic).

So stay tuned folks, I’ll be headed to Coupeville/Whidbey Island to accomplish this task next week and may have more of the adventure to share!

If you’re not familiar with the book I’m mentioning, here’s additional information:

From the back cover:

“In this deeply moving and honest memoir, successive food memories take us on a journey through the author’s struggles, joys and ultimate awakening to her relationship with food and body. In her narrative, Reagan forms a provocative question: ‘What if the symptoms of an eating disorder and of depression can ultimately be something sacred? Not something to fight against but instead one to learn from and work with as a teacher?’

If you have struggled with food and body and found yourself wondering if there is something more to the wrestling; if you have been in recovery and found yourself caught in reoccurring symptoms you know have deeper meaning, these words may meet you. They may also challenge you. Recall, and perhaps re-write, your own story of food and body issues in ways you never imagined as you read along. Come, step into Reagan’s journey…and understand your own.”

Reader Feedback:

“In this heartfelt and creatively arranged memoir, Reagan takes the reader inside her life-long relationship with an eating disorder. Her journey gradually unfolds, refolds, unfolds, and refolds through poetry, reflection, and powerfully rendered memories of eating. More than a recovery story, Food Memories is a thoughtful exploration of how to care for ourselves in the midst of pain and loneliness, and welcome our “dis-ease” as a soulful path of transformation. Honest, brave, and illuminating.” ~T.H.

“The tales and the writing in “Food Memories” are not only joyful, at times sorrowful and intriguing to absorb, the experiences shared here about first-hand experiences with the nuances around food and eating and the struggles as well as the triumphs are artfully rendered and reflected upon. This book helped me connect with deeper layers of my own challenges with food and I heartily recommend it to others who want to find deeper perspective on eating, food and ways to work with these in fresh ways.” ~C.C.

“A disciplined and visceral memoir covers the authors journey with anorexia from childhood through her ongoing struggle to understand the messages of her body. These vignettes offer insights into the state of mind and trauma psychology of eating disorders, but go beyond the usual obsession with body image and societal messages of thinness. Her story becomes a rite of passage and a search for initiation. The journey to wellness as the author grows compassion for herself in turn made me feel cared for and offered numerous insights into the complexity of growing up female. Her desire to help others in the same predicament and how she learned to get help for herself speaks volumes about how little we really support or understand women. A brave and courageous act of self invention as well as a compelling piece of writing beautifully written and artfully put together with intermittent third person summations and poetry.” ~B.T.

“This book really opened my eyes about the complexity of eating disorders. Detailed, sensual descriptions of food experiences tell the story of a truly human love-hate relationship with food and family. The brave vulnerability demonstrated by this author is healing in itself. It includes some lovely poetry, mystical experiences, ugly and beautiful interactions with others, all strung together by miracles generated by forgiveness.” K.M.

“My friend recommended this book to me as I have numerous friends that are struggling with eating disorders or have family members struggling. I really like how this book chronicles the author’s experiences over time and it gives great insight into how some people enter into this situation. I felt like I was on this journey with the author and I could empathize with many of her issues and situations. It is written almost like a poem going in and out of memories and I found it very powerful. I recommend this book.” ~P.

***

Food Memories is available through all major online booksellers. If you’d like to support a small bookstore through your purchase you can go here:

https://www.ebookwoman.com/book/9781689839075

or search for Food Memories by Reagan Lakins on any major book selling website.

Thank you :}

Featured

A Sense of Comfort, Part One

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

Soft mound melting roof of mouth

Vanilla cream trickling throat

Chilled silver resting lip

Beastmaster and misty swaying pines

Electric green moss carpet beneath hand

Arranging mushrooms, leaves for tiny folk

Croaking of gulls at seashore

Lighthouse moans in fog

Fingers squishing anemone

Coffeemate crumbles dissolve across tongue

Kitty fur, purring

Closed bedroom doors, horror pages turning

Crisped edges salty potatoes

Glistening crackles lemon chicken pan

Forest nooks and fortresses, wild onion and sorrel crunching

Warm sun bakery window scone

Early morning farmer’s market bustle, auntie’s basket heavy

Echoing awe gregorian chant episcopal stained glass sunbeams

A quiet night, safety

Schoolwork structure, pencil scribbling

Strumming cardboard guitars, mommy’s black knee high boots

Vampire bites from neighbors

Mommy, sleeping, working

Mommy not screaming

Mommy not grieving

Mommy not drinking

Mommy not self-destructing

Weight watchers rules, measuring cups

Empty stomachs

Substitute psychiatric mothers

Concerns in eye

His kiss

The auric field of wolf protector

Gooey pancakes, assigned and accompanied

He who fights for me

His arms holding in sweaty roiling pit

Mildewy stone wood cabin shower

Marie Callender flaky pot pie crust, juicy chunks gravy

Walking, forever

Disappearing

Admittance

Being forced to eat

White, bleached linens

White, bleached linens

White, bleached linens

Being sick enough

Low blood pressure readings, dizzy

Cafeteria coffee smells

Treatment team “not ready” declarations

Ensure, ice cubes bobbing, slowly straw slurping

Watered down amazingness hitting tongue

After crossing fasting abyss

Someone to take care of me

Someone to protect me

From Her

Feeling not alone with it

After so many years a parent-child

Hope

Veggie burger patty melted cheese

Cafeteria privileges, grown up coffee drinking

Crazy talks with other crazy birds

Twisted tribe

Worry in whitecoat eyes

Another admittance

Safety

For awhile

Not having to fight Her

For awhile

Hope

That this time’s the last

Featured

The War Within

Photo by imustbedead on Pexels.com

Free me

From the old, outdated

Despotic government

Within my own tissues

The linear

Rule and fear based

Trajectory decision

Making factories

Housed within

.

Free me

From this continual War

From the fear

That I will have nothing

.

Nothing

Beyond worrying about food

If I eat enough to not be starving

Beyond the plotting, planning

.

Free me from the fear

Of feeling too full

Of old, archaic terrors

I’ve no real understanding of

Nor skill of navigating through

Alone

.

Free me from feeling unattended

Lost

Abandoned

With this struggle

Unmet and misunderstood

.

Free me from eating less

In fear of all of this terrifying mystery

Arising

In fear of whatever this is

That keeps me in this hidden

Non-emergency

Yet ever-whittling

Cycle

Of depending on measuring spoons

And calories

And minutes

To hold me

To hold it

At bay

.

Free me

From whatever it is

That keeps me focused on this

And distracted

From the fullness

Of what I could be living

Of what I really desire

Of the sheer and overwhelming

Vision manifested

.

FREEDOM

Would look like

Truly feeling my body tell me its hungers

Truly knowing what would feed it

Truly giving myself that

Truly knowing when it is enough

Truly feeling the result of a met desire

Satiation

My

Little

Girl

Fed

.

Her

Beyond the calories

And meal plans

And minutes

And cups

And measuring spoons

And fear of fullness

And orchestrating my whole entire fucking existence

Around this constant

Fear

Of fullness

Around this constant

Fear

Of…

Freedom?

.

Some days

When I haven’t just collapsed into numbness

Of just accepting that this

Is

all

there

is

I pray so hard

So goddamned hard

The spit chokes me

I pray so goddamned hard

For something to support me

In this unimaginable transformation

One it seems I have tried

Every position of attempt

And arrived at

Nothing

.

Covered in this slimy residue

Of grievings

I wail

FREEDOM

I want it so bad

To hear this desire

Spontaneous

To know how to feed it

To feel myself feeding it

To feel myself feeling full of it

To feel myself enjoying that fullness

This

FREEDOM

Is it possible

Is it possible

Is it possible

To feel something

Beyond this?

.

I’m praying

Again

I’m wailing

Again

I’m risking

Your complete and utter

Lack of response

Again

I’m crying out

Anyway

To

You

~Originally written as “Her Hunger” for Liberty. Breath, Death, Soul. A Literary Collection by The Sisters of The Holy Pen, ed. Pamela Eakins (2020). Shared with respect to all of the intense and horrendous things others are experiencing in their outer worlds…but also inside their inner, and perhaps holographic, ones too.

Holding hope for the planet and the Soul of our species.

Featured

Healing

Photo by Angela Roma on Pexels.com

Past the superficial engines

I went deeper

Into the central rooms of myself

There

I found ancient ritual

Thick tapestry lining walls

Humming, haze

Of handrolled sticks alight

And a baby in my arms

.

Nervous, unsure how to support

The young flesh absorbed into mine

As usual, skilled in simultaneous flight

Without memory

Of the secrets of their chantings

I wonder just what happened in that core

And what the digested matter

Is growing in me now

.

The crows in the distance

The snow beneath feet

Now I’m running

But

Old prisons abandoned

Now I’m rising

Requiring reality

A sippable sensuality

Beyond the programming’s pleasure

.

There I find her

Grown and reaching

She’s waving media

And dark vibrations

And asking for my guidance

.

Do I have the tools to raise her?

Nervous, unsure how to support

I take her hand

And we begin to walk

Absorbing

Into the question

Together

Featured

Ribbons

Photo by James Lee on Pexels.com

I watched it

Rise

Spiraling through

Sensuous curvature

Shadows

Steam

I watched it

Rise

Skin slick and yearning

Fire slithering

Helixing against core

Lips parting

Spark visible

Undulating gyration

Shadows…..

…………………………..Steam

Thaumogenesis

Reverbating

Tears

Violent

Ripping from center

Wept

I saw it rise

This fire

Sluiced in rapture

Silk red tendrils

Loosely embracing

A dancing

Terrible

Hunger

Yearning

Lips parted

I saw it rise

This fire

And grief

From

Beauteous core

Pixilated

A mere projection

Ripping out these hidden desires

Aching wetness

And red ribbons

Ribbons

Ribbons

Ribbons

Featured

Old Pain

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Tingling

Pin pricks wake

Ankle

Then shoulder

A flurry across breast

The ache, deep and ancient

Starts throbbing

Gluteal

Hovering

Circling

Around root

Root of old

Old patterns

Root of old

Flayed heartskin

Root of old intrusions

Violations

Grievances long thought

Gone

.

No

Tingling

Pin prickling

Awake

Awake

Searching for those tendrils

Tugging here, there

Responses of pain

Responses of the old

Right where its always been

.

Sometimes

The spelunking gets so deep

The pain keeps awake, a fasting dreamtime

Tossing and turning

Trying to find a way…away

.

This body

This dear and sacred body

Lets up eventually

Scabbing over

But dutifully it returns

To encourage again

One more time

Maybe she’ll listen

Maybe we’ll express

Maybe

This time

Our message will get delivered

Heard by elder, tribe

.

Tingling

Pins and prickling

Emerging from space

Once silent

Once big enough

Now imprisoned

Seeking expression

Nervous tendrils

Waking

Waking

Hoping

Can nerves hope?

Can chakras desire?

Can exponentially ancient wounds

Ever really heal?

.

I feel the tingling

Pinprickling

Waking

Reminding

Re-membering

And hope that this time

Turning towards them

Will finally allow

Hoping this time

Instead of crumbling into

Terrors of porous mistakes

Hoping this time

The container will hold

The screams will release

Hoping this time

The old, weary pain

Accompanied

Psychopomp guiding

Into a new place

Into the distance

Into the great halls, honoring

Beyond

Featured

Death

From the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Death

Death comes

Balancing between spheres

The path is solid

Forevermore

Death

Death Doula

Walking her through

Walking you through

Embodied

She lays the linens

The gossamer shroud

And you breathe

Tended by her

By your side

She sings

Takes you deep into earth

Showing brethren

Don’t you see?

.

Death

Death Doula

Whether writhing malignant mass

Or hovering, grief-laden blade

She meets you

At the crossroads

Where what you were can no longer be

She meets you

With the ritual

She meets you

Where culture failed

.

She sees your suffering

She holds your suffering

And

She honors the great transition

The great transformation

This very suffering

Begs you to take

The ritual

Where culture failed you

.

Physical or psyche dismembering

Screaming

Yearning

To be honored

Yearning to be held

Yearning for rites

All the great rites

Dragging us down

Tearing our lives apart

To see

Death

.

Death Doula

In body

Or in earth

Let her hold you

Through the long journey

Across Abyss

From Beauty

Across the treacherous path

To Victory

Let her hold you

Move forward into utter Darkness

Putrefy

Fall apart

Into her

Humbled

And imaginal soupy

Intelligence

Death

Death comes

.

Featured

Fullness

Photo by NSU MON on Pexels.com

The face is in the flower

Bee-like, nestled

He says he takes his medicine this way too

Dangling, the seeds are descending

His hand

Lowers them

Towards the lips

Open, waiting

He says to eat them

A different way than past greed

Sensual

The light is warm and tender

He is lowering

.

The mouth

The face is breathing

Panting

Fear of losing all control

These seeds ambrosia

The height they’ll offer

Warns of the fall

.

All these protectors

All these fighters

All these soldiers

Cry out

No!

Do not eat the seeds

Oh precious mouth

Oh precious face

You cannot go there

We have been with you

Protecting

For so long

And here you are, safe

.

The seeds are dangling

The head is swarming

The chaos is echoing

The terror is building

The skin is sweating

The boundaries, shaking

.

The light is warm and tender

The man

His Earth Pan beingness

Smiles, kindly

And waits

Holding the one

With the mouth

With the face

With the skin

With the chaos

That says no

But wants

So badly

To eat

Seeds

Fullness

Feeling

Seeds

Fullness

Feeling

Fullness

Alive

.

Featured

Deep Below

Thought I’d switch it up this week and share a video poetry readsong. Hope you enjoy :}

Come

From deep

Below

Been

.

Here

.

Long

.

Time

.

Come from deep below

Go to get the magick

Down

Down

Down

.

Come from deep below

Been

Here

Long

Time

.

Come from deep below

She’s wandering, heady

Think she’s got it all

But lo, she kisses not the whole

I am grieving and

Hold

Her

Key

Come from deep below

Been

Here

Long

Time

Come from deep below

.

Soul, Soul, Soul

My cries will call her home

Go to get the magick

Down, Down, Down

.

Come from deep below

Been

Here

Long

Time

.

.

Come from deep below

Haggard, dripping

Starving,twisting

Beaten, shackled

Refused, judged

Fixed…Or attempted

Turn

To

Rage

.

Soul, Soul, Soul

My grief will call her home

Go to get the magick

Down, down, down

.

Come from deep below

Been

Here

Long

Time

.

Over

And over

And over

I come from deep below

Been here

I’ve been here

A long

Long

Long

Time”

Featured

Finding Her

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I am looking for Her

Everywhere

I am searching the cracks

Scouring the dew-dotted webs

Setting out altars

Hoping

She is listening

.

I am writing Her letters

Soaked in basil and blackberry

Infused with frustration’s tears and spit

Despite great cavernous terrors

That She does not exist

.

I

Am looking for Her

.

Witchy

She’s been down

Deep Below

And has no time to debate

Extremity

Hers is a vast ocean

Enveloping me in broader possibilities

Ones that sparkle with darkness

And light

Together

We stir cauldrons

Track down demons

And listen

Carve unimaginable spaces

For transformation

For transmutation

For scars so ancient, so withered their connections

To be seen

To listen

.

I am looking for Her

Outside

Inside

Hoping

Wondering if I’m just a crazy bird

For hoping

But all I can do

Is look for Her

Everywhere

Especially in this darkness

Icaros guiding, soothing

Unseen tightrope buckling

Under each terror filled advancement

All I can do

Is look for Her

Wandering

Scraping myself off floors

To Presence

Over and over and over again

All I can do

Is look for Her

Open

And listening

.

Featured

Core

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Swirling galaxies

Tendrils snaking lifetimes

Whipping across unfathomable

Wormholes connecting

Astral hands reaching

Twisting, turning

Helix merging

Align

Slipping through cellular cracks

Sluicing red waterways

Embedding

Releasing

In primal screams

This

Terror?

All of them

In

Wrinkled

Fragile

Body

Eons

Lifetimes

Wisdom paths

Devastation

Murderer

Saint

Pedophile

Beggar

Insanity

All these times

All these directions

All these passions

Leading down greasy dark alleys

Into temples

Sparkle

Guiding sensual

Unlocking

Unlocking

A wizened old woman

Sits in her hut

Snowy tundra blusters

And she knows

That they know

She knows

Creator Nature

Mystery

Orchestrates

Community invites

True power

And so she waits

She knows

In her

Core

This is the way it is

Shaking her head

Grieving

As the stellar tendril tugs

Opening portals mind eye

She sells

Flaying before masses

For witness

For approval

For identity

For…service?

Tears and heavy beating weightedness

Draw her breath

Into

Into this Core

Of galactic swirling

Potentialities

Of that which she knows

Of that which she knows

With all of this trapped and terror

With all of this

Thin humanoid skin

Stretching

Screaming

Billions of fractals dismembering

Clawing

This

An unshakeable knowing

An unshakeable listening

An unshakeable stillness

An art

Of falling apart

And letting it come

She knows

She floats in the portals

Of illusion and Nadir

This core

It is nothing

It is something

It is

Everything

And so

One gleaming eye

On callow fretting threads

She waits

She waits

She waits

Featured

Mayapple/American Mandrake

I give of my fruit, willingly

You may partake this, of me, without harm

Beware my deep roots

Those that connect to primal realms

My underworld brethren, loamy elven sprites

Like they

I shall strike you down

For the wariness I harbor in my core

Of human hands

.

Tend me

And extract gently, with ritual

My seeds

My seeds

A violent contraction

Will succumb you

Your innards seizing

I, such a “pretty” plant

So tender, so fragile

I

Will

Strike

You

Down

.

Eat of my fruit,

But sparingly oh greedy human

As even this gift

Holds potential for

Your suffering

.

Respect me

And all of the hidden

Seemingly

Inert

Ones

You pass by in the forests

.

Remember,

We are only cultivating you with our outbreath

So that one day

You may feed

Our great, connected body

.

Featured

They

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Hidden immigrant terrified tracking

Sweat laced panic attack medical trauma heaving

Dreams pummeling minds ancestors warning

Chemo receiving drips poisonous cure too fragile

Pregnant mothers fearing, special needs screaming

Orange survivors guaranteed

Some with flies crawling on mind walls

Tender bodies

Guided hearts

Wait and seers

Those, perhaps, with grandparents, now gone mad

Speaking of A 1966 Study

Of the Vulnerability

Of Subway Passengers in New York City

To Covert Attack with Biological Agents

Fearing, wanting to trust

Wanting to be a “good American”

But haunted

Straddling medians

Betwixt extremists chanting what cannot be known

Absolutely

Tender layers between only parts exaggerated

These are the They

These are the They

These are the They

Who should be denied healthcare

Who should be denied hospital beds

Who should be denied insurance

Who should be forced and mandated to ignore

Pro or Anti

Perhaps to

See these people

Perhaps to

Listen to these They

The complexity

Perhaps to realize exclusion

Co-ersion

Resentment

And dismissal

Will never move the needle

.

Featured

Rain Memories

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

Ironically

I don’t remember rain

All throughout my childhood years

The first drop

The first torrential storm

The element that might have given me solace

In such turbulent cesspools of emotion

Not a trace.

However

The first memory that does occur

Peeking up through layers of dutiful barrier

Is that night I cared for him

The soon to be dead man

In a garage

Soothing, comforting

Evanescent beast

Drip dropping

Water flowing, framing

This glowing palace.

Next

Comes the one

My frail hand

I’ve frozen it, bony, in time

Against window

It is waiting in cold fall

Drip dropping

Outside this glowing psychiatric facility

Cold silence and desperation

Between me and her

Waiting

Drip dropping

Hoping

I’m sick enough.

Muninn the Memory

Delivers another

Of harried, frustrated

Obsessive sweaty efforts

Running through collegial redwoods

Drip dropping

Towering canopies

Too crazed to notice

Running from

And towards

My secret undoing.

Funny that

The next one he delivers

Drip drops

Into mind

Are sequential flashes:

Swollen cabin gulleys

Hawaiian A-frame mesh

Walls piercing winds wet chilled skin

Crashing violence on black razor edges

Tool howling.

All of soggy Portland

Is just a blur

Why?

Why is that, mystery of Memory?

Years later

Another arrives

Ironically enough

A garage

Only this time I’m the one tended

Teetering on the edge

Wooed back by wizard

Chaos on floors

Sawdust on frames

Creating.

A drizzle

Outside ye olde bohemian cart

The turkish coffee served

He sits under the umbrella

Anubis and soft glow framing

Wind whistling

Fairy lights sparkling

Drip

Drip

Dropping.

Downed power lines

Rivers wild

Refusing to stay off imaginary cement borders

Fear rising as wheels skid

Submerged

Drip

Drip

Dropping

Wipers sloshing

Blurred anxiety

Breath and prayers.

And then

They are gone

I rack my brain

The bird does not deliver much more

So I sit back in wonder

At why these ones

And only these ones

Remain

Oh liquid droplets

Condensed from atmospheric vapor

Why is it only these I remember of you

Such power and beauty

So many days of my life

Rain

Why does the bird deliver

Such sparse notes

Of our relation

Of our

.

.

Rain memories

Featured

Sister Fire

From Tarot of The Spirit, by Pamela Eakins

On this dark day

With no seeming causation

The young priestess

Heads out to the cliff

Cloudforms surround her

Threatening to stop her

But still

Staff in hand

She sets out on the path

Barefoot

With ceremonial gown

And cape

Hair billowing in the wild wind

She continues

She feels the fine particles

Pressing against her soles

Sandy bits rough between toes

Cool air caressing lashes

She feels Her

She hears Her, too

In the distance, the shrill cry of Hawk

Pierces the air

Vibrating

She is moved forth

She does not yet know all that can destroy her

All that can decimate her

All that can

Bring

Her

To

Her

Knees

Fresh and dewy

Her excitement for life

Flames within

On this dark day

I remember

Her