"Of Myth and Dreams" by L. Folk

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Elevated Amongst the Bones of Ancestors


November 19, 2011

At 8 AM, God winks his wide bright eye at me, as if I am doing something right. At 9, a walk up the hill with my dog amongst the gilded and pale; Autumn has spread and folded her russet wings. We walk the same route looking for new relics, a glistening stone, a hawk's feather. At 11, I think of hunger, my dead mouth. I envision their illuminated, capsulized forms writhing and practicing being bodies. I dress my outside self, weigh the day. It weighs forty pounds, but is lifting.
I perform, walk the tight rope with firm hips, discriminate between foods. A bubble rises and pops at the back of my throat echoing their needs. My body is their body.
At 5, the sky looms like breath and I lie supine like a queen, amused by the trees, some in evening gowns of shot silk, others in naked tree flesh. It is an ephemeral dance of sensuality and regality in this waning November light. At 7, God's great eye closes. Later, the dreams of strangers will find the crook of the Earth. Their souls will fill the sky with amorphous shapes, bodies filled with glistening light radiating forth from a million facets in the shapes of gilded flowers and eggs.

November 27, 2011

This past Thanksgiving we took the long trip to Pennsylvania to visit my in-laws. It was a much needed respite from my harried life (although Wednesday's traffic wasn't fun and made us doubly harried). On Friday, after we had a spent a day gorging ourselves, we went out on a little scavenger hunt to find the graves of Richard's ancestors. It was a nice day, relatively warm to be meandering among the idyllic farmland and hills. We found the grands, the greats, the great greats, the great great greats, and the grand daddy of them all: Lorentz Klein, great great great great grandfather to my husband who came over on the ship, the Phoenix with his father Philip and made a home by the banks of the little Lehigh. Lorentz and the rest of Richard's patriarchal side were German immigrants; their tombstones were etched in German with ornate letters we could only surmise by the numbers associated with them. Lorentz had a flag and was easy to find because he was in the militia during the Revolutionary War ( a private, I believe). We also found one of his sons, Christoph, who was rumored to shoot himself cleaning his gun. The Klein family home was just downstream of the little Lehigh river, down the street from the graveyard. It was a fine house, built of flat river stone up on a hill. Anyway, I wrote a poem about the experience and made note of how these pilgrims buried in the earth had a link to my own children buried inside me. The poem is unfinished, but it still makes this point.

Above the valley where the little Lehigh flows
The Klein house, built of gray river stone
tops a green knoll and has its eyes on the river.
Years ago, when the sons of the settlers lived,
they figured amongst that small river life,
dug for crayfish among the fertile banks
or doused cloth like the heads of infants,
the lazy draped trees with their soft trusses
at their backs, the brambles at the banks
with tart berries swallowed whole by lovers,
with its wine-like juice on their tongues.

Imagine now, flour in the creases of the palms
of the eldest girl, the moist rise of bread
inside the hearthstone with her thoughts
baked inside, a woman's rising stitch
that extends the life of cloth, a man's groaning
bones in the fields, the sinew of his muscle
toiling with earth, coaxing it, coaxing it.

Imagine also a boy's hands, tugging
at the hollow knobs of udders, the toll
of the bell in the fields of the beasts'
return, the formidable toll of a higher bell
on Sundays where a log cabin chapel
houses their pious heads bowed
in the direction of the pews as the river
flows high or low, a constant murmuring
under joined voices, a source of water
for their daily ablutions, for beginnings
and ends.

We ramble among their graves, elevated
among the bones that once knew motion
that once knew the same code of blood
now pulsing through the nascent forms
inside my womb, that code of what
you will be, diggers by a different river
lovers with wine-like juice on your tongues.

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