Reflections on a Beam of Light

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End of Serpents’ Comfort

Sunna’s gaze lights paper / petals float on Skollvaldr’s seas
Steel geese have torn the neck’s burden / stout twin trees of the sole twisted
The kernel of the corn sheaf bursts forth / breathing blackened corpse dust
Speak well of the small kindnesses / and rend the seethers into disregard
Sing memory’s triumph / at the sweet end of serpents’ comfort.

People say you never forget where you were. It’s true. I was walking back from fencing class in college. The sky was clear, untroubled.  It wasn’t until I called my mother and she said, “They’re gone,” that the terrible wrenching unreality of the whole thing became as crystalline as that autumn sky.

There was a reason no jet trails marred the arc of Ymir’s skull.

Last night, as I drove past Worcester, anger welled as I saw twin searchlights piercing the sky.  “What right have you?” I muttered.  “Bullshit solidarity looking to cash in on the pain of others.  You’re not New Yorkers, you don’t have the right.”  Of course by that logic, neither do I (I’m a Jersey girl).

My ex-husband couldn’t understand why this anniversary affected me so.  I didn’t lose any loved ones.  A few people from our town died, but no one I knew personally.  I wasn’t even near New York at the time.  How could I explain that the city skyline that watched over my childhood was now broken?  It was wrong, viscerally and totally wrong.  Months later, you could still smell the ash, still breathe the dead.  Would taking them into our lungs, our bodies let them live on in us?  Or would they kill us all, a slow, choking revenge of “Ground Zero Illness”?

During the Concert for New York City, Richard Gere had the bravery to plead for cooler heads, not to retaliate in kind against Al-Qaeda.  The crowd turned dark and ugly.  Gere did not abandon his pacifist stance, saying, “That’s apparently unpopular right now, but that’s all right.”   In that moment, I was ashamed.  America garnered much good will from the world after this wretched sacrifice. We have squandered it entirely.

I pulled into work as the moon was cresting the tops of the trees.  Looking out across Greenwich harbor, the twin beams of light appeared as one, a single torch that would burn until dawn.  I walked down to the sea wall and stood at the edge, smelling the swelling tide and watching my moon-shadow stretch across the rocks.  The soft, light breeze lifted my arms and for the first time in 13 years, I spoke to the dead.  I poured out my gift into the black waters and felt peace.

The new tower bears the name “One World Trade Center.”  May that be a promise as much as a prophecy.

30 DoA #23: Original Composition

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23. Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity.  This is a piece I wrote back in 2008, when I was having a lot of fun exploring traditional Anglo-Saxon poetry forms. Apologies in advance for any obscure kennings.

 

The Smith’s Secret

Lame Lord’s toil drives home
Longing for feathers’ song
Hammer in hand, he waits
Holding with tongs bright gold
Welder of wyrd enthralled
Wily crafting most highly
Sheltered souls he’s smelting,
Soldering, this torn god.

Prayer to the Holy Earth

Holy Earth, cradled in the swirling arms of the Star Mother,
Lover of the Sun, Sister of the Moon,
You, who are glorious in your greenery,
generous with you love,
and terrifying in your rage.
Guide me in the ways of the Standing People,
feet rooted in Earth,
keepers of Water,
Breath-Givers,
alchemists of the Sun’s Fires.
Trust me to come to know them,
by branch and leaf,
root and thorn,
bud and fruit;
To do them honor, be they tree or grass, herb or flower;
And to share in their wisdom for the good of all beings.