Monday, May 13, 2013

Peacock and Crows

She gave the visiting priest the black-glove treatment,
and when he went back to the brothers,
it was with the gnostic gospel of her kiss still on his lips
instead of The Word.

She was just never gonna fit in, that was the trouble,
and so she went strong and weedy within herself,
strangling out the greenhouse virgins and marking the garden stones
like a dog or a boy or a moondevil, beyond the reach of common caution.

He found her crying in the parking lot garden,
wrapped in a mantilla of broody dark clouds,
with accents of deep red and sharp silver,
the poems in blood of her price, her anger, and her power.

He called her Little Pea Hen, and tilted her chin up with his fingertips,
a shepherd holding her hair in one hand and his shears in the other.
What would you have done, if you had been her, 
set out that day on the bright paving stones like a bottle jar?

Every time she put her hands together to pray,
the wind kicked up and a cold downdraft made her skirts whip around
like nervous wolves. 
Do I need to say the rest? Must some cleric put it down in ink?

All I know is this:
These days, her hips are as curved as cathedral bells,
and though she is covered in yards of cloth like a vieja,
she carries a secret, and will dance until red leaf Autumn,

then sigh and give birth to a black diamond,
held like fry bread or the host,
blessed and divided the way she demands it to be,
in the beaks of her devoted flock, her kindred darlings, the crows.
________

14 comments:

hedgewitch said...

Oh I'm going to have to read this way more than twice, but that fourth stanza just kicks like a mule...and the ending, all the mysteries on wide, strong wings--I can see them flying off before I get a chance to look too closely...this is magic, in all the white ways, despite those black feathers.

Cloudia said...

"wrapped in a mantilla of broody dark clouds,"

You blow my mind!


ALOHA
from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

Lynn said...

Mysterious and beautiful.

TexWisGirl said...

so much fabulous imagery in each line! sheesh, shay!

Kerry O'Connor said...

her hips are as curved as cathedral bells

I love the combination of sacred and profane, and isn't this the essence of womanhood?

I could write an essay on everything I love here, but will simply reiterate how much I adore your poetry about women. There is a depth of sincere admiration and kind understanding of our gender that goes a long way in my heart.

G-Man said...

Gnostic woes..
A murder of Crows..
Love the accent...Veracruze ?

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I note "holding her hair in one hand and his shears in the other". Yup, that's about right. Love it, and your last line is brilliant.

sloan said...

I especially love the first six lines.

Grandmother said...

I'm with Kerry. WHen you write about women I feel understood in all my complexities. This woman, too, is in me. But how you find these rare words to describe us, ah, that's a gift, rare and true.

Mama Zen said...

"and so she went strong and weedy within herself"

Damn. That entire stanza just blows me away.

TALON said...

Oh, Shay! I think this is one of your best. ever. I do.

HermanTurnip said...

Okay, first off, that's an awesome looking dress in that pic!

Secondly: I love how everything around "her" has to do with nature. Makes me think that she's somehow tied more closely to nature than "normal" people...like some sort of kindred spirit.

José Ramón said...

Fireblossom siempre es un placer pasar por su blog
Saludos desde Creatividad e imaginación fotos de José Ramón

aprille said...

I want that dress, and that hair, and that attitude...
and a way to write poetry like that.
Immersed in the sin of envy I am, I am.
Breathless with the myriad images it conjures up.