magic words

September 17, 2007

Agapē: charity, love. Accords our coloured sands. Becomes
the English agape: wide open. Mouth of ocean. These are magic words.
Anemos: wind. The Greek alpha

is spoken like a lover’s hym. Anemone: wind flower:
so called because its petals are easily scattered. Formed when Aphrodite
tended the open wound of Adonis, gouged by jealous Ares. Blood and nectar

became flowers. In Latin, the word becomes
animus: breath, spirit, soul. In English: animate: breath of life.
Sea anemone: stinging petals. Animosity: breath against breath.

There are words that can poison apples:
the prettiest: kallistēi. A nymph, poor Callisto,
raped by Zeus, hated by Hera,

who turned her into a great bear. In remorse, The Cloud Gatherer
gave her to a lovely cage: Ursa Major. Callisto
is a moon of Jupiter. We did not free her.

Magic words weave spirit in ink.
The Greek alpha; close to the open vowel in mars, and art:
both sweet and dark in becoming.

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hollow

September 5, 2007

In my mind her peoples’ past holds flooded hollows
graced with rays that part or bend through salt water.
Now is a bubble that rises like a gaze. Thirty years
before my bubble was blown, there was war, and worse.

Today I tell her we are not different;
she tells me our souls are. A cruel covenant?
I see her in Jerusalem: a jewel under dawn’s sun.
Her soul hovers and pulses like amethyst turning.

It is beautiful enough to be true. Or perhaps all she knows
and all I know is memory, on no shore.
This brave old world is too big for stories,
they whisper to each other

like the condemned. They are tired of knowing
and of being birthed into the wide hollow
that love leaves. Yet somehow she shields
their words for this, like fruit, or keys.