Ritual — After In This Moment, Whore (a golden shovel poem)

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It’s a habit — a thing, something so 
much nature — it’s part of me. How 
is it that an act this simple — I can 
feel in the bend of my knees, my hips this 
folding, unfolding, opening up? Could it be 
that it’s your surrender too, that you’re 
meeting me, right here? Are you praying 
what I’m praying, in the quiet next to 
breathing? Do you feel — or is it just me? 

———-

POETIC FORM

golden shovel – Take a line (or lines) from a poem you like. Use each word as an end word in your poem. Keep the end words in order. Credit the original poet, ie. “-after (poet)”.

POEM A DAY NOVEMBER 2015 – PROMPT:

For today’s prompt, write a ritual poem.
AUDIO FILE:
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Full Moon Bathing

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Mother of the night calls
and I step into the trees.
The cloak of my cares
slips, in a fall of silk
from my shoulders and
bare, I sink into the arms
of deep, warm water.

We whisper, as sisters do,
of hopes and change,
the extravagance
of the universe.
I confess the ache of
my longing for you,
and she reminds me
the journey is the ‘this’.

Sleep pulls me, protesting,
from her watery feet,
so she fills my hands
with blessings —
courage, clarity, love.

The Power of Ritual

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This morning, I set up my tray, teacup, saucer, spoon… I turned on the kettle, and selected a teabag from the tin. I stood pondering, smiling, waking, feeling gratitude, as the water began to boil. I poured, and the tea leaves steeped, while I breathed, turning memories over in my thankful hands. I stirred a teaspoon of honey into the amber liquid, and cradled the warm cup in my fingers, lifting it to let the steam bathe my face.

I love this routine; it is quiet, introspective, filled with peace.

I have a plain, somewhat tattered, composition journal, where I do my morning pages. A minimum of three, hand-scribbled, they are filled with what Natalie Goldberg called “monkey mind” — the random, disjointed musings of an early morning brain — that I spill across the paper in smudges and lines of ink, so I can clear away the debris, and write or create from the clear, pure place beneath.  I open the notebook, smooth the page, select a pen, and light a candle, simply because it seems right to do so, makes this a sacred space, a spiritual action that feeds my soul.  I follow my pen, and trust the process.

My soul craves ritual, it’s the breathing in and out, of life, of listening, of stilling the world and meeting myself in the space it creates.

I crave ritual in relationships, too, particularly in power dynamics. I mentioned before that I am not a vanilla girl. A relationship, or relationships, that involve power exchange are an important part of my make-up, and what adds pleasure to my life. In a relationship with a strong, confident, gentle, dominant male, I seek ritual, to quiet my restlessness, to turn my thoughts inward, and to find peace in the connection of that shared bond.

There is a man in my world who offers me part of what I seek in a relationship of this type. We do not meet in person, our interactions are limited to email, text messages, phone calls and online journal entries. He’s older, with decades of experience, and  sense of integrity that appeals to me. He knows my journey has been difficult, and he speaks truth to me. He encourages and celebrates my ethical sluthood, respects my limits, and feeds my heart. He has given me ritual that works.

At the same time every day, my phone sounds an alarm, and I smile. My eyes close, and I can hear his reassuring voice. I remind myself that we are connected, and that the energy we share is a gift. When my day is hectic, and filled with distraction, I close my eyes, breathe, and kneel (sometimes mentally, emotionally, sometimes physically). I often send him a quick text like the following:

*kneels at your feet, and closes my eyes, breathing deeply*

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Sometimes he responds to welcome me, sometimes he is busy with his work day, and does not. But the connection is still there, and I find a few moments of peace and strength, to continue with my day.  This sort of practical ritual can make a big difference in my mind and heart. It’s a centering much like meditation, it’s a reminder, much like a spoken affirmation. These things appeal to me, and provide me with a mirror.

That girl, in the reflection, with the happy smile… she is me finding peace… and I like what I see.