Nothing Between You and the Song of Dawn

oak rootsSometimes the storm comes
to reclaim the things only borrowed

and washes the ground
from under your feet

that cold night took one leg
and the river took another

until half your roots
sailed to sea

yet you flourish deliciously
picking up rocks with your toes

and let birds play
in your time-worn beard

nothing will come between
you and the song of dawn

for you have a contract
with the world of change

swirling and opening
opening and swirling skyward

gnarled knuckles bowing to earth
fingers caressing the sky


Resurrecting the Language of the Earth

rainbow shadowAfter my grandparents died many years ago, I spent a week going through the old farmhouse. Among the cast iron pots, old magazines, and toys from two generations ago, I discovered fragments of old letters that were from my grandfather’s grandmother. Her name was Atalier, and she apparently spoke neither Dutch or English. Growing up playing on the farm, I never heard anything about Atalier, but occasionally I would hear strange words emerge from my grandpa as we ‘walked the beans’ together in the early morning….Ajana minoet a’lan…(the Ulaba song) or from my grandmother when she was picking strawberries in her garden as a light rain fell…patepete arila a’lan….

It was Aduana, the language my grandmother called “language of the earth.” And even they only knew a few words here and there and some lines of songs. The letter fragments of my great-great-great grandmother, along with consulting elders from the old country and listening deeply to the land, have helped me excavate and resurrect it, this rich and endlessly versatile language, with deep roots in the earth and flowing water.

This is the beginning of the Aduana-English Translation Project, perhaps a dictionary for a new era. The translation difficulties are immense, in part because English simply has no one-word equivalencies to Aduana words. The specificity of Aduana to complex natural phenomena is astounding.
Aduana – 1)the name of an ancient earth language, 2)the force that draws things back to the earth (as in leaves falling to the ground. It is like a combination of the concepts of gravity, spirit, and longing)

A’ndula – The force that draws things in circulations through time (blood, water cycle, etc. When emphasized in an ascending-descending tone (or capitalized) refers to that at the largest scale, which has been translated as “Great Circulation”

nuomi – Season. Each season has its own word for the way something is and looks and feels. There are two words signifying rainy and dry season (iji, uti)
but then 8 further words signifying early fall, deep fall, early winter, deep winter, etc. (nuj, anuj, ota, aota, etc.)

Within those almost endless variations which can be identified by syllables inserted in the middle of the word. They are commonly used adjectively to describe someone’s mood, clothes, stage of life (and someone includes non-humans). It is extremely versatile and specific. For example, “You look deep winter with sunny sky and light mist” can be captured by one word (aotahonariki).

j’anwika – 1)The transition between seasons,  2)Turning the wheel,  3)Life changes (from root wek = change, and a’jan = turning/movement)

wooni or uni – The force that brings a group of animals together (as in when ladybugs clump, bees swarm, humans gather for council, ravens congregate)

awikry – When the weather changes in rapid succession, alternating between sun, rain, hail, etc. (from root wek, meaning change)

lotanna – The force that decays wood

owa – The force that draws things up

hihilan’lan – When worms come out after a rain

patepete – A steady, light rain. With variations: (apatete – A steady, medium rain, opatete – A steady, hard rain, patepet – An unsteady, sproradic rain, patepeni – A warm rain)

loyo-oto – The experience of time-space from a tree’s perspective. Trees experience movement of most animals as time-space jumpers

sono-oto – The experience of time-space from a rock’s perspective. Rocks experience even tree movement as rapid.

o a’lan – The in-between moments just before dawn

ish’a’ish – The sound of lichen growing. said to be heard only by the elders

arduaka – The condition of being muddy, wet, and decaying. Used to refer to seasonal condition or cultural

unche – The sipping of roots, especially by trees (with very soft, barely heard n)

unche-unche – The sound the sipping of roots makes

Apparently, there are no Aduana words for weed, fence, or lie.




The EverNew

imagesWhere do you go
when you go away?

Are you playing hide and seek
with the earth?

Are you like the winter
tucking yourself into jubilant hibernation
to gather yourself for the next scene?

Are you like me,
disappearing into the cave
of your own soul
in order to emerge renewed?

waning, waning, waning into
the going under,
the dying, dark night of the soul
then birthing seed of the new,
waxing, waxing, waxing into fullness

You are the EverNew,
to whom everything apprentices itself

So we can stand, arms outstretched
and astonished, exclaiming:

What a wonderful night, I’ve never seen this one before!

Fall Away

c244ac380594f873912364f47ef5f1d7--autumn-leaves-autumn-fall (1)In a world struggling desperately to find some semblance of balance and to integrate the shadows, may we receive the blessings of the Fall Equinox. 🍃🍂

Hover here for a moment
feeling the balance
between darkness and light
between drawing within
and explosive expression

harvest your juicy
sun-soaked fruits
perhaps too easily procured

honor the growing shadow
it’s okay to grieve
the dry and dying

relish the transition
and let the leaves no longer needed
flitter to the floor
limbs to feel
all the more lighter

To All the Unexpected Visitors, Welcome

IMG_4813to the unknown bird singing
fickle fears stinging
shadow side consuming
burning bush booming
grief suddenly screaming
tears of joy beaming
new love luring
old love maturing
wounded woman wailing
sunken ship sailing
wounded man walking
death’s call knocking
hidden parts showing
Muse flowing
intuition knowing
new moon growing,
all you unexpected visitors