Ship of Remembering

432C14CA-1799-45D3-B064-C9A2E9A749B3On our path there will be many, many voices telling us the way – but that may not be OUR way. This is a poem-prayer for remembering. For being still & listening to our unique inner voices, when we have forgotten, even if it contradicts almost everything that is considered correct. The world desperately needs more of us following our own threads, sailing our beautiful, preposterous ships.
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Have you ever forgotten?

The keys, the number, the lists?

The important things? The body and your dream and where the well was?

That image in your bones? The direction of your ship?

If you remember that you have forgotten, you’re nearly there.

But if you have forgotten you have forgotten, you are in the Deep.

That river of forgetfulness
has become a flood
your ship is in pieces,
joining the others.

You grab a hold of any piece of debris
tossed atop the waves.

To get a breathe.

Did you become convinced you were here to float like debris?

๐™”๐™ค๐™ช ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™›๐™ก๐™ค๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™™๐™š๐™—๐™ง๐™ž๐™จโ€”
You are here to remember
who you are
so you can be medicine for us all.

A stunning fragment of the Dream
dreaming us whole.

It is not selfish to let go of the debris
in order to re-build your ship of remembering.

Keep following whatever allows you to grab a scrap of ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃโ€”not theirsโ€”
to piece together your extravagant vessel.

The swallow does not mimic the eagle
the eagle does not flicker like the lizard
and the lizard and the lichen have distinct paths.

They do not drink of the river of forgetfulness
and in their stillness is the total movement of their life.

The stillness is where the remembering beginsโ€”
Your ears open and hear the things:

It may sound like the whistle of the swallows.
Or the hummingbird’s wings thrumming the air.
It may be the breeze through the needles.

Or the thunderous beat of a heart you had forgotten.
It may be the shattering imperative of your thunderbolt soul.

However it isโ€”
stay with it.

Listen so deep & richly
you become the big ear
remembering all.

Then, with what you hear
sail your beautiful, preposterous ships into the big dream.

THE ROOMS OF NIGHT

9A3B849B-A6CA-43C5-8E7A-C6F0F31F80A6I walk through the rooms of night
and arrive at a dawn clipped
with forgetfulness

With moons and death
in my pockets
and full of winter shred

I notice my bare feet are numb
and without purpose

Yet my tracks in the snow
mark my path from somewhere

And though it feels cold
a trickle of blood melts into
the stark white
evidencing its warmth
convinced it is life

Some big heart must be leaking.

Iโ€™ve even forgotten the premise
of yesterdayโ€™s grand feast

And tomorrow is so far away
I cannot even feign to paint hope
on my eyelids
scarred from memoryโ€™s frost

Why canโ€™t I find today?

Did they even put one on
or have they too forgotten?

Have I misplaced it
or did the storm steal it away?

No matter, the time has come
to empty my pockets
and join the ranks
of the zombie parade

To have succumbed, finally, not
to some bold virus,
but to the utter
mundane

Not having a mirror, I cannot see
but if I were to guess the shape of my eyes
the left would be nowhere
and the right would be an empty cup

Have I misplaced them
or did some sly storm steal them away?

Record of Life

42A39B67-64DC-4E1F-907C-381F60EAACBEIf you use your nights to forget your days
and then forget to write your nights
where will the record of your life be kept?

take leave of nights long looted
of amnesia and mere filling
and make a monument
to your unforgettable days

not by some big gesture
but by letting enormous hellos
and open skies
pour through you like water
through endless fingers

then you will be the pen and the paper
the indelible ink
the book that flies off the shelf
haunted wild with life

Ship of Remembering

 

shipHave you ever forgotten?

The keys. The number. The lists.

Where the well was?
The body of your dream or the dream of your dream?

That image in your bones
or direction of your ship?

If you remember that you have forgotten,
you’re nearly there.

But if you have forgotten you have forgotten
you are in the Deep

and the river of forgetfulness
has become a flood
and dashed your ship into pieces
joining the others

You grab a hold of any piece of debris
tossed atop the waves.

To get a breathe.
To get a glimpse.

But have you become convinced you were here
to float like debris?

You are not here to float like debris.

You are here to remember who you are
so you can be medicine for us.

A stunning fragment of the Dream
dreaming us whole.

It is not selfish to let go of the debris
in order to build your ship of remembering.

Keep following the glimpse, the breath
whatever allows you to grab a scrap of your own—
not theirs—
to piece together your extravagant vessel.

The swallow does not mimic the eagle
the eagle does not flicker like the lizard
and the lizard and the lichen have distinct paths.

They do not drink of the river of forgetfulness
and in their stillness is the total movement of their life.

And in your stillness is your total movement.

The stillness is where the remembering begins
because your ears can open there
and hear the things.

It may sound like the whistle of the swallows
or the hummingbird’s wings thrumming the air.
It may be the breeze through the needles.
Or the thunderous beat of a heart you had forgotten.
It may be the shattering imperative of your thunderbolt soul.

However it is
stay with it longer

listen so deep and rich
you become the big ear
remembering all.

Then, with what you hear
sail your beautiful preposterous ship
into the big dream.

Blue Pocket of Your Memory

forgetmenotsBy the nose and fingertips
and the slow bone
of the heart.

It’s how we’ll begin to remember
all the things

that got swept away by the river
of forgetting

Let each person you meet
be a path beyond
forgetfulness

finding those exquisite shards
from the original explosion
and putting them in your blue pocket
of memory

The First Syllable

IMG_6045In the middle of the forest
in the part
of the darkness
you ordinarily avoid
an old live oak lives
with limbs covered in lichen
–fern green, pumpkin orange, gold–
a cozy jacket ember warm

ki* has a name (See Note 1)
but it cannot be told

among the roots
a beating heart
within ki’s chambers
blood bright as stars
flowing beyond sight

within the blood
a flurry of birds
singing “Yes!” in all the languages–the first syllable

when a herd of deer steps out
of the bird’s mouth
you will peer into the buzzing light
of each other’s eyes

suddenly you know that they know
that they are you

and they will go back to grazing
fearless
and forgetful

as you will too

whose blood is it?
whose heart beats?
the Great Oak, the One Star, the Ancient Stone, the Blessed Dark, the One Beat, the Cosmic Eye?
Who knows?

Regardless,
the Great Circulation
continues
on and on and on

Note (1): Ki is a proposed alternative pronoun by Robin Wall Kimmerer to refer to people of the earth, to avoid objectification that comes with using “it” in the English language. See her exposition in Yes Magazine or in her brilliant and beautiful book, Braiding Sweetgrass.