It came to me in a meditation that I would enjoy working with my dreams by writing poems that are inspired by the dream images. This poem was written after a recent dream. It came to me in the context of an intensive, experiential workshop on how birth dynamics are recapitulated throughout our lifetimes, and how contemporary medical birth practices reflect the modernist dissociation from nature, leading to unnecessary trauma.
I dreamt of a psychologist in his cubicle,
doing hair and make-up for characters in a movie.
There is only one profession
for those who have fallen under the dark spell
of threatening ancestors,
whispering what we must not see or name,
obscuring the wild and tender beauty
that wants to fashion from our deep yearnings
the one, true story that is ours alone to live.
In our offices
of unconscious compromise,
we are cosmeticians all,
hair and make-up specialists
in the Theatre of Survival.
Eros finds no resting place
in this collective cover-up
of the true beauty
which returns painfully
to those willing to have their hearts broken
by the earned memory
of what soul wanted and reached for
before the shock of disappointment—
the shattering fall into cosmetic culture.
I’m speaking now
of the arresting pleasure
in hearing with unfiltered ears
the deep-throated gurgle and croak of the raven’s song
echoing through green mountains,
and of a soft breeze flowing through the tent
so pure and clear,
that for just a moment you are the breeze
and the breeze is you,
and the cursed separation finally ceases,
and you realize the elusive coherence of beauty,
or she realizes you— cosmic not cosmetic.
Or when your longing to love
is met easily and joyfully
by the uncomplicated ones
who dwell, unhurried, in the city of God.
The learned doctor of religion
comes to the Nazarene peasant, under cover of night
when the ancestors sleep,
asking if a man can be born again,
and of course, the answer is,
fouled by that sad and desperate question:
“what does your approval require of me”?
The angels saw this one coming,
and sang his song to Mary, who had ears to hear,
and shared his magnificent soul-song with her cousin,
whose own womb leapt with knowing.
This is the expected one, the welcomed one,
and so his unadorned beauty
redeems the sad and marred and unwelcomed world of lost souls.
May your second birth,
be likewise into a community that is expecting you,
a village that has prepared a soft throne
for your incarnation,
that has listened for your soul-song,
and will sing it back to you,
when your slow and blinking eyes
behold the astonishing mystery anew
and you finally receive the confirmation
you had every right to expect
after the long and arduous journey to become human.
on the warm body of what it truly alive
in the immeasurable beauty
that is you.