from an evolving collection entitled Temazcal: The Steam House Chronicles

-- a tribute poem to an old warrior amiga (and any others who have made it through the terrain of heartbreak into the territory of renewal) --

Arriving before the light of day,
the dawn bird alights upon branch
and fills the dark silence
with a song-filled declaration.

Your dreambody is pulled back, abruptly,
across some great expanse
before you were ready
to join the waking world that waits for you.

You rise
and you do join;
you join all the other delicate creatures
stirring slowly on this cold morning.

Beaks fluff feathers under wings
dogs, cats stretch their spines
nuthatches, finches, wrens
chirp and dance down fence lines

and in this same kaleidoscope of movement
you shuffle on sock-feet
across cold floorboards
to a kitchen only you have inhabited.

Steam rises from your morning cup —
reminds you of the heat of summer
even as ice on the window
says the bounty of spring is still weeks away.

You turn and enter the world,
inhabiting it in the way
that has become your way.

You join the scurry and rush
and push and pull of it.

Human beings
being human;
appearing from far away
more like migrating herds
or salmon trying to fight their way home.

You glide past anonymous faces
for weeks and weeks,
making note of occasional smiles;
so rare these days, they stand out to you like beacons.

You do what you do.
You toil and lift and press and lean.
You serve.

Yes. You serve.
You serve
because something ancient in you
says to.

You measure your days
by more steaming cups
by the arc of the sun
beams of light reflecting on
windows and stone.
The days come and go like dreams;
they rise and fade away like waves.

Recently, I asked you:
How is it with your world?

You said you had made it
from the Land of Heartbreak
to the Land of Renewal.

You announced
that you're going to be alright;
the comforting amber glow
of home lamplight
has become like an old friend
waiting for you
in the evenings.

You also said
that on some days,
like Valentine's Day,
you sometimes find yourself wondering:

Where is the love for you?
Where is the one for you?
Where is the love so great
it calls to your soul
from across the cosmos?

And then you shared,
(and this is the teaching for us all):

Until that day, you happily wait;

you serve
and stretch
and lean
and rise.

You rise
you rise again
in honor of the love
that stirs the entire world
awake every morning;
you rise
you rise again
in honor of the love
found flowing from the dawn bird
on the other side of the screen.

As a final gift, you reminded me
of one of the old teachings
of the Dust in the Wind School:

"The door to real love
does not open
without the presence
of reverence."
— doña Rio —

(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen /

sound: The Sentience of Touch / Tactile Ground / Robert Rich

image: Ali Morshedlou

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