Poetry Gallery One . . . .

Carol Graser

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T R I B E   

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I once lived in a tribe and remember the dawn risings
the smooth dirt floor, springing from sleep unalarmed
eager to separate from the now unsoft land of dreams

I remember a star
a radiate configuration
How corny the center was love, but this is how we lived

We painted pictures of the kind of love that looks like a hailstorm
blackening the sky behind a wide bare oak

We made dolls constructed of bone and fiber
to tell about a love that circled
loves of tilt and shine

We stacked stones to talk about a love that reaches
into your womb and beats a drum
fills your body with rhythmic hums
stops beating
the story coming fully alive in the silence between

We told stories of love for skin and fur, stories of
river love, how the sky might have loved us today with
womb beautiful clouds, ethereal

Love was a grain of sand, it was a mountain
We woke to love, ate breakfast without despair
and prayed and prayed for any among us
unskilled at finding love

We did not own, we rocked
remembering the rocking lull of our mothers walk
the sacred undeniable motion of love
forward   forward   forward
Our mouths we learned and strived
to leave with flavors of mint
and spectacular autumn

We accumulated love like children
let them crawl on our bodies pulling our limbs
into new shapes of love
With their smallness we grew large with love
our eyes meeting over the vast piles of love
we sweated and strained to carry
We sewed them clothes of love and when they felt happy
they rushed into our arms and chanted
rhymes of love we never forgot

We set the children like minnows of love to float
into rivers that flowed them to oceans
that grew them to whales

We were born in love
dropped into pots of love
We simmered until the tender meat of love fell from our bones

We died in love. We became love.

We strung disparate loves together web-like
rejoiced when the every day dew sparkled at delicate joints

We painted the sky with dreams of love
understood wind was a mutable canvas

Sometimes we followed the stars to love
that nail strewn, hot coal path

We understood the dear parts of ourselves
that fell in love with shadows cast
by their own looming fear
stood vigil for those lost in the alluring labyrinth
We had small use for shame

We swept up crumbs of love, poured them
into a conglomerate wet compost
trusting the turn, the reliable ferment

We planted seeds of love saved from plants of love
grown from seeds we had saved

We had generations of love webbed eternity-wise
concentrically ringing

We loved up and down as the sun
thin and fat as the moon.
We breathed love in and out
stared at the gaping hole puzzles of love until
a piece that would snap into place came to hand

We walked hand in hand with love
through dry hot days and frigid desert nights
We walked through frozen tundra with love
swam oceans with love
became lost in vast prairie fields of love
drinking sky and letting wind shape our bones.
We climbed trees, loved in the canopy of branches
forgot what the ground was
We traveled the bright dark world hand in hand with love
when we were lucky
and brave

I don't remember when the tribe was lost
when the drip of violence
cracked and bulged our ceiling until it fell moldy in
when the new violent beast swallowed our pure child eggs
and spat them out tainted with the barest stink of cruel

I don't remember under what sky that imbalance was birthed
what shapes the stars had turned to
but we once lived in a tribe centered in love
our hearts are the beat of that forbidden drum
Do you ever feel lucky
What are we
if not brave

The Poem Tribe was written by Carol Graser, Copyright 2002-2009 all rights reserved.

Carol Graser's chapbook, The Wild Twist of Their Stems , was recently published and is available by contacting her at the email address below.

CarolGraz [AT] aol [dot] com


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