her game in thy tongue

Today, in lieu of a review for one of my card readings, i received this fantastic poem.

Invite poetry into people’s lives, and they may well return the favor 🙂

The Card-Dealer
By Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)

COULD you not drink her gaze like wine?
Yet though its splendor swoon
Into the silence languidly
As a tune into a tune,
Those eyes unravel the coiled nigh
And know the stars at noon.

The gold that’s heaped beside her hand,
In truth rich prize it were;
And rich the dreams that wreathe her brows
With magic stillness there;
And he were rich who should unwind
That woven golden hair.

Around her, where she sits, the dance
Now breathes its eager heat;
And not more lightly or more true
Fall there the dancers’ feet
Than fall her cards on the bright board
As ’twere an heart that beat.

Her fingers let them softly through,
Smooth polished silent things,
And each one as it falls reflects
In swift light-shadowings,
Blood-red and purple, green and blue,
The great eyes of her rings.

Whom plays she with? With thee, who lov’st
Those gems upon her hand;
With me, who search her secret brows;
With all men, blessed or banned.
We play together, she and we,
Within a vain strange land:

A land without any order,—
Day even as night (one saith),—
Where who lieth down ariseth not
Nor the sleeper awakeneth;
A land of darkness as darkness itself
And of the shadow of death.

What be her cards, you ask? Even these:—
The heart, that doth but crave
More, having fed; the diamond,
Skilled to make base seem brave;
The club, for smiting in the dark;
The spade, to dig a grave.

And do you ask what game she plays?
With me ’tis lost or won;
With thee it is playing still; with him
It is not well begun;
But ’tis a game she plays with all
Beneath the sway o’ the sun.

Thou seest the card that falls,—she knows
The card that followeth:
Her game in thy tongue is called Life,
As ebbs thy daily breath:
When she shall speak, thou’lt learn her tongue
And know she calls it Death.

#tarot #tarotreadings #oracle #empowerment

naked messenger

i watch the sky light up into purple this morning. its been weeks since i could glimpse the sky from a window, and i was wilting. i watch the colors flare up the heavens and i feel like i’m slowly recovering from a long, long hangover. 

all i can do is put one foot in front of the other. i’m buffeted by the tides of the sensational and the mundane, like the rest of us. i’m invited to starve myself of human contact. in ghost streets, people touch crossover buttons with their elbows for minimum contact, without even thinking about it. these already ingrained customs still shock my alien eyes. i’m washed up on the shore of my attempts to change the world where i can and accept it where i cannot. 

wandering if what i do is enough. ever.

my client today said he experienced pure magic. i don’t know which of us keeps the others going, these random strangers with whom i sometimes exchange texts of poetic survival medicine – i keep snapshots of the gems for the days where i wonder what the hell i’m doing with my life. i keep mental pictures of that faraway look in their eyes, when they still haven’t come back.

sometimes it’s enough to make my day, the moment when a voice on the phone says yes, and makes time in their lives for the unknown. 

just that. without that, we go nowhere. 

and then, as priestesses know, there’s the fall. where a detail, a small spark will send us crashing down. last time it took me two days of staring at the floor. four days with a paralyzed back. body ingesting and letting out stuff bigger than me, bigger than the one who did the thing, who knows, who cares, it needs to get out and it does. i do my best to weed out the shame i still feel in those tragic downward torpedoes where i am, where we are, mercilessly crushed, one day or the other. we are on the altar and the altar is a place of sacrifice, of knife and blood and the singed smell of burning. We pay a price for letting our lightning summon fertile life back into the living dead.

and oh, the dead. with frayed nerves i lock myself out of my appartment – twice. i buy flowers for the neighbour who lets me scale their balcony. i stare at the pink lilies, suddenly remember. last time i bought flowers, it was pink lilies, the day my father died. did he die? right, he did. that still seems improbable on certain days. time doesn’t touch three decades of love, any more than the span of the oceans did, when we breathed in different hemispheres. last week i wept for an hour watching a movie, where a bedridden man held his daughter’s hand in the same way, pulling in that awkward squeeze that says i dont know what to say or how to be but i love you and we’re a team.

i juggle the simple survival of a land, a bed and food on the table taking up most of my days. miraculous friendship and running through clouds of goldfinches. always this gauging of the line – where do i push myself further, where do i give way and pick my battles. today i still smiled at the two of cups giving me divine confirmation to lie down. i am like most humans – i usually know the line only when it has been crossed. 

i also know the path from how far i’ve come. the way is not linear but with the turning of the years my feet have grown tough, and my heart soft. my eyes open. i wrote down words from the dreamworld.

“i stand as a pillar, a warrior, a naked messenger for my vision.“

and perhaps that’s it. the path of wild love simply says love, and be seen. one sentence. a few pictures. an hour of knitting, templing or crying. every day’s tribute of my heart, pouring out wine.

photo by mandy Ruangrit

#wildlove #musings #sacredsexuality #hardtimes #lockdown #grieving #magic #everydaymagic

elusive sound

hour after hour,
they start
to gleam.

with every adjustment
to its digital curves
my music refines,
whittled down and
with every minute
i feel
more naked.
to hear
my sometimes squawks
sometimes soar
like angel wings,
to feel the elusive sound

they were scratches on paper,
whispers on the wind
muttered into a phone,
tunes swapped with one or two on a sofa
and now the songs are
fleshing out
a life of their own.

about to start

home-brewed little demo album coming soon 🙂
thrilled! terrified.



Early nights,

A warrior’s strict routine

In diet and exercise.

To Full-time priestess

Is an athlete’s art,

Body trained to

Juggle prodigious voltage,

Defy laws of time

And probability

Thrice Daily.

I need to dance out the joy

Once they’ve floated back out,

The dazed innocents who

“Why not try something new?”

Busy city folk,

Charmingly forgetful

Of what happens when you play




They emerge,

Faces blackened from

The kiss of a faraway place.



Glowing embers under

Dreaming eyelids.

#tantra #tantricmassage #massage #eros #conscioussexuality #firsttime #initiation #playingwithmatches #magic #priestessing #electric #sexualshamanism

Yell on the rooftops

I want to yell it on the rooftops!

Every time

A first time,

Eager eyes into mine,

A shy smile on a mattress confesses

“I’ve been reading about tantra…”

Trembling with anticipation,

Us both!

I keep cool

But I want to carouse with confetti flying



Oh the aching threads

Make our noses bump at last


it’s all you dream of and more

Blessed be the books

Burn them!

Tear off your clothes,

Take a deep breath


Set sail.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Educate the heart

where do you go to educate the heart?

martin shaw’s drum
beats between my temples,
simple questions
piercing the heart
roll off the storyteller tongue.

the image of
a hand stitching
for a year and a day,
the heart,
on the chest of a nightgown
for marriage to
the Great Devourer, the Beast.

yesterday i was doing just that,
making whole and holy the holes,
stitching up
my mother’s jumper,
That snagged on hawthorns and rosebushes
While traveling on my back.
I used a bee hive stitch,
learnt from my sister years ago –
a way to bridge
gaps too large
to simply be pinched back together.
all of me pouring into
the gaps left by
the distance of the oceans
the clogged years of half-truths,
this triangle’s clumsy best efforts
to meet halfway.

all afternoon,
i willed peace into the spaces
in between.

so as i beheld another seamstress,
stitching potential into a dead end,
the question echoes again :

where do you go to educate the heart?

the answers
should be at the tip of the tongue,
easy as breathing,
the first-aid kit of evolving humanness.
the familiar bread and wine of our years.

i still had to pause,
sniff the air

some answers burst forward,
bearing triumphant
the spoils of many years of digging.

still i prefer
to avert my eyes from them for now,

and allow the question
to hang pure
in the clear air.

to drink the potent, fertile silence
it opens.

where do you go to educate the heart?

#question #teacher #language #heart #education #hearteducation #initiation #martinshaw #mysteryschool #sowing #stitching #fairytale #storytelling #magic #ordinarymagic #community

Dripping flag

My voice first came to me

In a cave.

The songs in a tipi.

The guitar in my disintegration.

Fairytale helpers creeping into

The plotline with gifts.

This art of songwriting

Dropped into my lap,

A package with Instructions :


So these days I record the music,

Hours behind candlelit microphones.

Lullabies of love,

Songs of existing exhaustion,

Apocalypse anthems and

Daydream visions I don’t understand,

And don’t need to.

I feel such freedom

In This art that is not mine,

Well out of my control.

I am just the messenger,

Raising a flag

Dripping with every color of my heart,


My love,

Go forth into the world

And bless it with you.

#music #magic #creativeprocess #songwriting #messenger #creativecauldron #permission #homestudio #recording #diy

Brewing pot

mmm, the process of making things. invocation, ingredients, inspiration from the weather and kitchen conversations. this is a picture from a collective drummaking where my role was to serenade. the pot on the fire, constantly brewing – that’s what i am tending.

i’m no stranger to writing, but something truly unlocked in me, in giving myself divine permission, divine request to just write, and not just in snippets, about everything i’m excited about. i feel like i’ve cleared a dam to a great river i never even noticed was clogged before.

“You may as well free a few words from your vocabulary.
Why and how and impossible”, booms Rumi as he tops up my cup of tea.

this all started when I glanced over a handful of articles I wrote years ago, which made me pause. The writing was truly beautiful. It had reached so few eyes.

I offered up a simple prayer, that this dormant skill be a vehicle, a hollow bone for something gorgeous. I then sailed on and forgot about it.

i watch the pages multiply, in this endeavor to speak the unsayable. to just fucking give it my best shot. The focus pouring into it, night and day. The thrill of this new discipline – to write from the mystery. to let ever word surprise me. and they sure do.

i’m tingling all over while I pin down impressions about sex as a doorway to god, keeping up as the thing writes itself.

great idea joy. love you. thanks for making life so exciting.

#creativeprocess #writing #writingchallenge #mystery #poetry #sacredsexuality #workinprogress #adventure #magic #drummaking #art #collectiveart #wildlove

Writing Challenge

Too often, the sheer bulk of what I do not know, and what I do not know how to express has stayed my hand, culled my voice.

When I first found myself wading neck deep in the subtle realms, I found that not only my understanding – my instruments also, had become irrelevant overnight. For a decade, I had communed and communicated with the world by painting – and the suddenly silent brushes simply fell from my hands. Words are a reluctant last resource.

Sharing experiences that defy imagining is a slippery business to me. The past has often cloaked them in heavy veils of symbols and silence – with many good reasons. It’s also too convenient to bow to that, and not take the risk of being seen, knowing full well that that was then, and today’s world is starving for crumbs of the present moment’s naked truth.

At the end of the day, it’s simple : the fire wants to be shared.
Life is too exciting to hoard the flame for my eyes only.

Today the King of Wands spoke through me words I cannot take back :

« You are stepping into the role of the prophet.
So get out of your own way. Listen deeply to the unknown.

– And speak. What the King has to say, everyone needs to hear.”

(Get It Out There Already.)

By the way : this message is also, clearly, meant for you.

I set myself this challenge to produce seven pieces of writing, for all the times I have skimmed over the hard work – of relaying back to the tribe the visions, with whatever broken shards can reflect even a glimmer of the unspeakable light.

I have no idea what this will look like.

I must be onto something.


Do you surrender to your woman?

Some kneel
to offer up words
To a priest’s ear.
Some lay their bodies
At my knees,
And through my worship
I receive
Their crystal clear confession.

I bow behind
These archetypal veils,
Priestess Whore
Angel Shaman Mermaid

– And I observe.

No matter how erotic
A Temple is forever a test of
To the mystery.
(Literally – “Islam”)

No matter the body,
Always i find it is
The inner woman
Who opens
under the sacred touch of bliss,

Always the one question :
Will you allow her to?

“Welcome to a space
Of no expectations “.

Enticing from afar,
But on the brink,

Yes, totally
Yes, totally

I am sometimes splattered with
Flailing attempts
To find a safe path through,
Projectiles of distraction
Shame desire power games mind,
Harpoons skidding when they realize
This is surrender.
Not a word,

A death.

Ecstatic, but nonetheless –

Some go there.
Some don’t.

All precious moments
Of human unfolding,

pearls On the string of our learning.

tantra #tantricmassage #temple #humanexperience #surrender #templearts #magic #vulnerability #precious #joynthunder #priestess #templepriestess #workoflove

Photo Ricky van Meer

Humble me

you humble me love.

i have put myself on the front line –
every day,

i give love with my hands.

i touch one of the animals
caged indoors for so long,
caged indoors of their minds for longer.
i touch a heart frayed by
hand sanitizer
distancing lines on the floor
agitation in the air

– and time opens.
and we fall in love.
and it’s so personal.

one man had skin and bones
inflamed, bent, screaming distress,
i cried when he left
could have kept going for days
bodies unused to
having full permission to
knees and shoulders and chests
Shaped by years of crying

“why dont you listen to me?”

but they come because they do,
and together we leave
the century the crisis the clock,
and glide into the warm womb where
love is holding you.
love is holding you.

love is holding you.

i kneel to this.
to gently wake
every forgotten inch of skin
to sing the pleasure of being alive, incarnate


I will keep conjuring
that word from their lips,
that precious memory from their limbs.

I do not know how to change the world.

you will find me loving with devotion
until something better comes along.

massage #touchrevolution #intimacy #tantra #priestessing #magic

Photo by Ricky van Meer

Garden Serenade

Domesticated beings
Seldom spark a keen interest in me.

But oh, you…
I could feel it coming,
During the traveling years when
I prayed every night

A land I can kiss every morning.

“So how do we do this?”
“Oh, just like everything. You give it all your love.”

I daydream of
our raucous play
With the outrageous tomatoes,
The thick tongue of tobacco
sticking up my fingers,
And gently opening the delicate arms
Of The Passion flower princess.

“But who will eat this?”
“The earth.”
The great devourer, happily scoffing
Our eclectic, eager tributes,
Ash shit and eggshells
Rotten mud, intestines
Broken sticks and fermented failures

  • you take it all with a smile,
    A voracious, versatile poet.

I’ve reveled in the daily divine play of
“Look! Babies!”
Salads poking up their curly heads,
A sappling’s swollen first feijoa,
Hanging proudly
From a tree half the size of its fruit.

This enchanted neighborhood
Where all the realms,
All kingdoms converge –
Black fingernails
Grinning baskets full of life,
Thoughts through the day trailing to
Hide and seek with the pumpkins
The infinite charms of rosemary,
ingenious bamboo inventions.

The friends sweating side by side,
The loud brothers with their shovels
The broken hearts digging for a little peace.

Like a generous grandmother,
None of us ever leave you empty-handed.

Oh honey,
How can I paint for you
The humbling beauty
Of being one pair of hands,
Welcoming a budding forest
Into a green desert of caged cows…

I was alone on that day,
whispering the first prayers
As I Cut the waist-high grasses
Of a plain marsh field
That now sings in all the tongues of
The curliest kale
Basil, celery, manuka…

I am forever filled
with this garden,
And she will forever be filled
With So, so much Joy.

garden #gardenlove #highdentemple #gardentemple #thetempleisthegarden #ancestralhealing #outrageousjoy

Thank you naama, goddess of the garden, for sharing this season of abundant juicy love with me ❤️


i bless this silence that enfolded me,
unfolded me,
this cocoon sweetness
that held our hive for five days.

the natural outbreath of
this dying season, the end of a deep dive,
was postponed by
half a hundred humans,
busily alive in exciting times.

but watching the moon we
dropped the threads at last
to feel our pulse.

to take our own initiation into this

time unravels in a landscape
where i
is always in the background of
“how can i help?”

the sound of my heartbeat,
its loud echo drumming through my frame,
melts me back into
every heart, that beats now or once did.

our contours fade where
our energies blend,
words failing to separate us.

every gliding hour, the euphoria
grows, glows a
brighter shade of gold.

i float in that expanding vastness
of the space between thoughts,
mother of bliss,
child of wonder
that raised me up in the morning,
eased me back into ceaseless dreams, tossing and turning under
the buddha’s smiling moonlight.
listening to the tuis’ bearded hymns
at the vigil around the fire.

later others reported feeling flames, light,
my body perceived a celestial eros,
currents of constellations
that blew
their musical tingling
on every electric inch of my skin.

a curled-up hedgehog punctuates
the vulture circles of money uncertainties,
like a neighbour that quietly peeks into my window at night.

the loudest voice repeats :

“the stones need to be heard.”

to deepen the ties with the mineral kingdom,
those songs that i hear clearer than
many a human’s speech,
demand to be sung.

i hear.
i bow.
i accept.

#singingstones #silence #musicrecording #highdenstones #wesak #fullmoon #magic #ordinarymagic #buddhamoon #highdentemple

lean on me

Lean On Me….

that song always transports me back to a moment of magic.

it was a cold winter night, and the last song of the ecstatic dance set – individual dancers slowly emerged from their trance, rising from the floor. Voices mingled. bodies came together.

a buzzing throng of sweaty, blissed out humanness locked eyes and arms, and sobbing, pledged each other the comfort of their love.

i figure that what we need right now is,
some good, looooooong hugs.

and then : some witnessing of what we’ve been through,
and some arrows as to where we’re going.

from the only voice that matters now : our own. the voice of our unique path.

this offer is an extended hand.

some people you love may be feeling disoriented, alone – or simply in a state of deep listening.

this gift is for them. to shed some light, soothe the gnawing of questions, help in a way that truly supports us to flourish, and helps to guide us through the darkest nights.

let us take this opportunity to keep consciously shedding the all-pervading loneliness that has creeped into modern culture.

let us always remember that our people are our treasure, and together, our resources are infinite.

i send you all my deepest love.

find out about my readings here : https://joythunder.com/readings/


thank you naama and christi for being fucking gorgeous 


Few things arouse me
Like slowness does.
That flavor of time spent,
Dedicated, offered up.
Like those days
Where I slide into
Deeper layers of service.

With every sunset here
The intimacy grows,
With the land, myself and my many other faces.

I came to give everything,
And morning greets in me that quiet flame
That asks every day
How can I give more?

What is that sweet nectar
That only I can deliver,
For this lover that I am,
Who will drink nothing but
The finest
of my elixirs.

This meditation
on the purity
Of the note within the symphony
Guides me through
The sweetness of living together.

I feel such an urge to share pictures of
Our collective doings and beings,
It’s like I can smell
someone else’s hunger
In the smoke of my cooking pot.

This is today’s goodbyes,
Our tears of blessings
Dripping down
Through the forest of arms and legs.
Another part
of the sum of the parts

Branches out and

Soul love can be that sometimes bewildering recipe :
I would die for you.
I live metres away.
I feel you sometimes deeper than you do yourself.
And – we barely hang out.

Yet in this familiar geography
Of ships in the night,
Stars in the constellation –
What time we do spend in presence
Only polishes the glimmer
Of the first instant of meeting,
That nodded :
Yes. I am yours.
In ways we will never understand.
All is already said.

Then it’s back to weeding,
Clearing our dining hall of
Lagoons of Compost
dog collars
And funeral shrouds,

And back to chopping wood.


saturn return

What do I return to Saturn?
I give back everything
I believe I know,
Or am.

The impossible dreams
That came true,
the spectacular failures,
The heartbreaks and disillusions,

The rich festival of so many first times.

the masks and limitations
I pick up in the morning and
pretend are mine.

They are yesterday’s clothes.
I have no use for them.

I return the faces that have lived in my heart,
The colorful tales of the path
that has led me

I return the keys and languages
That steer me between realms,
I return my hopes, dreams and omens.

I bow deep to these precious sandcastles,
And I turn as the tide rises to meet them.

The one grain of sand
I do not brush from my skin, is
listening with devotion
To Now.

The weight of metal of that arrowhead in my hand,
Pointing somewhere.



I feel the divine
Nothing new,
But my dreams paint
How each of our interactions,
Every way in which we
Reach out
touch each other’s heart
Changes our dna.
We mutate –
Each other.

No matter man’s many clever tricks
It all falls to ashes
If we cannot hold each other.

I am infusing tribal days and ways –
Feeling the caged, alone others.

I am now with many
Inside a circle,
The line in the sand
That says :
This is who we have.
This is what we have.
we are privileged to Share
Our Gifts,
Tensions visions

I melts into we,
And dreaming into matter
We Find ways.

« How far can we take this? »

And through our days and deeds
I find this underlying flavor of

Each of us painting the colors of
The world we Long for,
With determined,
Refining precision.

Perhaps this is
The Point
Of all this –
For us to at last focus
Our collective attention,
As one
gloriously undistracted
Into the golden whispers
Of our deepest Longing.

What has us
Aroused and inflamed.

What dissolves us
Back into our own nature,
Like the animals now tiptoeing
Back into our cities.

The wild love
That never left us.

#poem #poetry #tribal #longing #wildlove

meeting Hare

Animals and dreams,
My favorite sacred texts,
Have been speaking loudly.

I have been bedded
By the blood then the fever –
Days go by
And the sky
Relentlessly spins.

Focusing works for a while,
Then the spinning returns,

I gave up doing.

Yesterday I wrapped myself into a blanket and
stumbled into the forest,
Wanting only to collapse and watch the trees spin –
And I meet Hare.

I freeze.
Usually, my eyes catch
but a glimpse of
A speedily retreating tail.

This fellow lounges on,
Crosses the wide clearing in an unhurried straight line
– straight to me.

Hare considers briefly
My toes among the wandering Jew,
And promenades on.

My advanced
Melted me into the friendly landscape.

My separateness.

What else am I ever learning?

dark lake

I sit and listen to the dark lake.
The Scratch-under-the-surface,
resilient face
of this once marshland –
The black mirror speaks plainly
Its oracle :

Covered in blood-red at our arrival
Its surface rusted, rotted, ripened,
With every new tear at
The flesh-masks of our
“I am this”.

I prayed on Transformation
While our fragrant, thorny
queens of love
Went into the ground.

the world of men closed its borders,
Opened its ears.

a torrent of rain
Filled the womb of the lake,
and suddenly
The mirror is clear,
Back to its primordial black.

For the first time,
After six weeks of co-existing,
The women’s blood
Is now starting to flow as one wave.

The lake
Draws me to its edge
And I Get lost,
Melt into this vast slice of sky.

Under my skin I feel
The cogs of chaos,
The end of a spiral and its rippling

The relieved “at last”
To an ending long pending.

Every one of us has
long ago
chosen The company we are now
Locked in with,
Picked with care
Every brick to seal away the exit,
Every tile to shelter from the rain,
Every poison and medecine lined up
On our inner shelves.

And now :

Time to watch all we know disappear.

To bury it in front of the first gate,
And free from distraction,
To open to the
imperative flowering
Of the question :

What truly matters?

rumbling night

I lay it all on the ground.
The hunting knife,
The telescope,
The compass.

I lay down the trying.

On the sunset road,
There’s a red woman,
Dancing alone on the red horizon.

What else is real?

Bright pink flowers
Brighten up a room
Drenched in the smell
Of sudden, violent death.

A green caterpillar,
Inside a green tomato,
Defends its home against an
intruding finger.

I hear our caged parents,
Scattered all around the planet,
Have started to plant food.

The smell of cinnamon curls out of the kitchen
While the mists unfurl,
And the shadows meditate
against the paling morning.

Here there are
So many arms and legs,
Wrapped around
So many beating hearts.
It seems the world has grown smaller out there,
But i live in a forest of
eyes and ears,
A perhaps accidental ark
Of precious animals.

An end begins,
And I am caught here,
Like a kiss caught on the wind –
Speechless with wonder
At watching us
Teach each other to
Make bread
Raise goats
Love deeper,
Simmer and bubble
in the creative cauldron

Pray the dark into the light,
The future into matter,
The flowering of the chaos in our cells.

Pray ourselves open
Into evolution,

“My only home is
The unknown”.

I am so grateful
to be
aboard this ship
Heading nowhere,

As we all descend into this
Rumbling night.

lure me back

Yes highden.
Lure me back in.
I have not yet touched the land and I am
a low rumble
I have ached for
your grass and water
pulling and tugging and dragging
Parts of me flying past,
Whistling ahead
for days now,
You summon me and
I am running to the pyre,
Ripping skin off me while I go
Like casting aside mourning black
on the last dawn,
No part of me but the
Will make it through these gates.
No part of me will make it back out.
I run into the jaws of
love that devours everything.
I am ready,
Eyes wide open.

Surprise me all over again.
#highdentemple #rayvi #devotion #servicetothevoid

an outrageous liaison

I have been indulging in
An outrageous liaison with
My inner monk.
Oblivious to the outside world
(But what is outside?)
We dissolve into the divine
Riding the words of poets
And the horn building on my fingertips.

My body quietly allows
As all hours of the day and night
Watch us lighting candles on the floor
Celebrating Union
In bursts of erratic sound and silence.
We pick up masks of god
To show each other, giggling and weeping.
“Know that one?”
We are 4-year olds comparing notes
On the shapes of the clouds,
Giddy and absorbed in our serious business.
Pouring the unsayable into chords
And all the words hanging unspoken
In clouds of rhyming radiance,
Winking – are you getting the joke?

Unexpected birds swoop in,
Pick their way through
A colorful clutter
Of razor-sharp heartache shards,
Beams of light landing in the bathtub,
The insisting pounding of fists on the door,
a few miracles that have sniffed us out.

“Hey, we know you’re in there,
Up to something!”

To learn about sound, sit in silence.
To flirt with grace, sit with pain.
To cultivate power, breathe.

#cavechronicles #cave #creativeprocess

God getting ridiculously excited

I’m noticing something I already know

While I simmer in the love songs cascading out of me.

Someone often sparks them off,

And the words may dance around their outline,

But very quickly it

Slips off them

Like water off a duck.

It’s never about them.

They are simply the spiral I slide down –

One split second later,

I burst back into the realm of

God getting ridiculously excited,

writing ecstatic love songs to itself.

Very old friends

Thank you for reminding me.
We’ve been through some first times,
Some first times in a long times,
And when the thread got tangled
I found I did know.
I knew that taste in the back of my throat,
That said

But oh, I had forgotten
How the horizon opens,
When my fingers let go of yours
And the strength used to try and hold on
Like a long exhale
Of relief.

Love is the greatest teacher,
In the art of yes and no.

The sentence of waiting and wanting lifts,
The low brooding clouds of the then and the someday
Burst into rain and disperse.

I return all of me to the present,
Surprised to find
Songs of joy now pouring from my heart.

Because at the end of the day,
When I give up and forgive us and walk away
All that remains is
The toothless grin of this weathered, resilient knowing :

“My every dancing atom remembers
Your heart and my heart
Are very old friends,
Oh yes, very old friends…”

love songs

When the planets aligned
At the sacred site,
I was not at the
official Ceremony gathering thing.

I was sharing a patch of grass with
six strings and four ears,
Begging forgiveness for
Every minute of my life ever spent in
Not writing love songs
Not singing love songs
Not being a love song.

Calling out to the sky
Forgive me!
I promise
It won’t happen again!

Nose on a trail

I go to the waters,
To offer terima kasih banyak
In flowers and cigarettes
To the full moon’s gaze.

Almost a year later,
Here I am again,
Getting blessed
On the brink.
I receive the gift of
And prepare to leave
the incubator’s sacred waters.

Truth be told,
I do get a kick,
A smiling, compassionate chuckle,
Watching my mind
Scrambling to keep up with the
Split second decisions
Taken by my soul,
As it swerves to meet the rising wind.

Eyes closed,
Nose on a trail.

All I need is a hint,
And I get two.

“Outside, the freezing desert night.
This other night inside grows warm, kindling.
Let the landscape be covered with thorny crust.
We have a soft garden in here.
The continents blasted,
cities and little towns, everything
become a scorched, blackened ball.

The news we hear is full of grief for that future,
but the real news inside here
is there’s no news at all.”

Message received.
Uluru, here I come.

followthesigns #uluru #ceremony

Cave chronicles

This song was written to the love that lives in me. In you. That will still be there intact, long after we have all moved on.

How to share our most untranslatable moments?
Like the slowness of the cave,
Whale time,
Watching the rain
The gecko crusades on the wall.
At last, I let everything fall away.

Back to the breath.

Music fills my mind
Sound streams out,
Spiraling around my being
Like only spirits do,
Living entities pushing themselves
into form.
They fly out of my throat and fingers into
Other ears,
Soaring in circles around other minds.

My body demands raw flesh and
No decisions.

Simple interactions slipped out of my reach,
Telepathic wonders crackle on as usual.

Words read on a screen
Hang in the air,
Subtitles to my days.
There is no rush.

After this year’s
111 temple nights
I surrender back
To a different flavor
Of empty space.

To that face of devotion to the divine
In the chicken chatter,
The waterfall,
The messages.

What you are working on is gold.”

What glimmers from the depths
Right now
Is that bone-deep knowing that
All that matters
Is those who know how to tend to the earth.
Our earth.
Our self-worth, our children, our dead.
The love and hope we come back to in times of crisis.
The roofs over our heads,
Those who tend the
Fires in our hearths and hearts,
In our wombs and spirits,
Who feel and weave every day
The web between species

Those who know how to sing spirit into matter,
And listen to how it sings back.

I watch the cauldron bubble,
Drifting between dreamworlds
While life shuffles my cards.

cavechronicles #joythunder

your eye

I find I have picked up
A new habit :
Serenading my loves.
Today, how could I resist –
I didn’t.
I strummed a little gratitude into our lunch,
Mine de rien.

I land in an island,
meander my way to a hotel room
And here,
Our paths meet again.

This picture holds such beauty to me,
Because it shows me your eye
As it falls for the first time in months on
Your sleeping child.

I remember that night you finally
Sunk into sleep,
When we all gathered under the same roof
To wait for death.

There’s a trickle of that in the air
The year has turned and
We join,
Snatched out of the sky
To watch torrents of rain.

Lay yourself bare

The other day, a line from a song
Kicked me in the face.
“People writing songs
That voices never shared”.

What am I waiting for?

In the past I’ve hunted for an edge,
Fishing for adrenaline in
Extreme unknowns.

I now know
My being truly trembles
In moments of quiet and whispers.

Such as that silence
When I step into the limelight,
And the group’s gaze waits
As I pull in a breath
And I sing
My heart open.

“Yes. Come in.”
Or perhaps : “I am coming out”.

I have roamed temple floors,
Feeling into
What is most needed.
The answer I find is always
Lay yourself bare.
Step into the centre where you can be

Open the field of permission.

I write a song after making love,
heart beating as I send it
To that companion’s ears.

Then the screen, the distance dissolve
And I open again
This raw tender heart
To the whole community
Breathing in front of me.

I allow.
I give back the gifts
By holding up the mirror.
I will not leave this treasure buried.

is what happens in the mystery chambers,
Between us and
Inside of you,
Every day
That you dare.

Where change is burning,
And the flames
are already
Setting the world alight.


Fresh off another gathering of
The lessons that shine through
Are the same as the ones
So expertly articulated
By the kids.

The Sacred needs no frills,
Just an invitation :
A big fat pinch of humor.

I watch again,
As years of pent-up
Distress and catastrophe
Into a soft sniffly smile,
Within minutes.

Lift the dam – our waters’ only yearning is for

I worship again at
The cathedral of our bodies,
Oh my
Did someone say
Yes yes,
That is what we do here.
Roll around laughing helpless on the floor,
Yes bring it all in,
The merry carnival of
Every tear contraction fear wound,
The coins to pay for your journey into

Take a breath.
A risk. Take charge and
Do the thing
You’ve been running from.
It hurts
When it’s that raw,
It curls up your toes as you
Stretch into a bigger, unfamiliar frame and

“Hey, let’s go to Earth and
Forget that
We love ourselves!”

New game babe.

It only takes me a few hours to
Fall in love with
Another crowd of strangers
And their goddamn beautiful
That lead them through the minefields
To a pile of cute zebra cushions,
To be reborn in snot and come as

Pure potential.

I have no words for the hum of
Of the ride,
Or the breath that then
Scatters us to the four winds,
As we say our goodbyes and the real adventure

joynthunder #ista #level1


You bought to me the
Sacred souvenir of this land.
Your delicate fingers
A ceremonial axe,
An elegant dagger
That sits between my breasts.

Blessed by fire instead of water.

What a mirror you held up to me, sister.

How familiar the path of
Another green-eyed French doe,
Her passion watering her art
As she traveled the world,
In love with
the stones
The land that birthed them
The man who loves them.

I remember that crossroads
Where my own craftsman’s tools
Suddenly slipped from my hands,
And in blind faith I kept walking,
Until I stumbled into
My next incarnation.

The stone you carved called me,
Chose me,
A present and reminder to
The leader in me,
The presence that shares the gifts I am given,
In this ongoing journey of

Water under the bridge,

And as my eyes met yours over the ocean of green storytellers
Your offerings, your life’s work,
Spread out on the coffee table
Just like I used to do,

I give profuse thanks
To the abundance that we are,
Because you followed your path
And I followed mine.

Getting shorn

Getting shorn.
Or just another day of service to Love.

Finding the scent of
In the flowering of
The oldest rose of the rose garden.
The land has held us while
We spiraled
Oh god, deeper,
Standing in the fire.
We invited Chaos
And it
All over our stunned faces.
We surrendered to Love
( again )
And it took us
( again )
( harder )
Stagged us (it’s a verb)
Blew me out of my atoms.

That dark light
A beacon
Calls us in
Flips me inside out
And exhale,
Whew, it’s over.
It’s just begun.
Stones gaze at our
agitated adventures
of humanness.

My wildest dreams
Did not dare to invent
I think,
With every new month.

Every time I fall over another edge of
Reaching out
Persevering in truth
Thanks enough.

I read a letter I wrote to myself
Go all in honey,

Nothing here can be spoken.
Only the sound of my breath catching
Every time the Mystery kisses my cheek.

The world sucks back out of the nest
The blinding lights of
Activated souls,
shining through
Ripped open hearts.

Don’t worry.
We’re coming for you motherfuckers.

highden #rayv #wildlove2020 #revealers


The word is
I can barely keep track
Of how many teeth gleam in the moon’s smile.

My spine squints at my foot, thinks
Already the paths open to beg for a footprint,
Strewn with rose petals and freshly fallen apricots.

I blink, and the earth has already sucked in the raindrop.

“How was it?”

It’s past! Gone!
the next wave already swells ahead,
Don’t ask me about then –
I’m hurtling by on the shooting star of Now!

My brain has no time to anything
No time to interrupt my animal and my soul’s
Each murmuring to the other
“Baby let me take care of you”…

There’s only time for
self care and soul fire
Stretch my muscles, untangle my hair,
sprinkle holy water
On the ground of holy caves,

Jump on the next train.


What has kept me here?

It is

Without doubt

Or hesitation

The bears.

The shredded trunks

Where their nuzzles smelled bugs

The ripped planks


So temporarily

The treasures of

Garbage and kitchen,

The cacophony of their retreat,

Smashing through branches

Every day when I walk by.

“Bear medicine is

Knowing your strength.

How to pluck a delicate berry

In between two giant claws.”

The one who knows

The perfect blend of root and bark

To pour life into the dead.

Afternoons find me whistling down the track

Where a young adult bolted

A mother and cubs scattered.

Even the long, loving gaze of the deer,

Coming to meet me at arm’s length,

Cannot distract me from my

Persistent beardreaming.

I sing a few notes of warning

To the shy one at the east gate.

Not the “Love me babe” that birds sing,


“I am here.

You are here.”

I’m fascinated that like the wolf,

You know

To run

from such a fragile biped.

Many a decade has passed

Since your hide hung from the tipi poles.

I don’t know, darling.

I carved you into my leg,

long ago,

On a day when I just

Didn’t know

What else to do

With the pain of the world.

I stay,

and peer at your presence

through the curtain of leaves.

An elusive memory I can’t quite catch

Hangs in the air between us.

#bear #bearpoem #bearmedecine #poem #joynthunder #magic #mystery

Oh water!

Oh water!

Divine lover of mine

You whisper words at dusk

And tease songs out of me.

I sit on another land of quartz,

Where your veins twinkle with gold,

And I run to you.

Lips black with blackberries

Cooked and dried on the bramble bush.

I sleep in the dust,

Pluck thorns from my ankles

Sweat coats my skin with salt

And every night as the light


My feet pad along bear tracks

Heart racing until

Your rustle reaches my ears.

I race across fallen trunks

And here

The cool dance of your body

Welcoming me


We are alive!

Fling rainbows into the air.


Thundering laughter!

Every day I bathe in your

Life-giving love

Endless adaptability

You come and wake the smell of pine from the ground

We run outside, amazed

Rain in the dry season?!

A sprinkle of blessing

Flung over your shoulder

“Did you want a miracle?”


Blessed be
The four walls around me.
I tend to exist outdoors.
I’ve long been a stranger to
Holy places built by the hand of man,
But lately I’ve discovered
The precious silence preserved inside churches,
And now the haven of the bathtub.

Oh, to be,
Not by a bird, a cloud, a fly.
Time stretches out like a lake with no waves.

I listen to the drip-down of blood.
“Stay still.”
How deeply can I let myself sink
into the tide inside.
Feel the lives that will not sprout
The roads not taken
As they slowly pour out of me.

I release
My cherished illusions
The urge to act
I hand myself over
To inhale

This marvel of human architecture,
The hair nails toes navel,
The astonishing radio between my ears,
All fades into the background
While the quiet ceremony proceeds.

The body of woman offers
Such soft experiences of dying.
Every entrance and exit
Uncovers a new path
Into fragility.

I hold her gently, my partner of bone and skin,
I kiss her hands
Stroke her feet when she whimpers.

I listen
to the unspeakable tales
Of her eyes in the mirror.

There’s a tree-climbing kid I know there,
Other faces flicker
I do not know
Or remember.
I thank the blood
For reminding me
The greatest mysteries
Are not outside of me.
(But of course, nothing is)

No greater miracle
Than one more chance
To wash the past
From the bottom of my cauldron
And emerge to the open arms
Of a new day.

Singed whiskers

So let’s count then :
Split drum
Smashed phone
Sprinkled computer
Torn kalimba
Ripped travel bag
Toothless rattle.

People around me tend to
At an enthusiastic pace.
Their homes partners jobs vanish
Their identity crumbles
They have visions of wolves.

Perhaps that’s the price I pay for the low rumble in my wake.
The lightning I let through me
Singes my whiskers,
Scorches my toys.

Some people have fertile fingers.
Everything they touch blooms.

My hands can stay buried deep in my pockets –
I’ll blink,
And brush the dust from my face.
Pat a shoulder.
Squeeze a bewildered hand.

What was fading
Is suddenly gone.

And don’t be fooled into pointing fingers.
This is your doing!
Who called me here?
Snatch the mask off my face
And find a mirror inside.


My favourite magic trick
From the bag of the prophets
Divine multiplication.
I receive love
give love
Am love
And then I spread it –
Like throwing fat fistfuls of seeds to the birds.
Then all around me happy birdsong erupts,
It tickles the ear of a poet
kindles his art
Flares up a poem that will
Set souls afire
for hundreds of years to come.

Don’t pretend helplessness.
Everything we do and don’t do
Sends out a tidal wave,
Birthing at relentless speed.

My pockets bulge with the love tokens of men and mountains,
Bones stones
Machete scars
Powdered plants,
They flow in and out of my hands
Like a stream of fresh water,
Soon dropped in another’s back pocket,
Sprinkled to the wind, lost
Or buried under a pine.

The leaves whispered to me that
When I pant in pleasure
They can breathe deeper –
Riding the same wave.
Ecstasy and oxygen.

How could I ever plead loneliness?

The open secret to magic is :
You remember the sun looks to you for light.
Each rose opens, yearning for your touch.
You remember your duty to remember,
Then act from there.

“Get lost in the dance.”

The wind billows in my dress,
Sails me out of every haven.
It flicks away my anchor
Without a backward glance.

I dream of stillness
You feed me accidents,
You shake me by the ankles!
Poke tickle pinch
My clothes rip,
Instruments break –
Change my plans
Steal my knife
Take my name.

I know impermanence
like my shoulder knows the weight of my travel bag.

“Oh, you want this?
How bad?”
Trickster tricks to test me
– takes one to know one –
Dangles just out of reach.

I put my yearning on the altar
And throw my hands up in surrender.
Hey, more apple tree cards! “Okay!”
I walk the plank.


Oh yes.
I know the drill by now :

You take everything from me…
Then cram treasures into my empty hands.

#planepoet #impermanence #magic #surrender #joynthunder

Ista love poem

Alone at last.
There’s still salt on my cheeks
sand in my hair
Wind in my ears.
Hours roll by behind plane windows.
A rainbow spreads across the clouds
and the moon rises,
Full and silver on a blood red sky.

My body still remembers the goosebumps
Every time a voice speaks in the circle.
“I have never felt so welcome.
Anywhere. Ever.”
“To come here was is the best decision
Of my life.”

My eyes still hold that 360° horizon
Pure potential
Clean slate
corals, stars and snakes under our feet.
“Here we want your sexual energy.
Bring us your lower chakras.”
What does that look like?
The brothers walk out taller.
The sister’s eyes twinkle with magic.
How many first-time-evers,
How many freak coincidences rippling out to our loved ones?
No one’s counting.
Too busy having epiphanies orgasms high-fives catharsis – and then breakfast.
“Lure them in with the word “sex”
– then change their lives forever.”


I’ve spent hours walking rose quartz paths
Meditating on the bridge where
walking with naked feet
keeping an open heart
Both demand close attention to the environment.
If the mind wanders,
I cut my skin,
bump fragile bones.
With every step
The stones press their jagged edges into my flesh.
Nerve endings alight like fireworks.
I tread softly. No rush.
Protected feet power by mine, oblivious to the flavours of the land they cannot feel.
The sudden oasis of a patch of silky sand.
The cool water that licks my ankles.
The smooth volcanic wrinkles that warm my toes.
Protected feet walk blindfolded, focused on the destination – unaware of the journey.
Like prudent hearts, afraid of pain. Of breaking.
Like children afraid of the dark.
One thing I’ve learnt is
pain usually walks through the door bearing a gift of perspective.

I’d rather get the quartz’s lessons of
raw love
carved with sharp edges into my soles
Than lose my connection to the ground.

what does a queen look like?

I had a dream a few weeks ago. Someone said to me : “Hey, there are queens all around you!”. I woke up and pulled a card : the Queen of Cups.

This week they’ve been relentless : every time my fingers would reach for my deck, one would be there, waiting for me.

So what’s your point, ladies? I mused.

What comes to my mind when I feel into a queen is : effortless mastery. Like a fish can swim and a bird can sing – that ease is the queen’s playground. She luxuriates in her element, like a cat stretched out in the sun.

Or ripping a head off a bird. Whatever the element is, in that moment.

Anyway – ease! Now ease is a quality I’ve been devotedly calling into my life. I’ve repeatedly, cajolingly serenaded to it in a number of languages. This court of queens now dancing around me seems like a simple message that I am attracting what I emanate. The last time I picked the Queen of Wands, I was struck by our physical resemblance, the light curls and bright yellow dress that I’d bought the previous day.

This ties in to the voluntary non-doing I’ve been practising for the last few days. (years?) Leaving some space and time for things to trickle down and filter after intense experiences.

In that space a memory came, of an exercise picked up in some fix-your-business book. It’s called the Billionaire Uncle exercise.

So your billionaire uncle dies, and leaves you mountains of cash – but first, you must fulfil two requests, for which you have access to whatever resources you need.

First, you spend a year learning something you really, truly want to learn.

Second, you spend the following year in service, to whatever calls you.

After those two years, the rest of the billions is yours – but hey, who are you now? How have these experiences changed you, and how has your path changed, now that survival is no longer an issue?

When this popped in my head again I realised I’d manifested this very situation in my life, pouring resources I never dreamt could be available to me into learning and giving. None of this happened through any effort or planning. It just… eased itself in, when I wasn’t looking.

I was washing dishes the other day in front of a poster proclaiming Do More of What You Love. That seems to be the only steadfast practice in my life.

Do More of It.
Celebrate, in ecstatic gratitude.

Thank you beauties.


This is some full-moon love from a few days, a few decades ago.

I’m living micro-seasons. Super-accelerated cycles.

Two months of winter, for slow silence and music. Tears, goodbyes and a funeral celebration.

Then I hopped the globe, and bubbled and simmered for two months of summer. The sun warmed my naked skin while my identity imploded and composted a dozen times a week.

Then came 20 days of tropical bliss where the lightning stroke again and again, like a hammer on a blade. Charging, tempering with electric thunderstorms, the smell of dragonsmoke and the roar of waterfalls.

I’m now concluding a few weeks of fading autumn light, to harvest and prune. I make preserves of the golden juiciness – glass jars of long-lasting soul food.

Here I watch the red leaves fall on the Highden stones. Each one whispers its medicine : Choice. Surrender. Joy and Transfiguration. In a couple days I’m setting aside the builder’s tools to dive into yet another time zone, climate, language and flavour…

And I feel like I’m traveling with a bag full of laughing wind.

A bag bursting with treasure!

My head whips around, Where do I even start to share this?, a shiny trail of scattered loot follows my every step.

And who knows what will happen, when my hand pulls Something out of that magical bag.

I don’t know anything!

All I can feel is this current, running hot from my toes to my nose and pushing me forward.

Pushing us around – chess pieces dancing.



Lichen – the sacred union between an algae and a mushroom, thriving together in a way they could not achieve alone.

yesterday, i took part in a woman’s circle.
last week, i took part in a co-created gathering.
two weeks ago, we had a party for my dad’s funeral.

with every opportunity to immerse myself in community, i feel my power grow. i feel the reach of my influence go further, wider, taking on new flavours when the seeds from our gardens cross-pollinate. when we can contemplate the mirrors of others’ achievements and stories, their ways of walking the path of love and pain.

the circle yesterday was full of powerful women. many of us travellers, gathered in front of the crackling fire before we scattered to the winds.

we had a ritual. i read somewhere we make rituals so we remember to remember.

to remember how powerful we are.
how many.
how much support we have to offer and receive.
how precious our individual gifts.
how strong, when we braid them together.

yesterday a woman played her whole year for us on the harp. we listened and wept. it felt so damn good. to wash her pain, that is ours, in all our tears.

the people from new year’s gathering are restless : “when do we meet again? how can we bear to live apart now? how do we channel all this energy into something beautiful, meaningful?”

i keep having dreams of one body, many heads.

alone we are but a strand of grass, easily trampled on, fragile, evanescent. Together we become braided sweetgrass, a ceremonial smudge that “washes the recipient in kindness and compassion to heal the body and the spirit”. (Kimmerer)

cards once told me, about a man i loved: “he is not ready for the funeral pyre of love. when he finds the support of a tribe, he will be.”

find your community, your hive. the nest that can hold your incubation.

hunt down the many whose open arms ache for your return. follow their tracks back home.

“Shall we burn a barn?”

Among its other faces, I’ve noticed death puts mischief on my mind.

Laura, mad and I could smell it off each other when we walked to the underworld together. Fingers itching for trouble and nothing to lose.

“Shall we… burn a barn?”

Luckily we were isolated, and kept too busy to steal some car keys and go wreck some creative form of chaos on the sleeping hamlets.

The mad glint was back in my eye that sunset on the subway though. When the woman across me pulled out the Tibetan Book of Life and Death, I knew the game was on.

I tell her I once rescued this book from a rainy pavement, and made sure it dried, never really glancing at the contents. She tells me how the Western world is now just plainly unprepared for death.

“Oh yeah. Like my dad – complete Cartesian mind right, skeptical as can be of spirits and stuff. But this morning when he died –

– Excuse me?

– Oh yeah, 3h30, very early indeed. Well he shook my mother awake, “I’m leaving!” – while he expired in a deep coma, in another town. Cheeky bugger just couldn’t resist a dramatic exit – and he would never have believed that kind of story himself!”

Her eyes are still bulging while I sail off the wagon, whistling. I don’t get very far though – I’m stopped right in my tracks by the distinct scent of someone feeling playful.

Where are you?

Aha! Its the pink lilies. Their lush fragrance hijacks my brain. I tenderly gather them to my chest and carry them through the tide of black-clad commuters.

“You’re in a dancing mood too huh? You know, my father’s body looked 20 years younger – and his hair had changed color! The world is full of wonder and mysteries we will never ever understand!”

We whisper secrets and cackle all the way home.

Just me, death and the flowers – having us a whale of a time.

Solstice. Standing on the brink.


Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time in the transition grounds. Tonight the night was the darkest – then no darker.

My father’s body lies in ice, waiting for the fire, then the sea. I watch my mother sleep at last, and slowly pick up the threads I’ve let fall to my feet.

My cauldron’s filled up with stillness, with “don’t fix it just be there”, cooking for one who doesn’t eat, being calm for one who cannot rest. Playing music for the living and the dying. The woods feel bare and still, like we do. The birdsong is louder when it colors the silence.

My fingers have bent branches of spruce and cedar into a crown. The ruffled spiral of green and red stands guard on the front door, attempting to ward off the well-meaning, empty words of neighbours.

“Do not intrude. Birth in progress.”

The doorstep sees gifts pile up. Soup, chocolate, tangerines, roses of every color, more than we can count, spilling out of every vase in the house swamped in mourning mess. Like the offerings left to Santa, the gods and all those who walk between the worlds.

This morning I watch the sun come up, and I know the light is growing.

I surrender to sharing love

Hawthorn : medicine for the physical and emotional heart

On the video screen, Larissa’s arms are bare, snug in the Bahia summer while I am swaddled in jumpers. She picks a card for me as a gift. She clears her throat and reads from the explanation booklet :

“In the midst of the battlefield, when times are grave and tense… life sends you a marvelous gift. Like a special feather bestowed upon you, to add to your headdress and bear with pride. Share this blessing far and wide, that its light may touch the lives of many people.”

She looks up and raises an inquisitive eyebrow. I smile :

“Oh yes. I fell in love this afternoon.”

My loves used to be my secret garden – i kept them jealously hidden from the public eye. Like a magpie I burrowed the gleaming gold in the safety of my nest, for my eyes only. They were too precious to be picked apart by the questions and comments of nosy neighbours.

But I am shedding my old ways of hoarding. Why should i hide it? It’s not like any of this is mine.

Like death, love just perches itself on your shoulder, one day when you’re not looking – and nothing can be done.

So I climbed into my mother’s car and kissed her cheek, on our way to the palliative care home. And I dropped my old lying-by-omision act.

“What have you been up to, for two days then?

– I fell in love.”

Boom! For a second, spring was back in the air. She whooped and cooed and twittered, pestered me with questions without giving me a chance to answer. She basked in my light and rejoiced in life, her own pain pushed into the background for a little while.

“So what’s he like? Come on, you haven’t said anything, you little monster!”

Can you describe someone you love? The poet and I think not.

I grinned and shrugged, hands splayed, empty of words.

Love that’s shared grows. It’s nothing new, but its still magical, every time.

I surrender to sharing grief

The phone was still in my hand. It lit up again. A different name, different storyline. It’s so unexpected I pick up.

A cheerful voice asks about my plans for the weekend. My mouth opens, closes.

“I’ve just learned my dad is dying. Like, ten minutes ago.”

I’d almost just hung up, but the numbness froze my default emergency protocol. Snuffed out the blinking lights that read : Tell No One. Hide until you’ve Processed.

So I just said it. Then said it again. To whoever really wanted to know. Spoke the words during the days my body felt nothing, alien, my mind a haze. I peaked from under the thick blanket of numbness, and found I had not landed in the hiding cave.
Someone played music and brought firewood. Hands stroked my ankles while I slept. I spent an afternoon spooned between a man and two purring cats. When I found I couldn’t cook, I was fed. I was taken to see the sun rise. I was held, sung to, left alone. I was seen.
I shared, and through the sharing felt the tug and tingle of all these threads, the soft red wool that with each day, pulled me back a little.