in the garden
March 12, 2021 — By elsa

orthodoxies of a rebel mind and other poems

on ‘parting ways’ a black swan my dream gets hacked, I opened a bad link all the while our best lives get scribed onto future scrolls bound with the spirit texts, alt alternatives the unnecessary cruelties, remember, forget them the system floods, the banks cannot contain this river under the river, nephrologist, endocrinologist, archaeologist the diagnosis, a sodium depression pre-scribing medicinal poetry […]

on ‘parting ways’

mis-appropriated maps 
layer ancestors 
languages flags failures 
bombs still follow missiles down the 
rabbit hole of hate 
hate still finds relief in beauty 
rocks geologically restless 
on/no common ground 
leave only 
holographic solutions 
blessings the bullying 
gratitude for the marginalizing 
the blackballing 
just leave 
couldn’t leave 
couldn’t leave well enough alone 
or leave stitches uncrossed 
an arrow of a cut through linen 
rushing to complete the leaving 
a ‘hundredth monkey’ 
raising the bitter beloved 
onto world culture’s high altar 
elevating suffering 
sacrificing peacemaker 
traitor other 
never knowing what it 
was that kept 
a single heart 

orthodoxies of a rebel mind

don’t apologize for your dream 
the grand quiet lost just like that 
to a life’s worth of symptoms as your 
enneagram twin upends the applecart 
recounting the joys and pleasures of 
getting out of moving cars veiled in 
vagueness, drugged on hospitality 
the geographic kind of belonging 
betrayal by explosive thighbone 
a pilot prays for the doula’s discipline 
the world full of poets and kings 
estranged shapeshifting fathers 
and earth mother technologies 
raising bits of shame judgement 
mirrors the wounds wanders the aisles, 
the demon protector’s last line of defense 
dancing fearless and lonely in the portal 
concealed in the passage to the evolution 
saved from the gaze of an indiscreet lens 
an abandoned heart going to meet the new 
starts the night waves crashing as natural 
and formidable as chocolate or dashi 
nitty-gritty this remembrance vivid 
and precise with ancestral collisions 
flayed open to an imagined protocol 
a mask lifted on a lemon-yellow morning 
unspooling beams through grasses 
the peripheral week pouring in, floods 
the afternoon golden from the west 
unleashing believing, unfastening 
the straight jacket required of 
a world lost in its book of shadows 

a black swan

my dream gets hacked, I opened a bad link 
all the while our best lives get scribed onto future 
scrolls bound with the spirit texts, alt alternatives 
the unnecessary cruelties, remember, forget them 

the system floods, the banks cannot contain this 
river under the river, nephrologist, endocrinologist, 
archaeologist the diagnosis, a sodium depression 
pre-scribing medicinal poetry and pomegranates 

a hawk takes flight off a great canyon wall 
dipping into mystery, rising above a burnished 
ribbon of water aflame, the binding spell manifests 
magnificent re-assembles wonder in the garden 

a path of shell stretches forth breathing earth 
breathing stone dense with roses and pine, 
a snow of clover, it’s going to be all white 
…the Swan that is 

pond road

Your poems a vaccine, arrive 
before the mushroom powders, 
and the stainless water filter, 
before the nettle and the astragalus. 

Crafting a spell wound diosel on 
cemetery grounds, with flowers, 
(not black salt), Italianate 
ones, plucked from Botticellis. 

for Niki 


discard the starter 
make a bowl of yourself 
drink the blackest Lapsang Suchong 
use up all the postcards 
change the slant of your writing 

meet the man with the head of an eagle 
survey the landscape of the tarot  
don’t rescue the maiden in the Tower 
eat popcorn and boredom 
it’s not too late, to go back to bed 


proof of life

my grandchildren’s time will be 
a flood of light being 
a salt sea of memory 
healing the mother wound

future delight materialized 
by love by devotion a heritage 
seeded backward toward lineage 
and a grandmother who wasn’t

in the river under the river 
in the 6th extinction blood and bone 
giving way beneath a raft of peace 
her DNA survives childless