While Staying in a Converted Coffee Mill in Kona and Learning the Ways of the Warrior Woman Who Lives There  

(for Kelly)

I squat on the cold porcelain

and relieve myself.

My city self.

My heated toilet seats at home self.

Far from the world that swaddles the baby

I presently share black night with the

sound of wild pigs, fornicating or ripping

each other to meaty shreds, hard to tell which.

Just below the outside deck on which sits

the lone bowl and me.

Not far.  In fact, much too close.

I clutch my nightshirt from it

dragging to the floor and pray to be spared a couple’s supper.

I want to revile this minute.  Every cell in me does.

I shiver from spider webs and

shadows that limp and drape around

me in this pitch blue January mist,

tickling my arms like a lover trying to catch my gaze.

I reach my hand down into the abyss

of the canyon below as I piss an anxious piss.

Reaching down to God, who lives among the

wild pigs and other hauntings, don’t you know?

Praying for a wrenching.

If I scream wild enough perhaps

I’ll never feel the teeth gutting my innards.

Yet as I pull my hand back, untouched,

the terrored screeches fall to a chorus

of panting huffs, rhythmic, nearly song,

a ritual stomp reminiscent

of the Black fraternity gearing for

a hazing.

I scurry back to the cold sheets

of my borrowed bed and stare at

the moon, who glares back with a warning,

like an Irish koan:

“Beware the lure of the wild, cushy girl.

‘Tis pungent with lust.

‘Twill fondle you in all the places and

snatch you from your illusions of safety

by the kinks of your nappy crown.”

And it does.  It pulls out a good patch, in fact.

Since then, I’ve shaved every remaining hair,

and now chase the wild scent with the

same relish I’ve clung to fears. 

My friend the warrior woman had been

a city girl like me. 

We rose up together, our young ripening days,

in the poshness of Beverly Hills. 

A trial in her life changed her.

Here it demonstrates like a perfect étude.

And so I ask, always now, as lives the warrior woman,

for another chance to try my hand at leaping,

to try my hand at living.

Happy New Year 2022

May this New Year bring you peace, surrender, serenity, and a few breathtaking insights.  May you want for nothing, because you already have everything.  May the intentions you set this day be felt against the sides of mountains, ring into the ether with an ear-warming reverberation, and settle in the bones of those not as fortunate as you.  And may those intentions keep us all connected like a mighty woven net of love that always catches us when we fall. Happy New Year, one and all! 

As a working musician, the very last thing I do in the very last moments of every year is sing.

“… as it has been since forever ago and auld lang syne.  I am a New Year baby; it is in my DNA to usher out an old, usher in a new. To ritualize the idea of rebirth, renewal, and restoration; to chant, to pray, to dance, to give auspiciousness to new beginnings and rites of passage, to participate in burning bowl rituals and labyrinth walks, to summon the rains and the gods, to howl at the moon, to burn sage, to close my eyes, shut off the valve and listen. Listen to the wind in the trees tell me what I need to know next, what I need to do next, how I need to sing next. And then I sing.” ——— (Excerpt from my poem “Lost & Found” from the collection BONES)