Mark Mealing ≈ Three Poems



Hollow Bones


A long time ago
when the First Man died
he crossed over the river
A long time ago
His bones didn’t go with him
they stayed here
it seems
& after a while his Walking Bones woke up
the long, strong leg bones
“We should be alive,”
they said
“Why aren’t we alive? Let us go to find our life!”
so off all the bones went
It was strange
Bones walking about without flesh!
People said, ”Who are you?”
Walking Bones couldn’t speak to answer
because he was only bones.
People said,
“Look at those Walking Bones!”
& pretty soon that’s what everyone called himn
Walking Bones went everywhere
looking for life
but he couldn’t ask where life was
where the Spirit was
he wanted so much
pretty soon
he walked far beyond where all the people lived
came to where there was nothing much
Walking Bones was tired at last
“This is a quiet place,” he said
“I’ll rest here”
& lay down
it was good to rest
Then all the little people
beetles & ants & them
they saw Walking Bones was kind of messy
bits of skin & meat & hair & fat hanging on
“We’ll clean you up,” they said
& they did that
& one of them
it was a tiny beetle
said, “Hey, look,
there’s marrowfat inside.
Let’s clean that up.”
& they did that
cleaned everything up
The bones were all hollow now
they’d forgotten about the life they left behind
they’d forgotten about this or that
everything they thought they wanted
they were just there
That was when the Maker came by
when they were ready
the Maker picked them up
they were hollow altogether
Then the Maker blew into them
blew in the spirit
– can’t blow in the spirit till nothing’s in the way
& the spirit took Hollow Bones across the river
where they meant to be
We can be Hollow Bones
don’t have to be dead yet
just hollow enough for the spirit to move through us
as we’re meant to be

As worked from Jenny Ray’s telling
Native American Stone Massage Workshop
20, 21/11/04



Remember This


In Afghan meads dark poppies blow
Yet no white crosses make their show
Nor mark our places; craters lie
Where random blasts forced us to die,
Our flesh far scattered, blood let flow.
We are your dead. Short time ago
We ran & battled. Why, you know:
Greed for power sent us to die
In Afghan meads.
We had no quarrel with this foe:
Mad Harper’s War God made us go.
There’s neither torch nor holding high:
Faith’s dead in us, the War’s a lie.
We sleep divided. Yet poppies grow
In Afghan meads.

for 11/11/11



Toccata & Fugue in Rain major


Endlessly, the endless rain falls again & again
pounding, resounding in droplets
abounding, endless rebounding
resounding again & again
the rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain.
the pouring rain falls yet again
yet again pours this falling rain
again the pouring, falling rain
falls again, pouring yet again
Again it falls & pours, the rain
the pouring, falling rain again
again pouring, again rain falling
rain falling & pouring again
Rain pounds upon the roof
falls pounding down the drain
again & again upon the grass
upon the trees it strips of the last
remaining autumn leaves
leaves leaves in windrows on the rainswept road
upon the path it pours again
& floods my feet with mud
Again the rain it pours to fall
upon the roof, upon the wall
upon the trees & dogs & others
all my sisters & my brothers
the rain uncovers
discovers to all
its dark & maddening pall
that appalls the brain
Again it falls, the pouring rain
yet again, ever again
pouring, falling endless rain
rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain



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