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Prayer for the Living

Prayer for the Living

Tammy December 13, 2014 0 comments
2d Source Soul Card:  I am the one from which two and three emerge, the container of the whole before gender or color is aware of itself; I am the one who is thunder, dreaming.

2d Source Soul Card: I am the one from which two and three emerge, the container of the whole before gender or color is aware of itself; I am the one who is thunder, dreaming.

Reclaiming some of my poetry from almost 20 years ago, and my name as a writer which I haven’t claimed for a long time.  My plan is to do more writing in 2015, but to take a running start at it right now.  As it happens, it is Saturday and a long while back I used to do Poetry Saturday, so I even have a place to file it!

The form of the poem is changed, and the original form enhances the movement but I can’t figure out tabs in wordpress and am not willing to retype the whole thing here so we’ll just take it as it shows up.

By the way, this poem is the start of Wylde Women’s Wisdom, which some of you will remember, and my whole Wylde Women theme in my art and life.  You see that “Wylde” is still “Wild” here – this is the genesis.



Prayer for the Living


  1. We Meet the Woman Who Is Wild

I’ve lost all my dreams

misplaced the book where I wrote them down

the book I sued to figure out just what it was

I wanted, or what wanted me.


Without it how can I tell you

of the white feather presented to me

just before I awoke to find

the white wolf blinking her yellow eyes.


unmelted snow on her fur?

What if I told you that this has nothing to do

with feathers and wolves or the color white?

If I told you that all of this is


her, whispering her stories

trying to make me come back and play?

What if I told you she id dead

and I killed her?  What would you say?


Perhaps I should begin

at the beginning when she crept in

while I was occupied with some drug

whose precise letters I can’t recall.


It was never that I didn’t likke her,

just that I had not context

for what she loosed in my house – the musk

scent she trailed like honey,


the men who came sniffing

like hound dogs on the track;

the body thing – she said our bodies are

beautiful – take off your clothes


and I did.  She said speak up

and I did.  She said dance bare and

howl; she said ride wild things between your legs;

she said you are who you are


and I was.  And then, I think, she went

away or did I tell her to leave or

did I cut out her heart that night

when I closed my mouth, put on my clothes


and began to follow the rules…

Sometimes in the dark I hear something

that sounds like a scream or maybe it’s a keening,

and I wake up, sheets wet with sweat,


nightgown twisted up to my neck

like I was trying to take it off – what

would you say if I told you, after all,

It was only a dream, would you believe me?



2.  Wild Woman Speaks

In the closet where you left me

I have found all the secret doors.  At night

while you sleep I creep up the passageway

to your room, collect the hairs from our brush

and return to the darkness where I weave

for you a new skin – a skin for you to wear,

the one you’ll find when you open the door.


3.  Realization

She sings a story song

born of seawind and earthfire

she says I must

crawl from my mud

into the sun

dry from the cave’s wetness

stand in the light

outshine it

she says I must

stop hiding

in beloved darkness

where I speak the language

of shadow and shade

she says I must

go into the desert

and gather the power strands

I scattered

thinking to be done with the necessity

of taking the pieces and directing them

like reins pulling at the mouths of wild horses

she says I must               finish what has begun


and my traitor heart

leaps with joy


4.  Wild Woman Prays

Kali, awe/full Mother

Terrible in your darkness

You are called Dream

Creatrix of Night

Take of Life

Giver of Death

Sister of Gorgons

Mother of Anger

Daughter of Ocean

Woman of Iron

Holder of trident and sword


Holder of lotus and honey


Wearer of Peacock’s beauty


Wearer of pearls

Dispeller of fear

Wearer of skulls

Dancer of death joy

Gatherer of seeds


Hear us now


Take this blood and drink it

Take this blood and drink it

Take this blood and drink it


For life eternal




 5.  Knight Vision

The heart of the husband has approached

through fireheat, coldburn,


through hidden caves where sunlight

can’t reach


has tried the surface where all

is reflection where shadows

prowl the edges


has trembled when she comes to him

like some wild animal soft, sleek,


all mouth and teeth          and claws.


The heart of the husband has braved

all of this, has thought

about the steam


the steam she lets rise around her


not the trailing steam of mist,

but fog thick and heavy

so dense, sight fails –


and the heart of the husband thinks

of how to sit still

becoming a rock

she can hold onto


if only


if only she would stop beating herself

against the sharp pieces

and find the small places

where toes and fingers can grasp


and the husband doesn’t know

who she will be today

watches moon changes

once ignored          tastes

her salt       sips

her honey and

loves her

this child     this woman            this

lover who howls and scratches

at the door of being – and the heart


and the husband let her in         let her in

never knowing what they’ll find


 6.  Thoughts from the Corner

it should be easier than this

snakes do it all the time

shed their skin

with not even a second thought

while I can’t even find the seam

think I might have to rip open

think it might hurt

think I am imagining things

think if I could just wake up

or maybe it’s go to sleep

than I would be normal again

walk around in the sun and

smile again as though

none of this ever happened

as thought I never heard or felt

or knew anything other than this

light, this well beaten path, this

maze of rats, this nest of ants

this pain, this pain, this pain

for so long I can’t even feel it

anymore – so much easier than

learning something new –

some things are best left to snakes.


 7.  Wild woman’s Declaration

In this closet are many rooms –

all the doors locked

by one key

it hangs

from your neck nestled

between your breasts

swings there gently

bumping against your heart

beating reminders of who you are

in your dreams

the thing that you can never find

already in the palm of your closed hand

the hand you refuse to open, like your eyes,

afraid of what you might see, afraid to stay

in this place where you are, unable to turn back,

dead but breathing.


I am wherever you are

let met teach you

my dance.


 8.  Behind the Closet Door

Wild and trembly

storm child twirls

feet stamping water

where the creek

turkey tails

into bottom land

and snow battered

sod lies interspersed

with gnarled roots of oaks

older than this

clay soil

from which she has


spitting mud

from under her tongue

telling stories

born of rock and

liquid fire


 9.  Secrets

What if I told you

there are no rules?

That there isn’t even a game

until we decide to play it?


What if I told you

that there is no

winner’s circle, only smooth round rooms

with blank white walls


which quiet the quest

make us forget where

we were going and why

soothe us into dreamless sleep…


 10.  Using the Key

Like a cicada buried for 17 years

something stirs inside

and despite myself and the warmth

of this place where I sleep


I begin to dig through dirt

find myself splitting wide

open as though some

Celestial scalpel descends


to make one clean cut out of which

I emerge wrinkled and white

to unfold in the hours between

Moonset and sunrise


find myself singing a song I don’t know

find others just like me

everywhere I turn singing the same song

All of us pale as lunar ghosts


stretching into air like newborns

finding parts of us that were

not there before, learning to see

what we once only imagined.








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