Wednesday, January 23, 2019

15th Annual Conference on Current Pagan Studies in Claremont, CA

This weekend (January 26 and 27, 2019) I will be at the Conference on Pagan Studies at Claremont Colleges, in Claremont, California. It's the 15th year for the Conference, and as always, I look greatly forward to it! I'll be sharing a paper called "Earth Speak: Envisioning a Conversant World". The Conference is friendly, fascinating, and affordable - if you're in the area, come join us!


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Remembering Mary Oliver

I was so saddened to learn of the death of poet Mary Oliver, who, like Ursula Leguin, has been a lifelong mentor and inspiration.  I felt like sharing again this poem of hers, which says something about her to me.  Because she was, indeed, a Light to the world.

The Buddha’s Last Instruction

“Make of yourself a light,” 
said the Buddha,
before he died.

I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal – a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
even green.

An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.

The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.

No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.

And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire –
clearly I’m not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something
of inexplicable value.

Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Exhibit at Clay Co-op January 11th

I'm very pleased to have a chance to share some of the work I did this past summer, collectively called "Our Lady of the Shards".    I will also be reading from "Aphrodite in Brooklyn and Other Mythic Voices", my recent collection of poetry.  Welcome all who happen to be in the Tucson Area!  

​"Our Lady" lies among the broken shards, debris  and resurfacing mythos of the past.  She has been buried by time, history,  war, and  often the co-option of what was once sacred.  She is the Black Madonna:  the dark, generative Mother  Earth found in the presence of sacred springs and cave, or like Our Lady of the Desert Spring, She is  the numinous Spirit of Place.  And She is also the forgotten, yet life sustaining  work of those unknown women who wove the ancient stories, who birthed our ancestors, the memory keepers and the comforters,  arising into the world again,  insisting that we  remember and reclaim.