"I dance on the red floor of the sun I hope to die clean "

More Perihelion:

Issue 6: No More Tears

Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series

Book Reviews

Need to Know



Poets featured in this issue:

Mary Moore

Kate Benedict

James Walton Fox

Jane Blue

Tom Goff

Kate Lutzner

Heather Burns

Maria Melendez

Karen Alkalay-Gut

Laverne Frith

Laura Ann Walton

Roger Pfingston

Scott Odom


Bei Dao

Laura Ann Walton

What My Mother Knew

my mother was     crazy     one day she
    held in her hand
        dirt from the garden
            showed it to me   said
        this is god

    I know
            she was right

my mother died years  ago    I
             sit in a chair in the garden today
             write random words in squares drawn on a page

random as leaf 
    I bite one   it
        bleeds   blue honey of sky

the earth is  bronze
        purple weed in its clay

I dance on the red floor of the sun
I hope to        die clean
       in a whorl of   white ash

the yarrow hums  summer
I sit in my chair breathing green     asking her
        is the deep courage for


   of the Crazy Mother

    I have been split apart by stones
    yet crushed them to sand

    chained to the moon
    yet bled her white

    my heart pierced and devoured,
    yet I eat for my daily bread the heart of some child

    sun has charred me to black bone
    yet I  burn in your breast forever

I am not tender
I am not gentle

    I am 
    the churning sea you continually
    struggle to birth yourself from me

I breathe upon you 
     kiss of the serpent

         give you the truth of your being

Have I trampled enough?
Have I raged enough?
Have enough fires blazed from my eyes?
Have the hills rung loudly enough with the cries of the bright eyed lions?

I will never abandon you
    never cease to abandon you
    restless and tossing in the
        ship of your dreams

I will destroy and re-make you forever.


Crone Anger

I reach  fifty years
            bitter kernals swallowed
              skin pocked with assualts
tired of teaching anyone
                    (if I ever did)
wasted with effort of
        setting boundaries
        calling you to focus
        hold a focus if you want to see!

hold anger
        clay in the hand
                moist eye
                        plunge my thumbs into
                smooth a floor in the dark, cup
what is    anger
                            rough beggar's bowl
                                    strangers toss in
coins    bread
                        good luck charms
will I take grace     in bitterness
                crouch, fangs in the dusky swamp
                gnaw bones
I place this bowl
    down on the earth
                leave it to night
                        rain petals
        snow water    whole moon shells
                rind of sun
when I come again
                        of myself
                            I drink
    clear water from black stone.