For the Daily Prompt: carve. I think of skiing, bicycling. And I think of a piece of my heart. I wrote this in the early 2000s.
Butterfly Girl Comes to Visit
She is so beautiful with her wings
multicolored many splendored lights caught and multiplied
as she flutters
I am an ogre
Huge and clumsy
I know from past past many times
Not to touch you
My rough fingers have brushed the tiny feathers from your wings
You cry in pain and your flight becomes erratic
My kiss is just as bad
If I move the wind of my passing blows you against a window
You fall stunned
I hold and crush
the box of feelings that can hurt you
Sorrow, anger, fear, dismay
Even fatigue turns my aura red
And scorches your wings
I hate to cause you pain
Fly butterfly girl
My baby needs me, my pager rings
My ogre husband stirs
The effort of holding still plain on his face
I can’t hold still much longer
I took this in 2012 in the Ape Caves at Mount St. Helen’s. The Ape Cave is a lava tube. When Mount St. Helen’s erupted, lava flowed hot. As the outside cools, the inside continues to flow, leaving a cave. The cave is 2.4 miles long and we are instructed to bring 2 or three light sources and back up batteries: because if lights are out, it is truly black as pitch inside. We all turned our lights out together, and stood in the darkness.
At Deception Pass, I hike and come to these rocks. This looks like a spinal column to me and ribs to each side, the bones of the passage, the bones of the earth. Or like the back of a sea lion as it breaks the water. This is no timid small mammal and I step lightly and carefully across, hoping not to disturb or awaken it.
I am at the lake. There are younger people with me. We go to the graveyard. The earth is soft and loose. There are no markers or stones. We do not need them.
“I can feel the people in the earth.” says one of the younger people.
“Me too!” says another.
“Of course.” I say. I name the people under the earth and introduce them. The young people are amazed. I am surprised that they have never felt the dead. I think the cities and concrete and phones and television and computers: all of these must block the signals. But we never allowed electricity here. The phones don’t work. Candles, aladdin lamps, propane stoves and heat with wood in old cabins. Thin shacks where we hear the wind and water, and tents, lying in the embrace of the earth.
We leave but when we come back, the young start to reach down into the soft earth, arms length. “Did they die young?” one asks. “We want to know more.”
“You must be patient.” I say. “Don’t push the dead.”
Later I return a third time to sit quietly alone with the dead. Dark falls, moonless, overcast, no stars. I stand to return to the cabins and my flashlight dies. I know the paths well, but not the path to the graveyard. I tie up my long skirt and kneel. I feel the ground gently. Yes, I can feel the path. I start to crawl slowly, stopping to feel the packed worn earth. I think of wolves and cougars but none have been here for years. It is not cold enough for exposure. It is just dark and slow. The dead are with me and approve.