January 7, 2020

The Ancient Woman

Seeds of Our Mystery I
by Lucy Pierce


The ancient woman feels near, sometimes.
She of pomegranate and myrrh,
of fig and oak and olive grove,
of swaying hip and sunbrowned feet.
She of herbs in her hair, 
animals in her wake, 
stars in her eyes.
Primal she stirs,
Like the snakes blood,
or the the earth’s crust,
restless with time,
hungry for breath.
To shrug from her gait the oppression of eons,
as though she could step through time 
and return to the blazing hearthfire of eternity, 
the rich tapestry of her wisdom and knowledge, 

The ache of her being so near,
and yet untouchable, 
almost unbearable.
Her scent almost indetectable,
obscured by spells of danger,
once necessary webs of protection,
the parched shrouds of survival.
To only know her through the gossamar veil 
of unknowable paradigms 
that clash in the void of the inbetween,
so heart-breaking.

I wish for nothing more 
than that her knowing could be mine again,
returning across the primordial stretches 
of her persecuted power.
To know her on her home land, 
with her familiars intact,
with her knowing stored in the blood of ages, 
and woven between the stars 
and the plants that she heals with,
the loom in which she dances 
through the threads of time. 

I long for her scent to be mine,
for her wild instinct to rise in my blood,
for her ancient words to trip my tongue,
and yet still, in the speaking,
 to make the world new again and true. 
As it was when she was young to the world
and the lore of herb and star was hers to give freely,
when her knowledge could heal the woe 
and her song could break the heart 
and her yarn could weave it back anew, 
a thing of beauty and power, 
a thing of sinew and sovereign. 

So long it has been since the chain broke.
So long it has been now, 
since the mother taught her daughter 
who taught her daughter,
 who taught her daughter, 
the words and the ways,
the songs and the portals,
the names and the thresholds.
So long it has been since I knew my true name, 
that my power has become such a withered thread, 
no ballast or weft, 
no grist or tread, 
only a glimmer, a glamour,
of what has been forsaken,
and the weight of that
too unbearable to know. 

I feel the shadow of her inside me, 
of all that she was,
maybe still is, in another place, another time. 
The longing for her, 
an annihilation that I hide from, 
the impossibility of her, 
too brutal a beauty to hope for.

And yet I give her my colonised words, 
yoked and bound in the tangled narratives 
of an oppressor's tongue.
I give her my blood, 
sprung blessed and dark 
from the deep of me as I sleep and dream. 
I give her my pleasure 
bone deep and quenched, 
and the tears of my grief, 
too long untended, 
unfathomable deep.
I give her my song, 
clumsy and unhinged from the true names of things.
I offer her the swaying of my hips. 

I give her my body in which to plant her seeds, 
that might one day grow 
the fibres of new language, 
sun drenched and rain soaked, 
star gleamed and moon spun, 
words arising in the compressed space 
between my foot's sole and Earth.

As I walk the back of our shared home, 
the Earth whose rhythm and pace is eons wide and eternal, 
as I walk Her, fathoms far 
from the place where my own blood memory sings, 
I am listening still as I walk, 
tenderly with the ear of my heart, 
for an opening to the resonance 
of her long ago fineness, that ancient sister, 
to the shape of her words for the things we might birth together, 
across the tundras of space, 
listening for the sound of all the names, 
of the vast and the infintesimal, 
the names of the boundless things 
that bloom and thrive yet, 
in the space between the heart of a woman 
and the song of her earth 
and the longing of stars. 

These things I give, 
they are all I have left.
May she wake inside me yet.

Seeds of Our Mystery X1

by Lucy Pierce

Word and image © Lucy Pierce 2020