eve

He for God only, she for God in him – Paradise Lost

 

He for God made, she for the earth

He grinds her to dust and buys his rebirth,

her skeleton scaffolds his tower of dreams,

her spirit rubbed raw so his conscience will gleam.

 

He for Man’s comfort and she for Man’s care;

give her a hand for her hands are bare,

washed of her self with the dishes and dirt

and the knowledge of blame staining her shirt

 

as the cry of her infant stirs up her shame,

she feeds him bitterness along with his Name,

her only Creation, her only Word,

another desire becoming her Lord.

 

Copyright 2016, Carrie Myers. Originally published in Feminist Spaces. Volume 2, Issue 2, Spring / Summer 2016.

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What is Needed

 

She’s walked for weeks under a formless sky

Devoid of shelter as the ragged earth.

Something inchoate, wild finds its breath

in all the miles, her solitary

push past food, time, her inner voice’s pleas.

Sweet water, snake’s blood dripping from her knife,

hard-edged sleep – her savage self wakes to life,

her senses sharpened to intensity.

 

Windbent, twisted, spare, a lone tree beckons.

She approaches it in wonder; her touch

hungry, almost carnal, is as urgent

as a newborn’s gasping, the brutal punch

of air against closed lungs. Its bark is rough.

Her cheek is scratched. She melds to root, trunk, branch.

 

Copyright 2016, Carrie Myers. Originally published in Feminist Spaces. Volume 2, Issue 2, Spring / Summer 2016.

Based on, and with wording borrowed from, “The Woman who Walked 10,000 Miles (No Exaggeration) in Three Years,” by Elizabeth Weil, New York Times Magazine, September 25, 2014.

 

Our Lady, Untier of Knots

 

Untie from me this striped tail beneath my dress,

this persimmon tree

where I search out my children’s shadows

with rough and hairy hands

 

Don’t throw me a rotten rope

as I climb to heaven

leaving me scattered and crushed

like seeds in a millet field

 

Reel in stone gods towards my offered rice cakes

and wide-brimmed hats;

keep the demons in their boxes

bound up with promises of sparrow’s gold

 

Unleash a summer snowfall

on a hill where I lie down

with ghosts of grass stems

shocked and razed for your devotion

 

Unspool a bridge across the Milky Way

River that keeps me from my love –

As ravens shed their feathers with my every step

let not my tears drown the villagers where they sleep

 

Copyright 2016, Carrie Myers. Originally published in Feminist Spaces. Volume 2, Issue 2, Spring / Summer 2016.

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Welcome

Here you can find my ramblings, reflections, and published poems. I write about faith, family, spiritual direction, and whatever I’m thinking about in the moment. The name of this blog comes from this poem, a sestina I wrote on love, spiritual longings, and the many unexpected ways that God enters our daily reality.

I hope you’ll find here a space of rest and refreshment. And please drop me a note if you find something that speaks to you, or just want to say hello. I am always grateful for fellow pilgrims and wanderers.

art credit: Daniel Myers, 2015

When My Father Was Young

He sent lit firecrackers floating on small wooden rafts down the irrigation ditches running under the outhouses. He and his brother Soko would listen for the BANG that shook the termite-eaten boards almost to the ground, then laugh until their sides hurt as the red-faced victim, caught with his pants down, ran fuming back to the sugar cane fields. From the small, brown women in wide-brimmed hats, bent over their buckets, scrubbing rich rust-colored soil out of faded clothes, they stole heavy washboards and stunned the frogs, bloated with flies and heat, sunning themselves in the shallows. Then chopped their heads off and cooked them for dinner. The fields stretched out for miles against the green-ridged mountains and the humidity crawled down their skin like a languorous eel. The sun, captured by the hero Maui with a flaxen rope, twisted and glittered in its sky cage.

Copyright Carrie Myers, 2014. Originally published in “Sacred Spaces: Works in Progress,” June 21-July 25, 2014. The Walls-Ortiz Gallery and Center.

February, NYC

Two men on the bus threaten to kill each other

not now, but later, out of sight of cameras.

They scream across the people crammed

like whole chickens into cans, moist and stuffed,

shuffling and turning as far as they can from the fuss.

 

The student scrolling through slides for a test,

pregnant woman balancing her belly on working heels,

old man with a cane, sleepy child wilting for a seat –

all equals in discomfort, shining beacons

of the democracy that is public transportation.

 

A homeless man begs for twenty dollars for a coat,

takes what’s offered and strides off, head up,

whining thrown off like a cheap clothing drive suit.

The woman who gave a few dollars fears

she’s been duped but can’t say no

to a potential angel entertained unaware.

She stops

to wonder who this Sunday School guilt hurts most,

the person taken in, or this man she eyes

as moral litmus, parable-in-disguise.

 

Emergency shelters open up.  Intake workers

leave for empty lots, church steps, benches,

rounding up those who might not last outside.

Even those who’ve “lost their privileges” –

stealing, went off meds, overstayed, too many fights –

invited back, just this once, for winter’s coldest night.

 

Copyright 2015 Carrie Myers. Originally published in “Re-Imagining Theologies: Asian / Americans and Faith,” March 28-May 15, 2015. The Walls-Ortiz Gallery and Center.

Amina Christi (Soul of Christ)

Which is truer?  To say that God is love,

or that for God, love is too limited

a term, as if an ocean were content

to curl within the confines of a cup

 

or drown in dust while angels sheathe their swords

and weep dry tears.  This desert’s night crawls out

scorched and scornful before me, while I mouth

from cracked and wasted bones, God, give me words

 

to form, to speak your person, my soul’s life,

in certainty, not shapeless shadows, flow.

If words, proof, self, must fail before I know,

Lord, on each of my dyings, shed your light.

 

Let, rain, breath  – Spirit – permeate this air

Let language become thought, and thought, prayer.

 

Copyright 2015 Carrie Myers. Originally published in “Re-Imagining Theologies: Asian/American Artists and Faith.” March 28-May 15, 2015. The Walls-Ortiz Gallery and Center.

For a Sky Ravished by Light

I remember sitting at my childhood table

eating my daily cereal, when the sky

opened up, its astonished edges

marked by the absent beams where our ceiling

once was.  The kitchen’s frame

wobbled, its light-

weight walls no longer held fast by the roof, and the sunlight

spilled onto the table.

I looked up past the exposed frame

to what seemed my own square of sky

kneeling down through the lifted ceiling

to feather the edges

of my experience, till then edged

with careful walls, with even the light

kept in order and at bay.  But I knew of stained glass ceilings,

jewels poured down on feasting tables

and soaring buttresses pointing somewhere north of sky.

To frame

a life implies containment; to frame

your words requires care.  Both ways of hedging

your bets.  If you ask the sky

how it feels to be ravished by light

it will say it isn’t able

to place a ceiling

on loving and being loved.  And we have no calling

to hold apart our fragile frames

when we lie together on the table

making a meal of our kisses.  Your hair is edged

with the last light

of the swooning sky

and as the dark diffuses down, the sky

tilts its sighs towards the vanishing ceiling.

How light

these bodies, how fast these frames

tip towards the edge

of time and table.

Let’s table time, the distance between ceiling

and sky, the frame

that marks the edge of light.

Copyright 2015 Carrie Myers, originally published in “Re-Imagining Theologies: Asian / – Americans and Faith.”   March 28-May 15, 2015, at the Walls-Ortiz Gallery and Center