Mother Earth

I embraced Mother Earth.
I can still smell her on my skin.
I can still feel the strength of her bones,
beneath my hands that raked her soil.
Cast in the iron pumping through her like lava
flowing from her molten core.

I danced through her sands
and scaled every mountain peak
and followed the lead of her gentle curves.
The feminine form of the Pacha Mama,
The Gaia, the Demeter, that sacred body.
That well-spring of life,
The true feminine form
That is stronger than I,
welcoming me down
until I am buried.

Mother Issues

I am sitting across from my mother,
on a two day yoga retreat
as she reads my first book of poetry
and I explain away my life.

She is horrified, editorial - amused,
oblivious as I get eye-banged by fellow yogis,
who like bad boys who dress in black spandex,
drinking Roobios out of recycled cups,
listening to sad songs on big headphones,
taking breaks to recite lurid poesy to his Catholic mother,
who salutes the sun with the woman who raised him
who stands with his mother,
imperious against the dawn,
and flirts with rural girls in search of a soul.

There’s a 95% chance
I am going to have sex with one of them -
with some controlled breathing,
all the props,
getting lots of asana
on a combined yoga mat,
in some monastic cell.

My mother will be in bed.
She is one of those early risers.
Ignorant of the pot smoked in the temple
And why we really practice our stretching.
Someday, she’ll read this poem too.

“Hi, mother, this is me.”
You son has come home
and it’s time you got to know him."

“I am here because Byron Katie was bullshit.
I learned everything about being alive from you.
As you drink tea and read obscure literature
and laugh and shake your head and tch in disapproval
and need no cult or book circuit to teach.”

“You taught me to live, no matter what.
Life is painful and that pain means we are alive.
Why disregard our emotions and try to be still as stones?
Rage against the dying light.
Stand defiant against the dark.
Embrace our stories and feel our feelings.”

Why deny our baser natures when that is the way we were born?
Naked and already dying,
In the hands of a woman just as fallable
who considered aborting me as a viable life path.
And who I would not blame in the slightest
if she had taken the clinical route.

“Open yourself to the universe,”
said my therapist,
“And you’ll be surprised what happens.”
Apparently, you find out you were this close
to playing it as it lays,
dodging coat hangers,
wrapped in umbilicals
and ironically alive.
Saved by the same conservative morays
I tried to shed like unwanted cells.
like Joan Didion grew up in the coal region
Instead of the California wastes.
He’s definitely onto something.

He’s a cancer survivor with a missing leg
a incisive mind and a no-bullshit kinda attitude,
who’s super power is being able to shut me up.
He encouraged me to reconnect with my past.
He also knows that life lived is painful.

He’s why my prolife Mother is reading -
My poetry about gay threesomes
Learning about all my formative mistakes,
The details of failed marriages,
The drugs snorted and the bottles drunk
the songs sung and the messes made.

It’s a really good thing she has a sense of humor.
Else my therapist would get the Freudian slip.
Somehow, I doubt he meant using her
to pick up hippies in converted monasteries,
Charming my way through these secular and restrictive corridors,
Earnestly pantomiming a sensitive soul.
What’s a narcissist with a broken childhood to do
Even he has to find his savasana somehow.

Whether pretense or past tense,
Being a momma’s boy certainly has its perks.
Her decisions are why I am alive.
I just hope my therapist approves.

Orchid

You remind me of my mother
who planted long rows of delicate flowers,
using only her hands and her coping mechanisms.
Every hole troweled with the fury of promises yet fulfilled
and seeds sown with deliberate, calloused hands.

She too could make anything grow.
No matter how hard the soil.
How acidic the water.
How unbalanced the bases.
She possessed an aspect of Gaia.
for she could bring new life to barren soil.

She had a greenhouse
lush with strange fauna
not fit for our respective climate.
She conserved an orchid.
Her mists fell like tears
and the stubborn bulbs flourished.

You remind of my mother
For you make me grow no matter what the climate
Even in the frigid months
When other flowers perish
I am shaped by your bell jar
Safe in possessive glass.

Potential

I plot my course by three stars:
Charlotte,
Edison,
and Alexandra.

Charlotte oscillates
With the energy of a frozen heaven.
Her hair, a weave of dust
Between my outstretched sextant fingers.
She slyly winks with a dark humour.

Edison is the sun.
His warmth creates worlds.
He bathes those who surround him
In compassion
And the wisdom of the gods.

Alexandra is the smallest,
but she sings an old song.
She may be hidden by her siblings’ shine.
Yet, everyone hears her whisper.
She speaks softly to Cassiopeia.
She lightly strokes Lyra.
We all dance to her pulse.

All three form the constellation, Potential.
I look to the heavens and I see a future unrealised.
I see a distant possibility.
I want to pluck them from the heavens.
I want to cradle them in my arms.
In each one, I see an aspect of the universe -
The mother who birthed them.

Remember

Remember who you are.
Remember where you came from.
Remember what you’ve done.
Drawing breathes and stitching yarns
And have only but begun.

You are Chicago royalty.
You were born from black and blue.
You’ve got Maxwell’s equations,
Maier’s eye and Leaf’s Coney Island hue
and you owe no one explanations.

Know what you want from life.
Know that you can take it all in stride,
Know that you have Sandburg’s shoulders
Rising like a skyline, dividing like river
and winding like the city.