Stones and Bones
The Rock

This is the rock of the history of your people:
The fires against the cliffside,
The animals howling far off in unknown languages,
The wagon wheels turning, turning like tired suns
Across the desert floor.
Hear the rock breathing quietly,
The smoke and dust dried on its face.
This is the face of the mother who could not cry,
Who shut her eyes against tears
So her children's sight would not blur.
Breathe with the rock, hear its voices,
Touch its face to your own.
Feel the skin of both go soft
As they begin to remember each other.
Feel the tears of the grandmothers melt in your body.
Feel the breath of the grandmothers rise in your throat.

Grandmother Mosquito

You're the one who doesn't follow the rules.
No orderly invocations in circles for you!
You come whether we want you to or not,
whining words that we'd rather not hear
into ears that we try to cover.
You take our blood without waiting
for the sacrificial knife.
What's our lost sleep to you?
You've your own brood to take care of,
and we're just your big bags of groceries.
But we can learn from you, oh yes,
if we make the down payment first
and don't demand satisfaction.
Your buzzing messages may be poems,
your nasty little hill forts
redefine our skins,
slapping you off our faces
wakes us to the stars.

Medicine Woman

"On the Alaskan island called Little Diomede, Knud Rasmussen encountered an old woman living among the shreds of her life in a cold, dark cave. A diviner, she had seen many seasons come and go, and many lives pass as the seasons do."

Joan Halifax, Shamanic Voices
Now once again I have nothing to lose.
The shining brown kelp on the rocks
is bright as my eyes,
clear and blank as the sky.
Lovers, daughters, sons
went as the tide breathes.
My blood was replaced by salt.
My flesh has grown dry as jerked meat.
There is nothing between me now
And the voices of stones.
You can see through me.
I can see through myself.
All poems copyright by Lisa Yount.
All rights reserved.
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