The uttering continues - words found in crevasses of moments and memories, in the prick of experience. I utter words I do not, myself, understand. In words, I attempt to explain the inexplicable

Prairie Prayer (excerpt) 

The Prairie Journal of Canadian Literature. 2013: Issue Number 60

 

I will tell you of the prairie,

Of how it holds me grounded and tethered like a hawk's eye to its prey in the grass

How the sound of the wind has never left my ears - soughing, shushing meditation of

Wind in the coulees.

 

I will tell you of the prairie,

Early morning magpie clatter, mourning doves in the cottonwoods,

Night-hunting coyote slinking through the storm-belt trees,

Home in the dawn, blood stain round his jaw.

........................................................................................................................................................................

Long gone from the prairie, its subtlety, its stillness, its want of echo,

I still feel the stronghold on my senses.

I yearn still for nothing between me and the far horizon, nothing between me and the sky, nothing between me and my wandering thoughts;

Emptiness and isolation make me confront myself.

 

Wind blows my body out of balance, but I learn to let it hold me,

I learn to let the scouring cleanse me.

 

The sky is so wide and open I can see the end of myself - and I don't fear it.

 

Yet at my feet the smallest of grasshoppers wanders in the vastness of her own world,

Her focus reduced to a single blade of grass.

.......................................................................................................................................................................

The story of walking out into the prairie with my old, dying horse.

He and I faced into the wind, lifted our noses.

My long hair and his mane tangled together, intertwined, braided as one.

A sign of his illness, my father said, horses do not turn into the wind.

He knew where he was going, I said, though not aloud.

......................................................................................................................................................................

I wear the prairie,

The prairie wind and sun have etched lines in my face,

The prairie cold has put a squint in my eye.

It is embedded beneath my skin - my sweat smells of sage and sweet grass,

It is lodged in my heart - I long for the loneliness.

 

It makes my soul ache to be vast - horizon to horizon.

Drawings of Sara

ArtAscent 2013: October V3 GOLD PRIZE WINNER

 

Lost in thought and oblivious to those around him, Simon held tight to the grab rail, swaying in empathetic motion to the gentle pitch and roll of the metro-train, hugging the rail or gripping it tersely as it lurched around curves and bends. Curves and bends . . . Simon thought pensively of the contents of the portfolio clutched in his hand, its cracked leather handle creaking in unison with his arthritic knees.

 

Drawings of Sara. Sultry charcoal and conte, stark pen and ink, soft and secretive pastels. The drawings accumulated over the full and many years of their relationship; Sara's naked, posed body mapping the journey of their aging lives together.

 

The pen and ink drawings were done in the early years. Sara's body lean, spare, and angular; Simon's renderings quick, gestural, and spontaneous. Their expectations of each other were exacting and unforgiving. Lines were drawn that demanded perfection, that gave no room for error.

 

As they grew closer and older and delved more deeply into each other, Simon gradually turned to charcoal. It was a time in their lives when lines could be smudged, when the shape of their feelings for each other could be suggested, when Sara's body - thickening with child - needed the kindness of a softer touch, a softer medium. Simon ardently applied the charcoal and conte to paper - his hot fingers smudging the lines and melting the shapes into each other.

 

In their last years together, Sara grew dark and broody. He wished to gift her with light. Her body now grown heavy and marked with life's erosion and age, he drew her in soft pastels - rendering her lighter, brighter, and softer. Washes of colour hid the pocks and marks of an aged body. Lightness of hand forgave the heavy, sagging lines.

 

A lilting pseudo-female voice seeped into his thoughts and he heard his stop announced. He hefted the leather portfolio, the years of him and Sara, and prepared to disembark the train. It was only a three-block walk to the funeral home where Sara's body lay awaiting him one last time. This time he would draw her with subtle strokes of air - and love. 

Rooted in Surrender

Bricolage Magazine of Independent Arts & Culture. 2013: Issue 3

I find the fine, white scar

on my hand;

The result of a frightening question.

It sits in the webbed roots of

Bones and veins and the wear of time.

When did my hands turn to oak?

When did my skin turn to paper?

I place my hand on the soil,

Also cracked and lined and webbed.

Commonality, coincidence,

A universal sigh.

 

 

Ode to a Strawberry

Bricolage Magazine of Independent Arts & Culture. 2013: Issue 3

 

Little hole in you

Juice weeping

Something has experienced

You before

 

I taste the tear, the tear

Bite

 

Your tears stain my fingers

My lips

 

I hold you by your green root

See your white heart pulse

You are all-giving

 

The stain of you indelible

 

 

Bees Drink the Sky Off the Surface of the Water

Bricolage Magazine of Independent Arts & Culture. 2013: Issue 3

 

Murmur, murmur.

I sit with the bees.

It is a meditation

and I feel the hive mind surround me,

hold me,

and expand my body - cellular - spiritual.

Am I healer - like them?

Am I dancer - like them?

Am I artist and builder of universes - like them?

Small, exquisite lives.

Bee-murmur, loud quiet

join murmur of blood through

my veins.

I dance with the bees in my heart.

 

 

But you are not like river stones . . .

Bricolage Magazine of Independent Arts & Culture. 2013: Issue 3

 

We are all star stuff,

And what is a pebble if not made of stars?

Every pebble a story, a quest.

With a single pebble, the pebble

I choose to pick up and 

Place in my pocket,

I am carried into the abyssal depths of time,

Across the complexity of the universe.

It may speak of the molten purging 

Of an erupting volcano,

Of the lives and deaths of ancient animals,

Giant plants,

Long ago oceans and colliding earthen hearts.

It may be small and ordinary,

Not even pretty.

But it carries, like me,

Stardust at its core.

Its single pebble oratory is a story

Of all times and all ways of being.

 

 

© 2013 Linda HY Hegland All Rights Reserved

© into the wild with linda hegland. Proudly created with Wix.com