The Phoenix

like the tiny birdling breaking through its own shell

something inside my chest pecks with its sharp beak

stabbing at my breast, painfully, cracking

open the shell of me, one tiny fracture at a time

it will have its way out eventually

this Phoenix

and in the process I will die

someone will light my funeral pyre

and from my ashes it will rise into the sky

this great and beautiful feathered freedom

while I lie cracked open and dead and burnt to ash

it will soar beyond anything I ever could have become

— Able Boodha

A Side of Inhumanity

If only I could take back things that men have taken from me

things that filled me full to the brim

joy in my heart, and love

hope in my soul, and inspiration

and in my womb, you my child who were all of these

 

If only I could give back things that men have given me

things that emptied me completely

scars in my vagina, and twisted useless womb

dried shell of an empty soul, and desolated aura

blackened heart, with a side of inhumanity

— Able Boodha

Music Without Lyrics

Why do I feel sad today? Not super sad. It’s just this minor chord playing itself under the notes of my day. I woke up in this tune, and it doesn’t seem to want to stop playing. Maybe that’s not the truth. Maybe the truth is it was there before, but wasn’t quite loud enough for me to hear. Now that I think about it, I’ve been hearing it for awhile. Whenever I got very, very quiet I could almost make out the chord below the other notes. Maybe it’s just been getting slowly louder and louder over a few years, until there is no mistaking it. Maybe the real truth is it’s been playing under all the notes of my life for decades. Truthfully, maybe I was born with it playing. Maybe I heard it at that moment of my first breath, and that’s why I cried.

It’s just … Without lyrics, how am I to know what it means?

— Able Boodha

The Ride

every part of my skin feels the constantly changing temperature

colors shimmer under the sun in multitudinous neon shades of green

small pools of yellow, white, and blue beckon in shadowed groves by the road

the scented air changes its perfume with each roll of my wheels along the pavement

so rich the odors of the growing, they linger on my tongue like the finest of wines

a hawk soars closely above, her shadow riding beside me along a newly planted field

feeling the road beneath my tires, my body leans to hug its curves like a lover

I hear the engine beneath me whine or hesitate, and shift up or down to meet its need

all my senses are alive, I am awakened and fully present in the moment

I am not thinking, I am feeling, only feeling–with every part of my being

resting in my primal instincts, I experience unity with all that is and am immersed in joy

like the wild thing that I am

— Able Boodha

The Rose Grown Wild

do not pluck the rose grown wild

leave it on the vine and love it there

entice the bud to open its petals

fully gifting itself to you

breathe in its fragrance

more fully alive than any

that is cultivated in captivity

spill its fine and sweet wine

drink in every drop of it

lingering through every last quiver

however many times you spill it:

the rose grown wild is always there

more heady than any you can buy

but if you cannot love it as it is

know that if you pluck it, it will die.

— Able Boodha

Divination

I love the way the sunlight twinkles bark

just before the sun goes down

–when cicadas buzz and sings the lark–

accentuating each scaly spot of skin

and every scar that connects them

exposing every untold story

not otherwise easy to see

I climb and trace the wrinkles

with my fingertips, touch the ghosts of

feathery caresses in transparent periwinkle

all the stories imprinted, I remember,

left there that September to September

recalling the time I sat in that branch

engrossed in a book I found by chance

in the traveling library, so absorbed that day

I fell out of the tree and broke my arm

it was the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay

that I fell into when I was nine, or maybe ten,

I worried more about the book than my descent

reminding me of the woods where I walked and mused

and learned the hard lesson that robins will refuse

even kill their young if they are scented with man’s touch

recollecting that, in the summer, high as I could climb I saw

waves of corn stalks slosh all around us and such

brought ships with adventures from far off lands

through one of those wind chimed seas my brother and I swam

for a mile to meet the nicest lady who fed us cookies and milk

until she died in the Palm Sunday tornadoes, with her ilk

she was our mother’s sister’s husband’s aunt

which made her a kind of relative–it was like that there

everyone was in some way related, so it was not for want

that kids could never get away with anything dumb,

some cousin of your mama’s sister’s neighbor, would plumb

call her to say she had seen you down at the creek

when you were supposed to be up at the garden picking beans

that was also the year I read Kant and Descartes,

from my father’s limited library of philosophers,

and Freud, and decided halfway through he wasn’t so smart

by god, he was a pompous woman-hating ass and

I put the book away, and have not read him since and

it’s possible I became a feminist in that moment

Freud awakened the ire that caused me to foment

a rebellious whisper inside myself: I did not imagine this,

I did not want this–not even in my imagination,

not in my id, my ego, or my superego–his was a fucked up analysis–

not with my Eros, not with my Thanatos,

and he can leave my libido out of this holocaust–

I am not the one that’s crazy, you stupid man

but I knew why my father was his fan

and maybe I knew something about Freud

that even he didn’t know about himself

he should have spent more time employed

with tracing the scars and wrinkles of an old tree

just before the sun went down over a tasseled sea

leaving ghostly imprints on its gnarly skin, recon sorties

that mapped his soul by telling its stories

— Able Boodha

Dangerous Woman

So still

thunder is until                                                                                            loosed

when moon shines                                                                               and I am freed

I take all that is mine                                                                                from you

the oak holding up the sky

a leaf reincarnating as it dies

river cutting its way through rock

flower unfolding past a concrete block

even the earth

even the earth

I will roar into the silence shake the bones of your pretense fill the darkness with my jagged light expose your perverted hate-filled blight and by the time the sun rises above you will know what you have been afraid of:  that I am a dangerous woman.

– Able Boodha

The Tattoo

you branded me

with your abuse your

secrets scarring me to

the bone my pain invisible

except for a slight limp and a

set of symptoms they call PTSD

in my silence you had power over me.

now I choose to brand myself my

voice in permanent ink to de-

clare your crime for all to

see reclaiming all the

power that belongs

by right to me

– Able Boodha