by ALICE NIGHT from ‘Molten’
- A CONVERSATION BETWEEN FRIENDS
The two friends lay a blanket onto the grass and onto the ground,
both earthen and cemented,
many a time over,
to talk about
Under a cherry tree, under an oak tree, under a gum tree,
in the shade of a macadamia grove by the side of the highway
on some farmer’s property,
under the stars and the alcoves of train stations,
and the rooftops of their family homes,
always it was the same blanket.
They invited others to share in the conversation too,
the homeless, the elderly, the lost, the wild,
children, and cicadas and the wind.
Person A: Love is… a feeling
Person B: Love is an action
Person A: Love has a mind of its own.
These informal meetings were attended to for years and years
with all the rigor of science
and all the openness of prayer.
Until one day in late spring, the two friends now dressed in grey
spent a day collecting driftwood in peaceful silence,
made a fire by the ocean and leaned in to kiss it.
Following the kisses came breath and the most loving of touch.
They let the warmth take them over
and breathed deeply together
until they were both ash.
- WHAT IS ALL THIS FOR?
It’s for moments like –
singing on stage with your grand-daughter.
It’s for meeting eight-five year olds
and discussing God and the divine with them.
It’s for walking in the night in the cold air
of a new place wrapped in a big thick jacket
eating blackberries from the roadside
and talking on the phone
to someone you are letting yourself love
and who is letting themselves love you.
It’s for remembering
who we were before the pain stories.
It’s for actively choosing integrity
day after day after night.
It’s simply and powerfully to participate
in the process of living.
It’s for returning calls to old friends
and learning to listen.
It’s for sleeping to the distant sound
of an owl.
There are fewer owls after death.
Life is for moments like owls.
You hang a pearl from one ear and a bone from the other.
I love your face, the cock of your mouth when you speak,
the places I would paint with green and blue butterfly wings.
Also, I love your masks, everything, all of it, all of them.
The mask had its reasons too. I want to know them,
I want to know you, like the moon knows the earth –
wrapping my silver light streams of love around you
tirelessly, to understand you, to know your cycles,
your ice ages, your blooming, your melting, your cracks.
Like a Salvador Dali Eden of your creation,
you dressed and dancing, you submerged with breath held,
you sleeping in tree tops and allowing your animal.
All the life you can imagine, unbounded multi-coloured
and theatrical – until the masks in their own divine time,
evaporate, and rise unseen like humidity, like clouds
and float like thoughts in meditation, away.
The true kind, not the sitting-on-the-edge-of-the-self-kind,
but the dive deeply and open your eyes underwater
regardless of the fear or the pain kind.