Monday, March 7, 2016

MAID OF WATER MADE OF FIRE : On Eternal Springs and Spring Eternal


He threw a shell on the little bird
and made her wings bleed

then yellow and stellar a stair
how the stare of her throat did sing

till that red-winged blackbird of summer
red-winged in torn descent decayed.

Stained with seed the altar cloth
of time, time-worn through and through 

scarecrow in a blue gown wreathed
stained with seed and worn-out, too.

In a field thrice priapic
she laid her egg and died; a field

thrice as fallow as
her red-winged eye.

A new white egg a bird-price bled
this air that fled had paid

an eye for
an eye―she laid this path!

as if color, alone invoked
both dread and promise

right where she so faded bled
back to black reflection

till all of night
wore red.

©2016 RED NIGHT FEN GIRL stephaniepope

The first line of the poem reflects a Chitimacha legend of the bayou, the red-winged a mythological figure. The red-winged blackbird is a passerine bird of the family Icteridae, from the Greek “ikteros” meaning “jaundiced one.” Red-wings frequent marshes.  I am using the word, “fen” for marsh because I have traced the word to my Italian father’s mother’s father’s family name which translates to fen or marsh. This mythological figure joins those already existing in the night fen.

 In this manner I am staying with the image of a fathered daughter giving birth to her own motherhood by drawing its pattern forth out of a time before time. The sense-making of psyche’s psyche-making that of imitating Aphrodite’s girlhood in the sea.  The sea would be “virgin time.” Images in the poem belong to other poems that precede it forming a poem series and perhaps, marking a via transformativa traced just after waking from a strange dream.  Here is the dream briefly sketched.

The dream me discovers a very young girl’s ghost has attached itself to her.  The ghost child had died suddenly long ago and I didn’t ever hear how this occurred but as the dream progressed I discovered how this happened. She attached herself to me just as I was fleeing for higher ground during a natural disaster of some sort that had caused some flooding of low-lying land. I had stayed ahead of it until just this moment I am delayed.

 She knew she was a ghost child and seemed very happy to see me.  It is as if those words do not do the elation on the young disfigured child’s face justice. I loved her, suddenly realizing how much.  We decided to set out together when we were overcome by a sudden rush of water. The water was lit up and healthy on one side but dark and deadly on another side.  She was standing on the side that drew her under the dark side of the water and I knew she had instantly drowned. 

Yet, my impulse was to dive for her and I caught myself realizing that had I done this, I would have succumbed to the illness in the water. It is then I realize her selfless love and the act that caused her death a long time ago that keeps her saving the lives of others ever more.  Some psychic energy is bodiless logos and protective in the role it plays.

 I now turn to try and find my way alone.  A number of women begin climbing up onto a mountain path and I see one woman that I feel knows how to save herself so I follow behind her. 

The mountain path she takes eventually led us both down to the underworld beneath the mountain.  It turns out this is how to reach the higher ground after all. 

All the women ascending seem to know me, just as the young child seemed to know me. When we reach a safe spot I begin to feel warm and dry.  But as for the woman that led me here and the young child that dies, I cannot remember what either look like because I cannot see them clearly in the dream. 

I do realize in the dream I am in a feminine realm and that being in the feminine realm itself means these two women specifically, are different versions of femininity at different stages of transformation in its “supernatural existence” (that is, in the shocking state of seeing through the eye of nonbeing where , in the form of my dream "I" my ego soul has yet to experience eternal existence/s... !) Here each mythological life reflects a miniature and a superheroine. The tiny and the grotesque seem to be how I experience the child’s face when I call it disfigured. I don’t know what to say about the unknown woman.  She seemed both visually youthful and of an unidentifyable age--somehow both young and old at once, old in the sense of archetypally aged yet old age never is possible for her.  I am thinking now the jaundiced one is a reference to the spiritually alive within the via transformativa during its yellowing phase.  When I awaken what I awaken with is the white egg of the red-wing. This is the word as egg showing new life in the fen just as I awaken. Just as I awaken, so too, in dream a fen again wakes through springs eternal. This dream reminds me of the pattern of inspiration told in the tale of Kastalia, perhaps a clue to that side of the waters  where I stand in the dream which I think are lit up or on fire or “waters of light”.  This fiery water, a landscape giving rise to a human identity, makes up the dream me. It gives the dream substance just as it gives the dream me a reflection for the waking me to see. The colors that color it seem significantly substantial, too, as if they are the matter being gathered into earth.