The Insignificant Wall

I know what you’re thinking
that I would slink away from the threat of your boot
like a centipede in hostile territory
or fade like crimson on vivid summer smocks
hung from country clotheslines
left too long
in the rays of your scrutiny

What were you thinking?
That I would melt like tallow
in the heat of your glare?
Shuffle away
defeated eyelids drooping south
shoulders bearing a cloak of shame
woven by your shouts?
That I would gather up my beloved toys
broken by your cruel, jealous hands
stagger home
and cry alone in my room?

I know what you’re thinking
That I am the villain
It’s necessary
You’re not ready to cede
your victimhood
to the understudy
you know this role too well
You dread mirrors
cling to tenuous competence and
empty purpose
I didn’t know your fear looms taller than mine
you walk on flimsy stilts
filling the leeway of my second chances
like sudden floodwaters rush
to mindlessly occupy idle space

I say
I know what you’re thinking
the truth is I have no idea

neither do you.

Still, you fooled me.
My optimism was too green
trust unripened by time
you crushed the papier maché box
under your feet
So much for pedestals.
I understand the attraction of minions
(I am a strong willed first born)
But I wouldn’t comply
with the role assigned
My crime was
I always saw you eye-to-eye
I wouldn’t follow
the script everyone else was reading from
I didn’t know it was a play
and we were onstage
I am neither tyrant nor peon.

It’s my fault
I lingered too long on this play-ground
trusted you with my toys
before knowing you
But I will not cede this corner of the sandbox
This is not your Kingdom
not the barren neighborhood of my childhood
I’ve been spending all my time
trying to make the wrong ki(n)ds like me
I will cradle my precious brokenness
maybe shed a tear
but then I’ll go
where I’m wanted

It was my mistake.
I imagined you The Great Wall
Once I lowered my pushing hands
relaxed my elbows
stepped back
widened my gaze
from the bricks blocking the bridge of my nose
I saw you were no fortress
only a lonely section
broad as my wingspan
high as my crown

The only decision now is
do I bust through
glide around
or fly over
insignificant you?

© S. Rinderle, 2015

Skin

My skin is growing thin
the youthful firmness of my jaw
is melting downward
flesh now pools in concentric circles
around my knees and elbows
like the ripples in a pond
flee an intruding stone
a moonscape of meteorite scars
that were always there
now exposed by the erosion of time
on the continent of my face

My skin is growing thin
can no longer contain
its habitual yeses
does not stretch and give
like it did
during the spring of my blossoming
now midsummer
its lessened elasticity
no longer accommodates everyone’s demands
all shiny possibilities
every intriguing suitor
I am learning to say no.

My skin is growing thin
becoming righteous intolerance
and short fuse impatience
it can no longer abide
dogs barking next door
pundits barking their wares
blind and deaf fools
convulsing chaos around me
the common lack of sense and meaning
the apathy and obliviousness of those
outside my tribe

My skin is growing thin
so I retreat to safety
silk and bones to encase me
protective cocoon keep me
whole
in integrity
while I wait for my metamorphosis

You see
my skin is growing thin
but it’s
still

growing.

© S. Rinderle, 3/20/14

Be Gentle

There is a time for Speaking
when words that can no longer lay silent
issue boldly from our eager throats

Now is not the time

Now is a time for Listening
for receiving messages from beyond
letting them lie, wordless

There is a time for Doing
for gathering thought into action
manifesting mindful purpose

Now is not the time

Now is a time for Being
for noticing who you are
when doing ceases

There is a time for Expansion
for venturing beyond former tamed bounds
into wild possibility

Now is not the time

Now is a time for Contraction
for neither muscle, nor breath nor tide
can live without pause and retreat

There is a time for Growth
when new ideas and beingness
spring forth to flowering

Now is not the time

Now is a time for Maintenance
to marinate in gratitude and
fortify for later expression

There is a time for Fighting
to exercise will and push through
stuck and stagnant scars

Now is not the time

Now is a time for Recovery
to heal our wounds
to marvel at courage
and feast bouteously

There is a time for Light
for bright seeing
illumination of night and
stretching upward

Now is not the time

Now is a time for Dark
for blindness and shadow
for faith
and downward seeping

There is a time for Going Out
into the world
with statement and exclamation

Now is not the time

Now is a time for Coming Into
ourselves
with commas and questions

There is a time for Pushing Out
of ourselves
out of the tired, spent ground

Now is not the time

Now is a time for Pulling In
gathering nutrients
from the dead and decaying

There is a time for Dreams and Waking
for envisionment and inspiration
future forward

Now is not the time

Now is a time for Memory and Sleep
to honor and learn what was
past in whatever shape

Dear One…

This does not mean that
if you are to speak, do, expand, grow
fight, light
go out, push out
dream and wake
— now —
that you are wrong

It means it will be harder
it may be too soon
leave you too empty

Allow your Body to fill
to remember seasons
eons of cycles
that let our Spirits breathe
Remember that Winter is for
cozying into huts
by warm hearths
and hot, hearty drink
simmering in story
while the dark fields lay fallow
and sleep with us
letting the frost sink in
deep

There is no time, you say!
The world thirsts for hope
aches for justice
craves r/evolution!

Yes

And the world also
thirsts for your renewal
aches for your rest
craves your wholeness

You are the World

Listen

Now is not the time for everything
No Time is
There is still time
Do not be fooled by the illusion of scarcity
Now is just
what is called for

Be gentle
Yet be fierce
in your gentleness.

© S.Rinderle, 2014
(Winter solstice 12/21/14 4:03 pm MST)
Published in Catching Calliope, Winter 2015.

December 11th

I do not know
when our paths first converged in the wood
I do remember our first meeting
on the eve of Aquarius moon
it was a gathering
a clearing
an assortment of noble creatures
You
fur, feather, scale, bone
leaf and bough
river, cloud, mountain
I
a tree
long since a sapling
44 rings at my trunk
yet my roots would deceive
short and shallow for lack of water
branches stronger than winters past
yet more frail than they could be

I was more Zeus than Hera back then
more Huitzilopochtli than Guadalupe Tonantzín
soul more old than wise
hands tired from so much grasping
soil too compacted for rain or seed
scale tipping
flesh heating
more fire
than water or air
more movement and phallus
than quiet or chalice

But it rained that spring
and all summer
Rain like Goddess
Rain like Life
flow like Spirit
mighty
purging debris and stuck places
from the river
of my soul
Rain
quickening this Winter earth child
finally
sinking down
seeping in
Water
plus yielding earth
equals adobe
bricks to build a new home
new life
with many rooms

The Rain has been good to my roots
they reach down to the core
Wisdom Strength Truth
they reach up to Source and Intuition
nourish my thickening trunk
into six branches
Awareness of thoughts
of body and feelings
extreme Presence
Clarity
Brilliant Possibilities
Peace of fulfillment

I hold a strong, safe
fully accepting space
I fiercely stand for true, best selves
and possibilities
to emerge

i am a tree woman. tree woman
I am a Tree Woman!
I AM A TREE WOMAN!!!

YOU
my fellowship
fellow creatures and travelers
my Teachers and Mentors
You
fur, feather, scale, bone
leaf and bough
river, cloud, mountain
Now
with a new song
thickened pelt
lengthened tooth and beak
broadened breastbone
vast expanding reach
and outstretched wing

We go now
Sagittarius wanes
we gather again in the clearing
another floor up on the spiral staircase
we are the burgeoning tribe
the burgeoning wise
the wild
today is Thanksgiving
Easter
and New Year

I do not know where our paths lead
now that they diverge in the wood
But I do remember our first meeting
and as gratitude surges in my wooden ribcage
I will not forget the last.

© S. Rinderle, 2014
Dedicated to my fellow graduates of the CFT DL03 cohort (yesterday)
and La Virgen de Guadalupe/Tonantzín (today).