Tar Baby

Full, distended, smaller bites please

I can’t digest this muddled morass of happenings

Slow down little rabbit, take a breath,

come near

to what’s dear.

I cannot hear the echo of my longings

too much to digest


Tar baby, sleep it off, let dreams fly.

When it’s too much, I want to purge,

but is that not wasteful?

Too much to digest

Swallow it all. Swallow the pride.

Swallow the pain.

Pretty bird, don’t chirp. I’ll swallow you too.

Stuck halfway down, a-flutter, feathers

heavy with swallowed tears.

Churn, baby, churn — let loose your sluggishness

Oh, to purge all this.

It’s too much to digest.

It seeps out my pores, my eyes, fills my insides

with tar, slow, heavy tar.

Tar baby, Burn!

Stoke the fire, so small, so small

Let the smoke of wet flesh burn the

caverns of your soul.

Churning, burning, purging

I can’t see through you,

I can’t feel into you.

Hiding there in my body

Drawing the drapes over my eyes

Shrouding the seat of my power, my vitality.

But I remember sunshine, and white light pulsating,

piercing the darkness, penetrating the void

Burning purity

I remember the halo, the satisfaction


like a distant land, a country visited, perhaps in a dream…

but a dream…

certainly dreams come true.

I once was a tree, a weeping willow,

draping tall and lithe over a puddle

and a plum dropped right through me

Sending ripples along my waters

out to tendrils of my longing..

And birds nestled in my throat

tickling my hair and singing my joy.

I was wholly me,

yet not of my body.


Floating within

Dripping ease

Fluid, time-stripped

Pure essence

The memory – too much to digest

Turn it off, tone it down, forget.

I can’t reconcile where I was to where I am.

I can’t digest the losses I have endured

And it is mine to bare.

Burrow down, rabbit. Sleep it off.

Let the night slumbers

Shroud your sorrow.

*Day 1 of “Writing Back to the Body” with Kate Gray and Sarah Byrden in Hood River, OR