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Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

Without Making a Sound

 

 

 

The cat does not care that I’m meditating.

She cares that I am warm and seated and still.

I pretend that I am ignoring her and notice

when I pretend not to notice I am pretending.

She settles in my lap. I notice how

this act seems to involve the whole world.

All day, I consider how powerful an act

to touch someone. how even the sky leans in.

 

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Hi friends … today’s poem is really a performance art piece I did last night at the fourth annual Literary Burlesque in Telluride. I thought I’d try to capture how the performance went, so here are the lighting and image cues, the music accompaniment cues, and costuming and set directions.

 

Inspired by In the Box, Horizontal by Ruth Bernhard, German born, American, black and white photograph.

PUAM

Rosemerry, writer/performer

Kyra, cellist

 

LIGHTS: STILL DARK. KYRA ENTERS WITH CELLO, PLAYS LIVE IN DARK DURING SET-UP.

 

Stage hands set a folding table on stage with a black covering, and on top of that a long cardboard box. Also place on the table a cell phone and pen.

 

IMAGE: KYRA PAUSES, THEN STARTS BASELINE OF “GLORY BOX,” BY PORTISHEAD.

 

IMAGE OF WOMAN IN THE BOX COMES UP WHEN BASELINE BEGINS.

 

ROSEMERRY ENTERS IN DARK, WEARING “SEXY TEACHER” COSTUME—SHORT PLAID SKIRT, WHITE BUTTON SHIRT, HAIR UP, READING GLASSES, SUPER HIGH HEELS CARRYING A LONG WHITE RULER, SINGING INTRO MELODY OF “GLORY BOX” BY PORTISHEAD

 

IMAGE STILL UP. Kyra still playing.

 

KYRA PLAYS BASE LINE 4 TIMES,

 

IMAGE OUT.

 

LIGHTS UP.

 

 

(Kyra continue plucking bass on the cello)

 

Rm speaking: Good evening class,

tonight we’re going to talk about

a woman’s box.

 

Pop Quiz:

Is it a: how she fights with her fists against tyranny

Is it b: a place to be grabbed by men with orange hair

is it c: where she keeps her jewelry

 

No. Imma tell you what it is … And-a 1, 2, 3

 

(Music A, same bassline, bowed instead of plucked, pick up tempo, rm sing)

There’s a place a woman goes

when she’s needs to be alone—

 

it’s her box.

 

(SPOKEN: Play it Kyra)

 

There’s a place she disappears

when she needs to see things clear—

 

it’s her box.

(SPOKEN: I love my box)

 

Not a cage, there is no key,

it’s her private sanctuary

it’s a place you’ll never see—

 

it’s her box.  (rm take off shoes here)

 

(rm start body slap rhythm while kyra plays, kyra join on body rhythm, rm speak)

 

Okay class, let’s break it down

 

IMAGE: IMAGE OF US MAP GOES UP

 

Now there’s lots of work to do out there

the earth’s in desperate need of care

 

(RM point with ruler to places on the map)

 

the EPA is decimated,

pipeline construction’s escalated

 

global warmings’ being negated

offshore drilling’s being slated

 

with all these threats, and all that’s wrong

 

IMAGE: IMAGES OFF

 

a woman must be warrior, strong—

 

she needs her mask (pull out reading glasses), she needs her sword (pick up pen and brandish it)

she needs her trusty, high-speed horse  (pull out cell phone and pretend to speed dial … while kyra makes rhythmic sound of horse galloping)

 

(no music)

hello, senator Cory Gardner? this is Rosemerry Trommer calling, I’m your constituent from Placerville, zip code 81430, and today I want to talk about how you’re going to vote on …

 

(back to music A, but slower, quieter, smoother, kyra slide, rm sing)

 

When lies are swirling all around

she needs the place where truth is found

her inner knowing, her sacred ground

 

it’s in her box.

 

it’s an infinity she keeps inside her

where the world is limitless, quieter,

our expansiveness comes from within

 

a home where she removes her armor (start here to take off glasses)

where she lets the mystery touch her

 

(kyra soft pluck slide the bass, rm begin to unbutton shirt, eyes gaze down, inward)

 

yes in her private chrysalis

is where a woman’s power begins (drop shirt)

a place where she is open, tender, soft,

 

the silence there informs her (drop skirt, wearing a nude bodysuit underneath)

vulnerability transforms her—

and the world—in ways ferocity cannot. (kick skirt into audience)

 

kyra bow the intro hum (rm climb inside the box here) then kyra pluck the intro hum

 

you are your own fertile seed

you are your own desert rain

you are your own silk cocoon

you are your own shaman’s cave

 

it’s from the inside

we learn to be brave

 

(kyra decrescendo, rm reach left hand out … red hand showing)

lights out.

 

 

 

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When her voice is weary

it means it is time to listen.

 

When her armor is heavy,

it means it is time to be soft,

 

time to slip out of her certainty

and her battle songs,

 

time to retreat from the lines

she has drawn, time to unknow

 

the world she thinks she knows

and to find herself in the world

 

that knows her. She lets the darkness

penetrate her, it caresses

 

her universal curves. Her quiet

joins her to an infinite quiet—

 

she is everything, nothing at once.

She relearns how vulnerability

 

transforms us in ways

ferocity can not.

 

She is her own fertile seed.

She is her own desert rain.

 

She’s her own cocoon, her own inner cave.

Sometimes it takes the darkness

 

to remind us how to be brave.

 

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The Beholder

 

 

 

While the wind chime clinks and the magpie

chatters and the mare nickers and the

doves swoon and the melting snow

tinkles and the passing cars purr

there’s a woman who listens

surprised at how what she hears

most of all is a stillness inside her

that seems to spill its quiet

all over the clamor of morning,

perhaps the way the shadow

of the mountain seems to spill

across the earth and changes nothing

and changes everything.

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Susie suggests to improve

my stress, I “put space between

the stimulus and my response.”

Breathing will help, she says,

and so tonight, never mind

what the stimulus was,

I imagined taking in a breath

the size of North America,

let the whole topography

unfurl in me, and when

I still felt the urge to fight,

I upgraded the next breath

to a space more the size

of the milky way and while

I was out there, on impulse, I put

that little almond-shaped amygdala

of mine on a passing comet

and watched it fly away,

its fists still up in the air

swinging at nothing.

I don’t know how it made it

all the way back to Placerville

so fast, but it was there in time

to hear my lips say what Susie

told me to say, Let’s start over.

And damned if it didn’t just put on

its fussiest pucker face, but

instead of mocking me,

it got all starry eyed, as if it were

thinking about how nice

it had been on that comet ride,

tiny lanterns of stars all around.

 

 

 

 

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that after years of driving past a place

on your way to somewhere else, this time

 

you stop. You find yourself sitting

beneath a scrappy tree as the shadows

 

make their daily rounds. The breeze stirs,

then forgets itself. The clouds balloon,

 

then disappear. The cars on the highway

continue their journey toward somewhere.

 

And you sit. What a relief to go nowhere.

What a gift to have nothing to say.

 

The winds of your thoughts bluster

and go away. An ant makes its way

 

to the top of a grass blade then makes

its way back down. The snow

 

that arrived on the peaks yesterday

melts by noon into the ground.

 

Where do you think you need to go?

You say, “There,” and the world says, “Here.”

 

There is cricket song all around you.

Gold tang of rabbit brush rouses the air.

 

Sometimes it happens this way: you stop.

And the world arrives at your chair.

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Meditation

 

 

 

Even the Buddha had a bad back,

I think as I shake out my leg.

It has fallen asleep

while I have been sitting

in the same position

for a long, long time

and stubborn, I didn’t want to move.

 

I notice the urge to chastise my leg

as if it were a small child

caught napping during class,

though it’s my mind

that needs a talking to.

 

Even the Buddha had visitations

with doubt, I think as I wrestle

with doubt myself. Though I

plan only to arm wrestle,

doubt pins me flat to the ground

and sits on me full weight

for a long, long time.

 

I don’t struggle.

Doubt, I say, I have nothing

to prove to you today.

And to my surprise,

it gets up and walks away.

I notice it is limping.

Perhaps a bad back.

Perhaps in its enthusiasm

to use me as a cushion

for a long, long time,

its leg has fallen asleep.

 

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