Posts Tagged ‘mud’

One Tracking Joy

thigh high in mud—
somewhere down there
a footprint we can follow

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for Michelle

Today I feel too clean to play,
but oh there was that day
when you and I
walked past the mud puddle,
all slick and ooze, a miresome mess,
and we reached our fingers into the sludge
and smeared the muck
onto each other’s faces—
thick mud, gray mud, slippery
and unctuous mud,
wide swaths of heavy mud
that slashed our cheeks,
bedecked our foreheads, mocked
our love of spotlessness.
Not war paint, but joy paint,
cool liquid earth on our skin.
Besmudged and besmirched,
we baptized each other
in the dirtiest of water,
a murky blessing,
our laughter blossoming
between us in the air,
a many-petalled prayer,
a jubilant lotus
startlingly (how?) so pure.

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playing tug of war—

my future

my past

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I am reborn into the world of radiance—

crystalline icicles, glittering reaches of snow—

and whatever in me is old brown stick,

whatever in me is withered rose hip,

whatever is desiccated and dead takes notice

of the shine and says, Teach me that.


I am reborn into the world of drip

and melt and streets of mud,

and whatever part of me is muck-squeamish

and sludge resistant goes walking anyway

and wallows and squishes and slips and laughs.


In that slippery moment, the part of me

who has died becomes lotus.

And who is it in me that scoffs

and says Who are you to be lotus?

I show her diamonds in the field,

the big blue dome of sky, the vast

expanses of glistening mud,

and I ask her, Who are you not to be?

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cleaning off my shoes

before walking through the mud,

and Love says to me,

what? do you think

I am going to carry you?

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Sure you’ve delighted in mud before,

slathered it all over your skin

beside the brown currents of the Gunnison

until the only unmuddied parts of you

are your teeth, your tongue, your eyes.


Sure you’ve been baptized before

with gray muck by your best friend

on the edge of the Blue Lakes Road,

her slender hands anointing your forehead

with the color of high mountain shale.


You’ve painted with mud on desert rocks

and rolled in mud with your son,

but that doesn’t mean you want

to get muddy now, not when you’re so clean

and on retreat, not when you’re so so very very


not not muddy. So you skirt messy ruts

and you gingerly side step, you pussy foot,

weaving your way on the spring-puddled road,

but one slip and one oops and you’re in it again, ankle deep,

and what to do now but laugh


and notice how the path expands

when you no longer need to watch

where you’re going—how much more open

the world has become, how available you are

to any step that comes next.


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