the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




FIVE WORKS
BY ALETHEA EASON

HERE TAKE MY EGGS

My eggs are gossamer pearls still waiting in a nearby stream.
Under the veil, my eggs would have held round pools of liquid
with protein and a definitive galaxy all their own.

I open myself and dream the infinite night.
I've been waiting because mist and wind's home is the earth's.

Gulls break over the crest.
They are moving, wings up with raucous cries.
My eggs float in this mystery, each still aware.
Each with their neutral shine. Each a copper penny
floating to the perilous depths.

Death's at the door, and he's dressed to kill.
He's even brought the flowers I have been waiting for.
Here take my eggs. Each one that is left, and take dictation.
They all have stories of their journey. And maps of their history.

Marry my eggs as you would me in the dark grass,
with all the dangers of jungle growth. Find the pearly stream
hidden away and whisper your words there.

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THE MARRIAGE OF WATER AND WEIGHT

I am married to magic
Bending water over stone
Desires dance like raven bait
Shiny silver threads hang over my head
But I'm ponderous, too fixed
There's some nut of hate, some black star invading my heart,
Sewn there, it's mass Saturn heavy,
And its soup's like cement
Maybe I need some ball breaking dykes
To loosen me up, or red lipstick and a fashion magazine

        ii
Deep down, I'm still the desert flower
But one you find at night
I am layered with mosaics, painted way deep in history.
Pools of Mycenean blue, succor on hot days,
When I sat in my tower writing and watched the sea

Later, along a Roman road, I was stabbed,
Some betrayal of spirit and body
Right in the heart, spores of miasma
Spreading ever since

The world's heavy turning still has the sun
And flashes of light are not unknown to me

        iii
"Careful for what you wish for,"
I write in my new black book.
"The dogs are asleep on the back porch
Where it's cold"

Stars are dense, their mass lets me see them
The key for opening is heavy
But water bends easily and is stronger than stone,
The marriage of water and weight

================

WELCOME BLUE SEA

I'm called to open my eyes and welcome blue sea,
to breathe starlight and watch naked moon creep through
small skylight, like a virgin floating in cold blue air.

I swim under stars, take no form and believe
I'm swimming warm and deep in seas of mermaid faces,
salt water laced on tongue, strands of hair floating like cool light.

I become stars raining down, become the sea breathing,
become the sun penetrating ocean crest. Stars cools the heat
of bedsheets, our cells mix starlight welcoming blue sea.

================

THRESHOLD

I murmur the I,
I cannot open the door to emptiness, I fill with expectations,
I do not know the way deer recess into dappled light,
I do not know the way deer become forest,
someday when I am not upon the earth
water will still recede from rice fields,
redwing blackbirds will rise from tules,
mustard will sprout yellow buds,
someday my ashes will rain over the stubborn chaparral
and the carbon of my bones blend with the basalt outcrops,
and fill with expectation,
the way deer recess into dappled light,
the way deer become forest,
the way fault lines lift the land and hills of red rock
are scraped away, how slopes slump and rivulets
erode mountains, leaving space for the sky to fill,
and the deer disappear into forest
and the light filters down the branches of trees
erasing the I, and light is murmuring,
and doors open to emptiness, and ashes rain
a million years, and then the earth splits open
creating lake, murmuring the blackbird
and the mustard seeds spreading across hillocks,
islands rimming with tules, with sedge weed
and berry vine, still the I, still the forest,
still the deer disappearing into light

================

ORACLE
11-3-01

His golden hair is shining, the hangmans. The crone bends her ear.
Maybe shes listening to what he has to say.
The mermaid is their helper, translator of the language of sex.
She plays the harp and flirts with the sun.
The stars fill the mountain with light.
I remember Im the crone and listen for my steps.

I dont want to whisper anymore.
Whisper life into the silence of this house.
The mermaid has been inside and is ready for her birth.
She is a shell in my hand, and Im an old mermaid with a conch as a purse.

Behind me the women fight. Or practice with their sticks.
A volcano smokes behind them. Above me vines are pregnant
like a September moon. The woman in their midst listens for songs
and feels the downward tug towards earth.

Red shaman is waiting with his staff and basket. Peyote bud at his feet.
The thunderbird could be a scorpion, but chose not to be.
In the middle over the busy spheres, she stands
balanced on one foot. The heron by her side.
Infinity is swept with arrows and the moon is full behind.