Friday, December 22, 2017

A LIFE IN VERSE, Poems 1993-2017

Marianne Press introduces new title:
POEMS 1993-2017

Hand-sewn edition of 10
Japanese silk cover
Linen paper
306 pages


The Goddesslands Trilogy
Page 1
La Chanson de Pamé La Calmette
Page 29
The Gospels of the Cells
Page 87
Poems of Days
Page 153
The Sound of Loneliness
Page 185
Desert Confessions
Page 213

The New Chanson
Page 229
Tropical Interlude
Page 243
Oasis Poems
A Desert Finale
Page 249
The Other Shore
Summer, 2017
Page 271
Extant Poetry
(Hymns, Prayers, Sonnets)
Page 277


The Sound of Loneliness

You may forget but

Let me tell you
this: someone in
some future time
will think of us

Fragment #60



Aye, Sappho

Your verse could be
a holy twitter:
Where are you
in our century?

9/28/12  Agèd Mother (1)

Your skin

like rice paper
falls in fragile folds
from your arm

I watch your bones
carry your skin
as you walk
carefully on dead feet
numbed by age

You live

In a place
of old ones
With them you hold
your memories at bay:
wild silent screams
forced down
Collective wisdom unheard


I ask

Where are you
but lost
in the dream of death


I stare forever

into tidal pools
finding temporary mirrors
and a sand crab
that died
a natural death


Sky over sea

Holds winds behind
sailing through
blue yellow light


The Gospels of the Cells


   Summer, 2000 

All that has been prophesized
All that has been dreamed
Is falling back into itSelf—
The cowbells and the She-bells
The whistle of your valley’s wind
The tastes of love and touches here
The goddessforms within the stones
An ancient fortress is your home.

When summer fades to autumn’s chill
Your hearth will call you in—
 Enfolding warmth where silent notes
Will rise to song from caves
Echoing from years long past—
Receive these words!
For justice has been served.

I have known the abyss of suffering
When the gate slammed behind me.
I have known the gate to open again and again—
I have planted a seed.
I am the seed.

My name is Pamé la Calmette
And I was born in the valley of my ancestors.
I have known the language of the gentle beasts.
I have heard the worlds of silence.
I have felt the lashings of injustice
And I have bled freely the blood of loss,
The blood of sacrifice.
I have tasted milk from the white cow on my lips
And honey from the bees has dropped on my tongue;
I have followed the directions on my path
And I have seen the shadows fall at every turn—
I have seen the risings of the sun
On this earth and in this earth.

I have known the earth
As my flesh, my blood, my bones.
I have known my soul
As memories
Of all that has been since the beginning of Time.

I have been shipwrecked.
I have been salvaged.
I have seen the treasure at the bottom of the sea.
I have seen the OneEye of Grandfather—
I have flown with him here-from-there
To here—this valley of my birth.
He told me:
Since the first poem I have been.

I have played the one note in the universe that is mine,
I am singing.
I have wept the one tear in the ocean that is mine,
I am weeping.
I have loved and died with my people,
I am living.

I have known the fears who all were born with
And most will die with.
I have known the release
I can never claim as my own.
I was lost from home.

They said I was floating
Out to sea from a ravaged coast
And my heart had broken from thirst
And my blood and bones had dried.
They said I was adrift in a boat of clay
                          And it was sinking.                     
They said some moment had arrived—
A moment that was mine in all time,
A moment when I knew they were real
And no longer would I doubt them,
No longer would I flee,
I was free.

And so that night I leapt
Into the boat of clay
And drifted toward an old chateau
That bore my name: Pamé.
I landed in the donjon while a bat swooshed about,
It swept across my forehead and flew out of that house.
Justice?  I wonder, as to Themis I kneel
As her secrets are reveal:

All served.


You opened me, you deepened me
Your cool mists seeped into my pores
You silenced me, you sat me down
And all I was, was yours.

Our eyes together saw our hills
Their walls of white gray stone recalled
The mantle of that cave we knew
When all was one and one was all.

And green was more than green, our slopes—
Glistening under drizzling rain
Shining one vast color, ours
Expanding toward the river's vein.

Your body/mine, the silence rang
Bringing song to pulsing flesh
And blood and water met the earth
And tendons, marrow, bones refreshed—
Into the stones, then out again,
You carved another tier in me
Excavation to the light—
This rolling earth, this ecstasy.


You tugged my breast, your pricked my womb
Your warm breath nudged me home
You sat me down before the hearth
As burning branches groaned.

Into the blazing coals I gazed
When suddenly your face appeared
Your eyes were flashing in the flames—
Beauty's madness seared.

Your mouth moved constantly while crazed
No words, save sizzling pantomime
From your crown of white-hot jewels
Dancing from your soul to mine.


Watch the burning, burning down
The stakes of Montsègur—
Speak, flames!
From you core.

I, the Queen of the Coals say:  Nevermore.

Nevermore to flee through mountains
Nevermore to hide in caves
Nevermore the flagellations
Never more the conflagrations,
 O death Untrue!
We flew released to astral seas
Then gathered
 In our temple in the stars
Torn, raked, bruised, scarred,
We stayed there seven centuries
Then returned
To the cradle of our ancestors
Our valley in the Pyrenees
Extending to your soul our hands
To ease your birthing agonies.
Arise, Soul!
Awaken in the goddesslands.

Yea, we emerged from tunnels
From all fires and all wars—
From Montsègur
And before
From Troy
And before
From Before
And before
And now—

Nevermore shall beauty burn
Never more shall beauty bleed
Never more shall beauty weep the tears
Of Queen unheard.


She has survived the white hot coals.
Scalding sacrifices brought her home—
Home to herBody, home to ourEarth
Home to her rightful throne.

Voice!  Who are you?
Are you We? Are you All and I?
The mists have turned to smoke—
Warnings through the goddesslands
Missiles striking o'er our earth
(The massacre of innocents)—
What voice are you
Speaking in us true?

I AM all that I am, I am more than I seem
I am Queen of the Coals burned clean.
I am white goddess
I am muse
I am the oracle in the stones
I am grail
I am love effused
I am everlasting home.
I am the treasure buried
Now opening to light
I am your inner sight.

You have planted the seed,
The fortress is restored.
You travel now within yourself,
A spiral to the core.

Ear to the stone, beloved one,
And listen to us well:
Darkness is not the enemy,
But an ally in the plan—
Remember to be voices heard!
Forever lives the goddesslands.
Ear to the stone beloved ones
And listen to us well:
Light will penetrate soft flesh,
This is the gods’ command—
Remember to be voices heard,
Forevermore the goddesslands.
For we have come
In two-thousand--one
With heaven's sun.

Oh Queen of Coals
How glistening in the black you are
Your sparkling eyes, like diamond stars—
I am charred but shining too
And I am listening to you.

Shine through the soot and listen well.
Then sing, Pamé, Our Gospel of the Cells.

Spring, 2002  Ireland


I live on the Isle of Elsewhere.
You can find me only by sea.
Sail in by the stars, climb the hills by moonlight
I wait in my hut near the arbutus trees.

It is for you, whom I wait
Mariner from Away—
Envoy of the Poem, bard of the Stones—
I live only to hear what you’ll play.

So strum your fair harp and sing me your song
On a mat of sweet grass we shall rest
Sing to me of Croomholla, Kilmannah, and Dorsey,
Your words I receive—each one a caress.

“Aye, the Hag carried me deep in her womb
We traveled the seas from Spain
She rested her sacrum near the rock of the calf
Tilickafinna became her domain.
To the cradle of Dorsey Island
In spasms of pain and groans of joy
Came I strumming chords upon clouds—
The first bard—in the form of her boy.

Held to her cragging breasts
Her milk seasoned salty with brine,
She sang her lament—it became my own
To sing through the ages—O love of mine!

And now here we are beneath arbutus trees
You ask to receive my words?
Remember our voyage through the darkest of seas
Remember and sing and be heard.

Do not let the myth be forgotten.
Do not sleep in the mists of the life
Do not forget the lament
Of my mother come true

I have just begun singing to you.

Extant Poetry
(Hymns, Prayers, Sonnets)


Sonnet One

I pine again while wandering the lofty trail
Over the tree tops of my bewilderment;
At stars and suns so far from my travail
(This tight clamping, then bright unfoldment)
Through the scenic shivering from head to toe,
Such wilderness I trample on the earth:
Knowing nothing and struggling to foreclose
The deeds of ownership to my joy and worth.
And when life gives me pause in her wood’s clearing
I find new breath beneath her clearest skies
As unraveling the web of doubt and fearing
I watch the bees with pollen and the birds quick-fly
  And touch the fallen stars, the finale to resistance
  Giving way to rest upon the bed of my existence.

Sonnet Two

This love of mine is not to fall into your arms
Though tempting is the warmth your heart bestows;
My love, it rises to the world in which no harm
Can touch its hem, and where no pleasures flow.
Not hard nor dry, this place where light is stirred
Though solo do I ride and lonely is this land
Where many touches and affections are deterred
As for a greater love does reach my hand.
And how, to your strong silence can I speak
Of this wide talent from the universe of prayer
When never will my eyes with your eyes meet
And never our poor hearts together share,
  Save for when we touch love’s axis and together tip
  With mutual fascination of Beauty’s beauteous lips.

Sonnet Three

If I did step into that world so bleak and cold
Upon the drizzly snow and icy streets
And cast my eyes, my face, my cheeks of rose
Toward gray skies with clouds a-fleet;
Crossing the sun and dropping rawness down
On every corner of this January blight
I think I’d walk low-cast around my town
With happier dreams of summer’s fragrant nights.
No, I choose to stay inside my cozy room
By winter’s hearth blazing fiery red
And scrawl with pen my arctic gloom
And write of ripening fruits instead.
  Never have I welcomed these winter months of chill
  Save with verse, when my heart with summer fills.

Sonnet Four

As love’s flickers gaily spot the evening, blackened
So flames in your dark countenance bespeak the sun;
As often, when I feel my spirit slacken
I am instantly reminded that dull and bright are one.
To me, you are a halo circling this warring world,
A recalling of the mystery of muted, pre-born sounds;
Your warmth is like a kitten into itself close curled,
The dizzy deepening of night where stars spin round.
Symbol of all earthly cries and the universe’s tolling,
Man, you are the flashing light of my most tearful hour;
You are the waves of change upon the shoreline rolling
And symbol of the coolness in hushed, secluded bowers.
  Glimpsing you when passing a shaded park in May:
  A reminiscence of love’s touch merged in night and day.

Friday, May 20, 2016


Presents its latest title:

Of a Temporary Anchorite

Deluxe, Limited Edition
Superior paper
Silk cloth covers
Three-strand embroidery thread
Silk ribbons
Hand-sewn and cased
Color illustrations
212 pages

The Inside Job


Here begins the confessions of one anchored in the desert, continuing what began in a valley in the French Pyrenees 23 years ago—this evolution in the expanse of memory’s incarnations  as it lives the questions.
   These incarnations have taken form through many entries and departures; expansions and dissolutions; accumulations and renunciations of inner and outer possessions that no longer serve.  All this, so to move on to the new.  The process has proven to be circular—an ongoing journey to the center of being, the images of which I have attempted to depict in embroidered mandalas.
     In my life in the desert, I found companionship with CG Jung’s Red Book, alchemical texts, dreams, dialogues with archetypes, and a few special friends—first responders on our path to wholeness.  A year into this inner exploration I found Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions.  He, like myself, bore the wounds of childhood abandonment.  He also wandered the earth destitute until he found his calling.  He felt at home in the foothills of the Alps, circa 1700's as I had flourished in the foothills of the Pyrenees, circa 1990’s.  
      Little did Rousseau know in the 1700’s that he was crusading psychoanalytic therapies, easily at our disposal in the 21st century.  In his Confessions and Reveries of a Solitary Walker that followed, he struggled to achieve victory over his emotional anguish.  He sought to find understanding of his inner self while not only unsupported by his philosophe peers, but condemned by them.  Banished from the society he loved, he held anchor to his own truth.  He also sought meaning for his physical ailments and was often in the grips of maladie imaginaire.  But imagined illness can appear and feel real.  Today, there is growing knowledge that the body and psyche’s symptoms are wise informants.  I have named these informants bodysoul.
     I continue the evolution of my story in these pages with the understanding that she whom I call soul is the giver of  images and the recipient.  Who am I to know that, in obedience to her and therefore myself, she is not expanding our little story to a larger one?  Who am I to presume that any phrase or poem has arrived from the poet and not the muse?  Who am I?  Only the omega to her alpha and the servant to her crown.  
     Perhaps we all have an anchorite within, a small voice in the wilderness of the unconscious that responds to Juvenal’s words, vitam impendere vero—‘To thine own self be true.’    Perhaps in our own unique ways we are living through our questions to an end that never ends.  I begin again not knowing the answers.  I can only say I tried.


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