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No Dial Tone | Poem

No Dial Tone

Facts are silky, tenuous things,
They stretch and drip off of permanent wires
At times they freeze into rigid wads of stuff,
And then they melt into asphalt glowing goo,
Wet and creepy beneath my boots.

There is an old woman who lives in my dreams,
Far away in this wood, up beyond the waterfall
Beyond the point where anyone has ever gone
She has a cottage there,
I know it.

In her house there is a blazing hearth,
And herbs, burdock, and wormwood, cinnamon,
Mint, frankincense and myrr,
Garlic and rosemary, and tarragon,
Hang in bunches and burn in bowls.

In the stone yard there is a goat bleeding,
Upside down it hangs on a rope from the apple tree,
It’s throat slit yesterday,
This is the sacrifice and we all give it
And it simply gives it back to us.

At dusk each evening the hens are shut
Filed away in musty roosts,
The dogs are fed, blessed sweet spirits
Slink away into the shadows
As she walks into the woods with her naked chant.

Hours later she returns when
Her moon is at its apogee,
She screams, and howls, and wets her body
With the blood of the goat and then rinses
With icy spring water.

She dances but it is only a trance,
Back and forth, back and forth
And back again as dawn breaks her ancient spells
In the east upon the backbone of these dark hills
And the spooky hollows receeding.

And then the sun rises over the canyon, and
Over the noisy brook, I swear
I heard voices last night,
Walking away from the sound of water I shake off
Her drowsy magic.


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