Ba’alat Ov / Shamaness

It’s not only that
you will be asked to
face your greatest fear,

be rent and completely shattered;
and—notwithstanding—your pulse
will keep hurtling slap-gallop in your veins,

or the demand that you
transcend that battle,
rise resilient enough to
mine your very soul’s
alchemized grief,

with no guarantee,
only the possibility
of any extractible medicine—

it’s that then—
then you will become
your own greatest fear,
your own rather-die-than.

Swim 18 knots past humble,
36 strokes through humility,
72 drownkicks in humiliation.

The aquatic silence of bitul.

The ancestors want to wash
away your trauma
with their own beloved
but badly-battered hands.

The angels hunker,
ready to wrestle,

the demons wait open-
armed for your embrace.

The dead want to whisper
an incessant stream of what-ifs
to your waiting listening.

Every magnolia has secrets to sing to you.
Each cedar, a richness beyond riches to deliver.
Obsidian wants to weigh upon your palm.
The whale and hummingbird and lioness, chanting.
The stars are Khima-Pleiading streams of glow in your direction.

The liminal will not be told how to exist.
The realms do not await our bumbling instruction.
Our plaintive cries for fairness fall
on a deafness that is galactic.

There are great gifts in darkness.
The light can be injurious, most blisteringly.

I have said more than enough.

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Poem #9 in the Priestess Path Cycle / Kohenet Netivot Sidrah.

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With thanks to Rav Kohanot Jill Hammer and Taya Ma for The Hebrew Priestess.

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Photo: “La maldición del mar” by Sergio Otero