New-Style Inauguration

In an endless desert
outside of time,
a circle of priestesses
practice augury:

they watch the skies
in a state of ancient ritual divination
enacted in cases of
religious, business, and political
decision-making for millennia,

interpreting birds’ flight patterns
as guidance in crucial matters.
they are known as augurs,
and they are currently
watching in horror.

Note the sturdy word-trees
the augur’s birds perch in.
their roots go deceptively deep.

It’s worth disturbing the peace
and digging in the dirt
to get to the genesis.

Inauguration:
a ceremony
wherein birds’ actions are observed
by augurs practicing augury.

a political decision would be made
and a leader would be
inaugurated
based on the ways of the birds,

which is why I’ve been
viewing hawks circling,
noticing crows sweeping in,
beholding hummingbirds honeysuckling,

I’m seeing bald eagles
tendering their letters of resignation,
unwilling to be guilty by association.

I’ve been breathing in natural secrets,
studying the bumblebees’ choreography,
burying my nose in blossoming floripondio,
laying hands upon all manner of
rock, crystal and mineral,
listening to the whisper of wind and river.

This is the gist:
the wisdom arisen from competition
and ego assertion is worthless.

It’s high time for a new-style inauguration.
Time to repo hijacked linguistics,
get really specific,
and get down to business.

This is our ordination.
by the power vested in we,
by our collective soul-agency,
we hereby declare
we do solemnly care.

We care about love
so much,
we will endeavor to
bask in full moonlight
as often as possible,
to dance,
to hug,
to laugh,
to feel awe.

We do solemnly care enough
not to go radio silent.
Not to choose blindness.
Not to keep quiet.

We do solemnly care
for the plight of our sisters and brothers.
We know that if we’re not speaking up,
we’re not even in the galaxy
of doing enough.
Safety-pin sentiments are lovely,
but they won’t pierce the veil
the way it needs to be
to expose
the horrific inequality
and actually change what
we must no longer tolerate.

This tricky society will
gift us for our complicity, it
deeply desires our silence.
We do solemnly care enough to
rise up and
defy this.

We do solemnly care about this quickening,
we are listening.

We do solemnly care,
even though
exposing our hearts
does make us easy targets.

Regardless,
we lay down our weapons,
we drop our defenses,
these walls are so senseless.
We do solemnly care
enough to be hopeful.

Best be on our best behavior.
Best maintain our integrity.
Best step up to our greatness,
we know that it awaits us.

Best believe
the high priestesses
will be watching the skies,
auguring
closely.

***

Check out Rachel’s produced video of this poem directed by Brad Cooper:

Check out a live performance of this poem shot by Eric Zimmerman:

Photo: “Made of Birds” by Caden Crawford