The Wild Muse

wildness, wonder, and the spirit of place


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Temporary Shelters

Memories make us. They are our stories. They make real out of shadow.

Memory is not static, however, nor is it benevolent. It is both our greatest ally and our most nefarious foe. Memory deludes moment. It demands adherence, obedience… it demands answers as to why any thing, any human dare challenge its peaceful dreaming. It makes you believe it is alert, watching, ready to leap into life – but it falters – careens cars, emits screams, threatens.

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Memory is a doe on a summer day, behind twigs, camouflaged. And how we want to believe it is only there, sleeping… not ready, waiting for danger.

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When a loss occurs, memory stumbles.  The doe leaps. You can call after her, but she has no allegiance. She has only the dream and the dream’s urge for preservation.

Behind the dream, flames rise. Fire and impending loss – the arc of disappearance, the knucklebone exposure of stone.

I am a small animal. I become animal as the flames climb my mountain home. I claw and scratch against the man I love. I watch love perish. I watch everything perish. I try to hold. I try.

How quickly stone loses its embodying life, endures the burn. It holds on to nothing.

Stone releases, not because it chooses to release, but because it has no choice. It simply Is. It Is – it has no choice but to acquiesce. I have no choice but to watch the memory deer flee from the stone, the root, from me.

How do we speak here? I walk beneath the full moon and the field shines. The exposure is ghostly yet beautiful. There are no answers to our larger, human questions. But is it not beautiful?

How do we feel now? In restless sleep, in animal tongue and waning moon. I have lost my dreams. I no longer dream. I am the fresh air, the whisper.

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Years will go by and the wild will return to stone. Life returns. New stories will be told – of wild canyon, of love growing between animals: anew, ablaze,

rising from dry bed and ash, calling itself home.

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New poem

When She Left Her Body for Stars

The family descended – the maps were burnt.
Everyone was asked to send donations instead of flowers.
Teachers lamented, “That girl never learned.” Ice cream melted
in boys’ hands, frogs floated to surface. You see, a girl should remain planted.
No story can end with ascension. The story must bear a point,
an edge, some form of pain only known when a woman appears.
If there is no lesson, the family frowns. How will she ever learn?
When a girl wears rags, she is allowed. When she grays into paper
the townspeople rejoice – spring is made. A woman – a story, that is, can be written only when she eats the frozen hand of a priest or when a wolf licks
his paws, sated with her – then she can be.
But she must not have been allowed to leave. The story, what of the story?
The old owl cries, the doors slam. Who shall bear this damned story?
What queen will suffer the stiff legs of age as the price of love demands?
This is a fair trade, trade for a girl rooted in the family name – so they may ever fly and sing. A girl must make the bed. A girl must be the bed
where a man may take her body and light the night – the darkest halls.

When she left her body for stars – a woman was no longer here, a moral.
A woman who was not a spell, but a woman, real and blood-born – not broken in to be written of or into moon – a heroine to decline your stories, to rise up and into her own existence.


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Who ARE You?

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In dealing with recent losses, I stumbled across a cathartic, rooted art form that is helping me reconnect with my true nature. Meekah Sage, local artist and wild woman, came up with the concept that she refers to as self-love flags. These panels embody her archetypes as a woman and human. They also function as an affirmation of what she hopes to achieve and who she is at the core.

Thus far, I have journaled a bit about the “characters” I project, the roles I play, and my real nature. In making my self-love flags, I left out the roles I took on because of societal or personal pressures and dysfunctions. I rather chose to focus on deep memory of the qualities I was gifted at birth. 

Here is my archetype list:

  1. The Healer
  2. The Empath
  3. The Poet
  4. The Traveler
  5. The Shapeshifter
  6. The Wild Woman
  7. The Lover

Creating each panel will be fun and healing.

If you created a list of your archetypes, what would they be?