Lap of Stars: Poetry by Brenda Yeager

I sought refuge. I thought: round
and clay. Or a particular arc,
trunk to branch, green and shady? Maybe
the source of jasmine, mother, tequila? Glass
elevator, descending wonder, over and above
as a fountain blesses the lobby? And a door,
everywhere, threshold easily revolving
between longing and the boulders of this world.
Definitely barefoot, knowledge arises from dirt:
how to travel home, how wind bears the future fruit.
But then, the trees began burning;
the drowned city gasping;
and refuge lifted off the runway,
sisters and brothers clinging to its metal wings.

At last, I stand from the endlessly scrolling 
thumb of my mind, will the volume, up, up
dance surrender down, until it is obvious:
my own flesh is the light I seek
my enemy, golden

Now my head bows, 
bone by bone, spine pours
into Your deep lap of stars
where shining is the way.
I see: the dust of origin is my own salt
crystalline, sparkling and soaks. Your velvet
milky night takes it all, my Beloved.
Now I know refuge:
everything dying, every day.
The slow path the tear wets
down my cheek.

I wish I could remember the name
of the song that was playing
when I became free, but
it wouldn’t be a prescription anyway.
Every rhythm beats the heart in its own time,
only once,
and so I have to take another breath.
Brenda Yeager

Brenda Yeager is a poet & writer living on the edge of a canyon in the ancestral lands of the Northern Pomo people in Lake County, California. Each time she looks out her window, she becomes a student of the trees, whose blackened trunks and new green after wildfire demonstrate the truth of impermanence & the nature of our earthly fragility. She tries not to get too doomsday about it all by remembering to breathe. She contributed to Middletown Art Center’s Resilience collection of written word and served as co-editor for their Restore book. Both publications and the workshops that generated them were funded by the California Arts Council. You will find her at her happiest reading her work live and listening to fellow poets share their own. She is currently working on a memoir about true refuge, A Revolution of Petals In the Heart. You can learn more at her website: https://www.brendayeager.com/

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