November

Holy Stick

Around the fire

Sacred mountain sage

Wafting up and into

The gathered pilgrims

Seeking a new

Connection to deeper truth –

How does one breathe it in

Without first letting go?

 

Coyote Skywater, the elder,

Grandmother,

As Pueblo tradition holds,

Hands me the Talking Stick.

No one but the holder

Is allowed to speak.

She cautions all to listen, and to me –

“Even your ancestors are listening, White Owl,

So speak to them first.

 

Overwhelmed by silence and this sacred listening,

Searching my mind for perfect words,

My heart takes over.

Unable to speak

This Holy Stick

Sticking my tongue to my pallet

Like to a frozen flagpole,

A moan issues without beckoning

As I grasp the stick and weep.

 

I wonder,

Is it true that I have never

Been given this honor –

To be truly heard?

Surely, having been heard like this

Has taught me to listen.

© 2015 Bessie Adams Senette

IMAG1458

Inspired by Meinrad Craighead”s “The Litany of the Great River”

Original collage by Bessie Senette

Published by

Bessie Senette

Bessie Senette is nine and a half months pregnant waiting on the birth of Cutting the Clouds: a Bayou Mystic’s Poems, Musings, and Imaginings – an autobiographical collection of poems and essays about the life and culture of her bayou upbringing and the spirituality that informs her traditional healing gifts. 
A high-spirited, creative, solemn, and above all joyous woman, she celebrates her birthday for the entire month of August, otherwise known as the Besstival. Anyone born in August is welcomed as a Besstivite. The High Feast day of the Besstival (Bessie’s actual birthday) is known as the Besstiva. 

When her Muse is not in the mood to muse, she cooks. Bessie’s home is an oasis of hospitality, and yet her husband, Tom, calls it a fortress of solitude. Somehow it works. She works as a supplemental grandmother and primary Mimsie to Eden and Noah, five grand pups and one cat. 
As an ordained minister, she officiates an ecumenical liturgy for a small congregation of like-minded and just “slightly” wacky folk who are lovingly referred to as the Bessbyterians. 
Bessie is a polydactyl poet, born with six toes on her left foot. Some of her friends think she should have a reality TV show but she insists that it would have to be an UnReality show. All are certain the ratings would be astronomical.

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