Some Guidelines for Rebirth
Child of crocus and iris: preserve not the husk but the sap.
The wheel has come to completion and begins anew. With fresh eyes, you drag off the last of the spider webs that choked your vision. You know it is only a matter of time before the wheel descends again, but you will hold fast the plateau for as long as you are able.
Set the spell in your bones by walking to nowhere. Circular paths are highly recommended. Go barefoot to alleviate the symptoms of winter paranoia.
Bathe frequently. Eat the small fresh things. Notice their sap. Be cautious with the wind: it can provoke madness if not tempered with sunshine and solitude.
Savor simplicity. You are young again, no matter your age.
Kiss the beloved as if for the first time, greet the beloved as if for the last time.
Find peace in your own reflection. She has been with you for all these years, although you forget to see the tranquility in her form.
Bring fire into your blood: drink, dance, love. Feel your own pulse: how the body cries out for movement and touch.
Wait until Solstice to make any binding commitments. Your skin is still tender, prone to burning. Your eyes have not adjusted to the light. Allow yourself full delight of the senses: do not question the outcome, yet.
I was starving last winter.
Merciless January drifted within
up through the cracks, into the flat.
It gnawed furrows deep in my skin.
I was starving. You found me
a woman alone, unable to raise myself to the cot
too weak to pull the blanket over my body.
London is a city of liars and tigers:
coal rain falls over their eyes
an obsidian mask
hiding one from the next.
“Art,” you told me, “art will save us.”
Art chose you
and you put me in the trees
draped in white
hunger hidden under layers of lace.
The soot is still there
caked on my thighs, ingrained in my scalp.
Umber spatters on your trousers,
you threw down your brush,
spent all our money
on potions, papers, and glass,
“The machine will save us.”
It made you rich
but it trapped me,
in a gilded frame.
You moved into the darkroom,
an artist, a scientist, a modern man
staring through the magic mirror
into the bottomless void
you left the dark laughing
having conquered your art.