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Dancing on the Dark Side of the Moon Initiatio n Poe m s on th e wisd o m of dark n e s s , resilie n c e an d hop e . by cynthia wintonhenry

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Introduction

When I first put this collection of poems together I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to read depression poems. Years later, though, I see in them the wild sense of humor and the power of resilience. I know what it’s like to literally fall from grace. This initiation included a classic break down on Easter weekend in 1997.The following poems were written before, during and after my diagnoses of chronically low serotonin. I am grateful for the wisdom and voices that came through poetry and pointed to new strategies for living a beautiful, sensitive, albeit overwhelming life. In my early 40’s I felt increasing fatigue, irritability, and crumbling ambition. Then, one April, on a good Friday, Friday the 13th! after taking in my taxes, I broke down. (No joke!) My husband was newly on anti-depressants. It was amazing to see life come back in him. Was it my turn to let go? I’d always had trouble regulating energy, knew that alcoholism and gambling were in my DNA, and tended to overdo Godlove-art-relationships, ”in a good way?” I’d been treated for workaholism at the Chemical Dependency Institute in San Jose, California where the therapist got mad when I laughed too much, but, it never occurred to me that I could have a disease. It turns out that depression is caused both by chemical imbalances and circumstance. Peri-menopasue? My break down included the inability to stop crying, a cataclysmic drop in energy, suicidal “ideation” (helps ito make it sound fancy) and radical shifts in self-understanding. The day after the break down, on what Christians call “Holy Saturday,”

a doctor diagnosed me with dysthymia, mild chronic depression caused by low serotonin. Low? Me? With this disease, even cheerful people get depressed. I was a mom to a five year old and a bread-winning entrepreneur with a husband who was feeling better for the first time in ages. With “Body Wisdom expert” on my business card my art and dreams were already pointing to trust my body’s truth. This experiment demanded NO PUSH-UPS!” I would not try to get back up on my old happiness horse by sheer will. I’d let medication do the heavy lifting and learn why my body was set to giddy up, up, up. Luckily I already had an easy full plate of art practices, appreciative InterPlayers, reassuring family, and a healthy diet. So it was that Wisdom initiated me into the dark knowing of fear, anger, grief, limits, and mystical “downers” that demand integration. Creative forms and affirming witnesses proved their miraculous ability to transform dark matter. Instead of consumed by torment, my creative processes helped me see truth outside of my body, get distance and find relief from waves of feeling. If there is anything in these poems that might bless, I dedicate that part to loved ones who helped me find my way especially Stephen, Phil, Roberta, Phyllis, CathyAnn, Ann, Fawn, Carol, Susan, Steve and my daughter Katie. If you struggle with depression or any of the darker forms of body wisdom I raise my hand and welcome you to the troupe of dancers who have been to the dark side of the moon. Cynthia, April 2013

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Poems, Prayers, Pleas Poem before Performing Give me Three Moons Forget it Altar Ego Myth Maker Nosy saint cindy Day Seven Kundalini Genii I can't Watching Angels Dance Nine Poems to Fear The end of mothering Who cares? The Law of Dance The "D" Word Antidepressant Journal Color Itch Dancing on the Dark Side of the Moon

Letting Go Anxiety Letting Go Limits Unknown Limits Limits Limits Limits Limits Limits Fear Grief Letting Go Fear Admitting Letting Go Hope Admitting

p4 p5 p6 p7 p7 p8 p9 p10 p12 p13 p14 p17 p20 p21 p22 p23 p24 p27 p28

Loss

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Too Much Soul Weight Drive Brink Resurrection Miracle Nurture Angels Picture This! Trinity Flung Apron off Go Fallow A body cannot hold a position forever Out of control healer Poster Girl Why I relate to dogs Spontaneous Healing Mother Love Prayer

Admitting Hope Admitting Resilience Hope Resilience Resilience Admitting Hope Resilience Resilience

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Admitting Admitting Admitting Admitting Admitting Resilience Hope

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Poe m Befor e Perfor m i n g Nov 6 Explode your dream crop. Too many wishes impede a new born. Take stars from your eyes And walk razor edged time. Exact truth has its comfort, sees sharply what's there. Falling stars are just that. Rising ones are blue mystery. How I want to do good. Make something good. Voice: Explode any further hope Let the flowers bloom.

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Thre e Moon s Sept 8, 1996, 6 months before breaking down

Moon Three

Moon One

I wake up after twenty years in shock at brightness of day the dream I dreamt of changing the world too big for a dancer. Ambition, self-promotion gritty in my soul. "Serve god," the rocks and plants say.

Frightening me, the great emptying begins, the song of selflessness forgetfulness. weak with sleep, I yawn into humility's dark hole filled up with me all my learning, the tears running, the moon coursing alongside singing forty forty forty. Moon Two The unspent moon roams my sleep I attempt to take her in my arms, while wizening shadows lengthen, and spirit grows more exact, precise, observed. How could I get smarter?

Give me three moons to do nothing but rearrange to a deeper silence to lose myself to change, repent, forgive really listen each day as I meant to long ago. Moon smiles on me, a floodlight, making me so self-conscious.

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Forg e t it Now I'm telling you the truth… My socks have been fallin’ down for months all wedged up in my red psychic clogs, and I can't keep my spiritual drawers up anymore and all my friends wonder if I'm O.K. and I am not. But somehow it's absolutely right to be miserable so I don't feel so bad. Hell, didn't my metabolism hit a giant speed bump and I got a husband using my soul for chin ups and don't I let him and anybody else havin' a bad day? Well, I'm telling you the truth… Today we took our taxes in. Forget that it's Good Friday, Friday the 13th Forget that the planet Mercury is in retrograde and each time I meet my therapist she’s saying, "Maybe you are depressed saint cindy." Forget it! On tax day it rises, a Himalayan debt rises out of the fog. Five years paying the family bills

on a freelance artist income. This soul just lost her legs. Forget it.It’s a very, very bad Friday And I’m a double amputee, looking up at a snow capped financial future. The tax lady points to high heaven and says, Cross that! F O R G E T I T! Now, I'm telling you the truth… It’s a nervous breakdown when you can't stop crying. It's a nervous breakdown when your thighs ache and you can't stand up. It's a nervous breakdown when death looks sweetly at you and you consider taking her out on a date. Don't tell me about break throughs Don't tell me anything good. This breakdown, goddam bottom line is mine. Thank God there is not one more thing I can do. This body says, Holy God, You can just forget it.

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Altar Ego

9/15/96

I have a new spiritual discipline. Clear off the altar of my heart. Get me off of it. In a human ball I roll over the altar's green marble surface. On, then off, testing. So used to being on it. Aren't I a gift of God? God's dancer? I take my forearm, clear the deck. Brochures, plans, ideas fall to the floor.

Myth Maker I make myth out of me. Instead of opening books I open me, lay these moments side by side like pop beads snap them together in concentrated meaning. The subject is suspect, but I can't resist. Before books came tribe Before tribe came nature and ever the inner dark to guide. Others say trust The dark myth making.

I just stand there in copper light of prayer to watch God put a pearl on the hard green slab.

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Nosy I got my nose in everybody’s business. Is that OK? So nosy? Except this nose has no sense. Maybe that’s why I'm always stickin' it in places? Sure I get whiffs of air sloshed with Orowheat breadness or the eau de sewage that makes you barf. Otherwise, all I get is piped in by pinholes. I envy giant aboriginal noses, enormous caverns intimate with Earth. I'm told smell is linked to memories of love. Big nose, big love? Last week I got a facial in a dentist chair. Under a blanket, steam chirred in my nostrils As the sweet warm breath of a techno-cat hissed and a woman wearing a clean white lab coat picked blackheads off my snout. As the sting went straight to my eyes I was small, a girl again, mommy squeezing pimples on my face,

loving each pain that made me pure even though noses are sensitive and picking is an odd way to get close. What would it be like to have a huge god like nose, to easily sniff subtle truths, suck the world through arid, moist, open, raw passageways intimate with each aroma, love's fragrance leaping toward you like magenta cinnamon incense? Oh, No. I gotta know everybody’s business Cuz I don’t know if it stinks around here.

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sain t cind y Oct 1, 1996 run, jump, splat the gnat i'm a hoodlum pretending to be a shot in the arm kinda gal well, hell, on good days sure i am and everyone says saint cindy, oh saint cindy. but i tell you i am not a good mother. i go off, leave my kid, tell tales on my own ma, show up unannounced, give people unwanted feedback and act like i'm some god off her chariot. well, today i'm damn well out the door down the street in my shiny green christmas firarri off into the desert to be by my own gaddam self steal potatoes, cook em' over campfires wash in streams and kill mosquitos used to be i'd sell my spirit to anybody for a nickel guy says, "cindy don't say you're a spiritual whore."

i let go of dough all the time, and ha, I mean HA HA HA, i'm not supposed to worry? there's a ceiling to this whole religious deal. i'm not gonna get a bigger house am I or a new car, or a view? AM I? artist first, that's how it's got to work get all this other shit–money, sainthood, and those seventy-six spiritual carcasses loaded on top and it gets bad, and yeah i want to run, jump, splat the gnat. so i got my green psychic Ferrari rumbling at the curb, God I'm taking saint cindy hostage, taking her on a wild ride. if you don't watch out I might not bring her back. look out, if you want her, it’s gonna cost you..... a house, a new car, and a real nice view.

well, i'm an artist, hell, don't i get some artistic license? saint cindy saint cindy saint cindy making money being a saint is ridiculous.

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Day Sev e n

Women don't rest. And those that do sure ain't God.

Rest now. Six days of squirtin’, shapin’, shaking the world alive. Rest now.

Nope, God sure wasn't a woman cus a resting woman's a guilty woman until she gets over the guilt, or she's a crazy woman cus that's what she has to do to get a rest. And God sure ain't a man cus he's the reason she figures she's been workin' so hard.

Day seven she just showed up and enjoyed it. Sat her happy butt down on a cosmic log and sang to herself,"Goooood, gooooood, gooooood, I done gooood, gooood, gooood." This is some kind of creatin’ don't you think? The kind that eats the fruit it thinks up. Creates it just for itself. Sits on the couch fattens up on its own creation just because. I'm tellin' you seven's some good number. Perfect. I guess that proves it, though God could never have been a woman.

Show me the Resting Woman God and I'll tell my soul. And I know that'll make it a whole lot easier. But I'm not waitin’ for that. God's got wisdom enough to speak directly to me. God doesn't need to be a woman for me to know myself. God and me are like this: two gether. I ask for rest for a change and God says sure, yanks my "Trying Rug" right out from under me and next thing I know

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I’m all number seven layin' on my backside. God hauls up log after log and I keep thinking I'm supposed to jump em' and God says, "hey stupid, sit your butt down, enjoy the scenery."

for Resting Woman God but if you see her, send her my way we could watch TV stare at the sky or somethin' I'll ask her where the hell she's been.

Seven's a good number for any woman. completely enjoying, laying back on a couch, or a rock, or a log, sitting down on that little stool for a change. Damn it feels good Creatin’ just for me. I see my flesh all stretched out smack dab in the middle of my creation havin' it all. Seven's the day for me. I'm gonna wear it easy like a summer dress the kind you don't mind getting dirty and I'm gonna sing "Goood Goood Goood, I done goood gooood gooood!" and I ain't waitin' anymore

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Kund alini Genii Red violet violent tornado energy. I thrust when I'm happy and thrust when I'm scared. same fire, different source. My kangaroo tail bone heats up, opens, Hips swirl.

Big Genii. All things come and go. All things pass. Life goes either way. Keep passion coming. Hard times are hard. But love won't stop there.

I was sixteen first time Mom drove the brown Chevy down Sepulveda Boulevard, me in the passenger seat, not touching myself. Suddenly, that tornado swirled up my groin. So much pleasure!

“But, I’m scared!”

What is the energy of life?

Big Genii turns once more and says, Live! Honey, just live!

It's OK to cry Cindy. The whole world won't care if you do. Go on, ride me. Ride your old beaten down Chevy electric kundalini genii the whole way if you have to.

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Can't Him: Maybe that's just it. Maybe that's what I know. “I can't.” His face breaks recalling that chant he sang since preschool, can't, can’t can’t finally heard in shameless truth. "I can't do it by myself."

Child: "Water goes up to the moon, and makes a sponge." Then it comes down down down down."

Her: Boulders fall down mountains Come to rest at the bottom, but she weeps, unable to stay up. Never imagined "I can't." Generations of tense survival huge rocks of must finally fall down, down, down.

Me: All my waters have flown to the moon, I am a sponge heavy with Loss and suffering. Who will come to say it is OK to rain a thousand rains?

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Ang el Dan c e s Angel 1 The tension in the jaw is joy, is it not? And the arc of the spine curved backwards, her victory over all odds? Watch close. One swinging arm is lost in light. Watch close. Inside her blue jean shirt is a cave where her face has gone and her belly brown and glad hides secrets she might share if I watch close, if I love if I look just past her finger pointing up.

Angel 2 Olive green his shirt. Orange, pink hibiscus pants. Hair, lots of it in strings, light brown strands stuck in a mouth which is open praying. Chin cocked back at angle of release. Angel of release. I fear loss of self. Open mouth Can I surrender? Somersault energy. I never know where I might wind up.

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Angel 3

Angel 4

drama:

Mother meditation on all fours. Her back, a table under which hundreds of children find a safe place between thick wooly legs with night sky in them. No one ever comes inside the legs. Bent over on knees she looks up pays homage to her former verticality, needing the old divine dance as much as this horizontal one. Neck cramps. Chin in hand, she stops. Does she look up enough?

something over the neck? a rip someone ripping into the neck? the jugular the light body bleeds too coiled up bent over backwards over extended arm. Beware of vision. whose claws tear flesh.

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Angel 5

Angel 6

With filament, healing thread an angel remakes my cloth everyday. Frayed, threatened, undone electric weaving wires reworked, made taut. I hand needle to the Great Seamstress who pierces my crown pokes the hole to bring a new thread through. On my knees, angels sew me round. Even my hearing is newly stitched, always the last thing repaired.

I will be Gabriel warrior angel with hummingbird green, gigantic wings, white clothes, grey hair. Someone will play a Tibetan bell while I dance and tell of a new birth. I will be strange, unbelievable. They will squirm, blink, pinch or turn away at she who comes as an angel in a face they know. I shall whisper, use my soft voice let myself fall down a hole into God's heart like other prophets who couldn't help the naked look shocking their face.

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Nine Poe m s to Fear February 2, 1997 i. I will practice saying everyday that dance is at the root of humanity. I will practice saying everyday that if we do not dance we lose our humanity. I understand your anger and grief and why you do not want to dance. But, I tell you this, if you do not dance you will not heal. So dance your grief back to the Great Mother. ii. In the middle of the fear is truth. In the middle of the truth is a dark seed. In the middle of the dark seed is you in death, the part of you you long for and God's endlessness. Go there.

iii. We make our way down narrow passageways of fear, touching wet walls of memory, distrust, goodness, and grief to find who we were, what happened and whose we are now even in the labyrinth of uncertainty. iv. Fear is a light I take in my hand, my buzzing forehead and wrecked heart seen in siren and disaster zone. Love cries, "Courage! Go ahead. Look." I stand motionless weeping at the altar of touch. v. Quicksand, earthquake, fire, sea foam, stroke, germ, sexual violence: all wipe me away. But the worst is hate and fear

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that I am not loved am separate from love. The child in me thinks she has done something wrong or you have. But she has not. Nor have you. So she studies fear and hurt death and life hoping to acquaint herself with truth no longer escaping the question, "Where is love in whom I want to die and live?� vi. I want to love myself. So God and I patiently bless each hurt and every joy. This is enough.

vii. This is my holy time learning to dance with darkness. With each person I appear ungraceful, ungrateful, falling, helpless saying too much and nothing at all. Your hand in a moment is not enough nor your loving word. I don't want to be a child and yet I am. viii. Recovery of love is all there is. My brother after all those silent years spoke to me and said, "Dear Cindy, I am here." Now I am too.

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ix. In the time of Motherlessness, riddled with loss I enroll as love's humble student and take Fear as my spiritual director. Hand in hand she teaches strenuous ways to dance deeper past strength past gifts past intelligence past solution. Everyday we take a measured step toward the center of the dance where still from far off I suspect grace could be everywhere in everything. Or is it death? I bless fear in advance for leading the way.

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End of Moth e ri n g I. You were there that womb night when the question passed from your mother's lips, behind her breast through the umbilicus into your heart, “Could she do it? Could she mother? Would it be better this time? “ You ate raw her fear like bread. What flight remained? What hope in the darkness? II. Who will comfort the infant mother tell her she is born again cradle her, shelter her, feed her, and change what needs to be changed? No one. Mother yourself.

III. This morning I couldn't stand. On the phone the bone in my chest rattled, "Waaaaa." In my chest cavity where my heart should be, "Waaaaa." At the end of a deep sigh it came, "Waaaaa." IV. I cannot mother anymore and I cannot go and I cannot be the one and I cannot lift a weary finger and I cannot cannot cannot untie the knots of grief not today.

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Who Car e s ? Fear, you scrawled your big ole charcoal message messy across my mind, “who cares?” Burnt down cigarette hangin’ out your mouth “who cares?” Standin’ at the edge of things you kick me in the butt and I get hysterical “who cares?” Laughing I slip over the edge, down your walls swing into your crevice finally yelling, "I don't give a rat's ass." Hangin’ by a rope, harnessed by what? “who cares?” Is it true if I let go I vanish? “who cares?” Oh No, Fear, I'm not letting go today, You hungry bitch! You beggar. You soul devouring hole. Let me Go! Damn you! Let Go!

Fear puts on them fine clothes a girdle and red spike shoes. Black eyes fixed on me, cigarette crushed under the ball of her foot. Smashin’, grindin’. Irresistible, she is. I let go. Fall. Death. Time. Shallow Water. Worlds. Oceans. Starlight. Universe of No Resistance who cares.

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The Law of Dan c e (kinesthetic flutesong above worry, below sorrow) Dance to surmount regret. Dance to transform anger. Dance is the language of transcendence, of rising up.

Fear is always catastrophic. Don't go there. Wisdom knows fear and stays back.

Know your worst fear, honor its truth but beware a body organizes to it's force. Fear devours.

Instead, make a new covenant with tragedy. Don't refuse circumstance, But don't be taken hostage, either. Don't compete with your worst fear. Don't fight, and don't over focus there. Occasionally with a friend let fear dance you. Dance will always carry you over.

Make this the new law: Once through the fear door, seen its territory and know why you tremble– Don't go there. Honor fear but don't go there Don't go the way of fear. It is partial. Stay back. Do you walk into a snake pit? Cross the highway into oncoming traffic? No. This is the clarity required to dance with fear.

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The "D� Word The last thing out of my mouth the last thing I wanted expected and it’s not damn or death and I couldn't say it of myself I'd fought it so long hated despised it and it feels far worse than addiction but much simpler disease dis ease anti easiness D, D, D.... I am D, D, D... Can't say it. anti desire anti-dance anti Christ. D, D, D.... I'm D, D, D...

Dysthymia's a better word. Also a d word. So what the hell is so bad about being d,d,d? Can't say it. Spell it. I can do that. d. e. p. r. e. s. s. e. d April 1997

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Antid e p r e s s a n t Journ al Day One got drugs. by dinner finger in dike. sleep nine hours. someone comes at midnight. three days too late, and finally rolls away the stone. Alleluia. intense blue sky. wind's world in motion. spring electric coolness cuts the morning I just go out in the sun. Day four Wisdom of the body. Don't cope. Let go your effort rope. the urge to kick in, get up, laugh, dance, balance. Don't cope.

Don't think positive. Don't think negative. No more camouflage. Let go and Up comes anxiety Up comes fear. Go to the park to meet Anxiety and fear Call someone and more anxiety and fear. and breathe, but don't cope. The hole is growing in the chest. Amazing hole, huge empty , free to show up at last. Wisdom, Let drugs do it. Do not try to feel better, Do not use any more energy to make yourself feel better. Day Five Collapse. Can't take care of child Home, work. The diagnosis: a mental illness. You are afraid to tell people.

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but you do because you are brave and you don't believe in secrets and it’s not the end of the world except that it could kill you and Your mother doesn't call Your best friends don't call to see if you are still alive. You reach for the phone. responsible for your self. If you were seriously ill, wouldn't someone bring soup? Days Six Easing up, Anxiety goes down. No chest hole. Slower, I get around. Day Seven Rehearsal on a fuzzy headed afternoon. Focus lost. The leader must be lead. Eight days Teach class.

Tell fifty students I am depressed. Scaring me, Yes. I teach bodies. Bodies know. People see fatigue, the fight gone. Artist/researcher, I use my life to teach. Eleven days Teach first grader art: line, space, color. Too tired to cheer, I rely on knowledge instead of hype, energy not my only gift Then walk out into blue day, different my mind free from obsessive light. Seventeen days Thursday morning I sit, stare, look at things. The untended garden. Birds strawing nests.

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Gulls holler high overhead. So much to see in a walled-in patio. I hadn't realized. Sunday I’ll buy tomato plants, flowers, cushions for lawn chairs and move out to the quiet place with honest air.

of beating around the bush. Fifteen years after the D word knocked her into a whole new language, she lit her match, and with what burn she had left ignited the inextinguishable passion to tell us all about depression in poetry, photograph and performance as I slumped in my seat, arms crossed not wanting to read my depression in hers.

Twenty days The unrecognizable body is taking totally different roads over untraveled shame, anxiety, peace, fear, quietness.

Five weeks In the living room I don't erupt. Mother reaches child. Energy gathers home. I fantasize a move. Sleep disturbed Too much anxiety guides Graces and does not kill.

Last week I assumed the skinless frenzy was a drug problem. How would I know? Till now anxiety was a luxury my body could not afford. Three weeks I can say the word now though some would prefer I didn't but some women like Ann are incapable

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Color Expect me. Turn the light out. When your soul comes back I will appear.

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Itch The itch may have been there forever, an irritation that won't go away, bad mosquito bites all over nerves that hunger for something missing. Conscious, unconscious fingers never failing to move to where the juice is sucked out. Work and work, rub and rub. Constant itch wants energy and can't help it. The more you itch the more itching it wants. Don't scratch, you go crazy. So you scratch till you’re pooped then collapse grouchy. Find ways to soothe the itch dance, sing, hug, laugh, play, therapy, community, think positive. pray, forgive, let go, love. Still it doesn't go away. In fact all the itches over all the years

Make it worse. Now I'm too tired. It’s worse, not better. So tie your hands, put gloves on stare at it for a while. Think about damn bites, the energy required not to scratch. The itch is in a frenzy. Anxiety, exhaustion from scratching from ignoring. Finally! A Psychiatric Benadryl Take it. The itch relaxes. Nerves whisper instead of shout. Quiet comes into the house the first day you might forget the mosquitos and the bite.

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Dan ci n g on th e dark sid e of th e mo o n I am a daughter of the moon. two white feet drawn to hers, the Great Light, Mother. Each night I appeal to heaven, There she is. There she is. Rejoicing in fullness Anxious at each wane. Suddenly, the moon vanishes. Thrown from sleep I awaken on her darker side, a black moon. where feet won't find themselves. Imprecisely I leap shadowed craters, deep cold, battlefields of wars lost.

Foreign stillnesses terrify me, divorced from earth's familial light. Eclipse, the grey unlit depression I fought forever, now utter, complete. Weightless, heavy, tired of holding myself upright, I careen in a dragging spin through thin atmosphere. Upside down suspended between the unholy night and distant, uncharted planets I am dancing unworldly dancing undances dancing on the dark side of the moon.

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Soul Math

Drive

Old math-

What makes the heart go? When suffering is over is love enough for creation? God thought so and danced us into life. We are. That's all. We are.

Carry One plus one in marriage times ten years carried too long Add one-year times three- a child times four- an in-law times forty years of friends churches and the world and don't forget mom. Thank God I put Dad down. Multiply seven more years equals seventy thousand five hundred sixty Godzilla’s of soul might. New mathCarry one self and one child.

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Brink

Res u r r e c ti o n

Disaster held our clenched jaws while every day death waited, and our heavy sighs forced her back.

Crazy's gone off, got that creative juice Sets a wheezing tiger and caterpillar loose. Built her a stairway to the moon. Leapt back down to watch some callalilys croon.

I cannot believe she didn't win. I cannot believe we made it, no idea we were so close to the end.

Big black night, juice bubbles up. Sings her song back-a-back in the cup. Won't eat her heart out in the dark. Gotta whine, shimmy, jump, squat, babble, hoot, bark!

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Miracl e Miracle. You undepressed. All the days of sorrow that crushed in on you and the nights I thought you might die. Your ministries laid waste. Your presence soiled. Your creative powers sucked from you.

What image can satisfy this miracle. You are a Lazarus rising. Your leprosy is cleared, gone. Your Gerasene demoniac laughs and prays and serves. You love so much.

But tombs and crosses couldn't keep you dead. We all saw greatness in you. Remember when you played Jesus at the last supper? And I, your wife, realized who you were?

God and I know. It's a miracle.

You could have died from this darkness You could have given up. You could have. Miracle. You remained loving. Miracle. You remained a good father. Miracle. You didn't go the fatal way. Miracle. You stand in a pulpit again in love and glory where you were beaten down

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Nurt u r e Ang el s Do angels get tired? Anything unrecognized grows weary. Even God. Always us. What feeds the silly little girls in white and the giant open-winged guides with cowboy boots stomping around doing our bidding.

So, burn you worshipping idiot you. Feed your angels small dances, big dances. Be a bonfire against the dark. Feed the angels. To do this, there is no spiritual discipline, Only love and gratitude.

My mystery gal Friday, keeper of every bit of my eternal jot and tiddle got pissed when I kept messing up her filing system, trying to know it all. Busy body, busy body,� she pouted and almost quit she was so tired of fixing my messes. On top of the fact I didn't thank her or even notice her there. We must sing their praises. Dance in the breadcrumbs till our angels be swooped up in glory. Feed the uncolored rainbow creatures right and left. And God? An unworshiped God is no God.

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Pictur e This! November 23, 1997 Picture this! People not afraid to touch. Children looking up to dancing elders. Rowdy lovers every one snatched up in each other's enthusiastic arms. Picture this! Sign upon sign of eyes gazing at curved hip hair clipped or flying bodies bold with failure curse and victorious persistence. Picture this!

An ex con and a suburban mom playing together. A southern white millionairess and a black man proud to embrace. Addicts full of themselves. Pagans and Christians laughing. Lesbian moms taking center stage. Gay and straight men carrying on. And an entire people in love with an unwed mother's beauty! Picture thousands of stages churches halls and schools as home to happy bodies. Picture us in hospitals dancing with those in bed. Picture our human songs rising up in prisons ghettos, and war zones. Picture fear taking second place to love

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and us knowing we are each other’s daily bread. I have seen all this again and again in the tribal gathering of players unbelievably beautiful and so believably human.

Trinity Nov 97 Was it that holy trinity's old buzz, That once kept me out of the pit: agitation, irritability, anxiety. Now I lay here calm. Jim comes by. I smell his mystic, pray-er shaving cream. God sends friends of stillness, whose ears like wombs wait to be filled. I rest in quiet, silently rejoicing. My prayer is one wordless word, "

."

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Flun g Dec 17, 97 Wool socks sliding across the polished floor. I am spun balanced, dragged taut towards the air's split second flung.

Apro n off "Made!" says the maker to herself. Slaps her two hands together. "My birthwork's too fine and big!" Apron off she makes small valentines to herself. Loves and loves she does.

Only partners really make the earthed angel soar.

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Go fallow heart go fallow harvest taken to market heart go fallow field craving barrenness heart go fallow plucked rows cleared

heart go fallow put no new root heart go fallow brave no thought heart go fallow fallow tomorrow and fallow today small plot bordered, watched over, and still.

heart go fallow soil upturned

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A bod y ca n n o t hold a positio n fore v e r A body cannot hold a position forever. But torture asks us to. So does belief. But a body cannot hold a position forever. Gravity's insistence will break us down and the trembling muscle and a hand with a golden ring releasing us in blessing from above. Tortured or torturer. A body cannot hold a position forever. The painful release of wrong action will come. Sin will fall away. Evil will pass. For a body cannot hold a position forever. Sadly also true of beauty and good. Prepare to let go.

Out of con tr ol he al e r April 98 So intent on fixing something they'll stick their finger up your ass shove a crystal in your hand and dive into your bottom drawer without an invite, glee and certainty in their one right eye. When a healer's all cocked up hires a band to play their own tune gets funding and is never uncertain again that's when we get evil. Is evil born of healers? If they are jumpin' off the ship And out of control, I'd say so. A broken spirited healer's a fighting dangerous thing.

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Post e r girl I do drugs so natural. I told my doctor, check me out, I want to be your pharmaceutical poster girl. I believe in little pills and feeling better without trying so hard. Pills gave me my marriage back and my love my patience, and most likely my life. Thank God and Thank God. Depression is not my fault. Unshame all with the dark plague! The wisdom of the body says don't be stupid! I never smoked a cigarette but I don't mind

if they name a drug after me someday cus it’s more natural to take drugs than have your brain rot in its own stew. Don't you think?

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Why I rela t e to do g s

Spo n t a n e o u s Healin g

Dog eat dog Dog pile Dog tired Hot dog Corn dog Guide Dog Good Dog, Good Dog Bad, Bad, Bad Dog Dog gone it Down! Down! Dog! Fetch, Dog, Fetch! Whipped Dog Happy Dog Bird Dog Guard dog Heel, Sit, Lay Down, Shake Loyal Dog Good Dog Yes Good Dog

I hated to cook But now I'm in the kitchen flippin' burgers. I was afraid to speak. But now I preach without warning. I couldn't sit still. But now I might befriend the Dalai Lama. I couldn't keep from asking How are you? Now I just say Good Day. I spent money I didn't have. Now I balance my checkbook. Once I always had to go. Now I am home and happy. No one knows how it happened

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Moth e r Love

Pray e r

Last night trying to cross the river I got stuck but mama came and got me out. Her spirit clean as the dead told me of her love pure, with no hard need of me. Now I know I am a daughter loved for herself.

with prayer and all I have now let my life be silk and let me paint upon it freely without worry of the outcome.

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Dancing on the Dark Side of the Moon  

Poems by Cynthia Winton-Henry