Red Corn Songs by the Cherokee artist and poet Melissa Fry Beasley: Grain of Things, Spangled With Stars and No Care In June’s Warmth. Which one do you prefer? Yes, we know, it’s a difficult choice!
Grain Of Things
Counting the domes of each mystery like rosary beads,
I gather every seed inside cupped hands.
You find me in the grain of things,
Great storehouse holding against famine.
I pulled my own existence out of emptiness.
Tonight it rains on the river,
lonely tears of an exile.
Eyed by spirits,
protected by God.
Crows fly toward a whitening moon
reminding me that I am alone,
and in another time I knew love
the way a flower bursts with beauty.
Like the woman soft as a plum.
We huddled all night in the small house
emptying pots filling with rain.
Singing litanies to our senses.
Remember me naked, trembling, and wet beneath you?
Between flesh and flesh
between the secret and the place?
Taste of your sweat on my tongue.
We seek each other beneath sheets and
when you move into me I know.
This is where I hide in your vast country
during this time of wandering stars.
We are a truth known in our bones,
Rising like smoke at the offering.
Spangled With Stars
A new hunger clung to the breast of heaven.
Moan scrapes morning,
as I shrink into a single drop of stillness.
Memories open up like heavy flowers,
the way eyes taste light.
Cups brimming with the honey of sense.
Your skin walls of pure sensation,
like little leaves that shiver purposefully
in the delicate depths of a quivering fascination.
I made you into a temple and worshiped inside you,
perfect coitus of light and erect darkness.
Lilac petals dripping.
Feet trembling at their freedom.
I an an altar,
and we are the sum of each other, undivided.
We let go and particulate,
like improvisatory free jazz.
We are stars that were saved in spite of the dark.
Infinitely dwindling and expanding
in the act of becoming myth,
gilded in sun.
It doesn’t matter that we have finished
we can always start again,
spangled with stars
hearts torn free and flying.
No Care In June’s Warmth
It is no longer a vague intuition
of unnatural associations.
These are the last bones to chew,
language unborn and buried
in thick grass under angles of moonlight.
Blackbirds arousing the imagination
in squawks & raspy cries,
flightless beneath storm scratched skies.
Call of a night train ghosting through this tiny town.
I lose you in the absence of your waking hours.
You are autumn stretched over rooftops.
Rest, now lost in the distance of lines & waning night.
Beyond the fog there is room for man and spirit,
between generations and families
temporarily not embodied.
Whole lifetimes can pass in these moments,
alone in a sleeping world.
Earth the color of trees and wind.
I cannot endure your absence.
There is no charm in enmity,
or melting slowly day by day.
I have bent and kissed the earth
you have walked upon, my love
to express the endless verities of us.
The sea drowning in itself had to flee.
This makes any grief harder to bear.
If I think how regular the tide is,
i’m better off loving water than you.
But the mind has no care in June’s warmth
the body takes over it.