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 A muted image of people gathered in the Country of Silence.

Little Rituals


On these soft subterranean hills
beneath the opalescent spider egg
stare of Earth-Moons, we grieve
grey-robed, barefoot,
tending loose patches
of trinkets.

Small statues play,
their raised arms draped
with bracelets and charms,
amulets glitter
obsidian and amethyst.

Water flows, carrying whispers
on slender aqueducts between temples.
Hollow women touch their lips
to marble wishes,
Thin ribbons are threaded
in ancient fertile spirals,
binding stelae.

A child's song, part-laughter,
part-mother, father and abandonment,
remains. The dome traps
hymns like a killing jar
one hundred miles square.

Deepest, darkest,
closest to the invisible
source of all our lives,
we grieve our children
recklessly, carving mausoleums
monuments, stone mannequins
precious beads
until we rediscover

Nothing is forgotten ~
every surface is scored
a hundred times with names
poetry and promises
sigils of love
for unvoiced dreams.

© 2002 by Lucy A. E. Ward.
Image © by Stephen Fabian. (Colors have been muted from original.)