Thursday, October 21, 2010

my tea blog

This is what we call in the museum world a "soft opening," which happen to be words I really love and could write about 10 different poems about. Hmmm, maybe more on that later. 

This soft opening reveals my new tea blog, inspired by of course my beloved relationship with the amazing combination of hot water and various plants and imbibing, the catalystic effect of blog-writing (this one), and Dr. Jeanine's amazing and simple reminder that I can always work on the things I love and am moved to right now (I guess that's why Simply Divine Solutions is a name so fitting to her business). Although I'm doing other conscious and subconscious work on my dream tea house, this is another place for that bricolage - for me to collect and arrange bits and pieces and things that move me. This blog's friends (readers) feel like a safe space for this soft opening, so here it is:

Monday, October 18, 2010

What's my hearth

What's hard for me ... I've been reflecting on this lately. I laughed recently when I told an old friend I was doing "self-study" - for me meaning my studies in herbalism and midwifery - and he said he did that too, but he thought it was just narcissism. I'm highly sensitive to narcissism in others and highly insensitive to noticing it in myself - thankfully I'm finally learning in this life to laugh at myself, sometimes. Still, my digression is a reflection of both my aversion to and call to notice these subtle branches within myself, and notice them with an intent to learn something.

On Myers Briggs personality tests, I land squarely between introvert and extrovert. What I'm noticing is when those two paths of mine occur. I was recently introduced to the Enneagram by my wonderful friend and encourager Dr. Jeanine, who thought I might be a 7. I think I might be a 2 "the helper" with a 3 wing "the hostess." I love to exude the warmth of a hostess, but recently realized that I hardly ever initiate parties or gatherings, especially at my own home. I can trace this back to the home where I grew up, but there's more there. 

In my extrovert path, I emanate what my grandma Shirley said was my best skill - as a people person. I intuitively (and sometimes subconsciously) pick up on what will soothe or inspire someone, and become or present that. It's not quite like acting, and there can be an element of the pleaser in it. When it's going on in a good way,  I am a helper - I want people to feel good. I love to social-butterfly around at gatherings, though I sometimes feel like Dory from Finding Nemo, renowned and hilarious for her short-term memory, as I flitter about. When I speak, I can be loud, outspoken, blunt even.

Yet I have an inner witness who feels shy. And I love to host and feed, but there's a line there - at my hearth. I noticed this at Sundance a few years ago. Camping near me, with a big camp kitchen set up, was a friend from ceremonies, and her mom and sister and a gaggle of kids. I cooked simply for myself and the boys that year, rather than joining them at their kitchen. I had curiosity turning into introversion - their family is from a northern native people, deep, intelligent and funny, though less forthcoming than some peoples, understated especially in emotions. I wanted to get to know them better, but instead I chose to witness them from a distance. There was some level of distrust there - a process where I project my insecurities onto someone else's view of me - that I worked through in a big way at this year's Sundance. I nursed a little wound from when they accidentally came into my home to use our bathroom after a long journey - at that moment when I was in labor and felt a very yin and very strong animal protectiveness of my space. But there's even more here...

Although I can be overly "love all, serve all" like the Hard Rock Cafe, or more poetically in Ani DiFranco's 'Pixie,' there's a line I draw around what I can only call my hearth. When family and food and fire especially come together, I feel protective. It's not quite a fear or a focus on scarcity - although maybe it is, as it feels like that line around my hearth is a wall. I am much more likely to engage and find common ground and chat for hours effusively with all kinds of revealings - if it's at someone else's campground where I'm visiting. At my campground, I focus on the hearth tasks - the cooking, cleaning, the 'sweeping' of the energetics - and am so focused in that zone that I don't want to be distracted, to be social. I want to be sanctuary, rhythm, purpose. It's not always quiet, of course not - there's a one year old and four year old in my hearth! But it's simple, it's the inner ring.

So, reflecting on this to see the lessons - open up, loosen up and talk with people! - as well as the good that's there, I've come upon a variation of my tea house dream that intertwines with this very way. My tea house will be inside a yurt shaped like a turtle. Inside will be all warmth and tent hanging fabrics and big pillows and low tables. Outside it may be very cold, or maybe not. But the structure of the place will be a yurt, like the yurt I spent time in during a very early memory - a trip to Inner Mongolia with my parents where I can remember the cross-hatching along the walls inside and the clearest sky on a cold open landscape outside. And the yurt will be a turtle, but a friendly one.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


This is not just another collection of quotes, though that too. This is an epiphany for me. Tea, I see, is the one thing that has been a constant interest and daily practice for much of my life. When I was coming into my womanhood wave, I drank Celestial Seasonings teas, and saved the tins and the quotes and relished the reflection I found there. I went through a stage, rough on wallet and body, of over-indulgence in Snapple mango teas, packed with sugar and other things that were not tea. 

Still I drank hot tea and tisanes (a name for tea made from herbs and not from the tea plant Camellia sinensis), and brought a small plug in kettle when I moved to New York City to begin college. There my dear roommate, who had a passion about herbs and ethnobotany and all kinds of interesting things, and I explored many worlds, and drank lots of tea.

Tea has become my trademark, if I were to have one. When I reflect on "not knowing what I want to do when I grow up," and wonder what the materia of my alchemy is (thanks to Thomas Moore's A Life at Work), I reflect on my daily life and interests, and I come back again and again to tea. Yes, I study and want to study more of herbalism, tea ceremonies, brew times, wild herb gathering, tea cultivation, the economics of tea. 

What I hold onto is more simple - summer or winter, up or down, when I wake up I make tea. When I am sitting and reflecting, or wanting to make that space, I drink tea. When I gather with friends, or don't feel too well, or need a break, I make tea. It's probably the best addiction I have, and I'm feeling a new blog devoted to tea coming on. Although I appreciate writing this blog on "whatever comes up," I'm feeling a need to synthesize and integrate, and whenever I've done that in my post 1990 life (and sometimes before that), tea's been there. Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all. ~Kahlil Gibran. And I bring tea, and the love that has always come with it for me.

Come oh come ye tea-thirsty restless ones - the kettle boils, bubbles and sings, musically ~Rabindranath Tagore 

There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work. And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night. There are those who do both, they drink tea. ~ Gary Snyder

"Now you understand the Oriental passion for tea," said Japhy. "Remember that book I told you about the first sip is joy, the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy. ~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.  ~Thich Nat Hahn

Monday, September 20, 2010

Noisiest Passenger

My fate cannot be mastered; it can only be collaborated with and thereby, to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul; I am only its noisiest passenger.~Aldous Huxley

Thus far my blog has contained only select pieces of writing, very few actually, and many quotes and (public domain) poems that inspire me. It's time to branch out. I'm amazed at the shape of tree branches, because the shape of a tree is a direct manifestation of its life force nourishing itself - reaching up and out so that its collector parts, its leaves, can grab the sun and rain, and create a path for that nourishment to snake down to the roots. So branching out is not, for me, just a nice metaphor, but a reminder of what is most essential to truly living.

I have been pondering mediocrity and work a lot lately. I have worked in many kinds of nonprofit organizations for almost ten years, and I have learned a lot and hopefully created some little sparks of good service for others along the way. I have occasionally encountered inspiring effective leaders, but more rarely than my hunger asks. The path of a young nonprofit professional, generation X on the border of gen Y, not quite a digital native nor a geek, not quite a leader and definitely not a follower who works well with authority, challenges me when I take a step back and up. 

I see people around me doing so many different kinds of work. Here in Silver City, I see a lot of women at home, doing the work of there, and mothering and sometimes homeschooling. Among the amazing far and wide circle of my friends, I give thanks as I see my friends who are artists making their arts, be it touring with a band, selling crafts on Etsy, on Broadway, at the Wherehouse, in Vogue, on the big screen, in the tipi, on the little screen, on blogs, deep in the woods, in poetry collections, and screaming out to the night air, because yes people still HOWL, thank god. I see amazing chefs, and even taste some of their goods. Rollerderby queens, plant doctor PhDs, organizers, dancers, medicine makers, bricoleurs each one. I am fortunate to look around and see and reflect back idiosyncrasy. Yes "all the freaky people make the beauty of the world" - I believe this from the tips of my toes to the tips of my hairs, and I love it. 

Here's the slam edit of a piece I wrote a few years ago when I reflected on "doing it all," inspired by Ntozake Shange and the "stuff" from for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf

Wonder Woman
The modern classic doing business as you or me

she can barely disguise herself as wonder woman with a cog job
she can rise early and stay up, wringing the midnight oil hours of their juicy flow
she can daily grind social good, multiple arts, and a burning activist spark
she can amuse and confuse with confounding tangents of inquiry
she can constantly percolate a new idiosyncrasy
she can do it all with a foxy muse’s deep wet eyes and sinuous shape
she can do it all with a zip and not a wink of mortal quiet time

zippity hooray, she-ra rises today
all this she can, all this she can, all this she can
without stop; all this she can, all this she can,
without stop; all this she can,
without stop; all this she can,
without what? STOP!

A tremulous virus made a run of her, crown to sole
Sick, a circus tent, with skin stretched pole to pole
Ambitions hanging high from trapeze swings
Altruistic contortionist rolling around in circles
Imagination in unrest, stripping down to rhinestones to
Swan dive into a tin tub, she shivered
at the smoke-and-mirrors whirlwind of pursuits which
Left no room for her stuff
A fake-out which began way back when

Sitting in a puddle of imagination
A lil girlchild looked up and saw that someone would stay cuz
she can save the poor and do laundry
she can trudge through mud still swinging sexy
she can stand spine strong and still melt to his knee

This lil girlchild woke up from a dusty dream-path
And scrambled to look for alla her stuff
Elbow corners, navel alcoves, where mosquitoes hide behind the knees
Under the tongue, behind her pride,
And down there where she knew she had new lips to speak
She gave herself a real down-up-down
And found her stuff all there

Throw it off and roll it down
she can save the day
breathing in the mundane
To wonder
And wonder
And wonder
Curious about the worlds inside a woman’s tides
Supported, held and freed
she can
just be
A wonder under her skin and mediocrity? I too want to fly out of bed because I love what I do so much it doesn't feel like "work." I'm still a F-ing idealist, and still a pinko too, and I want to be of service, be creative, and do it all making enough moolah or other resources to not worry, be happy. I don't need to be a SCHWAH! beautiful person (all the time), and I'd never be the celebrity-designer type. No, I'm not looking to be rich or famous. Just looking to grow in what I do when I leave my house every morning. I'd like to not "put in time" - I'd like to put in my (endless!) energy into making things happen, things that enlargen, reflect and nourish the beauty path. 

And not only all that, but I'd also like that opportunity to be there, if not obvious then at least in a potential form that can be grabbed and embraced, for all those of us lucky enough not to spend our every waking moments wondering how we will eat, drink, stay warm or avoid violence. Most of all, I want to walk that path so that if my sons ever ask, I have something good to share with them.

My aqua vitae, my materia, is rich and complex like life itself. As is yours, if you're reading this. I will have to allow myself to become multi-dimensional (3 can be so limiting) if I will travel ceaselessly and make the most inviting sanctuary garden of a home, lead an ass-kicking name-taking community organization and run a tea house where everyone can just chill and mend, nurture and love and protect my sons constantly and support them thoroughly to be each his own beautiful independent self, allow myself to be diverted and present to what each moment brings and be available and focused to help life enter, leave and heal in this world. Both and is my only answer, and it is one, like the game Questions, that only continually breeds itself.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

the amazing Kahlil Gibran

Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all. 

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. 

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain? 

But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

If indeed you must be candid, be candid beautifully.

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.  

I prefer to be a dreamer among the humblest, with visions to be realized, than lord among those without dreams and desires.

Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.

Mother: the most beautiful word on the lips of mankind.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.  

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. 
To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.  


Monday, August 30, 2010

Return of the Squash Mother

Remembering this moment, as so magically captured by Todd Pierson ( I was six months pregnant, we had just gotten back from a trip to NJ the day before, and Todd showed up (we'd never met him) to do my portrait for the Return of the Corn Mothers project that my amazing sista Renee was/is putting together.

The light was good in the morning, so up we got, despite my never having been a morning person since birth, and less so as I got bigger and rounder and tireder. Back in the corner of our yard, as far away from the street as you can get, was our new vegetable garden, built up of amazing compost and Toxtli's intense persistence. I found the rose behind my ear among the roses along the side of our yard, but as we shot photos for hours, I held and played with many parts of our garden's late August abundance - different squash and squash flowers I remember particularly. Todd and I both loved this big round squash, how it mirrored my shape and was just so darn cute. As the shoot continued on and on, I got droopy, and rest an arm over the top of my head. "I love it! Work with it!" came from Todd, and suddenly feeling like a supermodel, of the type that would dangle an emaciated arm over my head, I started working it. 

I haven't seen the whole photo shoot of photos yet, but this one came out of it. We'll be going to Phoenix in October to see an opening of Return of the Corn Mothers exhibit there, and witness this piece as part of a beautiful, still evolving whole.

Monday, August 23, 2010


my mind is matter
minding itself again and
again with no end

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Garden of Love

Garden of Love ~William Blake

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
a chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this chapel were shut,
And 'Thou shalt not' writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore;

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.

She Walks in Beauty ~Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
   Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
   How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
   A heart whose love is innocent!

from The Rubaiyat ~ Omar Khayyam 
(trans. Edward Fitzgerald)


Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly - and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.


Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and - sans End.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry. ~Muriel Rukeyser

Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry. ~W.B. Yeats

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either. ~Robert Graves 

 Sonnets XI
~Edna Saint Vincent Millay
            As to some lovely temple, tenantless
            Long since, that once was sweet with shivering brass,
            Knowing well its altars ruined and the grass
            Grown up between the stones, yet from excess
            Of grief hard driven, or great loneliness,
            The worshiper returns, and those who pass
            Marvel him crying on a name that was,--
            So is it now with me in my distress.
            Your body was a temple to Delight;
            Cold are its ashes whence the breath is fled,
            Yet here one time your spirit was wont to move;
            Here might I hope to find you day or night,
            And here I come to look for you, my love,
            Even now, foolishly, knowing you are dead.

By the Fire
~Aldous Huxley
    We who are lovers sit by the fire,
    Cradled warm 'twixt thought and will,
    Sit and drowse like sleeping dogs
    In the equipoise of all desire,
    Sit and listen to the still
    Small hiss and whisper of green logs
    That burn away, that burn away
    With the sound of a far-off falling stream
    Of threaded water blown to steam,
    Grey ghost in the mountain world of grey.
    Vapours blue as distance rise
    Between the hissing logs that show
    A glimpse of rosy heat below;
    And candles watch with tireless eyes
    While we sit drowsing here. I know,
    Dimly, that there exists a world,
    That there is time perhaps, and space
    Other and wider than this place,
    Where at the fireside drowsily curled
    We hear the whisper and watch the flame
    Burn blinkless and inscrutable.
    And then I know those other names
    That through my brain from cell to cell
    Echo--reverberated shout
    Of waiters mournful along corridors:
    But nobody carries the orders out,
    And the names (dear friends, your name and yours)
    Evoke no sign. But here I sit
    On the wide hearth, and there are you:
    That is enough and only true.
    The world and the friends that lived in it
    Are shadows: you alone remain
    Real in this drowsing room,
    Full of the whispers of distant rain
    And candles staring into the gloom.

I taught myself to live simply
~Anna Akhmatova
I taught myself to live simply and wisely,
to look at the sky and pray to God,
and to wander long before evening
to tire my superfluous worries.
When the burdocks rustle in the ravine
and the yellow-red rowanberry cluster droops
I compose happy verses
about life's decay, decay and beauty.
I come back. The fluffy cat
licks my palm, purrs so sweetly
and the fire flares bright
on the saw-mill turret by the lake.
Only the cry of a stork landing on the roof
occasionally breaks the silence.
If you knock on my door
I may not even hear.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

subtle battlegrounds

the battlegrounds are not visibly discernible
hunting light with invisible weight
the heavy-sack-carriers are gallantly sneaky
least obvious out in the fresh air, apparently open
and out there among all of us

the light dream warriors at times apparently cold,
not generous in affection or information
the curious apprentice is unprepared to receive
seeking to peek, to know first steps,
next steps, progressions, secrets
proud in heavy ego to be a chosen
among all the loved and chosen
wanting to help, leap and be subtle

the tree climbers leap and bruise and play
the knowing, untelling, hide away
the butterflies continue constant creation
dancing in never-ending procession

bears lumber into dream worlds with
the passive weight of the day ahead dragging behind
feathers stranded sip and share fabled wisdoms
fairies nip at juicy ankles
stories untold in words take form

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subtle battlegrounds by Jessica Tumposky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

~ Dhyani Ywahoo

Perceive all conflict as patterns of energy seeking harmonious balance as elements in a whole.


In finding peace and recognizing the light in yourself, we say there's a hearth in your heart where the Creator has given you something very sacred, a special gift, a special duty, an understanding. And now is the time for us to clean out those hearths, to let that inner light glow.

Spiritual practice is really about weaving a network of good relationships.

Friday, August 13, 2010

La Gringa Peyotera

The huddled circle around the shimmering heart pulses
A voice winds around giving and grabbing the moment
Winding back into Tatehuari, the heart filled with creatures
The dance of flames modest to the creeping stories of burning wood
Ashen shadows bring forgiving snow to dark forms, and all is backwards.

The still charcoal swirls and the licking flames hold still
The unquestioned unity dissolves in ego and stomach battles,
Fierce back ache focus and eyes-closed meltdowns.
Curious eyes dart around, never able to catch the old ones'
Ever-changing movements, now sitting rubbing a back,
Whispering in a ear, now taunting, prodding,
Flying, ground down with legs crossed

Which is which, all wonder for some moment.
Men speak on and on and on, crying deep hurts,
Praising and thanking over and over, so each mention of a name,
Of a gratitude's purpose, will deeply water thirsty roots.

Now the old ones are here in one clear form,
Sitting gently in a bowl, washed off and stripped to radiance
Round ground burrowers, chattering quietly
The one that enters a hand stays round, grounded,
Yet becoming exactly that remedy needed
For that one, and how that one fits into the whole,
What is seen, and what the wisest counselor misses
That round grandma dives into the internal maze heavily
A chunk staying intact and yet dissipating to all the parts,
Stirring them up and pushing them around a little.

Pregnant with remedy, the questers sway and draw up straight
Lean over, dream off, find a task to focus on, find a happening
Find a feather, find a rattle, find the drum almost in knee's touch,
Find the tea cup in hand again, the gritty powder dry like desert dirt,
The big fruity grandpas ballooning between blanket and fire, again.

The drama over the ritual steps, this way, no that way,
come here, go there
Not knowing anything, saying much,
stuck in the heart, singing straight from there
The swaying motion goes round and round and round again,
punctuated by deep long sighs, long dry speeches,
and quartered by seasons of corn husk tobaccos

Endless, the slit of sky in the tipi's flap remains dark.
Out into the night for a pee, a smoke, a break,
Reveals this freedom of fresh air is only a tangent of the inevitable.
Back in, come in, there's where you go, to sit the endless prayer,
Sing the endless song, finally all arisen.
The heart wakes up, gets out of its way, forgets to complain – maybe.
Then the words can fall off lips, prayers not of necessary function.
Love revealed in the work of surrender, however simple.
The beauty of the blockage revealed in other words, just another point
To jump off from into the endless circling night

That will come to a point as the coals spread into rays
And a pillow sits in the east,
waiting for the divine woman to welcome its light
With a prayer for la agua vida.
That woman, then all the women,
maybe the tears, more thanks, more amazement.
More men, more stories, more thanks.
The cone of our lives enlightened,
the ashen shadows almost transparent within the pulsing colors
revealing constant movement in the stillness of tired eyes
And brightened souls feeling good, dazed,
bursting, loving, together.

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La Gringa Peyotera by Jessica Tumposky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I hear listen to your elders, your grandmothers
and picture these indigo cloaked
shadowy figures behind me
pushing me into whatever I’m resisting
stepping up to,
Whispering inaudible wisdom
which flies by, an invisible bug
on a gust of wind,
tricking me with surprise outcomes,
laughing at my steadfast plans,
stroking my cheek with a thumb so old
it’s become baby new in its silky softness

These kind hulking ancestors
hold that space
til I remember my grandmother Shirley
A fiery whip of her tongue
stung across many situations and egos
She was also a rising jetstream,
constantly buoyant, optimistically humming
Peter Paul and Mary off tune,
and ignoring the apocalyptic details

Thoroughly of her time
raised wealthy during the Depression, New York City
her parents, first generation of wealthy Jews out of the tenements
where they landed after Lady Liberty’s greeting
So she had airs
born of nannies on the Upper East Side
drank martinis vigorously -
though never more than two
because three made her lose her composure
which was as important as her figure

Though some say she was not very composed
I heard her inner workings
during countless days in the garden
with my favorite lily-of-the-valley, the soft sheep ears,
and everything she proudly helped bloom
I heard her hum as she walked around
Saw her plan her days and weeks
And weave her whirlwind social life
through the careful architecture of her agenda book
and the constant exuberance of calling and
reaching out to her wide circle

So I know that her brash and snappy ways were quite composed
and though she was never a hulking ancestor in body -
for that would have been terrible for her figure -
she looms large in social pathways she left behind
in her upstate New York hometown

And her smallest traces
her hums
wind golden threads of joy
into the tapestry of wisdom
the old ones wrap around my shoulders

Creative Commons License
Elders by Jessica Tumposky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Ooh little winged one
Wings like the skin so thin of a citrus sliver
As close to invisible as visible can be
It’s how we get around
We’re free, we fly, we’re sky, we laugh
Deep from a belly and up from a glint
between the corner of your eye,
full moonlight shadows pouring branches,
and the noses of small children.
From these places mists quintessence,
the waves of the world
no matter
Which ancient tribe or modern cult is naming

There’s something the same then
Threads like spider lines and bass lines and long lines
The pupil gleams which remind you
and I and he and she and it and they that
Their existence is only as pronouns,
conceptual frameworks that lull us to forget our fairy nature
-    the big flapping shimmering
The original source of Technicolor visions
The tickling joy that sprouts in a chasm, and
shoots a geyser through the entrenched routes of muck and

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! are here
To spray music, pull open tense shoulder blades missing stunted wings,
twist the cardboard cutouts where reality is solid, safe and suffocating
Into a velvet, burning, shimmering, ethery weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Inexplicably connected to the lives of each one
So that you and I and he and she and they can
bring together the quivering barely visible line
between whichever dot is held in the solid
and the great gasping wailing
whispering we,
The never-ending lines
from many points at once.

Time is hot water to brew in
Divine mother time
Holding imaginations of air as flexible
and trees as solid
The rhythms passing through two minutes
Fingers stroking steel chords out of
wood curved like a woman

Morning bed rolls in the sunshine never
fall behind the eternity of a seven minute snooze
breathing forever for twenty
The liquid that surrounds and brings out
our essences is hot
Wide spread molecules chattering and dancing
and wiggling, spreading, coming together
Bubbles popping into the air, transforming
The ripple of bubbles following
one another in a smooth spiral
of bird wind dances

Moving through the boiling explosions
plants alive dance and die
Twirl off a singing root to come to
the fairy reaper
Dried and saved and blended
mummified and seeming dead until
just the right hot ribbon swirls through
and revives an essence of flavorful
healing, dewy dances
The plant’s seeming time with us is
never over

Creative Commons License
WEEEEEEEEE! by Jessica Tumposky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons License
Time is hot water to brew in by Jessica Tumposky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Birthing Myself Into Being

From the dark, warm, moving place that is our mother, I am born.
Our mother, solid and giving as a moss puddle, nurtured and
nurturing by the crystalline waves of the sun and the patient, curious
perseverance of the ant equally, sharing the power.

I come from the earth and I go to the earth, carrying on
my turtle back all the traditions in the growth of evolution,
carrying in my claw a scrap of dirt from when I dove
deep deep deep into the waters of all-time and grabbed some
of the bottom to bring to the surface to begin grounded creation.

I come from great spirit and go to great spirit
all the time, now, then, no time, always. 
Sometimes I spin through time, 
inch like an inchworm, sun like a lizard. 
Sometimes eye to eye I
dive in the pool with newborn’s instinctive 
swimming breath, staying there.

I am in the water and towards the water, washing peacefully,
transforming violently, changing slowly 
with the ins and outs of waves and tides. 
Through the water I swam 
to bring the bottom to the surface. 
To the water I go, I share, I drink deep 
to enlighten again the memory of my composition. 
The water goes from the deep to the earth, 
like a mantra unsung, it rings through my being.

I am born into community and I am born into this body,
this vessel which moves and holds and smells all near me. 
The water in the aqueduct is free, and I am born
when I remember the vessel isn’t only solid, is free, 
is challenged, is in paradox, is in harmony, 
is moving with the water. 
Words freed like birds from cages in divine poetry.

When I brought the water in from the morning star, I was born
from traditions deeper than blood, surrounded by family 
whose faces I can’t see or recognize. 
The thirsty people drank, we welcomed baby boy, 
son of my family from the deep bottom, and
we laughed. Smoking life earth breath 
through corn and tobacco,
speaking peace poetry, prayer,
drink, birth.

Friday, August 6, 2010

more science behind chi-chi

Favorite quotations from this article:
  • Milk is “an astonishing product of evolution”
  • "mothers are recruiting another life-form to baby-sit their baby"

barely audible signals

listen and you’ll hear the
barely audible signals

no flashlight was this glimmer of light
oh no
this nudge towards better-tuned vision
narrower than a ring of red thread reminder
quicker than subliminal ads and
messages in old black and white movies
where you hear the whirrr-chicka
and see the projector boy’s lazy pocket lint
on certain frames

I never thought why is this,
stepping off the A train into Brooklyn,
deep dark do-or-die
I never wondered why the park and the avenue
and the brownstones and the street people were bathed
in something brighter than sunshine
I followed a Technicolor whisper of
‘this way, this way, come child, come…’

I never stopped
that brightness said go, don’t think
just walk
all the way up the steps to the doorbell
to meet the realtor
who creates everyday realities every day
and say hey

I didn’t notice the pink and purple glints
follow me up this street
but the wind behind said go
and even the wind blowing in my face
said ‘c’mon, roll up against me
that’s a good one…’

and that’s a bad one
when cop car lights spark a warning
in the corner of your eye
the sirens were silent but
don’t be surprised when they really do roll up
plainclothes, cause you know
what you’re chewing to swallow
isn’t fooling no one, especially not
that cop with his flashlight down your throat
his day’s glee in pronouncing possible
federal offense
his cursing confusion that he can’t find the evidence
why you so upset, didjya
finish off your stash at home?

I’ll sing you dream lover songs and
tell you stories galore about
kids in the school where I teach and
proclaim service to this country
to this universe
without attacking yours
you follow?
something told me you would
before you un-handcuffed me

stars don’t shoot, they float overhead with messages
soaring hawks are more than birds
not a coincidence
a moving towards
truth, beauty, purpose, joy, continuation

my country is of we,
breaking through this sugared crust of liberty,
and on the other side of the paper, it didn’t say nothing
and that side was made for us. Listen!

Creative Commons License
barely audible signals by Jessica Tumposky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

spit spat / reconciliation

spit spat
in the platinum sunlight
of scorching squabble,
I am a dragon, tongue a hot bent jalapeƱo
crowned with crystal fangs.

when you sink
across my equator
an orbital prisoner of my provisos
a flaring sigh ignites my wings to sky
as scaly talons dig you down in.

flesh craves a feisty feast, a sacrifice
too beasty to speak.
Willingly stunned, you fall
into my trap hole
every time.
The poison stinger of my tongue
outwits your numb-skull power scramble
to get the last word

shhhhhhhhh! no more word banter in this
flamenco reconciliation...
this is an invitation to close your eyes
and feel this dream.

tip of a finger curled
to pick an orange and put it in your pocket
wax dripping, encircling the move
a snake rolling around the languor of thirst for ordinary fruits

every inch, every hair drawing rushes of resistance out
to drip past borders not yet opened
the piano fall of fingers composing nothing
the magnetic pull passes through fingers in time
the rowing of a beach guitar
cello prancing down rocky orchid vocal chords
stand up bass dips deep in tango
head down, the scent of ankles rises
topped only by that of shin, then knee crease
and the promise of an ooze of juice
down thighs into the thick deep well of
a baritone sax cavern
serenaded by a sunset of stomping heels!

these beats pass through our bones, and
leave no choice, no free will
there is a cord between us
and the knots on our other sides are pulled so that
the space between us is yanked away
and we pound together
the heat builds to explosion
and the two halves split and pull

but still bound, the resistance only serves to
make the drawback more irresistible
this time the slam stills the pulsation
and long low six string hues strain away the game
leaving behind a wake of heaving
breathless quiet, eye to eye

Creative Commons License
spit spat / reconciliation by Jessica Tumposky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What remains over time...

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars. 
-William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Rediscovering Edna...

First Fig
My candle burns at both ends;
      It will not last the night;
  But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
      It gives a lovely light! 
Second Fig 
Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: 
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!                                                                
What lips my lips have kissed~Sonnet XLIII  
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply;
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet know its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more. 

Grown Up
Was it for this I uttered prayers, 
And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,
That now, domestic as a plate,
I should retire at half-past eight?

Midnight Oil
Cut if you will, with Sleep's dull knife, 
        Each day to half its length, my friend,
The years that Time takes off my life, 
        He'll take from the other end! 

Marcel Proust

We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one else can spare us. 
~Marcel Proust

I have not read, but only read of, the wonders of In Search of Lost Time/Remembrance of Things Past. I don't think this quote is from his opus.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


inspire this word derives from the past participle of the verb inspirare
«to blow into or upon; to breath into» 
blog's gotta new title. renewal! gonna breathe some new life into this bad boy.

meanwhile, back at the ranch of my soul- the solar oven did not make it to sundance, but i got fixed up real good in other ways. more on that later. feelin' the lowercase today.

peace is the state where love abides and seeks to share itself ~ gandhi


‎ all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. ~WW

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Solar Cooking at Sundance

As I was struggling with my own mind (take that! and that!) about what deep, philosophical thoughts I could share with my blog community (which so far consists of one person I've told the address of this blog to, who may or may not have yet read it), I remembered that this is about "whatever comes up."

The thought bringing me awake and excited to the keys tonight? I've been beginning to reflect on my family's upcoming journey to the Sundance in July. We go to a Sundance called Little Big Medicine, by Wheatfields, AZ. This will be our third year, and the first time the kiddos and I are going to stay for the whole time of the dance, which is 4 days. Being Taurean, I am obsessed and enthralled with the physicality and logistics of things. Having grown up with little wilderness experience, and giving myself only little bits since then, I am curious and contemplative about the ongoing unknown of spending 4 days camping with my kids. What may seem simple, and is natural and ancient, still takes the mental form of a Rubik's cube to me. I am beginning to enjoy this contemplation rather than be wound up in anxiety over it, as I have before.

What comes up is finding or making a portable sun oven to cook food at Sundance! I have run across solar ovens since I've lived here in the true sunshine state of enchantment, and have eaten some damn good cornbread baked that way. As I thought about propane stoves and cooking logistics for our journey, it suddenly made perfect sense to cook instead in a sun oven.

Now to find or make one, and start some cooking with what's free, plentiful, cleansing, enlightening (literally!) and life-nourishing. I'll be celebrating another revolution around the sun this week with the sun in my heart, and in my food schemings.

Monday, May 3, 2010

spring cleaning

I am spring-cleaning, body, mind and soul. It is so comforting to say that to oneself and others. It has the tone of something comfortingly domestic, a tradition from the 1950’s with comfort food, swing skirts, and new-fangled efficiency. Of course the tradition is older than this, and that’s comforting too.

It’s nice to know that I, one woman, one mother, one soul in manifestation, am following the path of many pagans and earth-lovers before me. That in the dirt, so is the clean. We who watch the natural cycle of things, inside and outside, are in tune with being in ways that go along with what surrounds us. So outside, so inside. Big New Mexico open spaces, calm spacious peacefulness inside. New things growing and the warmth of a wind.

Deep breath and the seasons change. Out comes the scythe – whoosh-WHACK! Out go the things hanging on from last winter, and the less remembered winters past. We see these things for what they are – physical or not. They are the remnants of inertia – objects or habit patterns that are still with me, though for no reason, only because I’ve never thought, or been swift or brave enough, to do what I’m doing now. Yes, brave. It aches to let things go, and there’s an uncomfortable sitting with the unknown that goes along with that release.

And some leave not with the scythe, but with the picky monkey’s fingers, which sort through the whole pile of beans, carefully picking out those that have got to go. The little pieces – a broken toy, a tendency to say uh… these things are swiftly on their way, but must be carefully sorted out from the many small things around them – an inconspicuous plastic dinosaur that brings much joy, an ability to think before speaking.

So the baby doesn’t go with the bath water, as is said. Another fresh image in the domestic movie reel, bringing comfort to mind with refreshing Americana pictures that never were my life until I made my own life. Baby, bath water, fresh sheets flapping in the wind and sunshine. Take those things I chose to keep and let them out to play, to get some fresh air, to be revived as I am in the warming air and greater light into the night (admittedly I love daylight savings time for this reason).

What is scythed and picked from the soul?  On the simplest level, whatever feels right at that moment stays. I mean right. Not just good. Not familiar. Not warm, and god how I love warm things of the hotsprings waters, blankets, sun beating kind. Really right. To sink into the blank page of the soul in any moment, and think not “What would Jesus do?” but “What will I do right now, if I be who I am?” Who I am not in the ego sense of self, but in the true peace-making, in this moment, stream of intuition sense of self. Collective memory and wisdom, whooshing through our being with as strong a wind as the scythe, but receiving rather than eliminating.

This spring cleaning business is heavy duty. As all good cleaning, deep cleaning, needs to be. Elbow grease, attention, and a big boost of energy, whether naturally induced or helped along by a good friend, like chocolate.

In the midst of children, this spring cleaning comes in mad little moments. Frenetic as it is, satisfyingly it inches along until a critical mass is reached, and no child or other force of nature can stop those outgrown clothes from being moved into little brother’s pile of clothes to grow into. No divine being would stand in the way of the altar space being cleaned of the receipts and change of daily life, and moved to be a calm retreat for the souls of those who live here, those who used to be around, and those whose being emanates constantly. It’s a wild ride, but why stop it?

Letting go too of those tired archetypes. No, I don’t think I’ll turn into one of those pack rats whose houses are mapped by labyrinthine paths between piles of papers. The perfect hippie homeschooling domestic goddess? Not this lifetime, though it’s nice work if you can get it, sometimes. The workaholic Type-A-er? Not in this town, that’s why I moved here. The obsessive compulsive sweeper, sweeping through the house from one end to another for signs of things out of their “place”? Couldn’t care that much to pay attention and remember to do so all the time. How about the sometimes sweeper? “Always” seems so … comprehensive. Yes! The Sometimes Sweeper, an archetype I can be with. Sometimes Sweepers sometimes get hit with a spring cleaning bug, and it’s intriguing to see who and what remain after that sweep.