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

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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

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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!

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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

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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