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Leaping Puma

secret network of wanderers

lately i have noticed life has drawn a symbol on my face, a tiny circle at the temple. this mark is a homing cry to the secret network of all who, like me, faced the possibility of inside but chose outside: i have a habit of not refusing an adventure, so they all come and talk to me.

an elf with straw hair sat with me in the green lamplight after i'd returned from my forest. three-times-thumb says: offer her space on the blanket. i have plenty of space both inside and outside my head, so i gave her some. we spoke long of spirals and sisterhood, in a combination of english, german, and miasma. she traced the serpent on my back. always coiled, ready to bite. a singer sang sharp, plucked harp, notes repeating and rising into ether/or.

i know she felt the forest on me. i knew what she was doing.

the next day a hungarian found me, and no there is no work in berlin, another of my long-wandering sisters on her way to some scandinavian-sounding town nearby. she'll live on the ice cream she forages in the streets of Vältha. i like lamb's quarters, myself. free food is not supposed to exist anymore. it just does. like we do. there is no supposed-to about any of this.

i almost drew the line at the old man with tennis-shoe breath in the hot train back to berlin. he started out okay, singing old folksongs in plattdeutsch and roundly ignoring the passengers with reservations waving computer printouts at us. his refusal of them was so silent they had to go away again. but the book i was reading had god on it, so the funny man got all carried away reciting the bible. i suffocated in the sun and wilted in the unsolicited christianity. he should have known from my symbol that i am not a christian wanderer. but, i do not feel like explaining to the deaf what 'sacred' means.

here is the magic i make: i touch the wellspring and find healing.
i climb the mountain even if it means crashing through to real road,
untangling my shoelaces from thistles on the way.
i love my forest by melting into it, heavier than molten gold,
seeing it in all its impossible glory, showing it my naked mind.
i sacrifice language on an altar of moss, and fall into the sky, tongue strung and unsung,
hexagonal thrum, prismatic hum, be welcome, become and unbecome, come home
so below i mark how each twig, each stem, each tiny leaf has its own colour and meaning,
as above find the cities in the dome of branches, and let them dissolve again,
twisting the kaleidoscope of sunlight to braid rainbows into the trees,

turning vision inside out, flatten dimensions here, sprout them there.
and why so many hours at this ritual? because it is not a ritual, though it is sacred
love: i use my magic sight for love alone. love is truesight and long presence.
it's only this that gives me my birthplace.
i will never be lost. forest within me, not without.

there is no nowhere now here.