DIALOGUE WITH GEORGIA O’KEEFFE IV: Feast For The Dead–Patricia Meek

Why do you weep for me? I am everywhere.

1.
I whisper this epitaph through whistle bone
on the impossible climb to God’s table laden
with the gifts I’ve prepared deep within
my soul.

2.
Bone and ash —
Juan’s breast pocket fills
with the pieces of me
he tries to claim.

Hand-built lidded urn,
weathered bedrock clay,
carved from Guadalupe caves,
houses the rest.

That clay, the last thing
I worked my hands through
long after my eyesight was gone,
held now by manly restraint and —

Labored breath, Juan makes his way to mesa top,
Mount Pedernal cut from belly of creation.
I’m lighter with each step of ash
released to the wind.

3.
The bone, sharpened,
cuts away all that’s unnecessary
in this landscape of dry, brittle pain,
easiest way to find Truth in beauty.

Only when things have been stripped clean
of skin, muscle, sinew, and bone-to-marrow
does the transcended beauty of
light remain.

4.
Doorways emerge from the emptiness
I once knew well in my body of paint.
Here I begin my walk as spirit
right through pelvic bone to illuminated sky.

Disquieted apparitions, more real than flesh,
scatter across desert pallet
pointing the way to eternity.
Nothing has a place in permanence.

There, Raven struggles to hear its own prophesies
distracted by the tourists’ foreign tongue and crumbs.

Cow lumbers forward in disquietude
having forgotten its sacred life in India.

Turtle, frozen on drought-plighted motorway, suddenly
confused by the thud of its own heartbeat.

Water, having lost her voice in the isotope of plastic,
gurgles a Marty Robbins’ song in Beer’s Backsplash Cantina.
The blind fashion barista lip-syncs to me:
Go no further. Your relevancy has become finite here.

But, I’m Georgia O’Keeffe.
Ahh, but you’re not Lady Gaga.

My laughter surprises me.
Her truth sets me free.

All Living things want to see and BE SEEN.
And everything is ALIVE.

I turn to leave as a crow,
casting my wisdom’s last pearl:
The greatest feminist poem is this

The Mother Earth.

5.
Darkness descends like velvet,
a passion play’s final curtain, as I’m
released into the final act
of creation and destruction. Lifted —

by a black feathered cloud of ravens.
Each CAWING a sailor’s red-sky warning.
Such a gift should not be ignored by the world.

6.
Nothing more extraordinary is heard
than the tentative sounds of parched air
moving through Juan’s lament,
from a whistle bone he’s carried all along.

***

Patricia L. Meek has taught English composition, literature, and creative writing in Kansas, California, Utah, Louisiana, and New Mexico. Her work has been published in The Healing Presence: Photographs of the Sky and Children’s Perceptions of Hope, REDUX #59, and in Puerto del Sol. Under the pseudonym Alta Carr, she was commissioned to write weekly blog entries for “ballroomfantacy.com” and her novel, NOAH: a supernatural eco thriller, was published by All Things That Matter Press in 2012. Currently she is a Medical Integrative Therapist (LPC) in Southern Colorado, where she lives with her spouse, three dogs, and two chickens.