woman horizontal | exhuming the empath

inspired by the indigenous navajo creatix spiderwoman, woman horizontal is a close-to-the-heart project that has held different shapes over many years. still an emerging work-in-process, below is one piece from my “pilgrimage of verse, image, and sound.”


in sanctuary, in pulp woven + pressed then printed, i found her waiting for me

she sang me in to the fourth world,
skimming the spiraling thread
between timeless times, liminal horizons, + the veils of imagined realities

cradled to her heart, stretched out + spun, belly up
laid to rest upon a loamy bed of earth

i see
i hear
i smell
i taste
i touch
i know

no beginning to nature, no end to me

the boggy creak of a frog camouflaging its bilge water song

that scampering chitter of black squirrels and petite chipmunks scaling trees fallen + splintered

a trio of lithe deer silently lunching in the marsh
flickering tails catch my eye
fawny brown smattering against thickets of green

damsel flies + redwing blackbirds
fluttering things, buzzing beings
alighting, pausing, taking flight toward perches high and low

cumulonimbus clouds thick as riverbanks
yield to an estuary of marbled blue sky wending through the atmosphere

a waking dream

a revelation of the universe within

i am absorbed,

arms fold me in and in

to the womb-depths of fertile soil

(six feet, a mere starting point an underdwelling to pause before the long journey back)

deeper still

to seed, to cell, to atom, to spark, to notion, to curiosity

i am at rest

stretched out + spun, belly up

surrendering to legacy

inheriting death

the completion

a void, vacuum, vanishing point

a vortex of matter

(before) reanimating

no end to me, no beginning to nature

curiosity begats notion begats spark begats atom begats cell begats seed

a bare kernel

rising layer by layer

upward trailing through horizons of bedrock, clay, silt, sand, soil, humus

musky with the life scent of burrowing things, many-legged crawl-creeping things

clawing and boring tunnels around and through

a littering of decay and dis(re)membered things

exoskeletons, crushed stone, deep-buried hollowed bones of those forgotten things

digging up, up, up toward surface

exhumed by faith-magic and love

healing wisdom: on the embodiment of peace

“For a number of years, I believed God would
finally and dramatically intervene on earth,
initiating a worldwide reign of peace and justice.

I no longer believe that.

My Quaker morality will not permit me to assign to God
the work of peace that rightly belongs to us…


Jesus and other great spiritual teachers
provide signposts pointing the way to peace,
but they do not magically speak it into being.”

~ Philip Gulley, Living the Quaker Way



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for us + spirit

under a dark moon
we gave ourselves the gifts of Time and Space
— an immersion in the experience of self

from the nothingness arose storm and shadow


with steadied hearts and swords unsheathed
we eased forward

pulled away the veil of disappointments,
longing, fear 
and peered into sorrow
until pinholes of hope pricked tears from our eyes

on the other side of this pilgrimage
into being and unknowing



we broke free


 ❤ to my sis-in-spirit
{through her eyes: moon.flower.medicine.}

spirit. human. black woman.

V shared a personal revelation —

spirit. human. black woman.2

she had come into an awareness of
her magnitude and design as a

black + woman

in that precise order.

how necessary to acknowledge
being so much bigger than this body
and to cherish the fleeting human life span

of a woman
of hue and shape
of undeniable origins 

giving refuge and expression to
a boundless and indestructible force.

to celebrate her blackness —
a unique dna of history, culture, biology, and expression

is to nourish her body —
mindful of its resilience and fragility
its cycle of consuming, creating, destroying, releasing, renewing

is to honor the spirit —
a source of radiance, wisdom, compassion
empowering a life with purpose

[january 2014]

Continue reading “spirit. human. black woman.”