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A visit from the healing muse: ‘Opening the Summer House’

Deirdre Neilen, PhDDeirdre Neilen, PhD shares a selection from Upstate’s literary journal, “The Healing Muse” every Sunday on HealthLink on Air. Neilen is the editor of the annual publication featuring fiction, poetry, essays and visual art focused on themes of medicine, illness, disability and healing.  Read The Healing Muse Cafe BlogOrder your copy of “The Healing Muse” today!

 

Opening the Summer House, by B.A. St. Andrews

Sun-drenched again and one
with the universe I am
sweeping this kitchen singing
at the top and bottom of
essentially tuneless lungs.

On the porch I contemplate
a cormorant precariously balanced
atop sails, wings outstretched
frail as a purple Jesus
steadying for nails.

Being neither bird nor sacred
boy, I tremble in joy if not
redemption and scrub down
doomsday thoughts and dogmas
of denial. For a precious fortnight

sin itself is not on trial. In
beguiling heat I perceive myself
a Deity and so decree; humans
need atone for nothing.
Cardinal-hatted hollyhocks agree.

My life plies with waves that
leap like ballerinas on the jetty,
spinning diaphanous skirts of
foam. Gull, cod, cloud, plover:
everything dances or hovers.

Crescendo, decrescendo, Triton
blasts sea-symphonies against
stone. Sunbeams clap topaz
hands while girls plant shells
like dreams in amber sand.

I am planting, too. Come
high tide and harvest moon
Love itself may slide
inside my cave of dreams,
mystic and wild as a silkie.

Alive with light I am
pounded thin as a compact disc
by sound; I am a silver filament
humming in August heat, a one
woman network of good news.

All my links and lines are
open. When I take the airwaves,
Mother Nature has Her say.
Pipers promise “Yes!”
South winds murmur “Stay!”

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