tea and memories

I’m so grateful for the time someone spent with me this afternoon – so patient – listening to my story – suggesting – clarifying – helping me to write my mihi – and more deeply – to connect with and claim my mihi as my own.

I came home – and stopped in front of this kawakawa bush – I was thinking about it yesterday and I knew the best thing would be to make tea from its leaves and let the past settle while I waited for it to steep.

I sit now with my tongue tingling along with my heart.

footprints

(and in the meantime – imagine a photograph of bird footprints…I’m working on it)

I feel thoughts circling
words waiting to be touched
the birds waiting to land
who have always been with me
just out of sight
only approaching from the side
when I’m looking ahead
or looking back
or when I’m still
eyes closed, mind open, listening
then they come

black birds of the imagination
bones bleached white in memory
feathers full of dreams
songs and claws and tails and wings

they strut and hop across the page
leaving spiky footprints, unbound symbols
runes of divine connection

or gently, they lower one wing
to deceive, or to start over
brushing the page clean

sometimes, they are so sure of their song
they stab with their beak
straight through, and pin it to the page

all I can ever do
is trace a line from the edge of one footprint to the next
and trust in the story
they want told

©clairegriffin2017

faces

Just the other day I was thinking about faces – and how its as if some faces are “pre-loaded”, embedded in our subconscious, encoded in our psyches – faces and features we are primed to respond to. Is it due to genetic memory, a shared cultural heritage, an unconscious connection to a dream state or a past life?

All I know is that for me – some faces are irresistible, magnetic … and if I was to meet this face in real life I would be defenceless (and have been – once).

Maybe that’s what love at first sight is – the moment when we see the face that has been waiting to be recognised.

 

 

 

avebury

At different times
we came to this place,
to this circle of stone,
and we both felt the
mystery was our own.

There was no choice –
we could do nothing,
but reach out –
and lay our hands upon the stone,
reach out –
and hold the stone,
as if embracing.

Who are we,
that we can slip through time,
touch the past,
and be so moved?

Who are we
if we cannot?

© Claire Griffin 2016

(One of several pieces written over twenty years ago (!)
Looking back now I think that I was trying to create in writing
a connection to someone that perhaps I couldn’t find in any other way.
Still – I like some of these as poems in their own right –
and can read the “we” in a more universal sense,
extending beyond my intentions at the time)

attention brings connection : part III

I was leaving
and just as I drew away
three girls dressed in black walked past
and you approached them
in the same way
you came to me
head forward
purposeful

IMG_2300

they take your photo
discussing how to make you turn
so they can get a better angle

somewhere, sometime
you learnt to approach people
and now you still do it
even when we have nothing
to give you
though perhaps we do
is it too much to think –
is it our attention you seek?

I wonder if your curiosity
will be respected

I worry for you now
you have entered my mind
I carry knowledge of you
you inhabit me

you gave me your attention

I am not disappointed

I am not alone

 

© Claire Griffin 2016

attention brings connection : part II

coming back
from walking alone
on the empty beach

 
IMG_2295

I see you you there on the bank
settled, quiet, resting
and beside you
stands one of your own, watching
there is difference
in its black head and neck
and soft grey brown body
I am happy for you
that you rest in company

IMG_2303

and then you see me
you walk toward me
quickly, confidently
no fear, perhaps only expectation
that I might be like other people
with a pocketful of crumbs
do I disappoint you?

I have nothing
but my observations to give you
your blue-grey eye looks into mine

I see your rounded, white-feathered body
your sturdy legs
your wide-webbed feet
your solid beak
and orange like the sunset – legs and feet and beak
and the orange ring around your eyes

I’m that close

IMG_2298

I watch as you nuzzle
between your feathers
shaking your head, releasing fluff

you stay long enough
for me to see all this
to start feeling like you want me
to know you

and then
your companion moves nearby
looks at me sideways – as most birds do
a glint of suspicion in those dark eyes

I move away
I give you space

I do not feel alone

I am not disappointed