poetry:nature:Visual Arts

Story catcher/A more powerful Magic


I recently was apart of a story telling retreat run by my brother-in-law Nicolas Yu. Nicolas does a lot of social justice work, particularly in mental health and its effects on young people. After this retreat, i feel like i can say that: story is connective and therapeutic, it is also a profound form of self advocacy and education. Story is power, shared power from within. In the ‘story catcher’ retreat we Shared three days of personal stories while sitting in a circle and also while wandering the beautiful land around the Satyananda Yoga centre in Mangrove Mountain. I was very moved by the experience and realised yet again the power of not only stories, but also the profound healing of both listening and being heard. I really believe that just being able to speak your story can make the whole world shed its skin and find renewal. Sharing stories is a sacred act. Just being silent and opening to the deep listening…

This is the poem I caught!

Each story is a death

Leaf spin hot blue sky wind
dead tree skeleton
and death adder ghost
my skin fragile stretched on bone, life blood, breath
I stand before you vulnerable
ready to break
already broken
in a lost boy place lying
curled on the wood floor
grain tree board round saw ripped
tipped off and over
it is my own fire in this wind
catastrophic black storm ash chaotic atomic
but there is buds
beneath the bark
bird call and tree branch fall
leaves spinning in the wind way beyond our hands

obscure obscured obscuring

old piano suburban lid lifted peered in at
felt top wood hammers red and string and saw
his head bleeding on the waiting room floor
blue and cold with policeman in hospital bed
step thru the curtain to the patriarch lost
waterfall home to rainforest brother friend
stuck beneath the water locks floating up
blood death and wound in forehead
bed with radio AM nursing home broken heart
death you saw for the blind man who could not see
no longer swimming in the springtime ocean
shruken in shallow breath cocoon and cool blue death
bleed out the size of your hand now at rest
beneath red shed tallowwood bark and Gurruga laughing

And me?

I’m naked on dust, clay, stone cement
or linoleoum tile where wild dogs are
eating me
intestines muscles eyeballs brains
then my red fox brother appears
the wild dogs dissapear all except one
which he chains to a stake in prefrontal
cortex medulla pons
he says “draw on stone – wild dog dust
then blow them to the wind” but still
that dog remains and each time you speak
it eats raw rabid bloody muscle tendon artery
rips rips rips rips rips rips
tears tears tears tears tears
bone crack bone crack bone crack
it is there and I cannot speak.

but somewhere somtime somehow

there is a more powerful magic
in the heat
a more powerful magic
in the healing
a more powerful magic
in the telling
a more powerful magic
in the meeting
in the grieving
in the learning
in the walking
in the waking
a more powerful magic
in the water
in each earth step
step by step
away towards or still
a more powerful magic
in dandelion chamomile
liqurice root nettle
in embrace in touch in fucking
in gazing
in sky, star, planet and moon
a more powerful magic
shared together in peace
a more powerful magic
brush turkey, black cockatoo
red ash angophora long legged heron
and platypus splash
a more powerful magic
a more powerful magic
in you
bare skinned full clothed



One response

  1. Sounds like a worthwhile workshop, and I like this poem very much. Have you read Clara Pinkola Este’s book, ‘Women who run with wolves’? I think there is a lot for you to mine there, even though it is primarily directed to women. She uses archetypal fairy tales and story traditions to help women become conscious of how to own their creativity, fight their demons, recognise unsafe external and internal situations, and claim their power. But particularly relevant to you might be the last chapter where she talks about the power of story to heal. Sarah

    April 8, 2015 at 11:05 am


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