Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Nightingale

Image: The Call of the Nightingale © Jo Jayson 2013 www.jojayson.com

The nightingale presses her
soft feathered breast
into the spike of the thorn,

penetrating her own aching heart
as her song dies
at sunset.

Or does she?

What if, instead,

The nightingale melods her
melancholy into the world’s
most lovely verse,

so strong and convincing
in the depth of its sincerity
that the rose sheds its thorns
into the previous season’s
leaf litter and raises its
most fragrant blossomed branch
skyward, as a throne
for her to perch upon
as she sings her heart outward
at sunset?

Self-inflicted wounds
are an option,

so too is the courage to
feed pain as a holy sacrament
to Truth and Beauty.

Only the latter speaks to Love.

I know birds well enough
to believe the nightingale’s
song emerged from swallowing
whole the ancient sorrows
of the wounded feminine,

gestating them around the
turns of the Great Spiral,

and gifting them back to the
world in new-born form.

This is not lost power,

but forgotten power.

Well, not completely forgotten.

Within you there is a nightingale
and there is a rose bush,

you’ve been referring to them
as all the things that you long
to manifest,

but have been afraid to deserve
because a woman
you respected once showed
you how to lean into thorns

and you believed that’s how
it had to be,


This poem is here to say:

“That’s not true.”

These words are a song that
came to me on the rose-scented

one evening,

at sunset,

carried in a voice that my blood knew

as kin.

It was the sound produced across the
lactating vocal chords
of Remembering Woman,


Re-membering to me her primal ties
to the innate courage
to embody Life.

For so many generations we have
been dying away
at our own hands.

It’s time to step clear of
the thorns,

isn’t it?

You’ve been sensing this too,

I know.

When Remembering Woman asked
me what she could do to help,

I asked for my own song,

a song likened
to the nightingale’s most lovely
sunset song.

I was absolutely sure this would do it.

She said to me,

“You’ve been singing it
all along, Dear Girl.”

“Oh?” I replied.

“Yes,” she went on.

“But now you must believe in
what you sing.

That’s the difference between
being a girl and being a woman.

The girl knows the words.

The woman knows within her
what they mean.”

And, so, at sunrise,
that’s the choice I made,

to admit that I know what my
own song means.

The rose bush blushed when
it heard me say it out loud.

I figure that’s a very good
place to start.

© 2012-2016/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life" and 
"Wild Life: New and Selected Poems" (www.hiraethpress.com) 

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  1. I love this beautiful poem, Jamie.. thank you and blessings to you.. <3 Scott.

    1. Thank you Scott. Blessed to share the Circle with you. xo

  2. This pierced my heart, and brought tears of gratitude for your knowing. I think it's time to acknowledge my own song. Thank you, Jamie. _/\_

  3. Indeed Alyce - and what a beautiful song it is. Much love to you Sister.