In The Eyes Of My Mother And Grandmother

In the eyes of my mother and grandmother
There lived a limpid green coolness:
Moss covered stones, around an ancient well;
Trailing vines entangled about the cenote's mouth;
Scrawled incantations on antique wooden chests
Their treasures concealed in endless green canyons of agate.

At day's end, the same gleaming, green elixir;
I could float on it's pale peridot waves
Or fully immerse myself there, in fright's flight or languor's ease,
Could submerge myself as the beloved, of those intelligent green rays
Ever visible, through the leafy canopy of daily living,
An emerald sky always smiling down from above.

After I saw their green lamps slowly grow dim;
Then extinguish themselves, I could no longer hide myself there:
Their embracing foliage retreated, withdrew
From where the last light had left, as if it had moved too far
To be visible from where it had always shone, before;
Only to save myself then, I ran whimpering away:
It was the only time I found no sanctuary there.

But sometimes now, searching again
I can find buried tendrils of a once fresh, softened green fury
Which grew tumultuous, only in defense of me;
Or that vivid hope, of a proud jade that once poured out
Molten, to harden around childhood's fragility.

And like a guarding amulet of rare green amber, enclosed my world
Kept it safe of lurking monsters, disguised dangers
Guarded the waking hours, or else enfolded them
In their green curtained gazebo of sleep,
As tender mimosa dreams floated past fragrant fields of clover.

I nightly and invisibly grew taller and stronger
With my own clusters of foliage, budding fruit,
Just waiting for the sun to finally breathe itself
Into the tiny green illuminated flecks, that now swim forever
Only inside my own small lichen pools of dreaming earth.

by Patti Masterman

Comments (7)

Nice! I love the message here, we may not like every season, but we prevail and endure. It reminds us that we are akin to the earth and its changes. In that, we are no different from the other animals in our environment, just trying to make it through the winter.
winter after winter, you endure, you prevail in this cul de sac. There must be some deep sense of beauty in your soul which rises every December and embraces this frigid season. It is not warmth that rises to flood your being, it is a sense of belonging to this land in every season. - - - -There must be some deep sense of beauty in soul that prevails and rises every December to embrace frigid season.
Wow, Daniel, this is an excellent picture of, meditation on, winter. I am especially impressed with your linking Janus with winter—how well he represents the steeling or hardening—like ice itself—against winter’s assault. Little or no emotion—just the pushing ahead to endure. (Walking in that? As I type this out, I’m on an exercycle; I’m much more a warm-weather walker.) -Glen
The voting box keeps rejecting my attempt to give you a 10.... I shall try again while I'm on PH today until it works or I explode
Part 2- - - by any ancient or present-day writer about mythology as well as a philosophical discussion about the harsh beauty of winter and how it draws the soul.... Whew! That poem traveled and the journey was so full of truths and images that I feel like you took me on quite a journey! ! ! 10++++++++++++ and an honored place on my fav list
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