Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mary Marie Dixon - Three Poems

Bone Breaker

The osprey slakes her cravings
On the dirk of a high crag
In that eyry tangle
The bone breaker’s lilac eggs
Ripen under her breast

Dark quills
Write in languages
And melodies long since lost
Indecipherable markings
Mapped in some vast
Expanse and suspended
Over ridge and rock
Cliff and bank
A wild place where
No one sleeps

The air is light
Some stroking thing
Is pent up under the eking tide
Which never quiets itself
Though it rocks incessantly

Instruction comes
Through the pillaging osprey
Whose lightning strike
Plunges, pocketing into the sea,
Emerges with squirming catch
And rises up
To pinnacle
The secret away

Brutal climber
Under the shadowy sky
Tear the trap away
Loose the long shadowed larch
Its pillar rots

Under the afflicted tree
The last quill falls
And August rides
The clouded sky
To a cornered world

The fish bellies up to the sun
Under the osprey’s wing.
Do not regret the deep
The cold and wild,
Where the rocks quiver,
The outspread beach wisps away.

No beauty lacks savagery,
Flinging itself,
Willing sacrifice,
Scattering the stalking prey,
Breaking only the wind.

Tortured on the low slope
Thick upon the briar,
A golden sun kisses the earth,
Bricking the friable loam,
Casting the badger’s den,
Kilning its burrow.

A heart loathes the common grain.
Piece by piece,
Under the spirit of the world,
It chokes and twists
To reconcile the soft lilac of the egg
And the predator’s talon. 


Fire cools
in thickened cellulose;
a winding blue
paths my body
and traces its edge.

I am the field
snaked with rivers,
plained by breath,
torpid languisher
in foxglove.

A crimson current,
made in marrow,
twines my bones
with cadent stripes.

Bay horses surge
like turbid muses
on this clay sprawl;
I am the track
that circuits their path.

Chambered by prairie dogs,
I am the burrowed ground
cloistered from the siege
of coyotes and badgers.

Iron fissures swirl
an alabaster shell;
spikenard ruptures
from broken vessels.
Anointing smears
the treasure.

So still, my skin,
yet fluxing within
I am vulnerable
to the blackberry,
and the sacred hawthorn
whose wood burns
with most virulent fire.


In the cradle of the Manzanos and the desert
Watermelon mountains silent in pink afflicted by grey
I shook the solace of the leafing birch
Grasping for air, peeking through pay-for-use binoculars
The Rio Grande rose up a striking rattler
It was only the sound of cones falling from the Ponderosas
What will I do now?
Someday, I will know
How from one place to another
I move in ignorance from sea level to 5000 feet
Then unable to breathe realize the disruption

Mary Marie Dixon, visual artist and poet, has published creative works in periodicals and  collection of poetry, Eucharist, Enter the Sacred Way, Franciscan University Press, 2008. She explores the visual and poetic intersection in publications on women’s spirituality and the mystics, the Great Plains and the spiritual power of nature. 

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