Ginny Webb Jun 26

“The eagles should have been far seeing”
Was the last apocalyptic note she wrote
In her broken and trembling hand
Words that I tried so hard to understand.

What eagles? What sight could they have beheld
That might have brought back to her
A reasoned light to illustrate
Something other than her tortured mind
Worn fragile and thin by monsters,
Who starved, and beat, and raped,
A child.

Or would these brave and noble birds
Have donned armor in her defense
Flocking in hordes to peck out the eyes
Of those so vile that they would welcome,
Just to destroy,
The spirit of a foster child.  

Or did these eagles nest inside her womb,
As like a sweet salvation,
My spirit bloomed
For them to lift on soaring, golden wings,
And place gently in her arms,
A child more precious than the moon,
And all its diamond light,
Since in my tiny form she found the strength
To chase away the memories;
To hold back a schizophrenic night.

So, it was these birds who were short of sight,
Who gave a gift and flew away.
Abandoned in her time of need,
Her mind crumbling from the weight
Of something from which she was never, truly free,
And though we tried so hard to save her,
No one was strong enough;
Not even me.

Eight years ago, I lost my mom to suicide. After a long battle with a form of late-onset schizophrenia, and also, the effects of a terrible childhood, I feel like she just couldn't fight anymore. The last note she wrote to me didn't make much sense on the surface, but I find deeper meaning in it. She loved me more than all the stars in the sky and I miss her just as much.
Ginny Webb Jun 9

These lines on my belly are tangled and thick like
The dark underbrush of some Amazonian paradise
Where between the indigo streaks of
A primeval forest
Dance vibrant birds.

I can hear them singing there, chirping just beneath my skin,
A simple song of birth; of a million women clawing their nails into the earth, as in ecstasy they hear,
That first soft and mewing cry.

These lines are stretched thin over a canopy of soft and
Rolling skin, once taut and bronzed,
Now gentle and accepting,
The dance of tiny fingertips and toes
From deep within, and now without,
In the darkness of the night,
When I pull the covers to surround my children in
My warmth; the love that seeps from
Forests deep inside, and trickles without end
Through every hallowed line.

Once I had a child's body. Then ,I had a young and beautiful form like some kind of nymph. Now, I have a mother's body and I will love this body just the same, or more.
Ginny Webb Jun 3

A high ridge in western Wyoming.
A heavy backpack on my shoulders.
Beneath me and rolling to all sides,
Darkened slopes of alpine forests
And reddened canyons cascading
In jagged crops of rock to
Unknown and wild gullies below.
And beneath the western sky,
Along the continental divide,
I am feeling like a thing that blends,
Like I could will my spirit from my skin and let it bleed into the sky and all the mountains calling, come!
And I would answer,
Here I am! Take me! Fade me into your crystalline air.
Erase me! Let this body go and drift my spirit into your singing spines.
And let the wind begin to roll,
In great waves,
Over slopes of thickened pines and brush,
It floods me in a rush that sounds like the aching song of something still free.
The rise and fall of a magestic, sacred sea.

Back in Yellowstone this week with my family. It has been years, but I once spent many weeks backpacking here, and this poem tells of one memory that has stuck with me: the ridge, the endless expanse of wilderness, and the wind that rolled in like the sea.
Ginny Webb May 19

Bent like an ancient oak with rivulets of
A simpler time
Running deep through etched lines
And leathered hands whose grasp tells stories
Of cows, and dirt, and constant work;
A lifetime of losses buried beneath the skin,
And in the earth.
Warm the way he coddles my babies,
Tussles their hair and stares
As if cradling diamonds laid bare
Against his work-worn arms.
Laughing, his eyes dance from face to face
As if he can trace the cords that tie,
That bind and intertwine,
So many generations.
Worn thin and torn, that same old shirt, those wrangler jeans,
Socks pulled up to his knees,
And a ratty baseball cap, covered in grease;
It still reads, “Hereford beef.”
And now, the ashes of a cigarette, a favorite coffee mug,
The scent of hay, the settled dust,
muddy footprints on the rug
Wait anxiously,
In a quiet house,  
For grandpa to win this bout,
To overcome the longest drought,
The meanest stud,
The cancer that cripples him up
In a hospital far away.

For my father-in-law, an old cow man, a farmer, a rancher, and the kindest man I've ever known. Please come home to us <3
Ginny Webb May 15

And when the butterflies returned, they fluttered down from
Hidden caverns draped in verdant moss.
Trailing dark tendrils of apocalyptic dusk
They settled on the fragrant grass,
And like recessed memories,


And when the butterflies returned, they flapped their harlequin
Wings like Ashanti dancers in the wind
Clothed in Kente cloth,
Alighting on graveyard moss,
And like the faded wording on a wooden cross,


And when the butterflies returned, they skimmed like vibrant gems
Across the sea, and gathered like scattered drops of multicolored rain  
Across the fallowed fields,
And rivers that had healed,
And where man’s touch had once disfigured,

Now all forgot.

I was watching the butterflies return to our farm, after a long, cold winter,  began thinking about the ways in which nature always reclaims her space. Nature reclaims her space after a long winter, a death, or the death of a civilization. When humanity's time is over, nature will reclaim all of our spaces, yet we will be forgotten. Such uncomfortable thoughts while watching butterflies haha

God's foxholes,
pick your poison,
burn burn burn, and
snare, flesh out an idea
and let it take hold. grit
your teeth, strip the bark
or just strip instead.
cherry, rabid, dragonflies
and headlight eyes.
this dream running us
ragged, this glittering
copper and boil before
you burst.

There is a piece of your skin that refuses to burn.
I keep sinking my teeth into it.

  May 10 Ginny Webb
David O'Reilly

shivering dogs have no business

jumping in cold waters

expecting a hot towel on standby

their bones will pay the price

when the rot and damp set in

poets and old dogs have no business

writing poems with gummy mouths

no bark or bite to the written word

the end result an illegible prescription

see the new dogs on standby

the muzzle off their writing

their teeth bared

foaming at the mouth

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