Sings to Coyotes

In the light of the full moon, coyote songs sound across the desert, reverberating back from the hills. Some of us sing back to them, wordless songs on the wind...

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Location: Kinda in the woods, Pacific Northwest, United States

Author of the Faeries' Oracle, Moon Over Water, Sun Over Mountain, and a multitude of odds and ends. Coyote poet. Grandmother. General troublemaker and rattler of cages.

12 February 2009

Running with the Deer

There has always beena great doubt in my mind
that I was ever meant to be domesticated.
I feel out of my time,
soul-sent to run with the deer
in a time when the deer
no longer run free.

And I find myself in the wrong world,
by memories of long-striding runs
across the glitter and crack of moonlit ice on the hills,
Gaia’s bare bones, looming black above me
against the star-deep sky.

Memories lie deep in my mind, yet flicker and rise
in unguarded times, a part of me
always feral and free, not to be
chained - and the older I am, the grayer I get, the more
I remember.

Copyright 2009 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

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If I were an owl, flying high,
what would I think, what would I think if I
saw me* dancing, dancing
high on a hill, alone in the dark,
under a star-filled sky?

If I were an owl hunting for mice,
so crunchy & sweet,
what would I think, what would I think if I
heard me singing, singing
high on a hill, alone in the dark,
under a star-bright sky?

'No moon! No moon!' I might cry if I
were an owl, 'She can't be a witch
for there's no moon,
she's too many clothes,
she's got no broom,and she can't fly!'

If I were an owl and I heard me sing, singing a song
in a tongue unknown, I would sing too,
and my wordless song would come echoing back
from the nearby hills to me dancing, dancing
there on the starlit track.

If I were an owl, soaring high, what would I see,
if I saw me: A fat old lady in too many clothes
(it's cold enough, tha certainly knows)
doing her thing, with a light-full heart,
under a star-filled sky.

*If you are confused about who is the owl and who is 'me'
I can only say: you are meant to be.

Copyright 16 October 1993 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.
First printed in Crann Beathadh, November 1993, then again in Earth's Daughter, 1994.

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03 August 2007

I Give You Fair Warning...

When I grow old, really old,
I shall be eccentrik.
I shall wear long silken skirts
that sweep in the dust
and keep Abyssinian cats.

I shall speak clearly to the cats, of course,
but to other people I shall speak
only in symbols, codes and cryptograms,
and let them think
that they understand.

I shan’t knit.

My garden will be wild and rich, and
I shall plant tall stones
in suitable places. I shall make
potions of flowers
and light, and
I shall keep bees.

With my knobby old knees
and sagging breasts, I shall
dance naked under the Moon,
and I shall sing to Her
with the cats.

I shall carry a blackthorn stick,
and frighten small boys away from my apples -
they'll like that -
and I’ll tell tales of the goddess
to small girls so they will know
who they are.

I shall say outrageous true things
to people, and make waterfalls and small pools
in wild places.

I shall have a deep, deep well
of silence
in myself, and it will fill
with the love flowing through me
like a wild underground river. My hair
will be very white and unmanageable -
rather like a dandelion.

My roots shall grow to the heart
of the Earth, and the horned god
will be
a personal friend of mine.

04 February 2007

4 February 2007

Silent Songs

Old man Coyote...
no words -
only a song soaring
over the hills.
Me though,
even the songs
are silent
for now.

08 June 2006

Coyote Stone

This is a small black stone, a focal point in the Worldweb,
a node of light—earth magic that can be carried in one hand.
Shaped by the hands of shamans, it is imbued by them
with their wisdom and power and it carries its own
integral wisdom, earth-knowing.

Out of a valley of death it came, carven with lines of power,
this small piece of black basalt called a ‘talking stone’—
repository of the wisdom of an ancient line, heritage of shamans. It teaches the mysteries of healing the earth and her children
and of the evocation of power.

This black stone, calls unto itself those who serve.
Its holder in now-time offers me this stone to touch,
to learn what I may. Before touching, I center myself,
feel myself rooted in the earth, know myself whole
and cradled within the Source.

Taking it in my hand, there is nothing, darkness
as black as the stone itself. I call the Master of the stone,
the archetypal indweller, guardian and dispenser of its power,
and I find myself in the world of the stone,
within the stone itself.

This land is scoured bare by wind and sun—
only the rocks and the earth live.
It is a twilight world of sun-below-horizon,
neither day nor night. In this not-light not-night
I see a figure before me.

Seated on living rock, he is dark, sinewy, skin the color
of old burnished copper, like the land itself. His face,
his head is that of Coyote—the wise one, the trickster,
the old one. He grins his feral grin at me, ears cocked,
alert, listening.

Casually, he tosses the black stone that we are within)
from hand to hand. What can I say to such a one as this?
I can only wait before him. He weighs me in his own balance—
a measuring incomprehensible to me.
I am not of his people.

Yet, I am a daughter of the Lady,
the Great Mother, priestess among my own,
and therefore to be considered, to be weighed
for an eternity in this place without time.
I wait.

Suddenly, he stands closely, so closely before me,
wild eyes, deeper and darker than starless space,
filling and holding my eyes as he thrusts
the black stone into the center of my heart.
For a timeless moment we are still

His hand is in my heart’s center, I do not breath.
Soundless thunder roars, resounding through me, echoing
into my past and my future. He vanishes,
leaving me within the stone, the stone within me.
And it calls to other stones in my heart.

They are murmuring their secrets, their mysteries,
to one another across the reaches of time and space
within me. Graven with spirals and marks of power,
visible and invisible, there are stones within my heart—
earthstones, heartstones.

There is the heartstone of the Lady of Callanish,
the keystone of a vaulted chamber at Maes Howe,
sacred and swept by northern winds. There are the cairns,
barrows, megaliths, and the living rock of places of power—
earthstones in my heart.

They speak to each other and to me
on levels too deep, too real to comprehend,
and I sense powerful forces moving within me.
The earthstones speak to me, and to each other,

November 1984
in Earth's Daughter


Days later, I return
to the world of the stone-within-me.
Coyote takes my hands,
places them upon the living rock
of his world, and I see myself
in the world of the stone-within-me,
hands upon the living rock of the
hands upon living rock,
self within stone within self,
infinite and eternal.
He teaches interesting lessons
one’s mind
in interesting ways.

November, 1984
in Earth's Daughter

02 June 2006

Scrambled Eggs

Dis-ordered images
in a tired mind:
smiling smugly,
acres of Aphrodites
anciently amorous.
Eros on an elephant
haniballing on.
Jungian synapses
firing archetypally.
Words jump fences,
juxtapose themselves
improbably in signs -
horoscopes of sound
as nonsense.
of another reality,
by fatigue fragmented,
rise up babbling
in a semiconscious mind.
must have been

28 May 2006

Love Grown Old

At night...

I feel your breath, warm
on the back of my neck
your chest is moving
against my back.
My breath falls
into the rhythm
of yours, slowing
and deepening
as we fall asleep.

In the morning...
my head on your shoulder,
still sleeping,
I feel your breath
quickening, stirring
my tousled hair.
Your arm tightens
sleepily around me.
Your awakening
stirs my breath.
My heart beats faster
as we waken.

All of the nights...
all of the years...
breathing together
sleeping and wakening—

If you were not here
would I be able to breathe?

© 2006 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.