All My Relatives

a poem by Gabrielle Price

My sisters and brothers are black,
And some are yellow, red, and white…
Many have feathers; others, scales and fur,
Some worship money but the best of them prefer,
To live with enough; and believe enough is a feast.
Hard truth for western man – in the belly of the beast.

Hard truth includes that rich or poor doesn’t matter,
not to birds of one feather that all bleed the same.
Murmeration: the meaning of something deeper;
That true hearts beat wild, unabashed and fierce,
When we seek to be our relative’s keeper.

What happens to them, happens to me,
More bad now than good in the land of the ‘free’.
Real freedom is earned not with money or gold,
But sacred truth; whispered words, howls and winds
that devour every flag and PR myth ever sold.

The American Dream skips like a broken record,
Corporate DJ’s are paid to keep it in rotation.
Echoing for eons, in the minds and hearts of my kin;
To question empire : sane to my chosen family,
To deny the myth : the original American sin.

My chosen family I’ve grown to respect and admire.
Beautiful teachers that groove with critical thought.
Underground records speak truth, and nothing but.
Western seekers will grasp, finding it eludes them
in a cellophane culture so easily bought.

Yet it is this epic place in history my relatives chose
To engage in sacred work, without repeating a script;
But through telling our wild stories, song and prose.
Not to burn the broken record but to keep the new one
To serve as reminder : that we will never sell our souls.

_________________________________________

Gabrielle

Me at the old studio in Indianapolis, 2008. After five long years of journeying I’m setting up space again at the new homestead in southern Indiana, where I’ve been reading a lot of Wendell Berry’s writing. This rang out like a bell:

“I am a pilgrim, but my pilgrimage has been wandering and unmarked. Often what has looked like a straight line to me has been a circling or a doubling back. I have been in the Dark Wood of Error any number of times. I have known something of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, but not always in that order. The names of many snares and dangers have been made known to me, but I have seen them only in looking back. Often I have not known where I was going until I was already there. I have had my share of desires and goals, but my life has come to me or I have gone to it mainly by way of mistakes and surprises. Often I have received better than I deserved. Often my fairest hopes have rested on bad mistakes. I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley. And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led – make of that what you will.” ~ Wendell Berry

An Ode To Spring

Where Lovers Begin – An Ode to Spring
Poem and photo by Gabrielle Price

He races the sun to kiss every inch of her,

Through leaves, eyelets of light adorn her skin.

The warm breeze caresses them; tickling,

Where all lovers begin.

Together in a field of soft, thick grass

sun warmed and the scent of earth;

Mingled only with the aroma of her delight,

The trees and sky, their home and hearth.

It is said that all lovers begin here,

Where each cloud is a kiss, each word; a bee,

Where soft moans signify the arrival,

Of the opening flower that hails the spring.