My Body Rises and Falls (audio)

Here in this upstairs bedroom I sit with hallowed silence. It fills me in ways nothing else can to read for you. You stranger, you wide open terrified world. I’m sorry for the crackling of the heater, I’m sure you can hear it. I apologize. I hope you can forgive it and stay with me a little while longer. I am sorry for the way I do not fix anything or maybe even make it worse.

The faded embers of the day sift solemnly down through the dim quiet light. It has been a week swollen with trembling. There were many moments when I was alone and suddenly my eyes were a well of tears, puddles of saturated melancholy. Not regret but loss unspeakable. So much has been falling away. So much has threatened never to return. Not sadness but a wealth of longing which engulfed me like the cries of need as though need were a small open-mouthed desperate thing. A feathered, small-beaked creature which lives inside of me and wants to tug and pull but never climb out. The milk of the womb has but run dry.

I am a tomb of grief and desire all tangled up together. If you knew how to unbraid this knot I have become I am not sure I would let you do it. There are too many secrets threaded in me now to ever collapse into your breathing the way once I might have. Under your gaze my body rises and falls. In the white washed sky, the webs of trees reach naked for a touch of the skin of celestial clarity. I speak your words aloud to collect them with my tongue. I pray to no god and drink you like wine as the sun continues to fall behind the empty houses which line the empty street.

I read once that those who love the trees most in winter, in their wetted metal uncloaked form, are the purest souls of all. How it tears the skin from the bone just to observe them standing stoic and strong, from thick heavy trunk to threadbare tendrils wild in all directions. The aching will not cease because it cannot. To move forward in blindness is all it has ever known.


Please may I offer this heartfelt thank you to anyone who listens to my audio readings. I don’t know if you can possibly imagine how much you are saving my soul.

31 Replies to “My Body Rises and Falls (audio)”

  1. For so long humans have struggled to understand their strengths and weaknesses in relation to this immense and frightening world and to all the spirits that inhabit it, and for just so long–beyond the sacrifices and sullen statues and petty wars–they have opened their mouths to speak as if by voicing their needs they could fulfill them. When the great spirit that was Ra sought physical form, all he had to do was speak his name, and thus was he self-created. God said Let there be light, and it was so. The Trobriand Islanders were sure that anyone could use magic so long as they spoke the spells correctly, and that those lacking in speech were somehow less than human. Less than alive. And yet, for just so long have people tossed their words about with utter disdain and abandon and careless disregard. As if the sounds that fell from their lips were only that–sounds. Noise. Do you know, in the DR Congo there live a beautiful people–the Mbuti–who have come to use a word for all the anger and conflict of man, a word that translates as “noise”. There is beauty and harmony and creativity in the voicing of what we are and who we strive to be and in the unpatterned, unpredictable expressions of hope and fear, of pleasure and pain. Giving voice to your thoughts–your naked unhindered unpretentious voice, Allison–pierces the dark, silences the noise. … Of course I listen. Sometimes it rends me, tears at the facades I have so studiously erected around the fragile truths I struggled for years to construct. Leaving me bare. And ready. To hear. And for that I am so grateful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh my precious George, how can anyone be so eloquent, so generous with knowledge and awareness, with thought and feeling and words and intimacy as you are. I hope everyone who comes here reads what you have shared, about the power of speaking, something I am only just now truly awakening to in myself. The way you describe, so viscerally, so powerfully, tenderly, your readiness to hear, ahhh, to open up and listen with everything that you are, with so much more than only ears or eyes or skin, that is the sacred place if ever I believed in anything at all, that is solely it. You bring yourself here to this place and in doing so you get me high. So help me, you do. You reveal to me so much I could not see without you. I would say I don’t deserve it but I know you will tell me, ‘Hush, daughter of Brigid, Be still and know you do.’ And so, in no small way because of you, I fold my hands and my heart and my wings, and humbly I do so try to Be still. 🕊🙏🏻🕊

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You’re right, that is what I would have said, isn’t it? Sometimes I think you know me better than I know myself. And more–the sacred place. Yes. That is it. That is why the poet thrives, why poetry and verses and the very words endure, drawing us in throughout human history. There is pleasure in it, of course, and wonder, and even entertainment at times. But beyond all of this, it finds us in our sacred spaces. Or even better at times, guides us there. Yes, so well said, my dear Allison.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. This is one of the most beautiful things I could ever hope for when I share the words. That somehow someone out there could hold them close and make them their own. If these words touch you, they were meant for you. I’m just so grateful to know it. Thank you so. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This renders a life jacket for the drowning and those who believe their expert swimmers. lol. because the arms do get tired and the legs can cramp. That’s the life message: strong in a moment and weak in 5… the beautiful struggle🥳
    Your transparency helps other come clean and provides an opportunity for confession❤️Thanks for your courage and paving a way through your gift of writing🙏 Freedom is available🌹

    Liked by 1 person

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