This poem showed up for me in August 2015 in the wake of one of many inspiring, too-short stretches of time spent at the Feathered Pipe Ranch. I say “showed up” instead of “was written” because it came to me more like an assignment to transcribe than words I wrestled into submission, like writing often is for me. Time on that land does things like that, right? I know I’m not alone in experiencing moments at the Ranch so hallowed and that become rooted so deep that their imprint haunts and inspires for a lifetime.
~ Anne Jablonski
I Borrowed Your Eyes Again, Montana by Anne Jablonski
I thought I’d paced myself just right, ambling slow uphill restrained, polite
To where you smiled and waited for me
To show up again – there’s an again! amen! –
To reclaim a solitary longitude of territory that’s ours, Montana
Soul creeps along real slow
I pretend not to hurry
I blush that Montana knows my secret
About how I rush, unrepentant, to puff breath on the spark
Lighting that peace inferno
We combust again and again
Into each other
Into One light’s brilliant flares
I’m not down-tempo enough
I’m breathing too heavy on the last push up to a black ink new moon sky where you
Breathed unhurried, easy, slow, patient about me
(What in heaven do you see in me, Montana, and why do you wait?
Are you dodging my question?
Am I not listening close?
Is my heart big enough for all this?
Loving you less is no answer.)
I pause long, impatient, pulling in air
Catching breath catching breath catching breath
Breath lands and I can bow under the stars to tell the truth
(I have to ask you this one thing fast now
I want to know if all your light is invisible some times?
Is that my poor eyesight?
Do you take cover behind a spiral galaxy hidden too low in the north sky on nights I need you most?)
Soles decipher Rocky Mountain land braille
I memorized these jagged stone steps thick with tangled twigs and pine needles
When I wasn’t thinking
I didn’t used to know there was memory in feet
After too many hundred days and million steps away from home condoning illusion’s most uncomfortable extremes
The soul of my soles recalls every contour sculpted over cool jagged bone landmarks
In one heartbeat every sharp edge visited since our last tango turns soft
I arrive, and I faint
Yielding into you
Dizzy in circle space seeing through your eyes again Montana
So we can look up together through night mind’s clear dome
Montana wraps us up tight and soft,
Rolling and rumbling me back good and alive again
I see everything here with no eyes of my own
e v e r y
This is what a galaxy feels like from the inside
Dissembled particles reconfigured into every flawless quality of Love
A shutter’s shudder is how fast these sacred nights come and go
I’m that guest whose excuse for leaving teeters
On a lie tipped so ancient it should have disintegrated a million steps ago
(I glanced at my right arm on Thursday
Slivers of Montana’s shrapnel still wedged blue and black there
Thank you for those parting gifts)
Today I remembered how Montana floated my two arms up far above my head
Volunteering me twice
If I don’t start seeing my own light soon
I’ll outstretch again for another breath to bow another shared Amen
To repeat a new blessed benediction
And a fresh slow dance under God particles
That shower painted glitter heaven lights all over us
Under this One big dark blue sky
ABOUT ANNE JABLONSKI:
Anne is a rat race survivor-in-training who teaches freedom yoga and mindfulness in Northern Virginia. She serves as president of the Feathered Pipe Foundation Board, is the emcee/den-mother and co-creator of The Mindful Unplug retreat at the Ranch, and is having an unexpected later-in-life liaison with the banjo.
Learn more about Anne here: yogasetfree.com