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Raven's Poetry Page

Some of these poems contain language and subjects that are considered adult oriented, which means they deal with sexual issues. The language is nothing you wouldn't hear in junior high school, but I wanted to warn anyone so they won't be offended. If you would like poetry suitable for children click here to go to Embracing the Child.

Here are some of my poems and an index. It is all one file, so you can either read it by scrolling down, or by clicking on the name of the poem in the index and going directly to that poem.

After you read them if you have anything you want to say to me

These poems are all copyright 1998 Raven Joy.

This background and buttons were free from:

 

Table of Contents

Coyote Women Howling

The Howl of the Wild Woman 

The Earth Is Not Flat

In Barbara's Mirrors

Three River Images

I own the Yuba

Yuba Love Song

Watching the Maidu Dancers

Family

Forbidden Love

Owl and Raven

Forgetting

Remembering

Librarian's Lament

Productivity 

For Reed Anthony Oak Sheehan

Return

The Librarian and the Poet 

There Are No Signposts

For B.

How To Create A Homeless Person

Coyote Woman Becomes Raven

Raven Dances Between

Late Night Dancing

Coyote Woman Becomes Raven--Part II

Sexy Men Wear Skirts

Grinding Rock

Prayer at Pyramid Lake

Mouse Death

Coyote Women Howling
Coyote women
so long silent
watching the men leave nightly
doors crashing shut
now is our time
come leave your den
the pups sleep sound
follow through forest dark
meadow beckoning

howl

now is the time
grow paws
fur
howl at the moon
voices rising
howl the breakfast uncooked
howl the dirty windows
lovers here and gone
children crying

howl the bleeding earth
broken bodies
quarrels
countries friends
fighting
howl the moon rising
unleash the passion
bound
so long silent

the time is now

howl for life

(back)

The Howl of the Wild Woman

In my madness I see clearly to the center
I scream in pain until it becomes the reality
I dream across the universe
The ocean waves crash against my body

In my madness I howl with the wild coyotes
running in the moonlight
in winter
My dreams cross boundaries
taking me silently to other realms
of being
colors shift endlessly
nothing remains the same

In my madness I have hunted the dark shadow
following through deep damp caves
leading to sunlit meadows
periwinkles blooming azure
beneath the ruby sun

In my madness I have gone beyond
where you dared to go
and danced with faery queens
on full moon nights

In my madness I have watched
with the eyes of all beings
the earth wounded
I cry in pain

In my madness I live between the worlds
walking gently on the turquoise cobblestones
drinking of the thick sweet nectar
of the passion flower
watching violet stars shoot through
the cornflower sky
landing at my feet

traveling the cold barren space between
I am no longer afraid
I have explored the darkest passageways of my mind
and become familiar with the hidden corners
pushed through the cobwebs

In my madness my eyes sparkle with emptiness
and the joy of meaningless life
I have seen your future

In my madness is revealed your madness

In my madness I have touched your soul

(back)

The Earth Is Not Flat

Walking barefoot,
the earth reaches up
to caress
my naked feet.

Not at all
like the flat shoes
on concrete
I wore this morning.

(back)

In Barbara’s Mirrors

In Barbara’s mirrors
I am rainbows
moving patterns of color
changing moment
by moment
everywhere I dance in symphonies
of violet and blue
yellow green red
indigo

In Barbara’s mirrors
I am myself reflected
and shattered into
my elemental colors
my soul reveals itself

In Barbara’s mirrors
I am prisms of light
I dance
broken apart my pieces
shift and change
building new shapes
and formations endlessly

I drift behind the scenery

eyes peering from all directions
I see myself reflected
in the silence

(back)

Three River Images

In silence,
my wings unfold.
I fly down the canyon.

Trail markers
become stone Buddhas.
I bow.

Moonshine slowly creeps
down the river canyon.
I await the full moon.

(back)

I own the Yuba

I own that stretch of the Yuba River
from Purdon the Edward’s Crossing
many years now
I have walked her banks
slept on her sand
hiked her trails
lain on her rocks
talked to her squirrels
swam in her waters

I am the river
water flowing gently in the summer
fiercely raging in the winter
changing and yet the same
the rocks with their warm people spots
I lie on
year after year when the water drops

I know what it is like to be a
river rock
feeling the tourist walking to the beach
warm in the day
cold at night

I talk to the squirrels
they come to me wrinkling small noses
knowing I belong here
never afraid

swimming naked in the warm summer pools
I am the river
flowing downstream
leaving the past behind

So how can you
in your fancy clothes
stand there and tell me
you own the river
and that you are planning
to gouge roads & move rocks
& build dams
& put up signs
telling me to go home
& let you rape my beloved

Do you really believe
I will let you do that?

(back)

Yuba Love Song

water healing
sound
rushing
current
carry me down stream
tucked under your breast
caress me
take my body
Yuba flowing
changing
through granite rocks
mother’s body I lay on
warm you nourish me
tender I turn
to hold
hot smooth
molding to
my shape I lie naked
accept your hot tongue
warm skin ecstasy
Yuba Yuba I am yours
fill me
spent plunge
cold water
hurling downstream
head under wet cool
delight swimming
round
flowing
Yuba
flowing
downstream
flowing
Yuba

(back)

Watching the Maidu Dancers

I can remember
small flashes
even now
the feel of deerskin
sound of beads and bells
feet pounding the mother
with love
singing
drumming

I have danced many lifetimes
long nights of prayer
and celebration
songs in many tongues
songs before there were words
dancing through the continents
all skin colors were mine

then
the dancers on stage stop
they file off
the show ended
I am left
(longing)
this lifetime
empty
watching dancers
on stage
my feet long to pound circles
in the soft red earth
singing all night

(back)

Family

I am short on family
given away at birth
to a mother and father who died
some time ago

my mother hated family
mad demands she told me
that goes for friends too
better to be by yourself
she felt burdened by her husband
and we as children never were what she wanted

I search now for family
grabbing hold of neighbors, friends
anyone I find making them part of me
as I lose my way in this half a
nuclear family I belong to
one woman and a six-foot teenage son
no winners
no one to go to for comfort during
disagreements

on Mothers Day 1992
visiting my oldest son Mike and his
woman Terry
one white one black I love them both
she has told everyone in their Sacramento
apartment house
“Michael’s Mother is coming tomorrow,”
and after I arrive they stop by
to meet me
one by one

the electricity goes out
high wind announcing our presence
we bar-b-que chicken on the balcony
sharing with neighbors our good fortune
being here with my lover of three years now
Terry’s Mom calls Mothers Day morning
“Praise the Lord, your son is such a blessing,”
she tells me over the telephone
I give thanks for my new family

Later I see a vision for the future
in extended families we create ourselves
apartment houses as tribal relations
if our mothers fathers sisters brothers
aunts uncles cousins husbands wives sons daughters
cannot be with us
grab hold to your neighbor
after all you live together
take your friend by the hand
become family

never knowing my birth relations
maybe it is easier for me to know
family is not who bore you
but who you are with

family is us
brothers and sisters
animals plants rock
children of our Mother Earth

do not let them slip away

(back)

Forbidden Love

              For Marlene

I remember when we were in grade school
dancing together on stage
often mistaken for sisters
I used to count backward to see if your mother
could have born me in secret
even then I wanted to belong to you

playing at your house
I would imagine I lived there
being with you
day after day

later when we were
teenaged mothers together
your daughter Barbarella
my son Michael
your husband Lowell
my husband nowhere around

you asked me to make love to your husband
and I did but only because
I loved you
and what I loved most
laying together in your big bed
sharing our lovers
were those times laying naked beside you
when I could turn to caress your body
and kiss your soft skin

we never made love
but I wanted you more than them
lying there in your arms

but men being men
I lost you
he took you away to the farthest shore
he could find
on a military base
surrounded by dangerous replicas
of cocks

I think of you now & then
wondering if I found you
would I tell you I love you
and suck your soft breasts
kissing you lower and lower
until I lick my lover’s cum from between
your warm thighs

(back)

Owl and Raven

Owl looked through Raven,
past the tiny black feathers
barely visible above the arm hairs.
He had always looked at her that way.
He told her she looked
like a rock to him,
as if the feathers were mere
illusion.

(back)

Forgetting

the snowstorm
covered all traces
of my past life

(back)

Remembering

I remember you best, Mother
when we were
hunting wildflowers

(back)

Librarian’s Lament

Questioning young adolescents,
impatient
ask, “ Why aren’t there any good books here?”
I laugh.
“You haven’t looked.
There’s more good books than
TV programs.”

“NO WAY!!!”
they chorus

I drag book after book
off the shelf,
finally matching book to child.

I hate it when they ask for a
short book.
Not a good book,
or a fun book,
or a book to sit enchanted
hour after hour,
they way they play Nintendo.

I try to explain relative time.
Good books read faster
than short dull ones,
but they can’t hear me,
minds too tuned to the
airwaves.

I try to explain freedom,
and choice,
pointing out that there are more
books than channels,
reading can be done anytime,
anywhere,
not regimented to time and
place
like factory workers.
They don’t hear me,

Sad when they leave, I wonder
if they will ever learn the
joy of imagination,
once the playground of children,


now kept alive
by poets
and librarians.

(back)

Productivity

The TV tells me productivity is making
lots of little styrofoam boxes
to put dead meat raised on
graveyards of mystical forests
and I am supposed to believe.

The TV tells me productivity
is tearing up the earth
murdering more trees
to build houses so large the people
living in them never even
have to talk to each other
and I am supposed to believe.

The TV tells me productivity
is getting in my car every day
destroying the air
driving on crowded freeways & boulevards
to a job doing something
that doesn’t need to be done
or to the store to buy
things
that don’t need to be bought
and I am supposed to believe.

The TV tells me productivity
is trying to get all I can
without worrying what my overconsumption
is doing to the beings of the earth
and I am supposed to believe.

I do not believe I am better
than all the other life forms
of the universe
and that I have a right to destroy
any being who gets in my way
or mountain
or river
or desert.

I just want to grow holy ganja in the wilderness
spend a day watching the last leaves fall
from a black oak tree
play my drum and howl in the night
sit all day by the river grooming my friends
lay naked on warm rocks
sing while the sunset falls glowing crimson
into the canyon
listen to the wind
and laugh on into the cold crisp darkness
as the water flows by laughing
on its way to the sea.

In this I believe
and I will keep believing
and reach out and touch you hand
and you will know I believe in love
in compassion
in laughter
in kindness
in beauty
in song.

ay yah ay yah

(back)

For Reed Anthony Oak Sheehan

          Oct. 22, 1991-Nov. 19, 1991

sitting in the waiting room at the clinic
for my own son to have tests done on his heart
man with broken ankle
outside in the back of a car

I do not understand

Oak

I called your name in the forest
rain drenching my hair I screamed to the universe

Oak

I do not understand

I felt your mother’s heart beating through your body
I was glad then
your health so visible
I rejoiced in your birth
swift as a falling acorn
you came into life

I do not understand

Oak

when I heard of your heart
not whole
not enough to carry you through to the pain of life
I cried
I prayed to all the Goddesses
“Come Quick”
I summoned
the White Tara hovered
strength of Black Oak forest
flowed through my veins

Oak

I cried to the rain-soaked night
I do not understand

(back)

Return

Peeing back at the same place
where I’d just shed menstrual blood
on the rocks,
the beetles were still fucking.

(back)

The Librarian and the Poet

How could she resist,
sitting alone in her ivory tower,
when he came riding up
on his stallion of words
and swept her trembling
into his arms
whispering poems to her body?

back

There Are No Signposts

there are no signposts
ma
here on the edge
i don't know which way to turn
i burn
in so many directions
i don't know which way to turn
there are no signposts
ma
here on the edge
what can i do
where can i go
there are so many direction
i don't know which way to turn
i burn
in so many directions
there are no signposts
ma
here on the edge
lost
in the fringe
of the universe
who am i
who am i
who am i
who am i
there are no signposts
ma
here on the edge
who am i
who am i
who am i

back

For B.

I see how he makes you so sad
I want to take you into my arms
taste your tongue in my mouth
feel your moist cunt
lick blond hairs
suck your hot wetness
between your legs
make you come
mouthing my name

you will not call to him in the night
I will be there
turn and kiss me
I will cleanse all traces of him
from your dreams

then I will bring my lover
he will thrust his throbbing cock
into your pussy and
I will lick his cum out
each drop bitter sweet

back

How To Create A Homeless Person

We do very well here in the woods
        thank you.
If you are a good person
someone will always let you
pitch a tent
pull in a trailer
unroll your bed
       under the stars
and the property owners
        for the most part
go easy on the land
building houses to fit the scenery
hidden from the road
         and passers-by
beauty becomes an important part
          of the home
it is safer here
        than in the cities
we visit each other in our
        unique homes
playing music
        gathering together
we are rich in beauty
        friends and love

then the state
        (county)
              (government)
                    (big brother)
comes along
they don't like poor people
         as if the economy is our fault
         just leaving more for them
                I like to say
they find a mother and her children
living in an
                 ILLEGAL
           house on her own property
warm, cozy no threat to society
and evict her
           from her home
you could live in a tent
           or a trailer
                  or a car
they say
        but not your home
you haven't paid us enough money
so you should be forced
       to wander the streets
             for pennance

tears flowing from eyes
        they wander
holding their begging bowls
        tight against their chests
not yet accustomed
        to the straw sandals

can you help them
can you help them struggle
         against the multinational
                corporations
who want us obedient
         and under their control
as they plunder, rape and murder
          the earth and her peoples

clutch tight your begging bowl
you are next
the minute you get out of line
or the boss you work for
        no longer needs you
the roof over your head
        is no more secure
than the newspaper
        covering the old man
              in the park

how long will you let them
       take away your freedom
for your own good
while the homeless wander
       your dreams
and the earth slowly dies

I am tired
       eternally tired
of writing soft lines &
        pastel images
when the dark red blood
         is pouring out on the ground
sometimes I cry just to
         water down the blood
                 to help me see

those in control feed on hatred
         & greed
there is no room for love
         & compassion

clutch tight your begging bowl
you could be next

back

Coyote Woman Becomes Raven

look
her twisted body lies
       below
the blood
       matting to the fur
her tongue
       protrudes
eyes not yet dead
her heart
       torn from her chest
devoured
       by lions
thrown into the
       raging fire
her spirit blackens
and flies
       upward
in flames and cinders
until Raven
        circles above
              looks down
                   and flies off

back

Raven Dances Between

I whirl, blue and purple
        flashing        against the mirrors
drumbeat pulsing,
                I spin
turn and      vanish into the
                          world between
       my blue skirt sailing      turquoise
                    shadows
through the sideways
               twists of time     until
        I vibrate blue and purple
just the right speed &
                      you can see me now
I am dancing right in front of you
        and as you catch     my eye
                 I slow       motion
                        turning
now until I      whisper
       notes of      blueness and
my purple blouse         slows
               the flowers falling
                    at my feet
my eyes meet    yours
       I smile
          the pleasure
of the dance
       my pleasure
I smile at     you
        your pleasure
our eyes      meet
                       we turn
       hands outstretched    to meet
our bodies    turn
               I fall
       into your breath
the dance
            is pleasure
I hold your     tongue
        against mine
                   we touch
our eyes search      into past lifetimes
              touching
          our bodies meet
we dance
         the mirrors     holding us
our bodies
         meet
                   we dance
      our lovemaking
           ignites the stars
we dance
       between the worlds
                  the walls     dissolve.
We are free.

back

Late Night Dancing

as it gets later
the dancers recognize each other
through the spaces between
the non-believers
      have gone home
only the faithful remain
they will dance
until the end
until the music
      stops
there is no possibility
they could stop dancing
        now
while the music still plays
they are on fire
the flames of the dance
crackle at the edge
of their rhythm
they close together
as the spaces between
grow closer
only the faithful remain

we circle now
small individual circles
     at first
but joining
and growing
we reach out and touch
     hand to hand
until we are all one
and we dance
the stars circling slowly
    overhead
our dance encloses
the flames unite
shoot skyward
our light
dims the stars
we dance
we love
we hold each other tight
the music never stops

back

Coyote Woman Becomes Raven--Part II

she staggers back
the arrow piercing her breast
she screams
the sound turns to wings
     beating the air
shiny black feathers become visible
raven circles overhead
her blood congeals
on the pavement
where is the dark earth
waiting to take the lifeblood
why here
in this barren parking lot
she cries
as raven circles overhead
her mind wanders
past and future become present
cedar trees bend to lift her gently
their soft needles
comforting her with familiar scent
raven circles overhead

now she is soaring herself
the trees have thrown her clear
of the heartbreak & desolation
raven dances beside
arms thrown out
shiny black feathers
appearing
tiny at first then growing
to catch the wind
she smiles at raven
they circle around
each other
becoming
mirrors of dark light
they merge
into a single point
then vanish
leaving only
one shiny black
feather
behind

back

Sexy Men Wear Skirts

sexy men wear skirts
showing the outline of their cocks
gently hidden
beneath folds of supple cloth

free they wander
   through our imagination

unclothed
     naked
          men

back

Grinding Rock

ancient years of women
pounding
    talking
       singing
loving
grinding the food

abundance of oaks
     acorns
feeding the winter hunger
  with warmth

pounding
    each hole
over
      and
           over
year
      after
           eon
life
     after
           life
circles of remembering

long forgotten

now

rock
still friend
women
    and children
playing and talking
    laughing and resting
       feeling the others

ages of women
    pounding    talking
       laughing
together

circles    warm
     remembering

back

Prayer at Pyramid Lake
        for the unrespectful

forgive them
for they know not holy ground
when they walk upon it
with their feet

and they can not hear
the singing of the rocks
over the sound
of their radios

back

Mouse Death

I can not set the mousetraps any more,
yet I stay in the same house with them,
pretending I am not involved
in this slaughter
yet I am the one who listens
to their death
while nightmares
fueled by TV violence
disturb my slumber
and I am the one
who stares into their
dead pleading eyes
while tossing the body
    the evidence
       of the bloody deed
off the balcony.
Eat well predators of the forest,
I chant as I toss thiss addition to the food chain
back to its source.
I can't stare at the eyes long enough
to pop them in the freezer
so Star can skin them out later
to make mouse mittens
     for children
so that their deaths might not be
         in vain.
She doesn't set the traps either,
     but still we are the ones
who stay
and listen to their
      deaths at night
deluding ourselves
      we are not involved.

back

 

[Raven Joy's World] [Friends] [Alternative Health] [Live Cams]
[Making The World A Better Place] [Spirit] [My Poetry] [My Songs] [Calendar]
[Art and Poetry at the Virtual Cafe] [Music Stage]  [Festivals] [Contact]