Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Oriana’

Grandmother Praying

October 10, 2009 11 comments

by Oriana

Veronika, first i.d. photo (1945) after Auschwitz

Veronika, first i.d. photo (1945) after Auschwitz

 

Saint Anthony

Pincushions, hairnets,
a mischievous spool of thread;
thimbles wobble in uneven hoops,
needles enter the veins of things.

We rummage through drawers
reeking of decayed Soir de Paris
cologne and valerian drops;
the slipper-hedged dusk under the bed.

There remains the invisible world.
We kneel on the creaking floor
before the painting of a smiling monk,
a lily like a magic wand

tilting from his hand.
With a practiced zigzag,
we cross ourselves: Saint Anthony,
guide us to Grandmother’s thimble
Again we scan
the summits of wardrobes,
horizons of floors;
the precipice behind the couch,

gritty crevasses of chairs.
She gives up at last:
The devil must have
covered it with his tail.

 

God’s Hearing

One evening in Auschwitz
the women in her barracks began to pray.

Their prayer grows and grows,
a chant, a moan, a howl —
it carries far into the searchlight-blinded,

electric wire-razored night.
The Kapo rushes in, shouting, Not
so loud! God is not hard of hearing!

And my grandmother laughs.
Then she starts an old hymn:
Many have fallen

in the sleep of death,
but we have still awakened
to praise Thee,

she sings to the God of Auschwitz.
Her voice does not quiver.

Download the podcast

Oriana leads a double, sometimes a triple life by the sea, the cold Pacific Ocean near San Diego.

Categories: Words of Power Tags:

The Great Fires

December 21, 2008 4 comments

We woke in the dusk, the sun
an alien disk of glowing mauve,
the sky bleeding its last blue.
Ashes fell like snowflakes.

In satellite photos, horns of smoke
from the burning California coast.
Yet it wasn’t the aerial panorama,
but a single glance that leapt

like a lion at my throat.
I looked out the window, saw
flames like bodies, crimson-gold,
soaring then dipping, dancing

their way up the long hill
a few miles from my house.
As if life were being told
in non-human speech:

a hymn to all the afternoons
a woman looks out the window
on a rose-bush and the hills,
idle dove-like clouds

— then the red dancing
with devouring gold —
As if God were being told
in triumphant tongues:

a story of how innocence dies
for the sake of a greater story.

by Oriana

Download the MP3

add to del.icio.us :: Stumble It! :: post to facebook :: Digg it :: add to reddit :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: seed the vine :: add to fark :: TailRank

Categories: Journaling the Apocalypse Tags:

St. Joan Speaks to Me

August 8, 2008 16 comments

I’m walking down the cobbled
streets of Rouen. Cabbage leaves
blacken in the gutters.
In the square they are burning

Joan of Arc. Her eyes are
transparent with light. Through veils
of flame she says, Truth is a torch,
but it makes a beautiful blaze.

The crowd is weeping.
With charred lips of light
she says, A dead body
is only a dead body.

How can we tell ash from soul
unless we too rise,
a blue heron of smoke
slanting into flight —

that pulse of a wing so slow,
so soaring when she says,
We are all burning.
Be a greater fire.

by Oriana

Reading by Beth Adams — Download the MP3

add to del.icio.us :: Stumble It! :: post to facebook :: Digg it :: add to reddit :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: seed the vine :: add to fark :: TailRank

Categories: Transformation Tags: