between grave and bloom (rewrite)

I am slowly working my way through editing my poetry manuscript. Some
of these poems I have not seen in a year or two, some are more recent.
But it is an interesting thing to go back and go through. Not a one
escapes change, but some only have one word or a comma changed.

I am deep in my cave, it is almost put back together and the Mad Kitten
is just…happy happy. And I am starting to feel happy happy too. It is
an amazing thing to make a choice and then act on it to return oneself
to balance.

So I went back and took a look at a poem that I am reading tonight locally, no promo with that, I am just showing up a
certain place and opening my mouth. I didn’t put the title as the
heading of this post as it is the title of a larger collection of mine
and used often, but this is where it all stems from.

And btw, no chapter today in the book – tomorrow I will start reading and recording again.

This is the final edit I believe of:

The Madness of Desire

Sew me a robe

made from skeins of history,

wield your golden needle

and make the stitches true.

Dress me in mourning

and douse the room

–there will be no feast tonight.

Seize the revelers that gather at the gate.

Press them to service as mourners.

This journey

shall begin with a shroud.

Away with all advisors!

Away with couriers of news!

Away with all this youth,

–for I have need of experience tonight.

Bring me torch and flame

and before mourner’s wail

I will undo the record of my shame.

To ash distraction shall crumble.

Stables of gilded bone become coal,

and all I have allowed chance near

shall away on wind blow.

I shall step in traveler’s kit,

a stranger from my own ruin,

and begin my pilgrim’s trek

fair free from all

but what remains within.

You think me mad,

such a high compliment

I take that to be,

for I want no more

of this callous death you have named


I want no more of darkness

you call ‘light’

or love that is not freedom

but blight.

For I have remembered

the desire that guides me.

A love that I do not now know,

but rested with once,

only to take my leave.

Not realizing what I sought

lay with that company.

The gods being gods

like to play first

before offering sympathy,

and I,

besotted on promise,

forgot my longing.

They let me stumble and drift,

entertaining in my hollow excess.

Till now reminded

and shown,

my willingness to spend a lifetime

waiting for what may never come.

Relying on chance

rather than step.

You think this is sacrifice,

this leaving walled gardens and warmth?

It is not.

For I know that even if my desire is not met,

I will have lived a better life.

then any kind I found here,

where there is no difference

between grave and bloom.

My anger is wed to my grief,

their trousseau

the fine lines that drape my eyes.

My heart beats equal now,

knowing not the difference

between love or riot,

a distinction thought easy by the young.

It is not my heart anymore

I leave to make such choices,

but my soul,

that is governed by all,

not just froze moments.

My soul who is guiding me now,

away from comfort I mistook for judgment,

indecision and fear

I celebrated as choice.

For though my heart once freed me,

it was too frail to prevent this sickening of senses,

this poison,

my steady weakness for safety.

All these years past,

in my ever bigger and ever brighter and more crowded halls,

I have dressed my sorrow in laughter

and chased it from the room,

never wanting to hear its’ question

for fear of gathering gloom.

Better a clown.

Better some shining false jewel,

then for me to face the pain

of having missed you.

What madness possessed me

to think that love could be subdued,

barricaded behind cold walls

and silenced with good food,

ordered and controlled by

season and holiday.

It was madness I tell you,

madness to imagine that.

And here now late,

late I am to have awaken

and only by accident fate

to have found the strength

to stand before all I have known,


as it burns to the ground.

By dying flame shall my first miles be shown.

My madness now is not the thought,

that by retracing my steps

I would find you again at rest,

but that perhaps,

in the few years I have left,

I can once again find

the person

you believed me to be.

And if I find nothing more nor less,

that alone

would at last

give my soul


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About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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2 Responses to between grave and bloom (rewrite)

  1. slpmartin says:

    Such a mythical poem with so many excellent lines in it…was wonderful to read.

    • Thank you so much. It is finally getting there. Now, if I can only figure out how to use the damn crackberry so I can approve comments when they come in I will be all set 🙂

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