Jerry Uelsmann
Untitled (Tree Goddess), 1994
Elysium, elegia,
Oak arms reach in silver skin
I wear the skull cap of a Buck
and pray that our gods
take note in their world

We try to reach it with our effigies,
Stone carvings of human faces,
Animal bone, candle wicks,
and polished brass:
The water becomes new,
It takes in its ambrosial beatitude
In one cupped palm we imbibe
And then we ring the bells

I have uttered sacred words
counting seeds in the hand
bearing flame and incense,
The crone and the witch
come to visit:
I have taken liberties in this life
bearing the witness of harm,
those concoctions and inebriations.
Though I’ve survived to meet the woman
who holds time in one hand,
and space in the other

Born under the sign of Centaur
They have told me that god is a man
and he died hanging on a cross of wood
but my god is a woman
and she bears the form of wood
She lives in the torrent of rain
Under the willow bark,
She is the speckle of life that breathes
In the waters and the streams
She wears twigs and barleycorn
Tucked in the furrows of her hair
And she dons the rags of Birch bark
With stones in her toes

They said that god is small,
That he lives only in their house of stone
But my god is the stone itself,
A wild woman, Clear of color,
sometimes dark as night,
She whistles in the sound of wind,
And she is the the hum of thunder
The Bristlecone, the briar friend,
Mistletoe and straw

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