Quilaztli

in tonān in cihuācōātl in quilāztli  (our mother, Cihuacoatl, Quilaztli)

You promise us emerald and jade, but do those precious stones
truly endure? Only the divine song, drifting down from Omeyocan,
outlasts human life and earthly age. All else is but a dream, dear brother.”-Malinalxochitl to Huitziltzin in Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico, by David Bowles

 

Quilaztli

by Carmen H Gray

Eagle Woman

Beckoned me in the desert

She called, “walk with me”

In day and night

We traveled

Beneath the sun and the moon

I heard the songs of people

Illuminated in the caverns

Of an earthen womb

I am Solar Strength,

Woman Spirit

Curandera of Great Magic

Snake Woman

The Left Behind Tragic

She whispered to me

As she opened her Great Wings

And took to the sky

Leaving me brighter

My hands feeling lighter

Upon waking from that dream

 

 

Tiny Golden Slippers

“Yo no quiero que a mi niña
la vayan a hacer princesa.
Con zapatitos de oro
¿cómo juega en las praderas?”-de Miedo por Gabriela Mistral

“I don’t want them to turn my little girl into a princess. In tiny little gold slippers, how could she play in the meadow?”-from Fear by Gabriela Mistral

Tiny Golden Slippers

By Carmen H Gray

Let her be so strong

That the shiny strings of longing

No longer draw her in

Let her echo a resistance

That all of the fear mongering

Is laughable in her brilliance

Let her be so wise

That her wings lift her to the skies

To see the earth

With both discerning eyes

Let my mistakes teach her,

Speak quietly to her heart

And gently, carefully reach her

So she may with grace part

From any notion of dreams withheld

And lastly, may she break

The last pair of tiny golden slippers

Worn for others’ sakes

 

Soft

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.”-Madeleine L’Engle

Soft

Carmen H Gray

the best part

of seeing you

is the familiar parts

of your face

forever etched in my mind

how your upper lip protrudes

ever so slightly

just like in pictures of you

in utero

when I felt soft flutters of life

only now the quavering

appears to reside

in my radiant heart

image

These Hips

Homage To My Hips

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

-Lucille Clifton

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These Hips

by Carmen H Gray

I have been called Betty Boop

While moving like a hula hoop

Told I walked with a sashay

And then asked to downplay

My child-bearing width

Lest I disturb anyone with their breadth and depth

Yet another time

These hips have been sublime

As a symbol of creation

And nimble with elation

These hips spread wide

Cradled life inside

Honor them, love them

Crown them with a diadem

These hips have power

In their finest hour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indomitable

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”-Mahatma Ghandi

Indomitable

by Carmen H Gray

Piss and vinegar

That’s what little girls like me 

Are made of

At least that’s what

My father always told me

How dare you flaunt

Your sassiness

And buck the rules

And challenge the paradigm

How beautiful

And indomitable

You are

My daughter

He said

Woman

“Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”
-from Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Femininity

by Carmen H Gray

Curves in motion

Soft waves

In the undulating sea

Circles spiraling

Triangular mystery

Ballads and songs

Carefully crafted

Throughout history

For the life-giving

Beauty of femininity