Baba Yaga

[Fans of Marilyn Raymond’s poetry will be glad to see another of her works here. Others on this site are Sunflowers, That Apple, and Sucking on Stones.]

There are worlds Aristotle didn’t know
          where spirit moves
          where myth puts on feathers and language
                    and meaning wears another face.

Bilibin's Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga, by Ivan Biliban (public domain)

In this world
          of pine trees
          and camus stalks,
          meaning wears
                    the smell of dirt
                    the salt of sweat
                    the dry ache of hills and eyes.

Still…if I look
          if I lay down “no”
          if I turn my eyes from tired, bored, hungry
          if I loose my gripping fingers from
                    mine!   mine!   mine!

          …blue, pink, mariposa lilies slip delicately
                    between the worlds
                              grace notes
                              love letters
                              rain on the dry hills
and the round doorways of my attention
          open into distant forests
                    where Baba Yaga stirs.

My blood shivers when Baba Yaga stirs
          when she steps down from her hunt
                    onto a thick, wet carpet of leaves,
                              layers and layers.

My blood rises
          when she asks me,
                    in her implacable voice,
                              “What have you done with the garden?”

My heart swells with memory and longing
Ah the garden, the garden.
          This world
                    This life
                              This precious woman self!

I pick up my tools
          my feathers and language
                    I move deeper

©2007 Marilyn Raymond

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