The Temple of Me

~~~~~~~~A poem about where I’m at as a newly-turned 35 year old!!~~~~~~~~

THE TEMPLE OF ME

Looking across my body, a mosaic of sea glass tops my skin,
And I ask you now to sit with me and
Drink me in,
Drink me in,
Drink me in

My eyes are still that vibrant green, holding sparkling light within.
No, those aren’t crows feet, that’s where Sophia left Her print.
Can you handle who I am now and
Drink me in,
Drink me in,
Drink me in

There’s this thinking crease across my forehead, and it makes me share a grin,
Cause once I thought I knew it all and you loved the woman in me then, but can you make more room to love the woman I’m becomin’?
Won’t you come and sit with me and
Drink me in,
Drink me in,
Drink me in

My smile still lights the blazes, of your direct attention, and those laugh lines now make their way up, to my dancing eyes within.
And I ask you to always make me laugh and
Drink me in,
Drink me in
Drink me in

Have you noticed my shoulders and arms are stronger, then they’ve ever been? Because I learned to carry the wounds of my sisters, of my fellow women.
Can you spare a minute to listen and
Drink me in,
Drink me in,
Drink me in

When You see my my bare breasts fireside, do you breathe praise for the flow they’ve given, how my very own body was the tree of life for our youngest children- take a moment and honor the sacred and
Drink me in,
Drink me in,
Drink me in

Now I have a softened tummy, rounded hips, and marked up skin, Call me your Goddess Persephone, I nourished your seed and brought about its blossomin’,
Can you sit and worship me for me and
Drink me in,
Drink me in,
Drink me in

And I’ve always had those legs you loved, they are strong but not thick or thin, and now they’ve carried 5 human lives, can you grasp the magnitude of my body’s benevolence?
Can you come and help me carry on and
Drink me in,
Drink me in,
Drink me

And I’ve manifested this rounded ass in my womanhood transfiguration, yes-she is bouncier now, than my teenage version. And you just cannot help but touch, you say she demands your concentration.
Will you always speak with adoration and
Drink me in
Drink me in
Drink me in

And when we’re in the shadows and you gaze upon my 35 year old skin, your eyes light up like candles and I think that’s my personal heaven. I am a divine being, made of earth-water-fire-and wind, and I deserve to be on your altar as you
Drink me in,
Drink me in,
Drink me in

Most of all, more than anything—-you’ve watched my mind and heart expand, and you listen attentively about my evolution that was completely unplanned.
But you don’t run off fearfully, you pour your cup, listen, and grin, and as you sip your coffee, you
Drink me in,
Drink me in,
Drink me in

By: Stacy Johnson, June 6-8, 2019
(Mother, cycle day 12-14)

Time

Isn’t it strange how life is always changing, around the sun, we are rearranging,
But so perfectly in place each and every day that 24 hours is always the same.

And yet, I’m spinning, we’re spinning. And I’m flipping out, no wonder my head is so filled with doubt,
Life is happening on a cosmic merry-go-round.

I’m always twisting and twirling, saying, “slow this thing down,” 
but to my surprise there’s no way to get out.

So I sit here with that headache from those rides at the fair, the ones where you vomit into the thin spinning air.

I didn’t buy this ticket, I didn’t stand in a line, but somehow I’m on it and this ride is called Time….

It won’t stop, no!
Won’t even slow down,
but sometimes the rotation brings me back around,

To the places I’ve been, 
to the feelings I’ve felt, 
to the moments she left me to breathe and be still.

The moments she stepped out, 
so that I could take in
the magnitude of the situation
to replay them again.

She left me in childhood, when summer sun would not fade.

She left me and my sister in the yard when we played.

She left me in the school halls with newly learned facts.

She left me when I saw Him carrying his backpack.

She leaves me in moments when the passion is great.

She leaves when new life from my body greets its first days.

She leaves me when grief is so big that I must just lay.

She leaves me when pain etches it’s own pathways.

And though she leaves me quick, to slowly embrace,
She returns with a vengeance to pick up the pace.

For time must move faster with each year we age,
so that when the end comes, a blur is all we must face.

The haze from the people and places we’ve passed, unfocused for it was all spinning so fast.

Did you catch glimpses of the sun and sky, did you stop to take in the thoughts behind your eyes?

And then in an instant she decides to stand still 
and she whispers that she hopes your life was a thrill.

And with her departing, your brain hits rewind, 
and in one final breath you close your eyes,
and relive the whole ride of your twirling with Time.

By: Stacy Johnson, 5-1-19

I Have Her Eyes

Scurrying into the always familiar home of Mamaw and Papaw, I am met with the same pale yellows and olive greens hip from the 60s. My Papaw rests in his recliner, Mitzy, his ever faithful pup companion perches at his side, knowing she is  his equal.

As my grandparents age, I realize, “How’s it going?” is a loaded question. One I better be ready to settle in for- for the long-haul, I welcome it.

He begins unveiling the  list of ailments appropriate for that of a 78 year old. I pay attention. I encourage him, letting him know I’m sympathetic to his pains and fears about his pains. Today, he lifts up his shirt for me to examine his back. 

“Do ya see anything back there, Stac?”

“Well, Papaw, I’m not sure what I’m looking for? I see a couple bumps.”

Papaw’s eyes grow large with concern, “Is there anything else around the bumps, Stac?”

“Um, I believe there’s a sunspot right between the bumps, Papaw.” 

“I’ll tell ya what, they itch, they really itch—-you sure those ain’t moles?”

I pull his shirt down and give his back a firm scratch, “Honestly, Papaw, they just look like a couple small pimples.”

He carries on sharing that he hopes it isn’t shingles or melanoma. Smiling at him, I express that if he feels the least bit worried, he may want a doctor to have a quick browse. He changes the topic to his gall bladder and I listen intently. 

My Papaw is a constant source of comfort to me and he always has been. The man is an amazing carpenter who worked and still works very hard. He told me once, that if he ever sits down long enough to get real still, he’d die, so his work must continue. I believe that if he needs to unveil his trials, I am fortunate to be the chosen listener. 

Mamaw walks in nonchalantly, “Did you know it’s been ten years since my last colonoscopy?” 

I act as if this is common knowledge and she fills us in on her trip to the doctor this afternoon. Mamaw is 76 today. I gift her our shared favorite candle, “Berrylicious,” and she literally jumps in giddiness!

“Oh, I just LOVE this scent, it is my absolute favorite.”

“Me tooooo, it’s THE BEST!” We hug and giggle- this particular scent, we thought had been discontinued. To our delight, they brought it back for a season!

Birthdays are special in our family and I can’t explain how grateful I am to hug her neck here in her home. 

She pulls out a photo album faded  by time,  worn from eager hands anxious to be taken back. We scan each of the pages together. She’s proud. I take in the humanity of my grandmother. I watch with each passing page, how her glorious green eyes remain the same. As we progress, the eyes looking at me  in person are the same as the girl, the young woman, the young wife, the sister, and mother. The sparkle is still there, the vibrancy still there. All that’s changed is the home around them. 


As Mamaw recalls each photo’s happenings, I as usual, am tangled in a mess of nostalgia. Her clothes, her hair, her red-lips, their cars. A part of me longs to be in the picture, seeing it as it was in the moment. Feeling the time, the culture. 

Although I know the story, I ask again, “So, how’d you guys meet?” 

They each take turns reminiscing on the mutual friend’s party where their paths first crossed. They went for a walk and Mamaw was not intrigued. A year later, another party, another walk around the block, and this time-it was love. I teased Mamaw that she must’ve been dreaming of Papaw’s handsome self that whole year! And boy, he loved that! 

They’ve lived in this home nearly fifty nine years, built it together the year they were married. This is a sacred space, and I feel praise arise in me, not to a higher power, but to the Story that lives in these walls. 

I hug them tight as I leave, I take in the faces of my lineage. I think about the joy Mamaw spoke with as she said the names of her people, her people that she longs for. I wince at the reality that one day, they’ll be my people, they’ll be the ones I’ll speak of longingly. The time to cherish is now, not in retrospect…

I walk out the door, Papaw mutters one final comment about his sunspot and I remind him he’s gonna live to be 100. We laugh, but we both believe it…

Another project, another day…