myth and poetry

Mythopoetry Scholar

Annual Reflections In Depth Perspectives
Mythopoetry Scholar eZine vol. 3 2012
Two Poems
"In the Center of the Fire Is Beauty Way " and "Ancestor Walk "
-Judith Kennedy Mazis

In the Center of the Fire

Navajo Hozho or Beauty Way


On her river island
the girl tastes bee pollen
in a tiny palm of green


A sweet milk settles
in the belly of Manuelito
as the bleeding calf is bound


An arrowhead is lodged
in whitewashed bone
where a daughter lay weeping


She stacks five stones
in red mud
and sits as still


Cirrus clouds and winter
stars mix with fire
and plumes of sorrow


She awakens under
seventy swirls of
turquoise, pearl shell,
black blanket sky



Ancestor Walk

I stand on this windy crest of your mountains
Berry and Mahantango as your ancient breath
moves through the flags at these stones,
as the earth rises to greet you,
it rises to greet you through me,
your hills, your calcined barns, the ghosts
of your carriages, the torn pages of your character
sketches reside in these bones,
in the brittle, vermillion leaves of thought
that are swept in the glass of this water at midnight,
as I reach back the primitive path and see the faces
of your mothers’ mothers’ mothers, great and diminutive.
The mastadon stalks, you look away, the point of your arrow
cannot pierce the stance of this world,  yet the crimson
still shines in the heart as you speak in the stirrings
of the place where you lived, the place that greets you
through me. The trees welcome your return,
their skeletal branches sift your scattered dust in four directions,
your four pollen pathways reach in all directions,
your ashes are blown as your refinements gather
at this cliff’s edge where we stand together
gazing across receding horizons.

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Judith Kennedy Mazis
Judith Kennedy Mazis, MS, MA, LPC is a psychotherapist, poet and riverside philosopher in Marietta, PA.  She lives on the Susquehanna River with husband Glen and their two dogs, Rosie and Sophie. She studied religion at Syracuse University and clinical psychology at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.  Her poetry appears in Poem, Elipsis, Friends Journal, and Atlanta Review

_______________2013 UPDATE

The poem In the Center of the Fire has been set to music for choir by composer Bruce Pennycook of the Sarah and Edward Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin.  

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