the fire salamander

internet image
empress creek begins as a spring beneath a boulder in the dell
above the bluff. it cascades down the worn stone face of the bluff &
becomes empress waterfall, flowing as creek down to the valley.
this is the place where i am called to honor the old earth mother.

at high-water times the waterfall roars & surges down the bluff,
overflowing the banks as the stream rushes on. in low-water
times the flow trickles down the face of the bluff with hardly a sound,
though the cool air still kisses my face & birds come to drink water.

one summer between high-water & low, i am called to the creek
to place a clear crystal the length of my hand into the water.
this crystal is being cleansed & dedicated to the mother
here at the foot of the small mossy boulder standing as a guardian.

the boulder abides as high as my chest, as broad as it is tall,
covered in emerald moss that sparks with bright diamonds of water.
i see the salamander now, small as the tip of my finger,
glowing bright ruby red, resting on the thick carpet of moss,
regarding me with gleaming eyes: here is the mother, observing!

i expand beyond the human realm, gaze as if from high above
upon this holy emissary, the fire salamander,
sharing in its alchemy. a hand divine touches me in this
intimate domain of trees & flowing water, boulders ranked like
soldiers standing tall. all of life has gathered up its potency
to send this jeweled messenger, whom i thank with humility.

empress creek holds us both in misty air beneath the canopy
of the noble watchful trees. the private holy moment, itself
a wordless prayer, holds me open & enraptured here in the warmth
of the day under the flickering leaves like fingers stroking the air.

Shiva, You gave me this, long before i knew Your name or how to
discern the sweet fragrance of Your hidden essence enfolding me.
although i served the mother then, she naturally led me to You.
You are my holy love, my mighty only love & i will sing
my songs to You, for You fill my heart so full it's overflowing.
all that once seemed so separate now reveals its true connection.

the lead bird

she feels it first & deepest. it is undeniable: the call.
it reaches deep down inside & wraps around her heart pulling her
insistently to her feet, impelling forward, onward, upward!
her wings spread wide, she leaps into the air & the call lifts her up.
the call blends with the wind & she is airborne, soaring in the sky.
a great etheric trail follows in her wake, a sign for action.
it is the vitalizing scent of the call, invoking the flock.

the other members of the flock are mesmerized & magnetized,
enchanted by the alluring trail that invites them to follow.
as one, they beat their wings in a low thrumming thunder, lifting up
into the welcoming surges of wind in the high clear sky: what
a rush it is! what a perfect activity: balancing on
the currents of magnetic energy pulsating from the heart
of the earth to her winged children calling out gladly in flight.

moving in supportive harmony together, the living cloud
of birds dances in tandem with the magnetic heart of the earth,
shaping messages of encouragement on the dome of the sky.

the lead bird now melds into the greater flock in the natural
flow of the long group flight that the planet has set into motion.
a new lead bird moves seamlessly in place to guide the flock's journey.
they follow the call of the living earth to their new food & shelter.

i hear the call too. it sounds like OM & it feels like love, & it
comes from You, Shiva, plunging deeply within, irresistible.
my heart flies with the flock, held safe in the arms of heaven & earth,
each wingbeat a prayer, every utterance a sacred mantra.