Moondance Inspirations, Searching the Soul
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Making Time
The Walls Have a Soul
An Abundance of Self
Luminary
Jane Butkin Roth


Sitting in a building--a church, a house, a school--looking for a history,
some lesson to be learned. But all you find is someone else's story,
then another,
until your head fills with too many stories and
your only connection is through the touch--the words,
the histories of other peoples' prejudices and preferences.
It's like staring into the sun too long;
it makes you blind.

You can't tell which influences are guiding you--conscience, or guilt and
reckoning. You are so hungry for affirmation you will swallow anything.

Sometimes you just can't turn your head from all that bright light until you
trip up in your thirst, your black drought of venture and
misadventure.
Taking steps that only land you in confusion,
only feel like imitation.

Until one day you take one brave step, and that step propels a misstep, an
accident,
and the momentum takes over and you are caught in an avalanche and
there is no more sun, no light, no voices, no history.
Just you, in the middle of a surprise snowstorm.

The Immortal Light by Jeffrey Bedrick

And it happens so fast there's no way to retrace
your steps.

The groundcover is too thick. It's as if no one went before and
your own steps are irrelevant.

Then it happens. You arrive in a moment of perfect clarity.
You don't know where you are,
only that you've arrived.

In that instant you are witness to something beyond all the facts that led you here,
and the people and knowledge
and stories that held you.

Until now.

You find a place where the only noise is the hush of snow falling and
the full white breath of you.

You are lucky to have a moment like this, just one faithful second when you know you have shined as if you were your own sun, a glittery speck amidst the stars, knowing that's all you can hope for--

something small, distant, luminous.

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Jane Butkin Roth's works of fiction, essays and poetry have appeared in over sixty publications, including Pearl, Rattle, the Houston Chronicle newspaper, the Owen Wister Review, Essential Love (an anthology on the parent/child bond), Rag Mag, Jewish Women's Literary Annual, Poets Market 1999, Lilliput Review, Maelstrom, Pleiades, The Old Red Kimono, and ArtWord Quarterly. Roth feels poetry harnesses the essential moments--the bites--of everyday living, in all their simplicity, wonder, confusion, joy, sorrows and intricacies--and gives them voice, even lives of their own. Inspiration for poems comes from strange and mysterious places--from fragments of conversations, losses and celebrations, observations, or from another dimension she doesn't understand, but gratefully accepts. A native Oklahoman, Roth lives in Houston with her three children, who provide the most profound inspiration of all.

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Artwork "The Immortal Light" by Jeffrey Bedrick.
See more of his work at http://www.jeffreykbedrick.com.

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