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ECHO HILL STUDIOS
ARTIST: ANN KAHL


IV






Fear: The Middle of Age (What's That?)

Doctor's visit-check up on my health.
"Do you feel older now, or young this year?
Last year you felt much younger than before."
I didn't tell him of my deepening fear.

"It can't go on too long," I tell myself.
And that would seem to be an upward thing.
Aha! but doesn't that right then just say
That one step backward means insanity and a barred spring?

There's hope for me to separate the seasons.
There's hope in finding multitudes of reasons
That spring (what's that?)can only precede Summer.
Then after that the fall and winter will arrive somehow,
And reasons still continue to obliterate what's now.

A look into the future? Dense and hazy.
The hell with you, O busy, busy mind, I shall go now and pick a daisy.



To My Husband

They tell me the earth is a woman.
I know neither heaven nor hell.
Only life.
It is neither either nor both.
Simply life.
I stand with two feet on the rock, on the mountain and know that it cannot crumble beneath me.
They tell me that nature is mother.
I see and I hear, I touch and I sense the realness of fear and the true recompense of the strong steady arms of one man who to me is both nature and earth.
Who with me gave birth
To reason for neither either nor both.

In folly of youth we find answers too soon
In someone to hate and to love.
My life has now traveled so far past its noon
That returning, I'm learning that heaven above
And hell down below
Are coming together and bringing me closer to
Here and to now, and the furrowing brow
Of one man whose striving and listening and waiting,
Has given me all of the lives and the worlds of those so much wiser than I,
Who've been able to know that the sea and the sky and the stars and the space in between
Are the earth, and the nature, the god and the life that is found when in trembling I turn in my bed and find arms that are there in love and in hate and in fear, and the warmths intervene with the pain.
We grow old and we die.

Oh woman, proud woman, you've chosen a mate.
What wisdom in folly, the impulse of youth.
How could you have known that you'd stumbled on truth?
My limbs open wide
To embrace all the earth and the nature and life
The god that is man and is lying here now by my side.





Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot-one man.
Believer in the simplest truth, and courage to obey-betray.
And who among us crucifies our deepest felt convictions?
Perhaps the world will go on when I die.
I cannot say in truth I know it will.
And if I could, I wouldn't be sure what would.
Oh, I have children, reasons for a hundred lies or more.
But I have measured out a modicum of honesty,
And knowledge that I fill my needs somehow,
With restraint immeasurably a figment of my imagination.
Judas, in your strange mold of love and hate and fear, like mine,
Oh you, whom souls enjoin despising, did the hardest thing of all, you made Him die.
You killed your love, your hope, your reason as He asked you to, and that was not your crime, oh Judas.
Cannot you remember now? You had only to forgive yourself, and this you could not do.
No one weeps for you.
No one weeps for Him, whose life you felt you held for just a moment, only one, the moment of your death.
We all weep for ourselves, and nothing more.
Remember how He let you know that He would be alive to you?
You drank with Him His blood and human flesh became the cord.
But somehow you forgot that you were never able to betray, to drink, to eat to sleep, to bid good-day.
How near and yet how far.
I give my love to you.
I am human too.Then my eyes too would bulge, and I could see beyond this blindness made of guilt and fear and "sir, how do you do?"



All Of Those Around Me

All of those around me
Keep striving for the future.
I don't know where they'd put it,
Now takes up so much room.





To My Husband

I want to beat you, pummel you with nature's fury.
I have beaten on you long enough with fucked-up vision.
I'm afraid to beat you with my arms and being.
You've been trained by a strong nation in the art of fighting.
You've been taught the ways of killing in a special school and they've become a part of you.
I would imagine once one's learned to kill
Control must be a natural defense.
And when it breaks, the training stands there, acting on its own, a skill, demanding to be used.
I am afraid of you.
I want to beat you, pit my hundred and twenty pounds
Against your hundred and eighty.
Not win, but know that it's a fair fight.
I want to lose, because when a skinny woman and a vigorous man fight, the woman loses.
My head is tired of using wit to know at what point all of me is threatened.
What a rotten, false embattlement we've structured.
I want to beat you, just to know that you won't kill me.
In a different way than I've been killing you.
Perhaps I'm learning trusting better now.
Could we go out into a snowy night
With boots and mittens-lots of warm soft clothes,
And please, my darling, let me beat you up.
As best I can.
And let the bad part float up in the smog
And hope that it gives energy to some other planet
Which can take it, plant it, and make something grow?



I Am A Fish

I am a fish.
On my chair on the lawn I am between the surface and the ground of the sea.
The wind is fluid, flowing past me and around me.
There in the seaweed before me, is a dogfish, water-wind is ruffling in her furry fins.
The water damp and hot swirls and eddies as it flows, and other fish are singing somewhere in the shining water.
Coral reefs are yellow here, nodding quickly, seeming childish, bobbing in the seaweed-yellow dandelions.
And there I see a sea anemone,
So tulip like it startles me.





A Summer Day

Do you know how cold it is today?
It is so cold that I have put my blankets on.
So many that they reach up to the sky.
They cover me and spread beyond as far as they can go.
And here inside my blankets is my picture of the world around.
Grass, and trees and fences and a horse there in the pasture..
Birds fly from the trees and from the barn.
Apple blossoms waft their fragrance in.
I curl and yawn, my blanket makes me sleepy.
The furry sun is on the other side.
It floats upon the coverlets with not an ounce of weight.
I listen to my blankets swoosh and sing.



Thoughts While Hurtling Over A Cliff

Everything's gone wrong.
I always blamed someone.
Usually it was me.
For not being the kind of person
I thought I should be.
Today I forgot
To have the brakes relined.
And now I'm going to die.
It certainly is amazing!


(continued)



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