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You are here: Home Resources E-Newsletter Archive Spring 2009, Issue III Snake Around the Sun

Snake Around the Sun

A poem by Ayla Carter, Adult Wilderness Quest, September 2008

Like claps of thunder
Through virgin canyons
Just as dusk descends and shadows slowly fill
The once lit void

That call for me
“Come home, dear one, come home”

I am so far away
I look in each direction,
Trying to discern your voice, trying to follow your voice
Between the canyon walls.

I run
Sure I have found you
But silence swallows me
And I know I am lost.

“Come home, dear one, come home”

I see shadows
A dark blanket;
A curtain descending from the heavens
To put the day to rest.

New sounds
Foreign sounds
Sounds that match the darkness I find myself in
They scare me until I realize dying
Would be no worse
No worse than this isolation from my truth.

I spend the night in this foreign land
And welcome the demons
As I shake bravely in the
Circle of my prayers

You come for me
You come
I am torn open
My flesh eaten, my blood,
Poured into vats of cool red wine.
The feast goes on three days, three nights

In the end,
The gods are pleased and welcome me back
Into the great mystery
But I am not the same and I do not know who I am in
The mirror reflecting back at me.

My bones feel small
My flesh feels tight
My limits feel binding and no longer nourish the thirst
Threatening to consume me

I have dreamed the big dream
Danced the sacred dance
I have called and laid upon the throne of sacrifice
All of who I am
All of who I once wanted to be

I stand on new legs
That walk me to my new life.
I look with new eyes
On a lift that does not belong any longer
To the old eyes.
I am disoriented in my experience
Disoriented on my new legs.

I am a woman in two worlds
I tread light in both
But I must dance as if to wake the gods
I must shake as if
To cause earthquakes to change the clinging of continents
To a particular shore.

I must let out the voice sending echoes
Down the canyon…
I must surrender my rigid back
And coil like a snake
Around the sun.

I must relinquish my doubts
Relinquish my fears
And stand in the empty place
All of who I am
And all of who I was surrenders
Its mighty grasp
Must stand in that empty place

I stand
In that empty place…

And now
there is nothing
And now
there is all
But there is not me
And there is not I


Only the shimmering of sun light
On a river going to its destination where
It too is no longer
Anything or anyone.

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