What Lies Beneath


My dear friend emailed me this poem on February 18th, ten days before my little brother traveled into the Summerlands. I have read her words more than thirteen times since. And every time I do, I smile, I cry, I mind-dance… I celebrate the love my sister-in-law and my little brother shared.

What Lies Beneath,” by Rommy Driks

The fresh turned earth crumbles beneath my fingers
Caked onto my ring and under my nails
I stop, inhaling its scent
It’s pleasant enough
But nothing like
Your skin mixed with the fragrance of lavender carried by the wind
Or the sweet spiciness of cinnamon lingering on your lips
I examine the stark pearly perfection piled besides me
Here are the legs that raced to my side
Here are the arms that embraced me fiercely
Pure
And picked clean of all pretense
Reduced to their hard and simplest beauty
I reverently mingle them with the earth
My spade fills in the rest
The soft sound of earth returning murmurs your name
I never wanted your name to be a whisper
A furtive breath said quickly with the hope no one could hear
I wanted to roar your name
To let ecstasy fuel my lungs
To sing and dance and proclaim myself yours
But then, what would that have done?
There would have been whispers then
“There goes the mad girl.”
“Madness has stained her reason.”
“The stink of sin is upon her!”
No, it’s better like this I think
I pat the last of the earth down
Tenderly tucking in some jasmine seeds
Crooning a soft lullaby
How lovely they will be!
Purest alabaster, as you are now
And oh, how they will be admired so!
And how they will nod approvingly
“Look at the blooms beneath her fingers.”
“Have you ever seen such ivory perfection?”
“Have you ever breathed in such a heady scent?”
And I will smile
Knowing that I have
Because I know what lies beneath

***

“What Lies Beneath” filled me with the same kind of wondrous bliss that touched my heart the first time I laid eyes on Laura Kinney’s Forest of Bones. It was the reason why I asked the two artists if they would allow me to present their work together. I was thrilled when they didn’t only agree, but also understood the reasons behind my need: I had to show you how Laura’s gentle heart cleans, polishes and brings bone beauty back to life, while Rommy’s deep soul removes dead skin, rejects misconception, and honors love that goes to the bone.  

Witches in Fiction 2013… to the Bone’s 12th giveaway, sponsored by Forest of Bones, is a magical celebration of Pagan Culture’s 4th blogoversary theme. I hope the Wicked Darling who wins these earrings and necklace love them as much as I love bones and what they mean to my witchy heart ;-)

Rattle Snake Vertebrae Bone Earrings and Armadillo Bones Glass Vial Necklace
the earrings
- vertebrae bones
- two vertebrae per earring
- strung on wire with a red crystal bead & dangle heart charm
- gun metal fish hook wires
- hang approximately 1 ½” long
the necklace
- 1 ” glass bottle contains tiny assorted Armadillo bones (scutes and teeth)
- twisted wire with beads around bottle neck
- red suede lace with wooden beads (lightly knotted, hang at desired length)
- approximately 12” long
*found along the side of the road,
*cleaned and then sun dried by Laura
*her love and respect for nature wraps itself around each piece

Answer the following for a chance to win some of the beauty that lies beneath:
How do you feel after reading Rommy’s poem? When would you wear Laura’s earrings and necklace? 
If you don’t wear jewelry, where would you keep these pretties if you win them?

for extra entries:
- visit Forest of Bones, on Etsy; come back to tell me about your favorite item (one entry)
- many people are terrified of bones—especially skulls—why do you think that might be? (one entry)
- write a 13-word poem that includes the words bone, spring, and love (three entries)  
* This is an international giveaway  
* Ends Tuesday, April 16th at 5:13 pm EST
Happy 4th Blogoversary, my Wicked Darlings ;-)

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64 comments:

  1. Rommy poem made me feel exultant, and a little like a co-conspirator. It's wonderfully written to convey the scents and textures of the scene.

    I'd probably make up excuses to wear the earrings and necklace. ;) I have plenty of outfits they'd go with.

    Seriously: I think people are frightened of bones because of what the they represent - death. In the dawn of people, and until rather recently in our history, if bones were visible then that person was dead or soon-to-be-dead. It was frightening to our earliest ancestors for good reason, and I think that's stuck with us (again, with good reason). And if the skull is visible, there's really no doubt about the outcome.

    From a more spiritual perspective, I think we know intuitively - whether it reaches our conscious thought or not - that our bones are our innermost core. There's a daunting degree of respect which we intuit must be paid, though we may not know how to do so. That alone could cause some concern.

    I'll give that 13-word poem so thought... I loves me some writing challenges ;)

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    1. [I got it!]


      Ancient bones
      grown fresh beneath the flowers
      crumbled legends for Spring's new love.

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    2. I can't believe I forgot to say what my favorite piece is from Forest of Bones!

      I stared at that blue painted deer skull for probably an hour. It's so beautiful <3

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    3. I, too, have found myself enthralled by Laura's art, so don't feel too bad. I have one of her boar jawbones hanging over my altar, and it's lovely powerful.

      I jump in the "exultant" "co-conspirator" broom ride!

      I love the bit about "crumbled legends" as in fertilizer to make today's spring stronger ;-)

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  2. Magaly... my gods, girl, I am sitting here at 4am reading this poem and trying not to cry! This has thundered to me in my own voice. This is very like my story... love mistaken for madness, and sin, yet the truth - as you say, gently and thoroughly scraped clean of misconception, shining bright with all the things people may not want to see... and still misunderstood even when seen plainly. I could write for hours...

    of love unrequited, arrested, caught dead in stasis and waiting to be freed
    of love already released that is damnation and salvation in the same stolen breath

    And then it speaks of the love for my children as well...

    I think... I would wear these in Summer months; they speak of warmth and sun and growing things to me. I would wear them to remind myself of the beauty of bared truth and no pretending. I would wear them when I feel weak and helpless, to remember what I am trying to resurrect from the bones of what I have left - and then when the flesh and blood returns, I would wear them to remind myself of where I have come from, of the structure that lies beneath... to remind myself never to bury the bones so very deeply again. And perhaps to open the way for a little truth to be shared with others, when it may be right to do so.

    as for Forest of Bones... The lizard skeleton on the mushroom stand is my favorite. Lizards were an obsession of mine for some time when I was younger - my uncle even carved a special staff and made a special drawing for me in his own unique style, with "my" lizards. And to see a skele-lizard, well... it takes me back to that time, and makes me wonder if there are bones in those memories that need digging up and gnawing on...

    This may sound trite, but I think the reason people fear bones and skulls may be a simple one: they remind humans that life is short, that Death awaits, and that the other side of that pathway is a mystery. It's the final journey, the last Rite of Passage, and no one knows for sure what awaits afterward. Even we who remember lives before have nothing but those memories to go on; after all, there is no guarantee for a continued future after death even in those memories. Humans fear the unknown, and bones are symbols of the greatest unknown of the human existence.

    Then again, they're also symbols of having our innermost being bared for all to see... or the innermost, well, of anything and everything really... in a macro/microcosm relational sort of way, and that also frightens most people. I know it does me... not everyone wants to see what the bones of a thing (whether that be their own inner selves, or their beliefs, or something external) look like.

    Spring's long past;
    but the Mother's old bones
    stir with Love's deep dreaming.

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    1. It is difficult to read Rommy's words and not to cry a bit for all the right reasons. And I agree, "I would wear them to remind myself of where I have come from."

      I love the sense of beauty, life and death your poem gives out ;-)

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  3. I'm not entering this giveaway, but I had to pop in to say: What a wonderful poem, truly beautiful.

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    1. I'm glad you stopped by. Some words shouldn't be missed ;-)

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  4. The poem is such a living work of art...how can a few words describe how it makes me feel? It gives me peace and opens a world of celebrating departure. Wonderful words and soothing rhythm. Very moving!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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    1. "...celebrating departure" in "soothing rhythm..." I like!

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  5. The first time I ready Rommy's poem, I sat in a stunned silence of the soul that left me breathless, unable even to sob. It is simply one of the most beautiful expressions of enduring love I have ever read.

    Seeing it here, again, paired with Laura's amazing work touches me more deeply,yet.

    Thank all three of you ladies.

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    1. I'm glad not to alone in these feelings. I couldn't finished my first reading on one sitting. I had to stop halfway, cry a bit and continue enjoying Rommy's celebration of life. And Laura's work, are a celebration that can be touched.

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  6. I adore the author of the poem. She is one of my favorite people on the planet, and her talent is amazing. I'm so glad she shared this with all of us, and that you posted it here. A perfect combination :)

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    1. I think I've thanked Rommy about 5 or 13 times for the pleasure and the honor. Some words stay with us, and words like her become part of us.

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  7. How do I feel after reading those lines??? Euphoric...because I know I have shared that kind of love...so deep that my bones ache at the remembrance :) XXX

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    1. I love the feeling of knowing that my friends have loved and been loved all the way to the bone. It makes me feel happy and extremely lucky, for that kind of loving is contagious ;-)

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  8. The blue painted Deer skull would look AWESOME on my alter!!!! :D XXX

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    1. It is a great piece. I dream with having one of her skulls in shades of black and red--I see if becoming the center of my altar ;-D

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  9. I would wear the jewels to my MIL's for dinner...just to see if she asked lol :D XXX

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  10. People fear bones because seeing them makes them face up to our own inevitable end....:D XXX

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    1. Sometimes are wonder if people realized that embracing the through that is held in the bones would make their life much more enjoyable, and fear free...

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  11. From Spring we birth,
    Bones back to earth.
    Immortal Love defines our worth.

    Ooow...quite pleased with that :D XXX

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    1. "Immortal Love defines our worth."

      Indeed, and I'm quite pleased with that, too :-D

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  12. I want to tell the One Living This Poem that there is nothing wrong with letting the madness of grief stain her reason. I want to tell her/him to spit at those who say it is. Then I want to help her water her seeds :)through the tears.

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    1. Oh, yea....I would wear the lovely bones to a performance of Julius Ceasear (http://www.elmshakespeare.org/#) as, for all of the flowing language, Shakespeare often is the bones other written & spoken words have grown from.

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    2. "there is nothing wrong with letting the madness of grief" scream at reason to back off for a while... while Life sleeps quietly into Death's shroud.

      Methinks Shakespeare would highly approve of bone attire ;-)

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  13. The Florida anole is my favorite item in the Forest of Bones. The one time I visited my folks when they lived in Fl., those sweet little creatures were everywhere. One even stood still long enough for me to gently stroke its' back.

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    1. Aren't they just gorgeous? I love visiting Laura's blog and delighting in all her creatures ;-)

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  14. I think that many have bought into the idea that deaths' remains are contaminated. Mostly, there is such a strong disconnect between the sides of Lifes' coin (breathing & not). A pity.

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  15. Damp loam releases Springs' perfume:
    Morel bones, Roots snapping
    Into blooms--Loves' caress.
    (now I have the most horrible munchies for morel mushrooms! ;)

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  16. Rommy's poetry elicits emotion where a simple story would otherwise be lost. I have enjoyed reading her works for some time now, though rarely do I reply - not because I feel there shouldn't be any, but because my words cannot adequately express what I would convey.

    This jewelry...I have begun hoodoo root working, and the vibrant energies present within these bones...the spirit of the animal commingled with the minerals which are a part of the earth and bear Her energies as well...these I would use to their fullest, wearing them when I wish to be infused with that power or wish those energies to be a part of my own energies. If not worn in their traditional sense, then honored and kept in a sachet, anointed with Van Van oil and kept close to the heart.

    Over on the Etsy page - I really like the forest fairy bones. Out of all of them, I'm drawn to this one enough that I'll most likely be purchasing it after I pick up my check later on today. :-)

    As to why people are disturbed by, creeped out by, frightened, or otherwise terrified by bones and skeletons, I believe that it has to do, more than anything else, with reminding us of our own mortality. Here is something (or someone) that was once alive, and now their flesh is gone, all that is left behind that was of them is a grinning skull and bleached bones. We can still see what they looked like in those bones, human or otherwise and it reminds us that they're gone, whereas deep in our own subconscious, we know that this is our inevitable, inescapable fate as well.

    Now for my poem :-)
    I've entitled it "Imbolg"

    Spring's verdant whisper
    Love and life return
    Chill lingers
    Twixt stone and bone

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    1. David, you comment reads like a song. I can't imagine you not being able to express exactly what your soul sings after having read the words above.

      And your poetry makes my head swoon and my heart sway...

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  17. Rommy's poem is filled with so much love, but there is pain in there too. I feel it is a forbidden love. A love so deep, she couldn't share. It is truly beautiful. I felt happy and sad at the same time.
    I would wear Laura's earrings and necklace everywhere! Show them off and have people ask me what they are ;o)
    If I didn't wear them, I would have them displayed in my little black shadow box I have.

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    1. "happy and sad at the same time." I agree, just like those wondrous moments in life when we are left not knowing wish would feel better if laughing or crying, so we just cackle between tears.

      And I can't wait to wear my bone earrings in the summer with my hair up to see if people ask. I might fib and tell them that I had to fight snakes in a plane in order to get the vertebrate ;-)

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  18. I love the blue painted deer skull! I think it is so dramatic! I love it!

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  19. I think people are terrified of bones, because they see death. They see the unknown.

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    1. And the unknown can be quite unsettling, indeed...

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  20. The love of Spring is upon us.
    Flowers bud, grass grows, trees bloom.
    Quivers of excitement hit my bones.

    (Does that count? I said bones, instead of bone?)

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    1. Bones quivering in excitement? Of course that counts!

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  21. With the recent death of my father, I read this with new eyes...

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    1. I understand that feeling, having lost my little brother just a few weeks ago.

      I pray your father's soul traveled to where her wanted to be.

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  22. Oh honey, what a beautiful post. You have such a gift for digging, unearthing, baring, and then comforting the recesses of my soul. Warmest blessings to you, my lovely friend. Mina

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    1. She does indeed. Rommy can definitely get to the bone and find all the soft and pretty ;-)

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  23. The deer jawbone with teeth decorated with flowers and wings is gorgeous!

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    1. I have a boar jaw bone, and it's gorgeous, too!

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  24. I think most people are afraid of bones, mainly skulls because we are so far removed from the natural elements of life that we view death as something to be feared and dreaded.

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    1. The fear of the uncanny, so deep and so unavoidable...

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  25. I feel like running out and gardening, and just spending the day enjoying the earth and everything it has to offer. I would probably keep them on my alter while I wasn't wearing them, and I would wear them to random events (like a trip to Walmart cause I'm cool like that).

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  26. I think the poem is really beautiful. It gives me a sense of calm and peace for some reason.

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    1. And I would wear them any day of the week. I love bones. I think most people are repulsed or scared of them. But I really like them. I really like when people are able to find bones out in nature and create beautiful item with them.

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  27. I was immediately drawn to this: http://www.etsy.com/listing/99596481/window-art-wings-flowers-purple-ribbon?ref=shop_home_active

    Absolutely stunning, especially since I adore butterflies :)

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  28. I think people are terrified of bones and skulls because they represent death. And death is often a very scary thing. It represents the end and the unknown.

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  29. Ahh, Romey's poem make's me feel... satisfied, I like knowing there's more to her story than the others that judge the action, I like knowing there was something that makes the judgement of 'madness' so wrong & I like that she see's that in the future she will be validated :) Wonderful poem, so intense & beautiful.

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    1. I'm right with you about the "satisfied" feeling. I found myself thinking, "I can live (and die) happy with this."

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  30. I feel youth are rarely frightened by bones & skulls, actually often they are fascinated, I think the older we get the more we realise they represent a life no longer lived and the whole ashes to ashes senario, the bones don't change, our perception of them does.

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    1. I knew there was a reason why I love skulls and bones so much: I'm sooo young!!!! ;-D

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  31. I'd wear the jewellery EVERYWHERE and keep them on my tiny driftwood tree that my Big F made for me :) oh & LOVE the window art in 'Forest of Bones' Esty collection - wings & flowers on purple ribbon, captured the essence of outdoors to gaze at if sitting indoors :)

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    1. Now I want to see the "tiny driftwood tree" Big F made you ;-)

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  32. "there goes the mad girl" ............honey, i am the mad girl......and yes i would wear them... i'll even post pics of me wearing them on my facebook page :)

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