Katy Perlman Tribute
"The wind moaning down the valley is your breath Collecting in the channels of your heart."
Since how many lifetimes has a year gone by
When we didn't meet in some fine meadow
In the clear air of April?
Not yesterday or any other day this year
Did you, in your red silk dressing gown,
Slap my shoulder and ask me those questions
I could not find to ask myself.
On New Year's morning I knew it was you
By the sound of sunlight moving through the grass,
The afterimage radiance of a butterfly,
The dense loam under my feet.
Holding the odor of rain.
I recognize you in death even more
Than in this life you left—
That wind moaning down the valley is your breath
Collecting in the channels of your heart.
That blur of stars above the forests
Are your luminous shoulder joints.
Gliding in their sockets as your countless arms
Encircle me, this small, dark child
Dreaming on the wheel of night.
Only your special magic could call us,
One by one, hours after your passing
To witness these miracles of your holy body.
Speech and mind growing unhindered
To fill the infinite container that now holds you.
There were rainbows scattered
In the eyes of those who loved you.
Milk lakes in the gentle speech
Of those who pronounced your name,
And offering goddesses dropped clouds of yellow roses.
Oozing nectar, to where your holy body had been
And now, the bricks removed one by one was gone.
So accustomed to searching, I am startled
To find that you are always here,
Above my head or in my heart.
Uncovering memories I could never,
Till now, quite remember,
So that my whole life suddenly is laid out straight
Under the white light of day.
I will do all I can, precious Lama.
To reveal your simple truth
To this grieving world, the way the irridescent
Patterns of a moth's wing repeat themselves
In the soft bronze glow of lamplight.
Hold us in your loving embrace
And light our minds with your luminous fire.
So that we may increase your special magic
For all mothers who we have learned to love
As dearly as you have loved us.
March 16th, 1984