BRIGHT AS PEELED APPLES

Just after the last light of day,
on the night of our wedding supper,
as torches were being lit
so all could dance in gold light in a celebrative way,
an old woman arose, one star in each eye,
bright as peeled apples, sharp as sour berries,
and she turned one hand up
as if she was catchen rain drops from a clear sky,
and one down, as if she was blessen grass,
bright seeds and bugs.
So we stopped our jostling
and joking, hip hop and song
to listen, for she was dirt old
with a flair in her eyes
and all could tell she was moved mightily to speak.

“Open your souls,” she cackled and cried,
“like you open your flapping mouths
this laughing night (you’re good at it!),
and gaze in each other’s
eyes until your hearts pop,
for our Grandfather’s knew
(cause our Grandmother’s showed em),
that we are all born streaming out of Great Light
and grinning in it.
Can you be see’en how beautiful you are brothers,
strong like stones in the eyes of women.
And you sisters, take a little look at your flaming selves
in the glitter of each man’s eye.
Go on now — don’t be shy!
Husbands, look now! un see in your lover’s face
the shining she married you for;
and wives, know ya now, all fresh and singing
the brighter secret truth of him!

“How beautiful you are!” she cried, turning slowly around,
then snorted with a wild grunt like a sleeping pig.
She wiped her chin on her sleeve, took out a bandanna
and blew. “You betchy I’m talking to you, and ye know it…” she said,
her scampish eyes looking hard at each one.

“And li’l tippy children,” she chortled with twinkling eyes,
“born like snow streams glistening, spring lambs,
little mischief’s, scamps and natural born rascals every one —
look righty here, in each face and open eye,
and see your bright future: its a sacred freedom calling,
Life’s magic purpose all alive!

“Stand up now! Just ye look around!” she cried,
waving her arms up as if to lift us into air.
“Come on by crickities — you got eyes, don’t ye?
Right out there in God’s dark
there’s a mighty millions o’ trees lifting leafy arms
in great green prayers to the heavens.
Look or be blind will ye: billions o’ birds are sweet sailing
in wild, free oceans of air,
and here, righty at our own feet,
our lazy dogs lie, all slobbery warm and snorting.

“Wake up now,” she cried, “can’t ya tell what God has got up to?
What? Don’t you see what’s being mighty made?
Why its happening, and now, and there it is again!
By jumpity, jiminies and fritters —
a sudden flutter of magical happening
to bless your body and brain!"

With that she took a big gulp of air, as if it was her last,
then sighed. “Snoozens, that’s all I got to say,” she whistled.
“Now I can go home
and sleep in briers and a wild bear’s arms.”

Then she nodded her own approval,
picked up her crooked cane
and with a wink and a cackle
hobbled out the back door into the glistening dark.

And so we did her voice, each one,
and touched Light unfolding
in the back doors of our eyes,
and slipped between time
and the endless becoming
where we hid in the wonder of that
beyond breathing, where everything
shines in a cherished bestowing —
and a great gratitude gushed.

BRIGHT AS PEELED APPLES

Blake Steele

Molkom, Sweden

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Artist's Description

I live a 15 minute walk through the snowy woods from the Angsbaka Festival and Retreat Center in Sweden. Every Saturday the little cafe is open and many of the extended and live-in community gather for a hot cup and good talks. This is an imaginative piece that carries memories of many warm, magical times we have had in the little cafe, and of the divine potential of beauty there is in awake, aware, open human beings.

Artwork Comments

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