Sky goddess whose long curved body
touches the earth only with the tips of toes
and fingers. Queen of the sun, sky,
music and inspiration, it was her starry belly,
men saw shining in the night
above them over Alexandria or Cairo.
Here in Portland, I lie on the wet grass,
the bright beam of a waxing
full moon illuminates the inky night
like a silk lantern held high. I ask
for some mystical mojo.
These days I can’t get over being old.
It’s new to me, that my life like a book
has to end. Is tonight any different
from all the others? I know an answer
is as likely as hearing the famous gap
in Nixon’s tapes, still I ask.
Why do I hesitate to leave this place,
even though certain
this is not where I’m meant to die.
My tribe. My people: all dead,
gone decades ago to heaven or hell
or just plain done with me,
barely in my dreams any more.
Tell me Hathor, if I give a few falsetto yips,
switch into maniacal laughter, string together
a chattering howl, can I call the pack—
my family group—back together again?
Where is my final home?
What about Seattle, Atascadero
In the clearing, I lay stones
so they point at each of the four directions.
Jade to the west, smoky quartz north,
hematite south, and to the east tiger’s eye.
About the Author: Pat West
Pat Phillips West lives in Portland, Oregon. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including Haunted Waters Press, Persimmon Tree, San Pedro River Review, and Slipstream, and some have earned nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.