Note: please listen to the poem here: https://soundcloud.com/gina-marselle/glory/s-RBmKOssZVEB I. There was a time before I loved horses. I was so little then, I probably had a made up name for horse. By the time I was 7 or 8, that is all I talked about. Soon, my soul transformed into a horse. I had a best friend horse, a soulmate before I turned 10. Santa brought her, and we were inseparable for 16 years. Her hoofbeats summoned my dreams, we galloped into a love not of this earth. Ancient like the desert sands. Horses became a mantra for breath. Then, I only dreamed for 20 some years. Now, a daughter raised, a son who is 9, I have this rescue horse that isn’t a dream, he breathes fire into my heart. He’s desert bound with the clear, blue sky as his kingdom. II. This afternoon, I felt most lost to myself. When I get like this, when my anxiety is about to break me, I drive to Edgewood. As soon as I pull into the stable, I see the horses. When I close my car door, I can already hear my horse nickering his greeting. Shaking his head. Trotting in his paddock. His tail raised high telling everyone that he is an Arabian horse. The color of midnight. His nicker makes his body quiver. His hello is for me—or for carrots. Today, he gets a giant Honeycrisp apple and leftover, bruised pears my son didn’t eat during the week. III. I try to remember life is lovely. Days are blessings. On days that I forget, I take a drive to Edgewood. to find that little girl I use to be. She was brave, courageous. She had a loud laugh. She rode bareback and galloped over the hillsides. I don’t ride my rescue horse. I don’t have that courage anymore. Instead, I dream we are running wild across the desert landscape. We are one as we chase the wind, leaving plumes of dust in our wake. The sun sits warm on our backs. My mother died last September. I have been a little lost. My husband moved out last October. I became a little more lost. COVID-19 never left. I became a little more lost. My horse doesn’t understand his job, but his therapy keeps my heart beating. In my dreams, we gallop until the suns and stars meet in glory. IV. This says to the world more than any poem, that I am before all else a lover of horses. In my soul, my bloodstream. My very heart beat. Fascinating is that a human heart and a horse’s heart can begin to synchronize within 35 feet of each other. The only thing closer, I think, is when the mother is pregnant with her child. God knew before I was born, that my spirit belonged to the horse. My mother loved horses. My mother’s mother loved horses. I love horses. I'm a protector of them. V. I believe this love will be the last memory of mine, as my final breath leaves my body. I hope that as I enter into the next light, I am granted a steed to ride the stars wildly and happily. If a shooting star you see, call me Joy as my hands merge into one with the fire mane of my horse’s light. My laugh will be loud. My smile wide. I will send light. And my loved ones will know joy. © Gina Marselle, January 8, 2022 Note: This poem was inspired by a writing prompt shared by Liza Wolf Frances (https://saturdays-sirens.com/liza-wolff-francis/). We read a poem by Lisa Fay Coutley called: Letter to the Aftermath. We created a word bank to use in a poem we wrote. My word bank from Coutley’s poem was as follows: heart shape, fall, leaves, 73 °, sunny, plumes of white clouds, desert, mountain, chickens, dirt, son, leaves, tomatoes, horse snort, sun and stars, warm air, peaches, bruised pears, apples and dust. To learn more about the poet, visit here: https://lisafaycoutley.com/poems/.
…then my breath became spirit
Escaping so free
Gravity melting breath like butter
Along silken skin into a river
Breathing in water breath
Sacred heart center
Breath is the color of fire
Purple, red, yellow
Exhaling breath spirit
Gravity slows racing heart
Lungs are full
I can hold my spirit
Or set her free
Wild like horses
Galloping into the river’s edge
This is an image of my horse out on a trail ride. Rafiq is a rescue Arabian. Photograph was taken by the trainer, Elisa Bohannon who is the owner and trainer at Blue Barn Stable. More info on Blue Barn: https://www.facebook.com/BlueBarnEquine/
by Gina Marselle, November 2020
“Alive and well–
release what doesn’t belong,”
a mantra imagines.
I release this worry, heavy like a crow
sitting empty on a branch
near a river’s edge–
This pandemic is like a broken wing
filling my head with fear,
allowing anxiety to bear her weight.
Weighing my heart down until breath is shallow
breathe in to the count of 4
hold for the count of 4
exhale for the count of 8
My breath feels weak, without belief.
Prayers are empty. The sky has little light.
A corner of the blue sky smells like lilacs in autumn–
jealous my lungs gulp deep.
I try to center.
Palpating the naked earth between my toes,
as the wind arouses my hair.
I seed my toes into the earth’s belly
experiencing the enormity of time.
Earth has survived all the pandemics.
What can I learn from her?
I am silent. Listening.
I hear her enormous gulps of air,
she sighs a tremendous breath.
She utters in a voice as endless as time,
“You are alive and well–
release what doesn’t belong to you.”
I gulp her breath as my own,
kiss it deep into my center–
whisper out this mantra
until the crow heals and takes flight.
The branch snaps back with strength, the weight lifted
and without fear, worry
dances carefree in the quiet breeze
as the early morning light lifts higher into a dim sky.
LOTS OF LOVE OUT
Do you need strength in this moment?
Have you forgotten to love self?
To feel loving kindness?
Are you wandering from room to room?
Or sitting numb on your couch?
Are you cleaning the kitchen, again?
The bathroom, again?
Scrubbing boredom away.
Empty hours stack up—minutes turn into days.
Time is endless.
The only excitement is groceries being delivered
and finally, they had in stock a beautiful, organic tomato.
A prayer of thanks.
In the garden, your seeds just begin.
You pull weeds so seeds have room to grow.
The sun shines today.
The dog carries his ball in his mouth,
his tongue out the side panting.
The birds sing,
a Cooper Hawk flies from tree to tree
It is the little things
that bring breath
and calm. Lilacs bloom.
You give some to your daughter
so she can place on her nightstand.
You make her blueberry banana muffins with crumble on top,
plain banana muffins for son.
After a shower and clean hair, the night settles.
Your prayers and wishes
for connection settle the soul.
It is not in others, but in self that prayers are answered
in the little things—
all tremendous blessings hidden in sweet
breaths. Inhale, exhale.
Big breaths in. Lots of love out—
sleep brings peace and tomorrow is a new day.
© Gina Marselle, 2020
Red is the color of breath.
Splendid since colors named,
endless as time.
It symbolizes everything
about the past, present and future.
It follows extremes.
It sways in the moonlit breeze.
Flits like a feather toward the Rio—
graceful on the current.
Swaying with the evening stars and winter clouds.
Red covers cold air with warmth.
Red holds sacredness,
places it on heart
quiet note at a time—
like Maria sings
to the children
in Sound of Music
high up where snow blankets mountain tops
like ocean whitecaps.
This is no rescue.
Sand is old.
It knows more stories than
our Sandia and Rio combined.
It mixes with blood of life
with Passion of Christ
from dust to dust.
Red is the color of breath.
It flits south hungrily now on the moonlight
like a rabbit baits coyote, as a red tail hawk hunts.
Winter is ending, an unremarkable taciturn,
an endless blackness—
waiting for spring to release winter
to release depressed thoughts—
anything the mind packed.
Now, Red, flits over the mesa
to the peak of the Sandia’s.
Calls out to black bear—
soft and gentle,
an unhurried request
to release spring.
In its journey finding ways to heal,
Red plunges into sun,
as red tail hawk dives for mouse.
Gratitude as Sun
gives breath to morning sky.
There are no answers—
Red mediates in this blessed silence honoring
life as Earth wakes. Soon, Red blends
into all colors so others may revere.
©Gina Marselle, 2020