Dwell: A Poem for the Divine Mother

womans eye visible behind giant ferns
“Language is the dwelling place of ideas that do not exist anywhere else.” -Robin Wall Kimmerer
 
To stay. To live or continue in a certain state. To dwell
in ignorance. Or to dwell in happiness. As Eve did
 
in Eden. Home. Hut. Dwell. As in birds nesting. Reside
in English means to be motionless.
 
In Hebrew, shakan, dwelling place, often referred to a royal residence.
The rabbis gave it a feminine ending: Shekhinah. Divine mother.
 
You could say: She dwells among us. Consider: Innana dwelling
in a tent of woven reeds. Sarah wove her tent in a grove of sacred oak.
 
Not to dwell on an unpleasant tale — but consider Josiah, Kings. He demolished
the dwelling places, the weavings the holy women made for Her. Cast Her out.
 
Dwellen, from the Old English: to lead astray. In Hebrew, a verb:
to live like a nomad as in: on the banks of which story will you pitch your tent?
 
Dwell in a time before exile. Before destruction. When reeds danced
in the marshes, as the women danced in the fields. It says dwell
 
in the Hebrew text is rendered by the phrase, ‘Let the Shekhinah rest.’
Unless we’ve been led astray. In which case let Her sway.
 
The moon dwells in the night. Crescent of an eyelid long closed
now lifting.
 

Note: the author wrote this poem while in the process of co-creating a ritual for Sukkoth with a friend/Kohenet, as we dream together into the sacred dwelling places of our foremothers, the Hebrew matriarchs – and their foremothers.

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