Translations from The Collective Unconscious:
Ritual Song To Bless The Traveler
by Cheryl Wood Ruggiero
I will go to the camp of the faraway stars.
My mother the fog weaves a net for my doubt,
so it cannot follow.
My father the lightning shows me the road upward.
On nights when the stars rest shimmering in her bed,
my auntie the lake hears them murmur in their rippling sleep.
In the noon heat, as I float in her hammock,
she whispers the passwords for their palisades.
My uncle the towering cloud will loft me through the air,
the wind, my sister, has taught me to leap,
and the fire, my brother, swears to trouble my feet,
so I will.
When you return, says grandfather rock,
you’ll find their campfires here in our eyes,
but only if first, you go.
Who dances at the stars’ fires, traveler?
Crows, with black dust wings.
Who feasts around the stars’ fires, wayfarer?
Stones, with hot round hearts.
Who wakes by the stars’ fires?
Who calls through the dark space?
Cheryl Wood Ruggiero writes and teaches in the mountains of southwestern Virginia, where stars do occasionally rest for the night in the cowpond. Her poetry has appeared in CALYX, South Carolina Review, The 2River View, Wolf Moon Journal, and The Potomac, among others. Some of her fiction is forthcoming in Continuum, Three-Lobed Burning Eye, and Crimewave.
Poem © 2010 Cheryl Wood Ruggiero. All other content copyright © 2010 Abyss & Apex Publishing.
Art Director: Bonnie Brunish