Obsidian’s Edge 8

11:00 am
Mist, Mystery, and Magic
Baños de Oaxaca



The steam soaks everything.
Fundy on a foggy day is not this dark.

Fundy 2004 003.jpg


A face looms through the mist
A hand taps me on the shoulder.

The masseur points me
to the next room:
he is a brown man, totally naked …
… he takes a step back,
startled by my whiteness.

The masseur gestures.
I strip off my shorts
and lie on the marble slab.

Incense caresses my brain
with its subtle invasion.


The massage  begins.
Slow karate chops:
the heartbreak
in my muscles
begins to break down.

The masseur hums as he moves.
He drives each note home
with pounding fingertips.

I am the piano.
He is the maestro,
rippling the keyboard
with manipulative fingers.

Beethoven’s storm scene
in the Pastoral Symphony
must feel like this
in the Liszt transcription.

The music accelerates.
I am swept away:
a rudderless ship
on a sea of wild sound.


My abandoned flesh
releases itself to cauterizing
currents of earth and air.

Fundy 2004 004.jpg
My spirit overflows.
Eyes closed, drowsing,
my grey sea of grief
transmutes into
a river of gold.

4 thoughts on “Obsidian’s Edge 8

  1. Thank you, Tanya. The ability to close one’s eyes, meditate, and transport oneself into a different world is simply transcendental, in every sense of the word. Occasionally that tranquil moment is imposed upon us from the outside, although it usually surges up from deep within. I think “imposed” may be the wrong word: encouraged or enhanced might be a better choice. I know what I want to say, but it’s so difficult to express. Now isn’t that just the daily life of a poet?


  2. I had a friend who was really struggling in her life. I remember her describing how a therapeutic massage for an injury completely reduced her to tears and allowed for a great release of emotion. She was the victim of an abusive ex, and her male therapist was the first caring touch from a man’s hands that she had experienced in years. Exquisite capture, Roger…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you. I love the image of the pianist pounding the piano: it was sweet music, though rather brutal. The Mixtec massage is a thing of wonder. Highly recommended: fasting, incense, steam, bath, massage, cold water to revive the soul. It varies from place to place: but it is always something special.


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