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more poetry

Katherine Friedrich

Summer 2004

Elements of the Body

Earth Girl

I heal the woman within the planet within me
the woman with ripe golden eyes and copper skin
brewing the kettle of hope, she is brewing it within
me, within all of us who revel in her wind
she is making tea for the rebel within

I heal the rebel within the city within me
climbing towers, waving banners, begging to be free
of all doubt and fear, she who wants to thumb
her way through the back roads and through history,
leaving muddy fingerprints on the doorknobs of the hall
where the silence listens and the blackboards call
for someone to write a new story on them,
the passionate graffiti of a world that has been
awakened from stone

She is writing the story of the angel within
the rebel within the woman within the earth song
the song that leaps up and dances and waves her sarong
the song that beats the drums and paints her face white
the song that tells us we are being too uptight
trying to cut familiar grooves on a planet that moves
and shifts and speaks like a hollow cave:
"Listen to me and you will be saved."

Healer's Prayer

It begins with the hands.
The deep volition that keeps them moving
across her back, keeps them typing
into the night, reaching for the thread that ties
bone to sinew and sinew to soul.

It begins with the breath.
Breath that builds up crystalline pyramids
and blows them down like confetti.
That blows fresh rain down concrete streets
and washes the messages off of the billboards.

This breath is mine, this hand I take
half human, half divine.
A source untapped, like a maple tree,
covered with thick bark. This possibility
that there is more than the axe. Beyond scarcity
there is light over all our heads, there is sun
trickling into our pores. With the rainfall
we bloom and bloom again. And this is the ecstasy
of dissolving and coming out again
like a dolphin leaping upwards.

The universe is ours
and none of ours, it is a glass on a wave,
a shard of stars, a vast tide
sweeping us on and out of ourselves
saying, "See what you could do
if you only tried."


My Fire and Me

Curling, licking upwards,
filling the space with red-gold radiance,
my fire, my fire and me.
Climbing, reaching from within,
dancing with the breath of air from lung to voice,
from cell to crackling bark, from lumen to light form,
my fire, my fire and me.
Creative, dangerous when misused,
steady and loyal when nourished with printed words,
easily burned out when the fuel seems too far away,
on the other side of a story, a paycheck, a soul too tired for seeking,
a dream that has not wept its fiery tears to transform the day,
a hope that has been held like a subtle blue flame too close to the heart,
my fire has
an endless running river of turbulence cracking open injustice,
an unsteady crackling voice that breaks through its own silence,
a shell that falls away onto the stone floor of the day,
an echo that grows into a chorus, catching like a flame,
my fire, my fire and me.
Curling, dancing upwards,
dancing with the breath of air from silence to printed words,
I call my fire, I call my fire to me.


 Katherine Friedrich is an urban nature girl who connects with life by writing poetry and short stories. A former zine writer/illustrator, she has also had work published in the chapbook A Voice of One's Own and the magazines New Expression, Feminist Voices, Dyverse, Moondance, and Girlswrite.com. She also enjoys studying t'ai chi and aikido.

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