A pelican sits on a rock
alone in the centre of a circle,
the circle of a cup.

The Rock is like a tree,
with roots that reach into the centre,
travelling into the sea.

They descend,
like a trail of dirty water,
like the body of a snake,
like the arms of an octopus –


pushing down;
taking everything,

until the pelican is left:
master of a puddle,
lord of a stump.


Turn him upside down
and he becomes an angel,
a back-to-front J.

J for Jeremial:
He who helps those who are stuck.

He is also the angel of death,
but I don’t think this particular point
is applicable here;

unless the meaning is
part of what since
has passed.


Above the angel is a trunk:
of rock,
of wood,
of light;

a trunk that is a portal,
to both the pelican
and God.

Standing beneath this shaft,
showering in all that comes over:
he fills his soul up,
then disappears into the All that Is.


Horses gallop across the sky.
A crow complains.
A dog looks at the moon;

And in amongst it all –
in an indistinct nowhere,
in an irrelevant somewhere:

a woman unravels,
beginning to stand up.

by Rebecca L. Atherton


To be healed is having an awareness that you were never broken

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