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Guest Book

Carayan Press

Your Personal Prophet
©2000 Janet Stickmon

Oh, Teacher. Prophet. Companion.
Announce. Foretell. Prepare.
You clear paths with the stroke of your wrists, premonitions in hand.
Like John and his water of baptism and the sandals he will never carry,
Let your sweet water run through the aches of my wry existence,
Redefining scents, reclaiming pieces of the self.
Revelation comes to you with the painful ringing in the ear like Muhammad.
Like a mother creating, transforming into visionary, revolutionary.
Oh teacher, will you be my personal prophet?

Yes, I will be your personal prophet.
Assigning new meaning to old memories.
For you, a sweet scent evokes the pains,
........ the disbelief of horror,
Of aimless wandering,
........ wandering with hands that hold unfulfilled hope,
With no conceivable place for planting or blossoming,
Awaiting the untimely arrival of spring’s bloom.
Hands that stopped reaching before
........ reaching became an option.
I’ll be your teacher,
The most loving vocation one could ever undertake,
Take, take my hand and I will show you.
Yes, I will be your personal prophet.

You say yes, but do you know what yes means? All goodness besieged.
Fragrances of creams grant the average soul a brief escape.
But for me, there was no escape.
The honeysuckle blossom, reminiscent of clotted blood and still fear.
For awhile, I thought the flowers lost their fragrance,
Then I realized I lost my sense of smell.
Who is willing to cross the threshold of this inferno,
........ where deafening echoes are whispered by unseen lips?

If you dare redefine the scent left behind by fallen rose petals,
Do you promise to gather the scattered petals, as well?
Will you help me reclaim what I deliberately lost?
Lost in the throes of conformity and the brittle bars of essentialism
Forcing me to wait in the confines of my freedom.
Black or Pilipina? Pilipina or Black?
More Pinay than Black? More Black than Flip?
You knew these were the wrong questions!!
From my feet stretch the roots to my ancestors of Labangon, and
To my ancestors of Africa…where in Africa, I have no memory…
Reclaiming pieces of a fragmented and rich legacy,
Transcending generations giving birth to my spirit of today.
Urging my arms to reach out to my tomorrow.

Help me retrieve the precious gifts you thought too highly of,
........ the gems I thought too little of.
You know, I may not recognize them, but you might.
Because you knew me.

Will you tell me I’m enough today,
Today to set me free,
Free so I may fully become who I already am.
Will you be my personal prophet?

Yes, I’ll be your personal prophet?
Like the lover sings to the beloved: “I’ll try to help you remember.”
Not by my power, but yours.
You will gather the forgotten pieces
........ buried by false maturity,
Drawing them into the new.
Now able to smell beauty in the creams,
........ in the violets.
Able to recognize the sound of pain.
Take, take my hand and you will show me.

Continue to Part II of Your Personal Prophet


Copyright ©2005 Carayan Press