Reflections at Chief Looking Glass
We go into the river knee-deep
then tread the rocks underneath
pulling ourselves along in the current
Two days ago I sat on a rock
in Rattlesnake Creek
icing my foot in the cold mountain water
having hurt my ankle going downhill.
You sat next to me
and kissed my ears, lips and neck
and observed the little water bugs
who had made shells out of the tiny rocks
covering their bodies like mosaics.
I said, “They must secrete a saliva
that makes the sandy rocks stick”
–like my emotions all sticky
attracting memories and sensations
of the present like so many colored rocks:
rose and green and gray-blue and black and mahogany
encasing me in a kind of ready-made shell,
my feelers out and tingling, smelling the currents.
Now I look at the river reflecting the sun
and wonder whether or not to let you in,
my toes feeling the water’s edge
as I dry myself off with a towel.
I think of taking a picture of you
on the sandy spit – but I can’t
since the image of my old lover
pops up like some reminding ghost.
Old Chief Looking Glass winks at me,
the wide Montana sky opening up in a huge arc
reflecting off the river
reflecting off the you and me standing under it
and I cannot say or do anything
but pull away into my shell.
—–by Bea Garth
He lies with me
a descendant of the Aegean,
his head looking like
that on an ancient golden cup.
Son of the Minoans,
the hair on his chest and back
dark and curly and sensuous
as tender green shoots
of milfoil—healing all wounds
except the one in my deepest heart.
He is a more than friend
friend, this traveling companion:
we kiss and caress, our passions rising,
yet we turn apart:
he feels such love would be immoral,
he feels he will only share himself fully
with the one he loves
beyond friendship, beyond sensuality.
In the darkness he cries out,
he has had a nightmare:
he is lying naked and someone is poking him,
violating him with sticks.
I would love him but must leave him alone
despite the fact that I love his touch and kiss:
he drives me mad with pleasure,
he drives me mad with his fears,
descendant of the Aegean, descendant of Thalos.
Those eyes look at me so clear blue, gray, green
as if they were reflecting the ocean,
his hair like tangled seaweed
capping that face.
This is an adventure being with him
sharing this time and space,
our bodies holding each other
as if we were at sea while remaining apart
about to swim to separate destinations.
For now I take mental pictures
and explore the feel of the currents
and the taste of salt.
Note: Milfoil is another term used for the herb Yarrow, also known as Achillea Millefolium, or Soldier’s Wound Wort—referring to Achilles who reportedly staunched his and his soldiers’ wounds with it.
—–by Bea Garth
how it was
with your long johns,
your bony body
inside its cocoon
of tightly drawn sheets,
slowly drifting towards yours,
you starting to rub
against my thigh
under all that cotton,
buzzing and rippling
your smile edging
that tongue nibbling
the entire bed seeming
–our unsheathed bodies as innocent and sly
as sea pups in paradise.
—–by Bea Garth
Bio: Bea Garth is known for creating visually rich narrative poetry as well as for her unique figurative ceramic sculpture, drawing and painting. Early on Bea was influenced by her grandfather’s love of poetry as well as her great aunt’s love of Asian art plus her parents’ early occupation as archaeologists. This has given Bea a real feel of living in a multicultural and multi-leveled world. She has been an extemporaneous poetry and arts organizer off and on for many years in the San Jose, California area after also organizing many such events and small press magazines in Eugene, Oregon. For the last few years she has been editing Eos: The Creative Context, an online progressive e-zine devoted to poetry, visual art and social, political and health commentary. She is now often found painting and writing in her new studio in her fiance’s garage and kept company by her three cats. She has previously had poems and artwork published in a variety of small press magazines including Alchemy, Poetic Space, Denali,Coyote’s Dance, The Other Paper, Writing For Our Lives, Caesura, Fresh Hot Bread, Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts and the poetry anthologies Elegant Stew and Women’s Dreams/Women’s Visions.
Her work can be found online at https://bgarthart.com/