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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Le Baron Seizes Your Dreams

One of the most unfortunate side effects of this chemo is sleeplessness.  I have a sewing session for my troupe tomorrow and here it is, nearly five am and I am sleepless.  I suppose the seams I make tomorrow will not be straight.   So here is a thought I have been thinkingt
 tonight: if you have been following this blog, you know that I am embarking on a study of Haitian dance and culture, culminating in a trip to Haiti at some point when my teacher takes a group there, as long as I am well enough, or more likely WHEN I am well enough.

Baron Samedi is a lwa that I feel an affinity for, so I am going to riff a little for him:

You think you can hide now, slither
under the charred stone of your life,
tuck over yourself a blanket of pink wool,
a fleece of gray, a handwoven coverlet given
by the-one-that-got-away.

You think your rest will be easy now.

Think again.

He lurks at the edge of the garden, waiting.

But it is springtime, you say, and the little flowers
burst like packets of colorful silk on the trees.
See how they drift, pink and white,
and ruffled as the hem of a schoolgirl's frock.
You think you are safe:  the creeks and rivers
have filled to the brim from a late rain.
The rush of their voices washes everything clean.

And yet, you say you cannot sleep,
your head rocks back and forth on the pillow.
Sleeplessness is a lance embedded,

It is because Le Baron is laughing at you
from the shelter of the many-colored rosebushes.
He has dressed to the nines in his black suit
with strips of violet ribbon stitched around the cuffs.
He wears sunglasses with one eye punched out,
the better to see you.

You might light one of your tiny candles to ward him away,
You don't understand how amused he is. You think
your pure heart will blot him out.

Light all the candles you want.
You don`t know his many names:
Baron Cimitiere, emperor of the bones,
Baron Kriminel, who unclasps the prison cell
holding all our deepest secrets.

He sees your little efforts.  He smiles.  He likes to bide his time.
He`s got a glass of rum infused with red peppers fiery as embers.
It takes a while to drink.

When he finishes, he`ll toss his glass into your hedges of flowers.
He likes flowers, make no mistake, but now he means business.
He`ll enter your house by the front door.  He knows where to find you.

You might dream of a whirlwind, or a flood,
At any rate, when Le Baron reaches you, you simply won`t know who you are.
He`ll climb on your shoulders and laugh as you dance,
silly, like a dog shaking off water.
You have a debt you owe him and he doesn`t let people off the hook.
Cry as you might, he will make you his horse and lead you
straight into the maelstrom of your own doings.
Dont waste your time with protest:  there`s nothing you can do now anyway
except let your bad deeds flow around you like shrouds,
the Baron's laughter in your ears as all the sadnesses,
the deceits, all the small and large woundings
fill your open mouth with cobwebs and the rotten taste of the grave.