|| go to w w w . m r c e n t r a l . n e t ||                                                                                                                         JOIN MRCENTRAL


A Flower Bursting From
My Head © Dee Rimbaud

back to Periphery Online

Cathie Sandstrom lives in Sierra Madre up against the San Gabriels. Her work as appeared widely in journals and anthologies: the Getty Museum's collection of artists' books houses her poetry.

"For me, Magical Realism attempts to recreate in language those strange experiences that combine different layers of consciousness and/or time. While the experiences are real, they are not necessarily logical. One is pushed to explore and acknowledge the different ways we have of knowing, ways of perceiving the world and especially mystery, using other than the five common paths of sensing."


Once in York Minster, in light flooding colorless and pure from the clerestory high above me, I stood at the base of a column, followed the ribs of stone upward, felt myself lifted, picking up speed until I reached the apex. Here, the eye takes the heart in its beak, flies up with it, homing to light.

From the mountain cabin on Cherry Creek, the clearing is the first chance to see the night sky, so I offer to take out the trash. My sandals beat hollow across the wooden porch. Pine needles break fine underfoot. Cedars close ranks; branches ladder up, mesh to veil the constellations. Out in the open, I raise my eyes to the Big Dipper wheeling glittery and huge before me, and the rush is immediate. Something from my ribcage breaks free, leaps up and out, streaking skyward. In half a heartbeat, I seize the trailing end, haul it back, cram it into my mouth like a mantis devouring a bright-winged creature.

Stupid with fear, I stand clay-footed, disoriented. What is this thing so eager to escape? A braver self? All I thought in the moment of its leaving was if I go, will I be able to get back? Blunted by failed courage, my mind stumbles, mourns this missed invitation to soar. Still, each time, closer to the edge.

[from Periphery 2005: The Living Landscape]

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The contents of this page and all related pages are protected by a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. You are free to share the contents of this site—to copy, distribute, display and perform the work—provided you honor the following conditions:
Attribution. You must attribute the work in a manner specified by the director of MRCentral.net.
Noncommercial Use Only. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
No Derivative Works. You may not alter, transform or build upon this work.
Reuse and Distribution. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page.
Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder. Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights.

This page last updated 2007.11.27