When the rains came

she held her spear upright,

flooded the desert plain

and scattered the birds

scratching across the sky,

bleeding light

into the darkness of land.

When the rains came

she lay down in the mud

and drank in the light.

When the rains came

she suddenly realized

how thirsty she’d been.

When suffering comes our way, we often respond with a fight, for we see only despair even in the light.  Eventually, if we are wise, we learn to surrender to its message, lying down in the mud and drinking in whatever it has to give us.  Finally, one day, we look back on our suffering and see how we have transformed–indeed how we might even be mildly grateful for the suffering because we swim a deeper more meaningful river now.    

© Andrea Mathews 2015

Heavy Downpour


They come without warning,

these dysfunctions of moonlight,

shimmering through trees,

those great monoliths, with mother’s breath


casting secret codes on dark ground,

playing music few read,

singing songs fewer perform,

a silence fastening itself

to an open spot

in the ocean,

meaningful as any other soundlessness.


There is always resistance,

like a bud pushing through,

but when the sun rises and sets

what can be expected

are these furious forms

that can only be discerned

by their edges.


It is only on the edges of circumstance, wound, trauma or delight that we awaken. Unless we can stay inside the silence of it, we simply fall asleep again until the next edge strikes us.

© Andrea Mathews, 2104

Full moon over Catalina AZ


A wild call from some

ancient dream

drives the rapids

thrumming her veins.


Split the wood—

spit in the fire—

while arcane whisperings

drive her bristling bones


as she rolls the tent come dawn.


Only the water knows where it is going.

The boat is haunted.


It’s no less a decision

To get in and ride.


If we only knew that the soul is constantly active, that it is using everything, every choice, every haunting, every moment of chattering mind to bring us down the river into who we really are.

© Andrea Mathews, 2014


From the Void

Dark drank the moon,

a cube in her drink,

contained sin

in a glass quarantine.

The cream of water

lay between her

legs like ointment,

dabbing at a sore heat;

earth stabbing at her

red, poor feet

each dawn of spring

in white socks,

no shoes,

blind with no reason,

sequestered each season,

like this one,

for a verdict:


a red potato was born

this day

in the palm of her empty hand.

© Andrea Mathews, 2014

Photo by Keith Grantkeith-grant-void

Being here

Birds fly out

of the knot in her hair,

she is so aware,

scattering seedlings,

bits of shadow,

developing in the palm

of her sweating hand.


She, simple;

she, parallel like another place;

standing up so straight

and staunch, scattering

clumps of seed here, there

in some authentic order.


Speak of her,

she becomes the soles of your feet,

whisking wind from

where you have been…

            she doesn’t know if you know her or not

she has her own place.


Presence belongs to itself.  It cannot be sought, found, bought or sold. It simply is that it is.  Like God.

© Andrea Mathews, 2014

Blue Moon Gary Randall

Photo by Gary Randall



Dragging around the light

is like hiding it,


head tucked, bleary

from beating against the cage.


Skeletons creep through my room at night

cracking bones

on cold wooden floors.

Fence posts call for more

privacy, sound the alarm.

Dogs bark alone

at my midnight snack—

skillets frying mad women,

small and unharmed.


Fear of the dark

is my excuse;

there are far too many bleak dead-ends

where I wake, unable to scream,

praying the light will loosen,

drop hot into sacred silence,

burn a hole for the moon.


We’ve been taught to drag around the light, asking that our performance measure up to some righteous standard. But as long as we can’t find it inside of us, the only thing that will awaken us is our nightmares. Even then, however, the light is the longing for light.

© Andrea Mathews, 2014

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