Attending the Dawn



When did you first listen to the tale of Kephera?

In your grandam’s lap or at the feet of the goddess?

No life exists without the Scarab god Kephera.

Each day he rises from the dung heap of horizon

to ease the solar globe from the clutches of night.


My ancestors and I attend the daily ritual

for no dung heap exists in the galactic center

without the skill of earthworms.

We  are dawn’s assistants

to He Who Raises the Sun,

the Keeper of Cycles of Light and Dark.

It is I who attend the daily alignment of stars.


When you remember Kephera,

Remember me as one of service

to the greater good.

C.J. Prince


A Kenning of Bones



 moon, bay, tree silhouette

She ken his foot-rhythm

but did not turn.

The opal of the night

would reveal him soon enough.

Before stars succumb to Kephera’s gift,

they will stand unwoven,

sink to silent moss.

Throats cannot contain ecstasy.

C.J. Prince


The Cycle of A Sock, Part One

cast on in pink yarn

First we must make the needles

from a dowel, like the one that holds

my grandmother’s kitchen curtain.

Sand it very smooth.

Make a clay stopper for the end

and fire it in the oven.


You will know how to do all those things.

Now you have about size 10 needles,

A good practice size.

Of course we could digress to spinning

and plying and dying the yarn.

Instead, buy some mid weight yarn

you absolutely love.  You must love it

around the world and back.

You’ll be seeing it everyday for a while.


I have to show you how to cast on.

Of course there are simplier ways

but learn right the first time.

You’ll never regret it.  Make a loop,

See.  Good.  Slide the loop on one needle.

Now, we have to make a rabbit hole

with yarn in the other hand.

Let the needle chase the bunny.


Okay, I see this is too complicated.

Try this.  Give me those fiddlesticks.

I’ll sand them down so there are no splinters.

You watch how I hold the yarn.

You must check the die lot.

See that little number there

matches this second skein.

Good.  Now I cast on.

72 stitches on three needles.

We’ll discuss the concept of the heel

when we get there.  For now,

just knit.  See. In around, out and off.

Great job.  You’ll get it in no time.

You’re seven.  This is a good summer

project when your hands get fidgety

and you’re tired of adults jabbering.

I learned when I was four.

C.J. Prince


Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue

-Rustic-Kitchen-Table 1950s


God damnit, man, you’re late for dinner.  Again.

Sit up straight and act like a young lady.




What did you say?


Yes, sir.


What happened to my little girl

who was all smiles and did everything right?


She eases out of the wooden chair,

Walks to the backdoor, opens it,

steps out into lemon blossom air.

Turning slowly, she opens the back door again,

Calls out


Hi, Mom.  Hello, Father.  Sorry I’m late.

I got pregnant and just had an abortion.


It is Mama who opens her arms.


C.J. Prince





I didn’t know                                     Mama said

Lily of the valley                                Agapanthus

California lilac                                    Ceanothus

Golden Seal                                         Hydrastis


We didn’t just say “avocado”

but Hass, MacArthur and Fuerte.

Any questions?  Go to the dictionary.

C.J. Prince


An Almanac of Forget Me Knots



 Everyday Bellingham rain

evolves into a dark onslaught,

bats down lilies of the valley,

smashes the koi pond like bullets.


She finds twenty dollars.

Graffiti  advice:  love.

Running now, high heels wobble on rutted

alley pavement.  She pauses, slips off shoes.

Leaning against a dumpster,

she finds a sparkling bracelet.


Numb, she turns to the stars and new moon.

Foreign languages buzz around her.

She runs the pain of others

to the bay

where Carla gives her kindness.

They hold hands

and stand on a billboard.

C.J. Prince




“Wooly Bully” blasts from the radio.

She thin-slices cabbage with a butcher knife,

smashes and dices garlic in the narrow kitchen.

Another old rented house.

She wipes a strand of red hair

from her damp brow

with the back of her hand,

scrubs dirt from carrots,

quarters baby red potatoes,

corned beef simmers.

Heat in the cast iron kettle,

Heat in her head.

She tugs at her mini skirt,

tugs at her T-shirt.

Her feet dance

but onion tears streak her cheeks.

Nothing will clear her troubled mind.

The secret will gnaw.

This morning she lied

in court for him.

C.J. Prince


Double Trouble



Three stir the cauldron

but two tell the fortune.


Spin your skirts of voile,

hip-coins jingle.

You did not ask for two.

Nor one.  Just a fortune


to play the day away.

Good or bad, unknown.


Thus comes double Gemini

appearing as four on crutches.


Perhaps it was the crystals

hanging before your eyes.


Perhaps you escape

the magician, another one.


When you double the twins,

you don’t know about the Pisces moon.


Double twice plus once again

and he looks like six.


Ask a question.

He will finally settle on one—


or two.  Do not second guess.

If the gypsy saw you mated,


she saw a far distance

you could not see.


Don’t look for anything,

No numbers or numerology.


Let the golden thread

at your crown guide you.


The single must be whole

before doubled.

C.J. Prince



Beyond the Stare of Tiger, Peace

tiger stare



Lichen licked twigs,

mossy sticks and crumbled

leaves, the debris of the divine.


Light the fire within the cauldron.

Clouds of prophecy tumble skyward.

The pantheon is near.


Your are your own guru.

Unseen Helpers exceed

all timelines of collective space.


Any time of year, any day,

let the water spirits cleanse

your morning, carry stones of the earth.


There is no place that is not sacred.

C.J. Prince