Psalm 47

After the quake we pass –
The thin line straggling north –
Heart tugs but stride quickens

Downward I plunge –

Below me her quaking body
Fiery summons
Impossible demand

Twenty six nights since departing normal

About me her great heart
Shakes
Shivers

I reach for the necklace of skulls

I have never known anything so beautiful

Kevin Moran (11/9/10)

Whakapapa: I started writing this psalm three days after the Canterbury Earthquake, while we were still experiencing major aftershocks. In the background of the poem is my awareness of the desire of people & businesses to get back to ‘normal.’ The reference to 26 days is to a dream which occurred 26 days prior to writing the psalm. In the dream I swallowed an owl. That experience was still with me as I wrote. The necklace of skulls is a reference to the Goddess Kali. Kali’s skulls symbolise the demands of the Goddess (or God, or Tao, or Nature, or Spirit, or the Self) to let go of unhealthy ego attachments and cultural conditioning in order to live out of one’s essential nature. ‘Struggling north’ in the dream symbolises trying to get back to ‘normal.’ People all over Christchurch & Canterbury were struggling to get back to ‘normal’ after the upheaval of the quake. None of us knew of the further huge quakes that were to follow which would claim many lives & further devastate the city. In New Zealand, often people dream of going ‘north’ when they are going up into their rational minds; going ‘south’ can indicate going down deeper into the worlds of the soul & instinct.

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