The Ferry Woman of Me

13 11 2006

I am the one who opens my arms to you inviting you into my embrace
My hips are wide and my lap is large
I am the one who strokes your hair and says “there, there” as we rock
Your tears wet my shawl.

I am the one who says both and
My love for you is both fierce and tender
I am the one who does not push or pry
Your gratitude reflects in my eyes.

I am the one who hears your pleas
My attention does not wander as you cry in pain
I am the one who isn’t bored with all the details
You are heard

Together we are mending ourselves
The Ferry Woman of me and I.
Rocking, crying, talking, laughing
I am she and she is I.



The Journey Begins.

27 07 2006

I had decided to nap at the inn and now awoke to a loud clanging bell. Someone was yelling ‘The Ferrywomen are coming’. I got up and ran to the window.

It was a beautiful, clear night, still and quiet. I looked to the jetty to see a few little boats mooring and more arriving. I quickly grabbed my bag and a jacket, put on my boots and ran to the jetty as fast as I could.

A little nervous, I looked around to see other people boarding small boats and barges. Please let me not be too late, I thought. Quickly scanning the length of the jetty I saw a little boat that had just arrived. I ran to it and asked ‘may I board your boat’? ‘Are you sure’? a female voice answered. ‘Yes, I’m sure’, I replied.

With a graceful wave of her hand she invited me onto her boat. ‘Thank you’, I said, as she began to depart. ‘I thought I was too late’. ‘You’re never too late for this journey – unless your dead of course’, she replied. I gave an uncertain grin and sat silent while attempting to see her face from under the hood of her cape.

‘How far is it’? I asked. ‘The Isle of Ancestors isn’t that far away, just a short trip, so relax and enjoy the ride but the journey itself can be as long or short as you wish to make it’.

I sat gazing at the night stars pondering what she had said and realised how very wise her words were – as we both knew she was talking about the ‘souls journey of enlightenment’.

It wasn’t long before I realised we were approaching an Island. As it was dark, I couldn’t see much to describe it, other than the black outlines of mountains or cliffs, the white tips of the waves as they rolled into shore and another jetty protuding from the coastline.

Before I knew it we were at the jetty. The Ferrywoman turned to me and said. ‘Your journey continues’. Her tone of voice was quiet, gentle, understanding. ‘You seem to know this journey well’, I said. ‘I take it many times myself and help others to do the same’, she replied.

With that remark, she removed the hood of her cape and I saw a beautiful, dark haired, middle aged woman, whose eyes were filled with love and compassion.

‘To learn from ones ancestors is a rite of passage none of us should ignore for there are many great lessons that will help us to understand the past, live the now and give insight into the future. I wish you many great insights for your journey. You must go now and so must I – farewell, have faith.

I stepped onto the jetty and turned around to thank her again and bid her farewell, she was already preparing to leave. She quietly said, ‘it is I who thanks you for allowing me to be a part of your journey’ and with that she pushed off from the jetty.


Camelot Scribe & Correspondent.

Terry Seed.

Song of the last ferry woman

26 07 2006


Drift westward on receding tide

My sail furled no longer strives to reach the shore
There are no boundaries to edge this distant sea

No soft spoken passenger asks a plan or place
Alone with my boat into the setting sun
my wake collects my shadow into night

waiting for the ferrywoman

26 07 2006

She waits on the shore,
waiting for the ferry woman
The sound of seagulls screeching overhead
and oars lapping in the water
are all she can hear.
Her heart beats faster as the barges approach
She knows she must wait to be chosen.
Which ferry woman will chose her
and what is the message she bears?
The women alight and slowly walk the line of supplicants
Looking with knowing and wisdom in their gaze.
She raises her chin and makes herself look
You don’t scare me she thinks.
Footsteps pause,
then stop in front of her.
Fathomless eyes look into hers
And she knows it is time.
She has a choice, but no choice.
She cannot refuse this challenge.
It is meant to be.
She returns the gaze
drowning in their depths of love and understanding.
Boarding the barge,
she sits,
The oars lapping in the water,
The seagulls screeching overhead.


~Journey to meet an ancestor Pt Two~

25 07 2006

I stand and move beyond volition into the eyehole of the rock. Guide-less save for the glowing emanations of a realm far below. Before me stands a golden scale with center post that soars toward vaulted ceiling, and golden pans that wink with flickering’s of the hearth-fire. This knowledge is certain, I have reached the anti-room; the outer limits of Necropolis. As I take my place aside the hearth, a solitary figure emerges from shadows opposite, and lights upon an ebony throne. Scarce did his cloak disguise, and I recognize Anubis. “Oh, dog-god of the underworld!” the words escape my lips.

Peals of yapping laughter flow through his jowls, as the cloak slips farther to the floor revealing……Laddie, my Laddie, dog of my childhood. As tho’ time arrested I see us now, first, I am swimming with friends in the old dam. Then, Laddie arrives all panting and breathless, flying through the air, a great geyser of water as he lands among us. Determined, he grabs my hair and drags me kicking and screaming up the bank, knowing it was forbidden for us to be there, Next, I am dying with embarrassment for Laddie has once again broken loose and leapt the fences and run through the fields, and now sits tail wagging before me in my elementary classroom. Ah yes, Laddie introduced me to sex, when the irate woman across the street yanked me by the arm to see what followed his impregnation of her purebred show-dog. Five little Laddies came forth and I watched as she delivered each and ate the membranes, I remember later asking my parents if I too would have pups as Laddie once humped my leg. There was the day when I came home to confusion, and police, and an ambulance for the delivery man had pinned my mother up against the laundry-room wall, and Laddie broke even the heavy links of his chain and leapt again and again to slashed his neck so close to the jugular. He ate well that night amid hugs and tears and praise. And last I saw my father weep, this once and only then, while he dug and lowered Laddie’s body into the grave.

I raised my tear-stained face to his and saw the kind-loving in his eyes.


Raven Woman Waits

24 07 2006


I am the Ferry Woman
I came back
to where the old people were
only to find
they have long gone

I am the Ferry Woman
I sit silently,
upon the stones
the old people placed here
long ago

I sit listening for their voices
their songs
I sit listening
but all is silent now
bar for the macaws cry
the eternal lapping
of water upon the shore

I am the Ferry Woman
I am Raven
I wait for the old people
to return to this place
where they promised they would
meet me
where they promised we
could all be together again.

~Journey to meet an ancestor Pt One~

24 07 2006

It is incredible that I should choose my old dust-laden french horn case as a traveling bag. The horn, untouched for decades lies within its velvet lining. There is scarce room for anything else. Carefully, I tuck a small wrapped package within the bell of the instrument.

Darkness has taken over as I pick my way down the steep cliff to the quay. Were it not for the brief partings of the clouds there would be no moonlight at all. Every stumble loosens a fresh cascade of gravel and it’s fearful sounding as it tumbles into the nothingness below.
I wrench my gaze from the path to measure the distance to faint barge lights bobbing on the black tide below.
Finally, there stands a mismatched clutter of barges aligned before me . From each the strident hawkings of their Ferry’ers bidding me come on board.

I set down my case confused, and quickly it is plucked by a figure out of nowhere. Now, I need run breathless just to keep her within sight. Chasing round to the edge of the quay where lies her dilapidated barge, all the old insecurities and misgivings seem bobbing on the water before me. She turns and hurls an uncoiling snake of rope to my feet. Slowly I knot it around my waist and step into the waters of self-doubt.
Deeper and deeper until the water laps at my throat and the choice becomes whether to sink or to swim. Suddenly, the rope is pulled taut and I am thrown off balance, drawn against the current. Eons later, the barge timbers slam into my body, and I am dragged upon the deck to lie bruised and choking as she poles her craft through the darkness of the night….

I awake and lick my lips, tasting the crusted salt. Surely I am burning, the searing heat has bled me dry of sweat. I dare not move lest the scalding deck boards release their fiery flames. My plastered eyelids first squeeze tight then open to the mid-day sky, alive with the shapes of sea birds diving straight from endless heights to spear sushi from the deep.

She turns and glares at me, then settles back to her task, and we move so incrementally toward that fine line resting upon the horizon….

When next I awoke, the damp night air shook spasms of chills and fever throughout my body. I sat upon a moonlit path surrounded by apple droppings from the boughs above, unsure whether delusion or reality. Greedily, biting the succulent fruit and sucking at the juice within, I remained unprotected and unaware as she sat my case close then turned toward Duwamish shore.