T H E W I L D L I L Y I N S T I T U T E
A story in poetry
by Emily Isaacson
Potter's Press, 2016
$16.99 paperback $29.99 hardcover
Emily's prose-poetry is both myth and tribute.
From Snowflake Princess:
The Queen of Ives is mother of us all.
She doubled over in fiery pain to release us
and each star appeared, burning its way
through the galaxy.
She swallowed the goldenrod, and birthed
each sun and moon.
She grew a garden of vegetables
with food for every season,
grew from her tree olives and apricots, and
from her soil garlic and onions.
Deep within the deepest wood
she hides, as modest
as a young woman
with a velvet hood,
she sings to all who dare hear.
Her sister, the fields,
her brother, the mountains,
her mother, the moon,
her father, the sun—
her wild fare feeds you
and her neck of night
with stars, her diamond necklace.
Her eyes are made of
rock planets that turn to and fro.
The Queen of Ives
is both creator and destroyer
of all nature,
bringing it up from the earth,
then swallowing it beneath the salty waves.
The mighty Queen of Ives—
the earth is her cathedral,
her vast consecrated temple,
she hovers over the altar,
and calls to lovers,
“Come inside and be married,”
coaxing them to unite as family
and have children.
She is the realm of the fertile
in the heart of love:
The stained glass of sunset’s last glow,
the spiritual fervor of a burning fire,
the priesthood, presiding over the harvest,
the ocean’s motherhood,
salty waves of blessing.
Rivet me and my eternal soul,
for I know the Queen of Ives
would dare me to outlive my fellow man;
yet she could not commit treason
against the infinite Prince of Alchemy.
For she is both nature and immortal:
standing, and fallen
as the snow,
she is poured out like rain,
and shouts like thunder.
“Brethren,” she calls: standing in a river
of fear and shame—deep as the Ganges,
“leave your mother and your brothers
and follow the blue moon home
to where the heron flies.”
Emily Isaacson with Carol Todd at the Snowflake book launch with Fraser Valley Poets Society.