Non-Ordinary Tea and Phoenix Flowers

Yesterday as I journeyed to non-ordinary reality,

A place an artist might find herself, if,

she, having afternoon tea, should drift off

to the sound of a friend’s drum.

I was surprised,

to find myself watching a Phoenix fly out of a bright blooming tree.

The tree, a moment before was green and heavy with June rain and suddenly…

There she was…being birthed from plumes of red, hot pink and orange

flaming phoenix shaped and colored flowers.

Ash spinning triumphantly in whorls.

She made me gasp as she flew soundless from the opening in that tree.

Her rainbow colored feathers spun in soft swirls as she spiraled until out of sight.

At first I thought, oh no diva bird, you cannot be for me…can you?

I have not burned enough or been scorched enough or hurt enough

to have you by my side – do you think I…need you??

You are too precious for me.

Too hot. Too wise. Too ancient.

Then she came back dashing down and in and out and around

where I was sitting on a flat gray stone in the circle of trees.

She was so unfamiliar to me, I was not one

who walked with Phoenix medicine. So…why are you here?

I wanted to know. Needless to say she did not answer right away.

But some time later, the next day, which was today

she showed me how much I have danced on fire

and not have my feet get too burnt.

A bit sooty over my red toe nail polish

scars, callouses yes, a bit of crisp now and then,

but no real burns to speak of that disfigure my soul.

Nothing I cannot learn to heal with time.

No, my broken heart would not kill me after all.


Though there are days I feared it would.


Then she said, it was she who lifted

me as I danced on the fire,

mine and the ones others had

started under me.

She kept me, just out of reach of too much fire.

And I understand everything then,

but only for an instant

before gravity had its way with me and

I no longer had access to flaming flowers

and conversations with gorgeous birds.

Though if I close my eyes I can still feel

her bright red feathers brushing my cheeks.

And yes, I shall attempt to paint her

in the moment when she wrapped her wings

around me…it was then she told me,

a few other secrets

but those are for another cup of

tea another day

at the red thread cafe

between tomorrow and today.

And my hair smells of smoke.

Shiloh Sophia