by Judith Roche

I believe in the cave paintings at Lascaux,
the beauty of the clavicle,
the journey of the salmon.
I believe in all the gods—
I just don’t like some of them.
I believe the war is always against the imagination,
is recurring, repetitive, and relentless.
I believe in fairies, elves, angels and bodisatvas,
Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
I believe that Raven invented the Earth
And so did Coyote. In archeology
lies the clue. The threshold is numinous
and the way in is the way out.
I believe in the alphabets, all of them
and the stories seeping from between their letters.
I believe in dance as prayer, that the heart
beat invented rhythm and chant—
or is it the other way around?
I believe in the wisdom of the body.
I believe that art saves lives
and love makes it worth living them.
And that could be the other way around, too.

From Wisdom of the Body, Seattle, Washington: Black Heron Press, 2007. Judith selected this poem as her “soulfood” poem as part of her featured reading at the SoulFood Poetry Night readings I curate in Redmond, Washington. Her reading was on 15 November 2012. Judith passed away on 14 November 2019.