Alethea; a grounding poem

The poem Alethea, by Mark Hannan in 1993, was written as an invocation creating sacred space and is meant to be accompanied by the beat of a doumbek or celtic frame drum.

Alethea; a grounding poem for sacred space

Dionysiac procession. British Museum. about 100 CE. Rome, Roman Empire. Photo by Yair Haklai, 2009.


The need

to go

on the N Judah train

to Ocean Beach

to stand alone

facing out

dig long toes in

sand and water

Take hold, feet

root here

and roll angles round


dig in

With each toe

touch past salt chill


beyond down

through layers

of body

into belly

deep attention –

Now enter

enter the darkest point

with longing

faith will bring light

Take root

reach past

crabs burrowed there


of cormorants, sea otters & whales

push through

crusty skeletons

lost ships

& sallow dead men clutching

their loot push down

through lead tin copper

& iron step

into that ore laden vein rush of it

blood saturate each bone


with heat

churning gut reach


your body in

hot coals

that do not burn

& rest there

at the center of the earth

let go

and rise –

bring back that fire

through layers of rock wet memories


loss & chagrin

Bring up


through rich soil alive


tendrils winding up

ankle shin calf knee & thigh

to the fleshy thick

of your furry sex

sphincter anus

into belly

liver kidney & spleen



further your luminous heart

out all along your arms

from gracefully held shoulders

to elbow sinewy arm wrist fingertip

& back

to touch

supple neck

& throat open song


further fire light up

into jaw ah smile bright brow

blazing broadly

crowned with joy

in release

After Many Years Absent & Other Poems – M. Hannan © 1993


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