Flying into a Cloud of Souls

for Lisa on her 53rd**

you look into dreams
those chambers of memory warped
bent images on broken mirrors

these you say are an umbilical
to another layer of spirit
maybe matter in the quantum sense
consciousness that flies like
a giant moth looking for stellar light

now you follow roads back
understanding origins, faded photographs
songs long forgotten still emanating
from those souls, beings

The Indigenous Farmers Preserving Mexico's Native Corn - Eater

where you find voice
and decide there are second births
maybe more, an infinity in the expansion
of universe and time, other lives
reincarnations, reverberating
as we age, as we count years

a countdown, from vigorous youth
to the haggard essence of living, weathering
a mother, daughter, sister
wife for the ages, alone in that task
these hard times rolled up like wet masa

as you push and pull tamale
dough, hold husks, roll
each fold and turnover
a woman going back

to another place, history recalled
these birthdays rattle a forward
glance, as we – you – unfold
new memories, stories of old
histories stored so your next
birth is one of abundance

**Note: **Gabor Mate and so many others talk about the trauma in our society, including that which can be leveled at our capitalist system. Alas, families are part of that trauma/trauma bond. This woman for which this poem is written is a tribute to her own rising above the death of a younger brother on her birthday one year ago. And, alas, (I’ve written about it here at Dissident Voice, daughters deciding [sic] to estrange from mothers.), she too passes her birthday now without her 25-year-old daughter sending sweet nothings to her and keeping mom up to date on her life just 100 miles away in Portland. This is a growing phenomenon.)

A black and white image of a family holding hands on a hill, with a gap between the son's hand and the father's


Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.