From the Labyrinth – Part II


Maiden, Mother, Crone – Entrance to the Labyrinth © 2-13 Bo Mackison

I walk again, collect the sticks loosened
from the oaks by yesterday’s storms.

Gather leaves. The first, a shiny narrow leaf,
The second, full with smoothed points, with a leaflet attached to its stem,
The last, a yellowing leaf, splotched with black, its edges withering.

Maiden, mother, crone.

Rows and Rows

Rows and Rows © 2013 Bo Mackison

From the labyrinth, the rows and rows
of sisters’ stones rise on the nearby hill, precise like soldiers’ formations.
The dead, in their final resting places, each marked with a rock and a name.

Once they dedicated their lives in faith, to love and community. Hard work.
What kept their faith alive, those that remained in their vows?

What happened to the mute ones, the angry ones, the hysterical ones?
The unwanted fifth daughter, the child raped by a neighboring farmer,
the daughter who ran from home with the rag and bone man only to return carrying her shame?

What happened to the ones with startling visions,
those who followed a calling they understood only in their hearts,
those who sought a home, any home, as a safe haven?

Did this sacred community quiet the demons that screamed when the women were alone?
Hold their visions in reverence? Embrace them
in their desperation and their joys?
Accept them with their frailties and in their strengths.

I hear their voices as I walk along the grassy paths.

Friends with Magdalene

Friends with Magdalene © 2013 Bo Mackison

One stone draws me, holds my attention. There lies a polished rock on
Mary Magdalene’s stone. “Friends” it declares.

I could be a friend with the ancient one, His Mary Magdalene, I think,
though I know little of her life, only those I learned as a child,
stories of her cryptic life, the sainted penitential prostitute.

I wonder what I do not know.
What of her story was lost in history? Or re-purposed.

Closing the Gate

Closing the Gate © 2013 Bo Mackison

The church tower chimes twelve times, noon
I open the gate, walk out.
Shut it. Firmly. Shake it hard to test its latch. I am shaken, too.
Bury my grief, and theirs, but hold their stories dear.

I carry their stories as I walk the cracked road.
The birds sing in the ancient oaks.
An acorn falls.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. Recently she has also been pondering labyrinths and journeys.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Your first post on this site was pretty enigmatic and a bit mystical. This one is quite thought provoking – what drew or drove the sisters to this calling and what did it give them?

Leave a Reply