Thresholds: “Underground Inn” and “Skin to Skin” by Crissy Williams

Sun on a green field
Photo credit: Crissy Williams

It’s finals week in St. Andrews, and my mind is a carnival of concepts: the role of comedy in Christian life, magical idealism, human and divine love in Dante, the Annunciation as an analogy for the creation of art. The Kinnesburn River is chocolate-brown and foamy with the past week’s rain, and the thunder of the North Sea is deeper than ever.

In the midst of study, I snatch moments of quiet in baking, TV, or poetry like this latest contribution to the Thresholds project. Crissy Williams‘s meditation on the thresholds of human/creature, land/sky, and the hospitality of earth were deeply stirring – she captures the hope and peace of Advent with quiet grace. Enjoy!

Underground Inn

by Crissy Williams

Let me come under your roof
of brown, crumbly humus
and reside with your inhabitants,
four-footed, centi-footed,
millennial forward motion
of scrub brush feet.
Can I thread through your tunnels,
stretch and flex my muscles,
see if I can match
the ant for strength,
the moth pupa for patience?
She delights in your dark chambers
and stacks of leaves
for transforming into soft body
and powdered wings.
I need a place to rest,
ancient and deep,
to drink up the pockets of nutrients
you offer freely to all your guests
in the whispering dark of your underground inn.

Skin to Skin

I’m laying here skin to skin,
a newborn baby against your brown chest,
not to give love
but to receive it

from the caverns
of goodwill that
spread beneath me
hiding crystalline gems

from the scurry of tiny feet
and burrows of petite piles
of stashed moss and acorn caps
filled to the brim

with last spring’s nectar
a gift sprung up
from the maze of roots
winding deep under

my smooth skin
laid out against your
ribbons of green
and soft lumps of earth.

Since that morning
when I rose from the dust
formed by hand
made to sing

I have come back.

Crissy Williams

Crissy Williams has always felt things deeply. The gentle changing of the seasons or a sappy Hallmark commercial have had the power to bring her to tears or transport her to another world. This penchant for sensing the stories behind things led her to pursue a degree in English education which she has put to good use for the past 11 years by reading copious picture books to her two children and filling a stack of mismatched  journals. Poetry is a new love she’s developed during this roller coaster year of 2020 as  a way to lower her anxiety and stay grounded. You can find her occasional poems and weekly nature images on Instagram at @crissyannwilliams.