Rolling Naked in the Morning Dew
by Pattiann Rogers
published in her book, Splitting and Binding, and in Orion Magazine
Out among the wet grasses and wild barley-covered Meadows, backside, frontside, through the white clover And feather peabush, over spongy tussocks And shaggy-mane mushrooms, the abandoned nests Of larks and bobolinks, face to face With vole trails, snail niches, jelly Slug eggs; or in a stone-walled garden, level With the stemmed bulbs of orange and scarlet tulips, Cricket carcasses, the bent blossoms of sweet William, Shoulder over shoulder, leg over leg, clear To the ferny edge of the goldfish pond—some people Believe in the rejuvenating powers of this act—naked
As a toad in the forest, belly and hips, thighs And ankles drenched in the dew-filled gulches Of oak leaves, in the soft fall beneath yellow birches, All of the skin exposed directly to the killy cry Of the kingbird, the buzzing of grasshopper sparrows, Those calls merging with the dawn-red mists Of crimson steeplebush, entering the bare body then Not merely through the ears but through the skin Of every naked person willing every event and potentiality Of a damp transforming dawn to enter.
Lillie Langtry practiced it, when weather permitted, Lying down naked every morning in the dew, With all of her beauty believing the single petal Of her white skin could absorb and assume That radiating purity of liquid and light. And I admit to believing myself, without question, In the magical powers of dew on the cheeks And breasts of Lillie Langtry believing devotedly In the magical powers of early morning dew on the skin Of her body lolling in purple beds of bird’s-foot violets, Pink prairie mimosa. And I believe, without doubt, In the mystery of the healing energy coming From that wholehearted belief in the beneficent results Of the good delights of the naked body rolling And rolling through all the silked and sun-filled, Dusky-winged, sheathed and sparkled, looped And dizzied effluences of each dawn Of the rolling earth.
Just consider how the mere idea of it alone Has already caused me to sing and sing This whole morning long.