Patricia Bulitt

Dancer 
Interdisciplinary Artist 
Storyteller
Teaching Artist
Original Poetry
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For 14 years in Berkeley's Codornices Park, 125 women and girls, ages 8-90 years old, gathered for "There's A Tree Whistling Its Message Through The Kettle:" A Women's and Girls' Tea Party and Storytelling Ceremony, conceived and directed by Patricia Bulitt

Part of the event included Patricia's  original prose and poetry--all celebrating and human and natural history of the park and watershed, or imaginative writing such as this one, greeting guests to the tea party by the creek:

Welcome

Sometimes she thinks this:  Everywhere Mothers weep for wars,
A dry river bed stretches out its rib cage or its toes to hold those Mother’s tears.
To Mother the Mothers and to gladly await mists
Falling
Into its beds.
Because
Then, creeks and rivers will change the spell.
The spelling of wars.

All the letters will fall into the waters.
And the W in wars will somehow loose its way.
Creeks, in their mysterious ways,
Like how they go around rocks,
Will form an S, then a T.
But the A R S in wars will not become lost.
Now.  We have      S        T        A           R       S.
I am sure you have watched water in brillian sun.
S       T       A       R      S .  That’s right:  Starts on water.
From her tears.

Stars.
Sometimes
She thinks
That.

 1995
A Listener

A listener
Sat
One day
By that creek,
Hearing branches
Speaking a language of words
The color of its bark.

That tree
With its brown bark
Spoke a language of
Brown words.

Only words, the color of its skin were spoken,
Were heard.
Words, burnished by the sun, water, moonlight, birds, peeling bark.

All spoke in an effort to make leaves
Bloom green.

All those words,
All those colors,
Speaking in a language of color.

Then, she would dance along and
Sing off-key.
Sing,
Off-key.

By leaning into that light,
That bark
Would teach her its language.

And, then, only then,
Would the key change.

That gorgeous, brown languid language caused that one listener
To stay, and
Turn its face to stone.

Spoken at the storytelling tea party, 1998, Berkeley, California

For:  Edith Sher, A Kettle Teller


A Paper Dress of Apology For A  Young Iraqi Girl

You are the Young Iraqi Girl screaming for a Dress of Apology.
I want to write you a letter, but I forget your name.
You appear to me as if to be in a dress of roses.
Petals of red are now you hands and
Near the floor where you stand,
So stood a thousand nightingales.
Crows lost in a sand storm,
And a grandmother serving you tea in her cup,
Kept in a chest painted with songs in Arabic.

You are the Young Iraqi Girl screaming
For a Dress of Apology.
You are the Young Iraqi Girl screaming
For a dress of Apology.

Here, in her long braids and a dress of checkered print, she asks,
"Did the soldier apologize?"   " Did the soldier apologize?"
I stood still.  Rose petals my door.
Rose petals at my door.

The candle is waiting in his hand.
Only one boot is left from her dad.
Only a dress splattered with blood,
Calligraphed with an impossible nightmare.

To you, only five years old.
I am so very sorry.  I am so very sorry.

Petals of red are now your hands, and
Near the floor where you stand, so stood a
Thousand nightingales, crows lost in a sand storm, and a
Grandmother serving you tea in her cup,
Kept in a chest painted with songs in Arabic.


" Apologies cannot heal wounds,
They can only relieve the spirit
So that healing is easier. " *

He says to the woman,
With rose petals at her door.

* Written to Patricia Bulitt from a friend



-Patricia Bulitt

For A Paper Dress of Apology for a Young Iraqi Girl paper dress and performance.

(Please see Paper Dresses and Workshops link in this web site)







A woman stands underneath her umbrella
Wishing to dance.

It stops raining.

For Carlos Villa, SF Art Institute

To Those Women

To those women who had mothers they really mourn for.
To those women who had mothers who were really mothers to their childhoods.
To those women who were mothers and never had mothers of their own.
To those women who were mothers and never knew how to mother.
To those women who had mothers that never mothered them.
To those women who mourn their mothers form the age of twelve when they did not get the mothers they needed.
To those women who have never become mothers and always wanted to.
To those women who were invisible to themselves because of absentee mothers.
To those women who are longing for the invisible.
To those women who are longing for the flowers.
To those women who are longing for wisdom.
To those women who are dreamers.
To those women who are the sinners.
To those women who know there are no sins.
To those women who cannot believe their dreams.
To those women who believe their dreams.
To those women who put their hands in dirt.
To those women who sew.
To those women who wail.
To those women who wail for all of us.
To those women who know each of these words are all of us now in our own wombs.

Cry out loud.
Drop the sky into the bucket and listen to rocks walking.
Carry your feet to the paths leading to a river.
Watch the young duckling and the mothering from the Duck Mother.
Watch the  young deer watching you.
Watch the face turn towards the grandmother you are.

Save yourself.

For Allegra Fuller Snyder