The Same

I am on the edge of the mountain chain of long gone ancestors,
Born of love or necessity,
Now, compressed as stone and cold as ashes,
Forgotten or not,
Unmoving and already eternal.
Beside me sits a jaguar,
With sharp, wet teeth,
And, wild flower eyes.
Are his prayers the same as mine,
The same as the storms and the stones and the stars,
The same as the serpent and the flames and the flowers?

The long, rolling thunder interrupts my thoughts,
Of the grinding teeth of the clock towers and the metal rats,
Of patterns from the back of a snake decorating the feathers of a bird,
Of Saturn devouring his children,
Reminding me that everything has its own rules.

The sky is still full of Paleolithic memories,
And, the shadows of clouds whispered to the first pagan gods.

Man has made over the earth.
Rain is no longer forecast by gray skies.
It is instead announced by swarms of clouds,
Built of technological advancements.
The desert continues to grow,
The virus spreads,
And, flowers continue to bloom whenever they choose.

The world is ever the same,
Never the same.
Equally true. What can you do?
Enriching the earth.
Consuming the earth.
Giving birth.
I am an Oroborus with an open mouth,
Singing in the graveyard,
And, feasting at Jubilee.

Good Morning

Take a turn,
Mistake and learn,
Stand or break,
Bake a cake,
Stay asleep,
Or, be wide awake.
No one knows,
Where it goes.

The oroborus is still okay.
He is swallowing himself in order to escape.
Self consumed. Are we all doomed?
What’s it like in there?
Trying to feed yourself in order to survive?
Nothing else tastes so good. Why not?
Everything eats everything else.
Megalomaniac. Get out of there.
Comb your hair. Put on a dress.
Turn yourself inside out.
But, inside there are armies of restless neurons and neutrons,
Vibrating vitality, battling,
Trying to take over my world.
My skin made out of granite and gravity, weighing me down.
Awareness of microscopics everywhere.
Taking my attention. Intervention.
Lichen splitting rocks.
The tide eating the sand.
Crabs eating tide pools.
Mushrooms spitting at scorpions.
Corona Virus consuming the internet.
A bad morning. Bright colors. Curled into a ball.
No one is chasing me. Birds are not falling out of the sun.
Trees are not trying to fall.
Perhaps I am still asleep and purple frogs are crawling on the wall.
Perhaps my head has become a cave or a cathedral.
Maybe a cabaret.
Maybe a circle.
Maybe a three ringtones circus.
Maybe playing hide and seek.
Maybe a cup of coffee will cure everything.


I have a green wall and two lizards.
There are rainbows overhead,
Although they are invisible.
More importantly,
The dogwood is in full bloom,
The wisteria flowers are everywhere,
With no leaves,
The fountains bubble,
And, the hummingbirds have arrived.
They are right on time.
The lilies are a little early.
They are here to announce,
The expectations of the striking sunbeam.
A virgin from which a king will come.
Half human and half miracle.
But, right now it is butterfly time.
They are playing hide and seek with one another,
Flirting in the spring air.
I am turning into a stone,
But, it is a long process.
The world continues to be beautiful.

Thunderbird and the Mask

Sometimes I am somewhere other than here and so is everyone else. Right now the spring is trying to break through. The time for telling stories is over. The ground has thawed. I will be calling out to the Thunderbird. He is as old as the earth, here since the times before the beginning. He follows the wind and the gray skies and rain beats beneath his wings.

I am seeking traces of his feathers, hidden in the highest skies above the yellow canyons, peering into the darkest shadows of the blue mountains and under the howling miles of raw, red dust the wind is chasing, racing under the sun, between the purple mesas. The dry season has whipped up sand and rattlesnakes and sharp clawed lizards. They are licking their eyes and watching for the beginning of clouds. The beetles are raging and protesting, seeking the shaded side of the dunes, calling for relief. Whistling for the Wind. Even the green, rusty cactus, too thirsty for flowers to begin, is failing. The black rocks are hot enough to burst. The sand itself is gray with thirst.
I have been advised by the Kachinas, who have already hidden themselves in the landscape, when I am calling to the Thunderbird I should wear a Mask so he will recognize me, even from far away.

The Mask has been around a thousand generations. Maybe even more. Maybe as long as the Thunderbird. They are old friends, Thunderbird and the Mask. I will be an old friend if I am the Mask. The Thunderbird will come to my call, will come to my village, will come to my door. I would not want to be mistaken for someone unknown.
So, I climb the totem pole and burn sweet herbs. Sing into the sky. I raise my hands the way the moon rises, and I put on the Mask. I throw handfuls of corn meal from last years crop high as I call, as an offering. The moon, the full moon, the Worm Moon, rises with me, moving the earth, raising the worms from their winter sleep to become a great feast.
I sing to the magic of the Thunderbird who will come with miracles and the village sings with me, dances, puts on wings and stomps the ground to wake the thunder, in case it is still sleeping in the Thunderbird. The villagers put the fires safely away and take out bowls made of hammered gold and cups of fired clay, painted with flowers and butterflies dancing for the Rain, laughing with the Rain, blessing the Rain.
Even though the Thunderbird is far away he hears the cups clinking together, the merry bells wrapped around dancing feet, the giant wing beat, the glint of gold. He smells smoking herbs and cornmeal. Remembers the Mask and years and years. Old friends and warm cheers. Good friends. Good times. Welcome.

The moon sets at dawn and Thunderbird arrives. A dash, a splash, a revelry of rain and mud, a flood, an overflowing, out going, over blowing wetness.
His first visit fills the cups, and the bowls, the troughs, the arroyos, the hopes, washing the village clear, dampening the dust, raising the spirits of the fields even though, when he is finished, he flies off into the growing sun. His job well done. The spring begun.

Then comes the time to change my moccasins and the Mask. Then comes, instead, the time for the fields to be reborn, the time we will plant the corn.

Half Full

Nowadays, I am only half way here. The rest of me is somehow somewhere else. Half hearted is not nearly enough. Still trapped inside of my own pain. Teeth chattering. Moving in too many directions at once. Smoke in my blood. Nowhere else to go. No doorways. No windows. Down stairs only. Basement. Dungeon deep. Whirlpool. Sinkhole. Avalanche. Drowning. Dizzy. Burning. Ice. Does life always drive you insane? The earth is no longer spinning. The sky has stopped. The daylight is trapped. Bubbles are bursting. The wind speed is minus five miles per hour and dropping faster than the air pressure. Dreams and delirium dancing down the dark street, howling, beckoning into the alley, and the bottomless tar pit. This is no time to let go.

Holding onto to a feather. A fallen tree leaf with a painted flower, floating in a pond by a toad with poison skin. A dark eyed butterfly on a lilly pad, rising into sunrise. One more day. One more surprise. I am going out to fill the bird baths and water the dog wood. Breezes and buzzing bees playing in the skies. The grasshoppers are smiling. Azaleas, slightly the worse for wear, shedding wilted flowers. Perfumes and pheromones carried upwards on the songs of brightly colored birds, iridescent feathers, sharp beaks, nests in the overlooking treetops, full of sun and new eggs, pink and blue and green, speckled. Speckled like the forest sunlight filtering through the leaves. Like joy. Every color in the world.
The color of life is color, and all the colors combined make white, in the world of light. Out of the corner of my eye I see that my hair is now silver and I have a pulsating aura. I am still in love.
Nurtured by melodies and hands. Memories. Laughter. Warmth. Friendship. Whispers of clouds in the bright blue sky are taking notice and beginning to snuggle with one another, just like us. Acceptance, whether you like it or not. Breezes of cinnamon and honey, vanilla and harmony. Kisses and caresses. Clean sheets and warm, sweet tea. All is well, even storms and wasps, plagues and wars. Just battles to be fought. Something to do. Take a stand. Time always moving forward, or standing still while we move on. Just a point of view. Doesn’t matter. I can still see my reflection. Breathe deeply. I’m still here. Hold my hand. Let me hold yours. The colors don’t matter. The glass is still half full and the plums still taste like plums.

Self Hypnotism

Who are you? Who do you want to be? It might be easier than you think.

I like to swing out into implausible places, follow adventurous roads and impossible pathways. Of course, you never know, if you do this, where you might end up. This can lead to danger, or places stranger. You might be stripped down to a spirit or turn into an insect. You might even meet yourself, coming or going. Might find out you are not who you thought you were, who you wanted to be. I do not even know if you ought to go. If you do go, remember …..

To find the way back just follow the light.


Everyone relates to patterns because they are comfortable, familiar, reassuring, you know what’s around the corner, you know what comes next, you know your way around. Patterns are made from repetitions, multiplication, echoes, reflections, reproduction, symmetry, flower petals, footprints in the sand, duplication, do it again. Nothing as reassuring as predictably. Prophecy, sure as shooting. Everything is gonna be ok. You don’t get out of balance. Can’t get lost. Been here before.
But, how long can that go on? From the beginning of time until on and on and on. Yawn.

(Now, fractals are pleasant and natural. They don’t upset anyone. They don’t bother anyone. One little, almost predictable, change at a time. One step larger and thirteen more just like it, one step to the right and fourteen after that, one step smaller or one step to the left, twelve steps after all and maybe turn around. It’s a little different but not too disturbing. Expectation, alteration, something else, something you don’t already know. Something to look forward to. Kick up your heels. You can dance with a fractal. But, this isn’t about fractals. It’s about familiarity.)

Once you get familiar almost anything can be acceptable. Repetitions let you get familiar. Once you aren’t repulsed or afraid anything can become beautiful. Snakes, iguana, long tailed fish. Insects. Upsets. Wings with eyes. Get used to it. Get comfortable. Snuggle up. Get to know it. You might even like it. After all, its only an image.

Too far out on a limb? Never mind. I’ve got variation, combination, distortion, transformation, mutation and imagination. Rebellion. Let’s go further. Don’t stop now. I’ve got my own ideas. Different shapes, sizes, angles, perspectives. Color combinations. Free will. Romp around. Try something else. Anything goes. What goes? Here goes. I’m going. Who else is going? Let’s go!

The Two of Us

“The Two of Us” – My Artwork – V. Castellanos – pencil on paper – 3″ X 3″

Just the two of us. The ego and the other. The mirror. The relationship. The yin and yang. Yes and no. On or off. Right or left. Past or future. Either or. Me and you. Or, just you, hanging out on the other side, looking in.  Me, just waiting around. Not bound by any walls, any ideas, any reality. Anything goes. Competition or cooperation. You tell me. Where do we go from here?

No More Broadway Boogie Woogie

You can’t get there from here.

Not unless you go to forty second and take the shuttle.
I’m willing to do that. I’m willing to go all the way. Get out of town. Something else is happening. Somewhere else.

This time its organic. No artificial monopoly board confines and structure. No straight edges, right angles, sidewalks, parallel lines, lanes and alleys, blocks and buildings, concrete, steel, glass, manhole covers made of iron. Phone box here. Soda shop there. Meet me at the yellow square. The blue square, the red square. No longer there. Hop Scotch with Shirley Temple, marbles with Andy Rooney, jacks and jump rope, double dutch with the Little Rascals. Step on a crack and you break your mother’s back. Lucky Strike! Can’t hit back! I’d walk a mile for a Camel. Those days are long gone. We aren’t dancing downtown anymore with Tommy Dorsey.

Nowadays, I’m out in the open, breathing organic abstracts. Chinese Checkers instead of dominos. Kites instead of comic books. Curves and spheres, sunshine, smoke, mud puddles, protozoa, amoeba, plankton, flesh and blood, synapses, solar systems, nerve endings, nests, umbilical cords. Choices, decisions. Pathways through the forest, through day and night, through up and down, through life.

It’s always good to have a map.

Watch out Panspermia

“Panspermia One” – My Artwork – V. Castellanos – ink and tempera, two layer collage – 1984

Many scientists believe that the chemical processes that gave rise to life must have needed hundreds of millions of years to develop the essential enzymes, proteins and genetic codes for life to begin. Since there was too little time to complete the job on Earth, it is likely that life originated elsewhere, drifting through space to Earth in the form of spores or by some other means. This is known as the “panspermia” theory.

If it happened then it might happen now. Perhaps it is happening all the time.