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. Dying. Giving birth. I am an Oroborus with an open mouth, Singing in the graveyard, And, feasting at Jubilee.
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.
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.
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.
“One must have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
The goats are dancing this morning,
With smiles and rectangular eyes.
No one seems to know why.
Least of all me.
The mist, not yet burned off by the sun,
Hangs pale and blue over the earth,
Caressing the tree’s roots,
And, the candy stripped mushrooms.
Fogs in the forest,
Ghost gray in the branches,
Kisses under the falling leaves.
This is not a surprise,
I was up before sunrise,
Under the faded moon.
Even then, before the stars closed their eyes,
The sky was the color of water,
And, catfish were laughing at their own whispers,
Jumping out of sinkholes,
Swimming in a river of stars.
One fish, two fish,
How do you do, fish?
Black fish, blue fish,
I am after you, fish.
A bold fish, a cold fish,
I don’t care how old, fish.
Green fish, mean fish,
Swimming in the stream, fish.
Fat fish, lean fish,
You are on my wish list, fish.
Brown fish, clown fish,
Swimming up and down, fish.
Blow fish, glow fish,
Nowhere left to go, fish.
Red fish, dead fish,
You will make a tasty dish.
Hatch a fish, catch a fish,
You will be delicious, fish.
A hook, a pole,
A roll of twine,
And, pretty soon,
You will be mine.
Butter sauce with lemon-lime,
Sage, oregano and thyme,
A lovely glass of cold, white wine,
A meal which will deserve a kiss.
I’d like to know, so I don’t miss,
Are there other words which rhyme with fish?
In fairy vales and fantasy
From Tara to Ultima Thule
You may dance with the King
You may dance with the Queen
You may even dance with the Fool
It should be no surprise
When you open your eyes
There’ll be butterfly puddings
And, dragonfly pies
With a gingerbread bird
In a chocolate disguise
And, a jingle bell Jack
You can win as a prize
With an apple red sunrise
In blue cheese cake skies
It is the wind which changes everything
The unsettling wind
Which is filling the swelling, invisible tension of movement
Replacing it with space
Announcing itself in whistles
Speaking in unknown tongues
Using only vowels and moans
With overtones of jazz and chaos
Actions dictated by anarchy
And, directed by insanity
Without regard to the rest of the world
It is the wind which changes everything
As I awake
The purple mesa
Is hovering above the horizon
The orange sands
To remember last night’s dream
The appearance of clouds
The taste of rain
The unfolding of flowers
Disguised as rattling thorns
Singing to phantoms of yesterday
And, dust devils
Uncovering silver mirages