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The Four Faced Wind

Poetry by Valeria Castellanos

Wayeb Days

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Wayeb Days
It is already Spring again.
Time to start over.
Time to look at myself,
With a really critical eye.

Time to ask,
Where am I going, this time?
And, how far have I already come?
What am I trying to do, this time?
Why am I trying to do it?

The high stepping Centaur has drawn his bow.
He wants to know,
And, both of the heads of Janus are asking.
The fishes,
The one going the right way,
And, the one going the other,
Have their questions, too.

Some of them are asking when.
Some are asking where.
One is even asking,
Do you really care?
There is tension in the air.

I am considering what the Winter said.
The equinox is still ahead.
I am considering the cold, cruel reality of payback,
Of karma attack.
The solstice-spin, flip-over, make over,
Dance in the clover,
The upright-seeking,
Gyroscopic, point-of-return,
Or, no-return,
Rounding out the corners.

These are my personal Wayeb Days,
Not the forced fun,
Saturnalia Days of puff and fluff,
And, Happy Holiday Wishes to you.
These are days ruled by the unfamiliar gods,
Thirteen times further away,
Than anybody else.
These are the days that don’t fit in.
The nameless days, fallen in between the cracks of time,
When the sun and the moon are reconciling and reconsidering,
When there is nothing to do,
But hold your breath.
The days in the down and under.
The days on the wrong side of the night,
The wrong side of the earth,
The wrong side of the wobble of the universe.
The look back, swallow-me-up, black-hole days.

But, don’t stay here.
This won’t last forever.
What does it matter,
What I think of myself?
Who can prevent themselves,
From unfolding into who they are?
No such thing as free will.

Disregarding rejections,
Changing my selections,
Erasing my imperfections,
Besides being impossible,
Would probably be inhuman.

After a while Spring will really heat up,
And, clowns will be dancing in the streets.
Back in the days when we danced,
Around May poles,
And, burnt Zozobra in the Square,
Carnival was a serious thing.
Everyone was required,
To write poetry about themselves,
And, satire came of age.

Today nobody knows himself,
Because we don’t have to.
So, why should I care?
Why should I go through this?
What does it matter?
We’ve got ourselves a new calender now.
Gregorian, artificial, more or less accurate,
Tied to the mind more than the heavens,
So, just throw away those old Wayeb Days.
No one is really interested,
And, it will all be the same in a hundred years.

Suddenly, I am concerned about you.
Where have you gone to in all of this darkness?

It is midnight and I want to give you a kiss.
V. Castellanos – 2015
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The Flute Player

Tonight is almost a spring night,
And, they say the Flute Player is already in town.
He has come to stir up the wind,
And, to announce the arrival,
Of the Circus of Clouds.

This is the time I go back to the Everglades,
Where the land is just a handful of powdered limestone,
Scattered gossamer over a white dragon’s skin.
But, after forty thousand years,
It has gathered a coating of metal skinned dragonflies.

The flowers have come out early this year.
The scent of lilies is in the air,
And, they are searching for raindrops.
But, the clouds are too young to understand.

The Flute Player,
Knowing how long Spring can take to awake,
Has climbed to the top of the pine tree,
And, gone to sleep in the black bird’s nest.

He will wait until the circus is over,
Until the clouds have stopped playing,
And, are ready for serious business.

The white moon would have liked,
To help the spring gather the clouds.
She would have liked,
To help the Flute Player stir up the wind.
But, all too soon her time was up.
After considering everything,
In between yesterday and tomorrow,
She decided to leave,
Threw away her halo,
Dissolved into a hopeful, blue mirage.

This morning a thousand birds,
Rise up with the sun.
Another thousand rise behind them.
They do not consider leaving.
They are offering their shadows to the clouds,
Because the clouds are still too full of light,
And, the birds love the taste of rain.

It appears, in the process of being born again,
The clouds have forgotten everything,
But, they are getting reacquainted with their designs.
Soon they will be feasting on one another’s dreams.
They will be holding hands and sharing ideas.

The wind is stirring on the other side of the horizon.
He is looking forward to the taste of rain.
He is turning yesterday,
Into buff colored dust,
Into a handful of powdered limestone,
Scattered over a white dragon’s skin.
He is turning yesterday,
Into a covering of metal skinned dragonflies.
After considering everything,
In between yesterday and tomorrow,
He has decided that today is already almost over.

The alligators, patiently chewing on snails,
Consider that the moon,
Who has dissolved and disappeared,
Has perhaps become a twinkle in the Flute Player’s eye.
They consider that the moon,
Has perhaps turned into a dew drop,
Before the rise of the sun,
Just to show the clouds it can be done.

The alligators are looking forward to taste the rain.

They do not consider leaving,
Because they know, when the rains return,
They will be immense and devour the sky.
They will dress in armor and lightning.
They will feed the palmettos,
The heron and the hurricanes.
They will be mightier than our imagination.

By then the Flute Player will be gone,
Over the blue horizon,
Dissolved into a hopeful, blue mirage,
And, my only protection will have to come,
From the thick perfume of the black mud,
From the swirling water under foot,
From the dry, sharp teeth of the saw grass,
And, the spiders as big as my hand.

This morning a thousand metal skinned dragonflies,
Who have been here for forty thousand years,
Have settled down on the white dragon’s skin,
Another thousand settled behind them.
The absurd circus is finally over,
And, the clouds are discussing empires.

I have climbed to the top of the pine trees.
I have thrown away my halo,
And, dissolved into a hopeful, blue mirage,
Learning to play my own flute.

I would like to stir up the white moon.
I would like to stir up the wind.
I am offering my shadow to the clouds,
Because I am thirsting for the taste of rain.

I have become a twinkle in the Flute Player’s eyes.
In between yesterday and tomorrow.
I am asleep in the black bird’s nest.
And, I am becoming well acquainted with my dreams.

Laughter

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“Laughter” – My Digital Artwork – V. Castellanos –

Last night I dreamt again of the Everglades.
They have become an obsession.
I have imbued them with my suffocating adoration, and
My overwhelming greed.
I feel the romances there, throbbing under the ground,
In the green sap of the cypress trees.
It is spring again and they are in love with one another.

Their love is composed of the same force as gravity,
As curiosity,
The same attraction that holds together atoms, molecules and solar systems.
It is the reason all of the ghost orchids bloom together on the same morning, and
Why all the wild heron sleep together in the same tree.

The wet, black, alligator earth knows it is spring.
She is dreaming of capture and kidnapping,
Of selfishly taking what is wanted,
Of never letting go.
She is dreaming of the kisses impressed by the footsteps of birds, and
The flicking of the lizards tails.
She would keep them forever if she could,
As permanent as tattoos,
Just as I would keep the kisses given to me, but
As this is not possible,
I sit instead with empty pockets,
Watching the beatles in the morning sun,
Put on their gaudy armor, and
Set out to conquer the world.

Who but the witch doctor morning glories,
Can read the contortions of the clouds?
Who else knows who will survive to see the green flash of the setting sun?
Who but the tree frog magus can understand the words of the raindrops?
Who else knows who will win and how far each will go?

I sit with empty pockets, and
I’m pleased to be in this vast, amoral space,
Where there are no angels and no devils,
Where neither good nor evil exist,
Where no one dies of a broken heart.

This is a catch as catch can world.
Images mean nothing and manifestation is everything.
Time is measured by activity, and
Everyone is known by the total results of their actions.
The immense illusion of serenity has begun to crack, and
Fall apart, revealing displays of competition and combat.
The tension of extraordinary desire.
The shadows break and reveal a cathouse of sex,
A demand for continuation,
A bordello of acquisition and submission,
A realization that immortality is not a possibility.

I would wish to stay here forever,
Delighting in things just the way they are,
Happy with the energy of being alive, right now.
I would fill my pockets with the intentions of rainbows,
Or, the inventions of the absinthe intoxicated ibis.

Perhaps when I awake the Everglades would have taught me to forget,
That life turns into nothing,
To remember that the only thing of importance,
Is your laughter, and
My laughter.

V. Castellanos – June 2013

Winter Solstice

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“Winter Solstice” digital art by V. Castellanos

I am filled with light and sparks.
My skin is shrivelling, growing withered.
My face is growing old, and wrinkled, cold.

The day has been shrinking,
Tired,
Giving up to the night.
Shrivelling, growing withered,
Growing old, wrinkled and cold,
Without putting up a fight,
But, tonight is the Winter Solstice.

The day has begun to yearn.
The tide begins to turn.

The day makes an effort to change the spin,
To turn around, begin again.
The day stops growing wrinkled and old.
Stops, cold,
In its tracks.

I would make the effort,
I would fight the night,
I yearn but I do not believe I can turn.
I must ride my own tide,
And, I am more indolent than the earth,
More lethargic than the day,
Less powerful than the winter or the night I have to fight.
The best I can do is stand my ground.
I do not believe I can overcome irreversible time.

And so, my hair keeps growing whiter and whiter,
But, each of my white hairs is a day I spent in sunshine,
Or, a night I slept in stardust dreams,
And, I still believe the best is always yet to come.

Some day I will be older than everyone else.
Then what I have to say will matter.

V. Castellanos

I Asked My God

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“I Asked My God” Florida Highway Men

I awoke before dawn in the Everglades
And, I asked my God to speak to me
But, if he answered, I could not hear
Because the bird’s songs suddenly soared
Louder than the thunder of the rising sun
And, the purple voices of the broad palmetto leaves
Rose in praise of the new day

The tone of the sweet, blue sky rang deep
And, the laughter of the clouds ran loud
The raven’s wings rang wide and full
And, the moss was full of bells

I could not hear his answer
Because the river’s melodies rose up
To join the uproar of the dragonflies
And, the whispers of the stars behind the daylight
I could not hear because of the cacophony of unfolding flower petals
And, the towering symphonies of the butterflies wings
I could not hear because the lizards were reciting ancient rhymes
And, the snails were telling tales of the Milky Way
I could not hear because of the ant’s arias
And, the ballads of the turtles
The moonflowers tempani
And, the caterpillar’s kettledrums

I asked my God to speak to me
And, I am still wondering
What his voice will sound like
When he answers

I Do Not Need a Miracle

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“I do not Need a Miracle” – Ink and colored pencil on paper – 5 1/2″ x 7 7/8″ – My Artwork

I do not need a miracle.
I have a dragonfly,
With multi-facetedeyes and a wingspan as wide as my hand,
Who has whispered the secrets of the morning to my ear.

I have a yellow leaf who has danced befor my eyes as beautifully as a butterfly,
And, brought to me a golden, sun lit afternoon when she landed in my lap.

I have a purple, heart shaped pod,
Which has falling off of the vine, into my outstretched hand,
And, has promised a moonflower for my hair will be born tonight.

I have a root which has been an intimate friend of the earth,
And, a rainbow which has enclosed the entire sky.
I have a cloud to lay my head upon.
I have a star.
I have a dream.
I have a songbird and a child.

I do not need a miracle.

I have all the proof I need.

V. Castellanos – November 2014

Unwanted

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“The Edge of the Everglades” – Oil Pastel on paper – 11″ x 8 1/2″ – by V. Castellanos

The Everglades do not want us,
We who would be kings,
We who would be scientists,
Would be magicians,
Mathematicians,
Or, even poets,
We who would crack the genetic code,
And, understand quantum mechanics,
We who would walk in the dusts of the moon,
And, on the rings of Saturn,
We who would build pyramids and bridges,
Conquering empires and devouring the earth,
We who would have the weather under our control,
And, the wind under our command,
With robotic slaves and computational miracles,
Clones and the keys to unlock the secrets of immortality.

We are out of place.
We are not really welcome here.
Only the changelings are welcome,
The fairies raised as humans,
The humans raised as fairies,
But, you know, the changelings are part of the past,
There are no changelings now.

What the Everglades really want,
Is for the dragon souls of its trees,
To be free and unfettered,
To slip beyond the confines of their bark into the clouds,
To sing with the mud and to soar with the eagles,
To celebrate snakes and snails,
To creep out of the darkness,
Into the bodies of beetles and the tongues of the tortoise,
Into the breeze and the alligator’s souls,
Into the panther’s eyes and the wings of heron,
To keep the worlds quick shadows,
And, the green heartbeats,
All in tune with one another,
And, in harmony with the rains and sunshine.
They only want time to pass the way the breezes pass,
And, sunlight to continue caressing the ripples under the grasses.
They want the air to feed the trees,
And, the mud to feed the insects.
They would have the simplicity of chaos,
Excite the complexity of nature,
And, keep the universe expanding.
They would nurture every form of life,
Without limitation, without gradation,
Without judgment.
Keep wanting. Reproduce.
Dancing to music we cannot hear.
Laughing with hurricanes.
Breathing emotion.

But, the spirits can no longer do that,
Because they know we are coming,
Instead they are holding hands,
Holding tight to their dreams,
Holding their breath,
Hiding inside the leaves.
They know who we are.
They hear us, almost upon them,
Surveying equipment in hand,
Trampling through and shouting,
Singing of our accomplishments,
And, ready to take over,
Ready to change,
Everything.

If you stopped trampling about so much,
Could you be as quiet as the blue-black beetle,
As calm as a cypress tree,
As graceful as a ghost orchid,
As insubstantial as a rainbow?
If you could, you might hear the thoughts,
Of the lizards and the leaves,
The Spanish moss,
The sap inside of the twigs.
They are whispering into the spaces,
The places,
Inside of one another’s minds,
Where the winds neither enter nor interface.

Wary of every step we take,
They have been around a long time,
And, they have seen a lot.

“Go away! Go away! Go away!” they say.
“Go back by the road on which you came.
“Go away and shut the door,
“Behind you when you leave.”
But, we, who do not believe in spirits,
We don’t hear a thing.

Like the toys in your childhood bedroom,
Who came to life only when you were asleep,
They are keeping their secrets.

And, what are we doing here anyway?
Did we just come to play with Peter Pan?
Did we come here to find the Fountain of Youth?
To make our fortune?
To gain our fame?

Did we come hungry for knowledge?
Did we come for vision to grant us power?
Did we come to break everything apart,
Or to steal the gold egg?
What did we come to change?
Why do we want to change it?
What are the plans we have here,
For our logic and laws and our rational minds?

The Everglades never were intellect’s minions.
They are not challenging the heavens,
Reaching for the stars.
They are not trying to conquer anything.
They are not burdened with the need for evidence, or analysis,
For facts and information,
Statistics or probabilities,
Or, even a personal vision of truth.
They live by the strength of their hunger,
And, the beat of their hearts.
They only want what is, and care not for what if.

The Everglades’ spirits are getting to know us,
And, the wind has begun to shift.

“Aren’t you ready to leave yet?”
“Aren’t you ready to leave?”

We are just like the Everglades.
We can only be what we are.
It seems that none of us have a choice.

What can we learn from one another,
Moving in different directions?
Will we meet at the end of the circle,
Or, will I go on and on until I am dizzy?
Will I follow myself until I’m lost?

After we are gone, of course,
The Everglades will take everything back.
The landscape will reassemble itself.
The leaves will abandon their camouflage.
The birds will grow a thousand wings,
And, the bodies of beasts will manifest,
In multiple additional dimensions.
The lizards will dance for the wild anhingas.
The heron will sing to the strangler figs.

Tonight the Everglades will be in my dreams,
But, I think it will forget about me,
As quickly as they can.

V. Castellanos – 1998

To NYC and Back

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“Improbable Paradise” Digital Art – Photo Art – 9/11/2018

Continue reading “To NYC and Back”

The Incurious Beatles

The incurious beetles
Are scurrying over the broken shards of reality
Slipping into the illusions of crevices in the canvas
Into cracks of absurdity, of obscurity
Obscenity, infinity
Into five fold mutations
Mutilations
Radiation situations
Stimulations
Simulations
Manipulations
Interrupted continuations
Eradications
Fornications, ejaculations
Fabrications of instability and insanity
Extinction events enclosed in a jar

It is the perfection of nature’s immutable laws
Which keeps me in balance
But, I am still descending into gravity
And, time is catching up
Space running out
Water turning into ice
Hair turning white
Bones cracking
Every mirage a possibility
But, don’t forget Fukushima

I am only a whispering flower
Made of dust
Thirsty
On the edge of the desert
On the edge of emptiness
On the edge of my own extinction
And, maybe the extinction of everyone else

Burned by passing asteroids
By raging daylight
Distant moons and meteor showers
And, howling, cosmic energies
Vibrations feeding my aura with sensations
And, revelations
Struck by a comet from another solar system
Bringing dreams fed by heavy, black stones
Moans transformed into a trembling, musical note
Of unimaginable beauty
And, a smile fed by the memory of every day which ever was

 

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