The Four Faced Wind

Poetry by Valeria Castellanos

How Will I Know?

The sky is covered with sleeping stars
The thick leaves are moon-shadow filled
I will be up and will walk the fields
As soon as the dew fills the spider’s webs
But tonight I am lost in this dream
I am following the footprints the winds left behind
When they stole all the flowers that fell from the sky
I am sitting on stilled clouds and asking
How does the fisherman know, in his bones
Where he should cast out his fishing net?
I am asking how will I know
When I’m old
In which garden the lillies
Will first come to bloom?


by V. Castellanos – 2001


Everglades by the Sea

Everglades by the Sea

Have you heard the oyster’s
Paleolithic songs?
Have you heard the callings,
Of the blue whelks on the beach?
Have you heard the quite poems,
Of the salty, green-glass sea?
Have they said to you,
The things they say to me?
Or, have they whispered mysteries,
Only to your ears?

Neither the sea nor the Everglades,
Are ready to answer my questions.
The sea is forever restless,
And, the Everglades have no voice.

The swamp mud carries dark, magic spells,
And, the Everglades carry curses,
But, wherever you go, there are no caves,
With wind rushing out of their mouths.
They issue no warnings, no premonitions,
They sing no prophetic songs,
They will not tell me the future,
Nor give me a reason to be.
So, how do I know where to go,
To hear the voice of my Sybil?

I am beginning to think,
The questions I ask,
Do not have answers, yet.
Tomorrow, perhaps, they will no longer matter.
But, when I am in the Everglades,
Although there’s darkness in the shades,
The heron’s eyes are very jolly,
And, I am away from melancholy.
The wind is made of merry laughter.
Now, it seems, I can’t remember,
What it was that I came here after.

But, some time in the future,
All my questions will be answered.

by V. Castellanos – January 10, 1999


Beauty – Digital Art by V. Castellanos

Oh, dark Soothsayer
Who visits me in dreams
I ask you to tell me
The secrets of coming time
Tell me how long we have to wait
For the break up of the image

Only reality works
So, when will it stop being possible
For us to pretend
We are something else?

Are machine thoughts taking us over?
Electric power in the air
Microwaves in our hair
Radio waves, x-rays
Wi-fi, open your eyes
Revelations filling the skies
Reverberations throughout the earth
To what are they giving birth?

Tell me, how will beauty
Which cannot be taken apart
Everything in my life
Is really, intuition or inspiration
And, half of everything I know
Is my imagination

Thales of Miletus
Who kissed his own muses
Said everything is made out of water
And, everything is filled with chaos
That is the nature of things

And, so, I am wet
Because I am alive
And, I kiss my muses

I swallow water
I swallow chaos

I open my mouth to speak
And, I eat up the chaos of clouds
I eat up the rain with what I say
Words wash out of my mouth
And, stream into the rivers

All of the rivers flow into the sea
And, the sea is speaking back to me
Overflowing with chaos and words

I am the opposite of chaos
I restore order
My enemy is entropy
Using my energy
Gives me more
It dies if I let it lie still

I am harmonic
And, a part of harmony itself
My greatest belief is in beauty
Poems are how I bestow my kisses
And, why I am still in possession
Of all of my certainty

This is how I know that my spine
Is the spatial curve of the universe
My sacred body is the structure
And, the basis of all of the world

And, I have a precious knowledge
That beauty is a God

I prefer beauty to everything
To ambition and to appetite
To advantage, adventure and habit
To satisfaction and to opinion
To luxury, ease and inertia

And, the words that are flowing
Out of the ocean
Are proclaiming
Loud and clear
Announcing to everyone
Far and near
To anyone who wants to hear

Beauty has its own meaning
And, beauty is not an accident

V. Castellanos 1999



If you should die before me
I know where I would go
And, I know what
To the world I would say
“Leave me alone, now
Go away.”

I will become a recluse by the sea

I will walk ’till I reach
A silent beach
Beyond the passersbys.
I will fill my eyes
With the wind and the moon
And, I will think only of you.

I will walk with the shooting stars
Hand in hand
And, cry with the clouds
When they fall in the sand.

I will turn myself into
The Mermaid Who Weeps
And, who sleeps
With the lost ships
Which never made land.

I will weave widow’s weeds
With the pearls of the sea
And, my dreams will say
You are still dreaming of me.

V. Castellanos -1998


The touchstone has been mislaid.
Can’t tell if I’m real or not.
It is time to look at my blood.
It is time to re-play my dreams.
I have heard
That the promised word,
No longer says what it means.

To spores of rocks and marble eggs,
How does my birth compare?
Nature, it seems, is changing her ways.
Let the bearded, old men beware.

Why do you watch me so carefully?
What do you want to take?
Best we keep our eyes
On tomorrow’s prize,
And, beware for the children’s sake.

The touchstone has been mislaid.
Can’t tell if you’re fake or real.
Best be awake,
So much is at stake,
And, so fast goes the spinning wheel.

Fake or mistake, there is danger,
Gravel and marl in the veins.
Cold in the eye and, marble sky,
Granite roses and glacial rains.

Igneous ocean, rock bound maze.
Take careful watch of uncertain days.
Nature, it seems, is changing,
Her time worn, age old ways.

Limestone shadows, time lines fade,
Dawn’s undone and land re-made,
Nothing is certain,
The touchstone is gone,
And, the truth has been mislaid.

I am Going to Go to the Sea

I am going to go to the sea

Black clouds race with the morning,
Dawn’s silver is covered with cloth of gold.
Tassels and shadows of velvet coming,
To cover the village with mold,
Cover the village with mildew,
Cover the village with dust.
Cover the village with chill and with damp,
Cover the village with rust.

And, now, the village is silent.
Soon the shadows of flowers will burst
Wine of the phoenix,
And, pomegranates, red,
Are coming to quench my thirst.

Shadows are coming to cover the rainbows.
Go ahead, do your worst

The clouds which cover the village,
Are the clouds which cover me.
I am going to leave the village behind.
I want to go down to sea.

I wanted to be the song of a bird.
I wanted to be a soft night.
I wanted to be a huge, golden fire,
And, fill up the world with light.
I wanted to be a silver fish,
To be an evergreen tree.
I wanted your eyes to give me a kiss.
Now, I want to go down to the sea.

And, what are you going to do with your life?
Are you going to walk with the grass?
Are you going to talk with the rain in the clouds,
Under a sky of glass?
If you are, then follow me down this trail,
Curving about like a shell.
Follow the spirals of whelks and of conchs,
Down to the ocean’s swell.

With wide wings of salt,
There the water-witch dwells,
With her old siren charms,
And, her young mermaid spells.
We will kiss there and dance,
And, the sea-winds will sing.
Then the sky will cease darkening,

So, I do not care,
What the village folks say.
I am going to leave,
At the break of the day.
Leave the mold and the rust,
Leave the mildew and dust.

I am going to go,
For I know that I must.

Take my hand.
Come with me.
It’s where I need to be.
I am going to go to the sea.

V. Castellanos 2003

Dragon King

Dragon King

I am tired of looking at myself,
In the polished, onyx mirrors,
The Phoenix holds for me.
I am tired of looking for beauty.
What I need to find is love.

I am going to put on a collar of scales,
And, go up, into the clouds.
I am going to dance with my Dragon King,
And, twine his songs in my hair.
If I’m naked or dressed in a gown of stars,
My Dragon King does not care.

I will dance when the Dragon King dances,
I will sing when the Dragon King sings.
Dragon flowers will grow on my forehead,
And, I will sprout dragon wings.

Tonight I will breathe the Dragon’s fire.
We will swim to the heart of the sky.
For I think I’m in love with the Dragon King,
And, I won’t even tell you why.

I Do Not Trust

4-16 14.50.43-picsay
I Do Not Trust – Digital Photo Art by V.Castellanos

To send my love I do not trust 
The eyes of golden butterflies 
Nor do I trust the silver glow 
Of stardust’s silent flow 

I do not trust 
The poems lines 
Not games of words 
Nor tricks of rhymes 

I put no faith in velvet petals
Nor in the shine of burnished metals
I do not trust the night or day
The forest’s plumage, bright and gay
Not the sunbeams nor the endless sky 
The wind’s wild song nor his soulful sigh
I do not trust the glyphs, the dunes
The rivers laugh, the songbirds tunes
The thinness of the pale new moon

I only trust he will hear the croon 
Of the howling, magic, midnight loon

The Queen of Bees

The Queen of Bees – ink on paper by V. Castellanos

When I awoke this morning
I found I was a fragile flower
Perched on a sunbeam’s edge

I am inviting you to treat me, today
As a special jewel
A crystal with a thousand facets and inflections
A rainbowed dew drop with uncountable reflections
A holographic fragment containing the entire universe
A flowered, honey bee with sides and angles
You have never contemplated before

If you take up my invitation
I will treat you, in the morning, as an angel
In the afternoon, I will treat you like a king
And, when the fire burns bright tonight
And, you become a dragon
I will treat you as a god

I will be vibrant and perfumed
Enticing, with my eyes, your fires
My seething heart will breathe
Will heave
Igniting your desires

Buddha, secure in his detachment
May disapprove of my excesses
My caresses
My emotion
My devotion
But, I still, will
Bring to you
The pungent nectar
Of ten thousand flowers
Which burst
To quench your thirst

I will dance for you and sing
Give to you, my fluttering wing
Here, beside the blue bell’s ring
I will meet, your sweet demands
I will give to you my sweet hands
I will give to you my sweet dreams
I will give you all my rainbowed facets
And, my sweet sunbeams

If you search my quiet shadows
And, the darkness of my eyes
If you brush away my showers
And, the hush of my disguise
I will invade you
And, persuade you
To believe in myths of old
To believe in warriors bold
To believe my body’s gold
And, that I am
The Queen of Bees
I’m sweet as swamp fed, dogwood trees
Sweet, white clover, honey breeze
Swinging on my high trapeze
Through skies of amber, buzzing, please

My body’s brushed
With pollen’s dust
And, I am here to interweave
I am here to intertwine
I am here to wind
About you
Like a lavish, jasmine vine

I will feed you with ambrosias
Of the sweetest, wild perfume
Distilled from whisps of distant clouds
Which decorate the afternoon
And, the wishes of sweet flowers
Who have kissed the fragrant moon

If you wish me
If you kiss me
If you come and take my hand
You will see me
(You can’t be me
But, I know
You’ll understand)
I am just a fleeting notion
Yet, I am a potent potion
Like the sighs that fill the ocean
With restless waves and breathless motion

When you meet me
You complete me
You mistreat me
You defeat me
Yet, you are my revelation
You are my extreme elation
You compel my transformation

For you, I’ll be my most sensational
In your arms I am insatiable
And, still, I am a fragile flower
Perched on the edge of a sunbeam’s bower
My rainbowed, dew drop wings are sunny
If you kiss me, I’ll turn into honey

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