The Four Faced Wind

Poetry by Valeria Castellanos


August 2015

I Do Not Trust

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

I Want to Ask the Lizards

Lizard - not my art

I want to ask the lizards

In clouds, what faces do they see?

What are their expectations

Of the flower and the tree?

Have they cultivated

A great desire to fly?

What colors call them by their names

From the blinding sky?

What are the ancient rituals

They use to worship gods?

What are the words of lullabies

They sing to milkweed pods?

What in the wide world do they love?

And, what to them is frightening?

From where do they think comes the storm?

And, what’s the use of lightning?

Where do they think the stars are going?

Why is the river always flowing?

Why does the earth spin ’round about?

What makes the thunder want to shout?

When they’re waiting, in the sun

Do they wonder, just for fun

What would keep the wind from blowing?

And, what will they do if the roots stopped growing?

Valeria Castellanos – March 12, 2015



The hideous summer is now invading. Can’t escape. He is all pervading.
Overpowering and persuading. Expressive, repressive, heat parading.
Summer returning. Indeed, I am yearning. The whole world is burning.
Ensconced himself, yes, in the heart of the sky. No one knows why.

Smoldering, shrieking, a monster by day.
You can’t make him stop because this is his way.
By night he is tossing and turning and churning.
One hideous eye, open wide, for my sake.
Whatever you say, he still won’t take a break.
His hot breath is keeping the forest awake.
Smothering, smoldering gray soil and leaves.
The humid earth heaves.
In howling, scowling love, with everything green,
Everything unseen, everything throbbing.
Overcoming, overflowing, overwhelming, overblown.
He will become Osiris, the insistent father of fruit.
The unbounded, over lord progenitor.
The expanding, demanding, impregnating God blossom.
Of unclaimed, unnamed, untamed, inflamed fertility,
Bursting through spring’s worn out skin.

Overbearing. Caring. Obsessive, possessive, oppressive.
Protective. Stirs the fire. Inflates the sky. Agitates the air.
Copulating everywhere. Out to increase the world.
Everything is bigger. Everything is growing.
I stop to ask, Where are we going?
Almost the size of a solar system.
At least the size of a star,
Generates his own heat. Heartbeat.
Yang thrilling. Yang fulfilling. Rageing yang. A raping gang.
Abundance, dancing through purple thunderstorms,
Through lightning splashing, thunder clashing.
Enthusiasm. Exaggeration. Exhilaration.
Hurricane hysteria. Mysterious delirium.
Life force flowing, glowing, always growing.
Insatiable. Inevitable. Unrelenting, unrepenting.
Do it now. Don’t wait. Tomorrow is going to be too late.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, the equinox rocks. The autumn shocks.
Tomorrow will turn the tide again. Will let the cold back in.
The summer, exhausted, will start to pale, will turn his tail, will begin to fail.
And so, the fall will make the call, will dance through the day and devour us all.
The world will moan and mourn, forlorn. Gone is the summer. My heart is torn.
Retreat to the frozen nest, to rest. The cold invades my aching breast.

I am no longer burning, burning. Now I am turning.
What am I learning? The world is still churning,
And, I am still yearning.

Why do I moan? I want my own throne.
And, I don’t want you to leave me alone.

Don’t make me pray. Don’t make me pay.
I’m willing to do, whatever you say.
All that I ask of you is, please, don’t send me away.

Hold me and tell me, for I am still yearning.
Tell me again, when, is summer returning?



Lo, I am at the crossroads

 where all men meet

 It is here I pause

I consider which way to go

I stoop to add another stone

to mark my passing

and, I wait, to see who comes along

I have become indifferent to everything

except unconditional freedom

beyond land and sea

I want to go to sit on mountains

and count lost civilizations

lost cultures, lost wisdom, lost souls

I want to go to wander with my shadow

and we together want to seek, we want to speak

we want to sing to the sky

to the dust, to the rust

to thorns and scorpions

to strength and to determination

knowing we are of the same great importance

as the venom of snakes and the solitude of stars

I want to go to watch humanity, lost

rivers of small minds, running like beetles

over the earth

feeding whipperwills of fantasy

and belligerent blue jays of war

shrieking into the clouds

with complaints and promises

seeking one another

seeking security

seeking acceptance






fulfill all my wishes

seeking affection

devoid of direction

full of free will

free to fail, free to fall

free to try, to die

to never know why

to become either fodder

or slaves

to be washed clean by waves

or become ever smaller under the weight of gravity

and the duration of time

the shrinking of thinking

and reason

The heart which does not care first for itself

is flawed beyond repair

How can it beat on behalf of others?

Let my heart beat in the clear, rare air

Let my breath gather the insights of the heights

I am resigned to nature and to nothing else

for man’s ways are as fickle as his mind

and change as quickly as his ways

as what he says and who he pays

who he obeys and why he prays

But, the mountains are beginning to tremble

And, the winds are singing of tsunamis

Night is falling

Long shadows are calling

warning that hard times are coming

So, I am going

to return to the fold

to hold hands with my brothers and sisters

I do not want to lose my place in line

and, I may be able to help

Valeria Castellanos – August 16, 2015

The Red Moon

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 The red moon makes me moan
 Groan like an ember
 Throw me a bone
 Shivering in the ashes
 Like a thousand lashes
 She is burning, turning
 Like a lust driven God

 Smoke gray moths, entranced
 Dance before her pictographic face
 Reflections in the smoking mirrors
 Leave behind no trace
 Lanterns swaying
 Flames waylaying
 Fantastic feathers waving, playing
 In the corners of my room
 Tonight I’m wearing sequined masks
 And, a dangerous perfume

This conflagration of a starless night
This moonlight bright
Makes me wonder
What are we doing?

Do you ask, on nights like this
The thoughts of the silent, scarlet moon?
Do you hear the voices of her soft, mother-purr
Her pale and polished, driftwood voices
Changing key as her phases change?
Do you hear her silken voices rage and range
With a luster made of ancient pearls
With the conch shell’s trumpet whirls
With songs of secret kisses
And, arias of hidden wishes?

Does she call your name?
Does she call your blood?
Does she ask you to recite your dreams?
Does she ask you what the music means?
Does she speak to you
Of visions
She has seen on the other side?
Does she take you for a midnight ride?
Does she watch you?
Does she catch you
The way that she catches
The wandering tide?

Does she weave her webs into your soul
And, give you new-dream, moonbeam seeds?
Does she smooth your restless thoughts
The way she soothe the restless weeds?

Does she calm your wildest fears?
Does she magnify your tears?

Did you not know, the moon stands apart
And, the moon has neither a voice nor a heart?
Did the red moon come to make you moan?
Did she come to throw you off your throne?
Shiver in the ash
Like an ember groan
Did you not know you are really all alone?
You are standing on your own

Valeria Castellanos – July 2015

In the Dream of the Broken Clock

I awake and expect the moon to be as silent as always,
floating calmly between the clouds,
but tonight she instead,
has fire in her eyes,
has painted the flowers violet,
slashed them with scarlet shadows,
fire and blood.
  She is laughing with the silver crickets,
mouth open,
hair all over the sky,
cheeks full, bellowing,
sharing her secrets with everyone except me.
All I can find are echoes.
  The clock can no longer tell me the time,
or time has just given up, stopped all together,
but I think it must be summer, spring at least.
I am pretty sure it is time to burn my clothing,
dance around the fire.
This may even be the full May moon.
  When I join the parade of moths lightning up the night,
they tell me the sky is a cloak of ember wings.
The moon is laughing at our pride,
stars astonished by our insignificance.
  Dawn is out there somewhere,
probably getting closer to the horizon.
  My hair is all over the sky, a lure for moths.
trying to tell me, in which direction the waking world lies in wait.
ButI cannot understand,
so, I will just dance here for a while,
or encircle the laughing moon,
enticing her to tell me her secrets,
until the clock, decides, to go back to work.
Valeria Castellanos – 2003



Who was it then? Who told me to write this poem?

Already here when I arrived
the dragonfly
   with a wingspan as wide as my hand
   eyes composed of a thousand facets
a thousand questions
a thousand answers
I imagine she is awake because
her eyes are open
   but, she may just be dreaming me
I am dreaming she is my friend because
we share the same stars
   we wear the same seasons
   we bare the same reasons
I am dreaming
   we both believe in joyful cooperation
The edge of the world is blazing bright
barely able to contain us both
   vibrations of a glass bell
   green grass on the breeze
While we are here
   contemplating one another
   a dream
   dreaming another dream
   under a cloudless sky
   we have been growing
Glowing in a world without shadows
   our corners cleaned by the same wind
   imaginations digesting the same perfume
   learned to sing the same songs
     under the same conduction
     of the energy of the sky
     the same reverberations of the earth
Sooner or later the dragonfly
with her questioning eyes
   wing-span as wide as my hand
   silently containing
   answers I cannot fathom
   as still now as the crystal afternoon
   will decide she has learned everything I could teach her
   will decide I have invaded her solitude
     her independence
     her self-sufficiency
She will forget her dream
   and my dream
   forget about me
   fly away
   be gone from my sight forever
I will never learn
everything she could teach me
I will forever be unable to fly
    to be as self-sufficient
    independent or solitary as she
I will stay here
   singing the songs we learned together
   under the conduction of the universe
   holding your hand
   without a dragonfly
   energy of the sky
   vibrations of a glass bell
   reverberations of the earth
I will be holding your hand
contemplating one another
   digesting the same perfume
   in a million crystal afternoons
   blazing bright
The dragonfly
gone from my sight
   asked me not to forget
She said this moment is worth a poem
Valeria Castellanos – February 2015

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