The Four Faced Wind

Poetry by Valeria Castellanos

The Garden

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“The Red Moon” “The Garden” – Digital Compilation by V. Castellanos

We went into the garden,
To plant a seed,
And, watch it grow.
But, then I found,
That someone else,
Was walking in the garden.

Someone was there.
I could not see.
And, evil never dies.

There are voices in the garden now,
Voices without faces,
Voices whispering,
To the innocent ones,
Things it does not mean for us to know.

And, there is laughter in the garden,
Which is neither mine nor yours.
It is not the kind of laughter,
Which I like to hear.

This sound does not belong in the garden,
This dark sound,
Crawling behind the indigo, poison shadows.
This is not the humming of hummingbirds.
It is murmuring,
Dark and torpid murmuring,
Murmuring from under the fountains,
And, from under the grayness under the stairs.
It is not the sound of green or sun,
Or, the joy of praying mantis’ prayers.

I cannot understand the murmured whispers,
But, the innocent ones are laughing,
And, this is not the smell of flowers,
Or, beehives filled with honey.

Something in the garden is calling,
Calling to the innocents,
Calling, calling gray and thin,
Like the sound of chilling rain,
Calling, thin and hollow,
Calling the innocent ones,
To bring their souls,
And, to come into the garden.

Now, I am hearing songs in the garden,
Songs you and I have never sung.
The innocent ones are humming the songs,
Humming the songs,
Humming the gray and hunting refrains.

I fear that the innocent ones will think,
This is only a game.
I fear that the garden will lure them away,
And, they will be tricked,
Into trading their souls for trinkets.

The flowers in the garden are withered,
And, the voices in the shadows are gathering faces.
The gate to the garden is standing open.
Neither you nor I would have left it that way.

I do not remember another time,
Of so many spiders and spider’s webs.
And, there are so many whispers,
Whispering, whispering,
Thin and cold,
Like the sound of chilling rain.

The innocent ones are whispering now,
And, speaking in tongues,
Whispering now and humming,
Singing and laughing,
The laughter I do not like to hear.

I do not want to go into the garden.
The withered flowers have gathered faces,
And, the faces are faces,
You and I have never seen.
The voices never cease their calling,
Murmuring, whispering, moaning,
Humming the hunting refrains,
Of music I don’t understand.

I do not want to go into the garden.
I do not want to go out,
Into the poison, indigo shadows.
Not even just to close the gate.
I do not want to go into the garden,
Of so many spiders and spider’s webs,
The garden of grayness from under the fountain,
From under the stairs.
But, the garden is the whole world,
And, so I have to go.



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I am a barefooted wanderer, On a road not of my making, Adrift between landscapes of light and thunderstorms of evil, Entangled in forests which hide the underground earth, With wild weeds and the aroma of roses. Ephemeral like a leaf already fallen out of the tree, Out of the clouds, Out of the songs of the stars hidden behind the daylight.

I let down my hair and I walk beyond solemn visaged cities devoid of reality, Shunned by miracles, Filled with angles and corners in which demons dwell, Temptations swell, Cathedrals full of deceit and conceit, games of guilt and sin, trying to win, pity and gold, control and adornment. Madness following madness.

I have mistaken the blue heron for shadow, And, I have thought the moon was a smile interrupting my dreams, Coming closer than ever before, While I was aglow like the ripest sunset, Like a dozen circus freaks beating on drums, Like a barefooted, fire eating juggler, A sword swallower on a tight rope. A trapeze artist swinging in the breeze, A clown pursued by the devil, Climbing a mile high skyscraper. Entertainment everywhere. Don’t look now. A whirling dervish dancing in the wind, A faker climbing into the mouth of a serpent. How could anyone be so high?

The audience stands mouth agape, Staring wherever the spotlight shines, And, watching the wrong hand of the magician. The piper is on the march, Leading the children away, Into the realm of black eyed ravens and unreality.

To avoid the three ring circus, The sacred has gone underground, Awaiting resurrection, expecting insurrection, Biding time and playing the angel’s trumpet. Truth is disguised, confused and obscured. Covered up by the carnival music that keeps us spinning. Everyone out there thinks they’re winning. Playing games of glamour and gold. Eyes you should close and breath you should hold. It’s nothing but lies you are being told.

A visceral being, Desperate for connection, Seeking continuity, clarity and direction. I have not yet followed the birds, Cast aside instinct in favor of words, But, now I am fading and calling, Falling, Failing, Sailing, Into the ripe, setting sun, Knowing that nobody won.

June 24, 2018

The End of March – 2015

The End of March

Holi is over.
I have let my hair,
Go loose, like a goose, in the wind.
Now, it is a tangled mess,
And, a good expression of myself,
With no idea of where it wants to go.

Is the world not yet tired of being cold?
Everyone reluctant, going nowhere.
Everything static, black and white.

The azaleas are wilted and withered away.

Bewildered by my individuality.
Moving in a dozen different directions,
I am unable to escape my own flaws.
Trapped in entropy.
Approaching absolute zero.
And, I think I have run out of coffee again.

Antigua, British West Indies



It was long before dawn when we reached the narrow road,
And, hand and hand we together went, over the prickled hills.
Hand and hand we together went, over the dusty dunes.

Down to where the white sand swirled,
And, the jagged, coral rocks pretended,
They were velvet smooth.

The green waves rang against the cove.
They called us to them with flowers of foam.
With songs of salt,
With voices, pink and gray,
Of half uncovered rocks.
Time was still and drifted,
Not yet formed, along the silent edge of tide pools,
Hid beneath the broken seed pods,
And, inside wind swept petals.

The dawn came suddenly, out of the ocean,
Gray oysters clouds grew,
Out of the promontory,
Above a clear, polished mirror of abalone yellow.
Settling, pearl and opalescent,
Over the pale horizon.

The magical stars drifted away,
And, between the stranded seashells,
Scattered by seaweed fingers,
The butterflies with rusty wings, awoke,

Then there was nothing else to do,
But, look into one another’s eyes,
And, laugh at the cactus,
And, the prickly pears,
Casting transparent shadows,
Onto the sand beside our toes.

We could have easily just held hands,
And, walked back then with wet hair flying,
And, feet bare through the shining, shifting surf,
Leaving only our footprints under the waves.

We could have clambered back across the cliff,
Where the coolness of the shadows,
Would have hidden us,
In the same silk green the spiders seek,
When brilliant lizards start to hunt.

Our footsteps could have traced the way,
To old, forlorn, forgotten sugar mills,
Where seagulls scream and stone walls stare,
All empty eyed, at non-existent winds.

We could have gone into the painted town,
To drink hot coffee or to breakfast with hibiscus and hummingbirds.
We could have gone to visit the long, green shadowed harbor,
Where the silent, sailing ships rest from the arduous seas.

But, these were not the ways we went.
Instead, we stayed with the enchantment.
Stayed inside of our dream,
Beside the transparent shadows.
On the pink and gray, bubbling shore.

We wrapped ourselves in one another,
And, fell asleep by the sea.


V. Castellanos – 1962

The End of February – 2015

The End of February


The afternoon is cold, and the moon is on the rise,
As transparent as my fingers and as empty as my eyes.
I am so far away the wind can no longer hear my words,
My breath is barely separate from the shadows of the birds.

I am self-contained.
I am inside of myself,
Inside of my shell,
Inside of this gloom in this room.

It is Tuesday afternoon,
And, I am pretty sure I will be alright,
If I can just hang on,
Until the dogwood starts to bloom.

Oh, but what if she does not bloom?
What if she decides to be like other dogs,
To bark instead of blossom?
What if she becomes a snake?
A grasshopper?
A possum?
What if she decides to never-more,
Be host to the beautiful, four heart flowers?
Then, never, would ever, this room contain another bloom,
And, my shell would lose all of its protective powers.

I am a creature, tied to the future.
I survive by looking ahead.
Tomorrow is always yet to come,
And, yesterday is long-gone, dead.
Sometimes hope is around the corner,
Somewhere up the staircase,
Somewhere under the bed,
Somewhere over my head.
But, sometimes the dogwood lets it go,
And, it falls to the ground instead.

Dust – A Love Poem for my Valentine



I fall in love with you
I fall in line with you
I dance in my romance
With you
And, miracles ensue
We resonate together
We become a laser
Focused into a single beam
Living our lives in a single dream
We become a poem
We become as royalty
We are a totality
You are my reality

I dance in a world made manifest
Through the medium of light
You are my guide and my vision
Your music is my sight
Your perfume and your hands
Illuminate and illustrate
My night

Your love enthralls
Enshrouds me
Floods my work
And, fills my world
Like sweet perfume
It fills my room
Covers my being
Covers my seeing
You are contained
In every speck of dust
That enters my illumination
Between now and my death
You are in every breath
I breathe or touch

My love for you is deeper than my dreams
It is older than my heart, it seems
Older than the unfurled world
Older than the dust

You complete me with your aroma
Your atoms enhance my soul
Your particles entrance me
Your aura makes me whole
I gather the dust you give to me
You complete me with your smile

I caress your skin
And, mark it with kisses
I gather you into
The corners of my being
Your heart completes my seeing
Your breath is my sail
And, I inhale

Your intentions are my guidelines
They clear the pathway
For my footfalls
To the dust of your radiant force field
I submit, I yield
And, I am healed

You are selecting
The storms and stories and glories
And, molecules of metal and emotion
That generate my light
You are the sun ripened dust of my day
And, the star dust of my night

Like the ubiquitous dust
In the air
Even when you are not there
My love for you is everywhere

And, all the dust of the world
That has ever been given to me
I give to you
Until it is reclaimed

Without you I am splintered
I am, myself, nothing but dust
Thus, I must
To find you
To cover you
With my love
Older than the galaxy’s dust
Older than the earth
To remind you of your worth
And, our expectations of rebirth
And, to keep you from falling
Into lies
Into someone else’s eyes

V. Castellanos – April 29, 2015

The Gray Bird on the Beach


The Gray Bird on the Beach

Walking alone along the road,
I thought of poetry and of my dreams.
The dust I stirred created dragons,
Swarming in the shimmering heat.

The dust, descending, turned to sand,
And, out of my footsteps, flowers sprang,
Fringed with jagged, cutting leaves,
And, clothed with seeds that stung my feet.

The beach was bare, without a stone.
And, I went walking, all alone.
Out to the beach, alone, again.
The liquid sun struck my ring, like rain.

“Where are you going?” I called to the gray bird,
Standing, on a sandy hillock, looking out to sea.
With one foot tucked up underneath him,
So very proud he seemed to be.
And, though I saw him very clear,
To him, it seemed I was not here.
He seemed intent on another world,
Unseen, except by those with second sight.

Tall he stood, ignoring me,
Intent on what I could not see.
Stiff and silent, standing there,
He seemed to stare,
At things that seemed to me, just air.
Oh, in his heart he seemed to see,
The very spirit of the sea,
The soul of cataclysmic foam,
The arms of sky that he called home,
And, the land of clouds he loved to roam.

He heard the words the siren sings,
And, winds extolling tide pool kings,
He never saw my sun struck ring,
Nor the waves of my pretended wing.
And, never, though I went quite near,
Did the gray bird ever seem to hear,
My wild, determined, loud hellos.

V. Castellanos – 1962

Winter Stars in Florida, the Land of Flowers

Scorpio – The Land of Flowers

I am bound to the tides and the call of the seas,
And, the thunderous, silver branches of the heavy banyan trees,
To the rolling, turquoise waves and their malachite swirls,
To kingdoms carved from coral rocks and castles made of pearls.

I am bound to water hyacinth, amethyst and joyful jade,
And, to the great, blue heron who is hunting in the shade,
Beside the shallow waters where the deep, blue mangroves wade.

I am bound to centers of rippled-river, moire whorls,
And, the star-white constellations, of the spider-lilly’s curls,
To delicate palm fringes, fibrous, overlapping, green,
To coiled up rainbow colored snakes, in strangler figs, unseen,
To the ivory-sweet and filigreed, blossoms of the palm,
Aged by rains of springtime and storms of salt sea’s balm,
To shining spiders, golden-orbed, with webs of wobbly, summer dew,
To the ancient, autumn scorpions, of angry, bitter hue,
Who wait behind the lichen’s lacey, white, etched scars,
And, know the tricks of turning, into winter’s wondrous stars.

V. Castellanos – 1998

The End of January – 2015

The End of January


Let me have my illusions.
I don’t have anything else.
I am a romantic,
And, that’s all that I would be.

I am dressed up like a candy apple,
Like a bubble wizard,
Like a gazelle,
With a cute, pink smile,
And, everybody says they love me.

I am dressed up like a mermaid.
Not a Coney Island, Mermaid-Parade mermaid,
A real mermaid,
Cold blooded, with green scales on my eyelids,
With seaweed under my fingernails,
With flashing starfish in my hair,
Webbed fingers,
Grinding teeth,
A stabbing trident in my hand.
I know the mysteries of the deep,
I know who eats who,
But, I am also the masked, Venetian Carnival Queen,
Who keeps her mouth closed with a index finger,
And, mimics “Shush.”
I won’t tell a soul.
You just wait and see.
All the mysteries of the dark and the deep,
Are safe and silent inside of me.
No one else wants to know anyway.

I am dressed up like a Goat-Fish,
Like Capricorn and Aquarius,
But, without the Fertility of Rain.
I am bleeding out of the winter sky,
Before the world is ready.
No one can see who I really am.
My seeds have been planted everywhere,
But, none of them are growing.

All that matters now,
Is what has already been set in motion.
Nothing new under the sun.
You know, if you start a vibration,
You have to pay attention because,
You might set off some butterfly,
In Hong Kong.

And, nobody knows what will set off a wandlung,
That incomprehensible event which changes everything,
Ushers in an ice age, ends the reign of the dinosaurs,
Starts the human brain.
Ends the race.
I wouldn’t want to set off something like that.
I am just living my life,
Trying to avoid the waves of advancing history,
Which are crashing into society.
The costumes are not helping.

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