The Four Faced Wind

Poetry by Valeria Castellanos




“Circus” – not my photo

I sat on the wall and watched.
He said, the piebald pigeons started laughing in the street but,
This I did not see,
For I was busy,
Sitting on the wall and watching.

He said, the ragged squirrels juggled ten walnuts at a time and,
The outrageous sparrows flung themselves, upside down,
Off of the trapeze.
But, again, I did not see,
For I was,
Sitting on the wall and watching.

Ten thousand orchids flew into the city,
Landed on the lampposts in the night.
Bloody snapdragons sprouted fiery tongues and,
Were carried away by the MorningStar.
The mountains all decided to stand up on their long, thin legs.
They marched away, across the land,
Leaving puddles as footprints.
They rolled over, onto another shore,
Sending their spume as far as the moon and,
Drowning the soul of the sun.
But, I was busy, busy,
Watching from the wall,
Busy, watching my child grow up.

Just like me. Replica of myself.
Nothing like me. Mirror image of his father.
Sometimes, I cannot tell the stones from the trees or,
The others from each other or,
My son from myself.

In the evenings, everyone sits on the wall and,
I am told of great events,
Of treaties signed and kingdoms sold,
Of stocks and bonds and interest rates,
Technology soaring, epidemics,
Crime on the rise and tax revolts,
Migrations and wars and summit meetings,
Trade unions, accidents and,
Famines in far off climes.

But, once again, I did not see,
For I was busy watching,
Watching from the wall.
I was watching my child grow up and,
He was watching the circus.

August 1985

A Disciple of Zarathustra

A Discipline of Zarathustra

She came with empty hands,
Without a gift but, with curious eyes,
To watch the unfolding of a great potential.
She followed the roads not taken,
Since Zarathustra’s days.
She climbed into the tallest tree,
And, would have chosen to hammer gold,
Into the likeness of gods,
But, instead,
She found the circus was still playing.

Dare devils chasing fame on a tightrope,
The audience eagerly following the trapeze artist,
Swinging from one illusion to the next,
Always with better lights, more sequins,
New and improved.
Everyone wishing they could be so high.
The magician pickpockets, with a disappearing act,
Worked the crowd,
Composed of slaves and cowards,
Because all the free and the brave,
Had been shipped out to the front,
To fight for the Robber Barons and the Banksters.

But, the clowns kept everyone laughing,
So, no one had time to think.

In town all the unemployed were playing dominoes,
While those with jobs played politics.
The cities were full of citizens and civilization,
Boundaries and limitations,
Order and disorder, discord and illusions.
Overflowing with immigrants,
Kept under control,
With licenses, trade agreements, taxes and jails,
Or, not kept under control at all.
In the capital, everyone playing democracy,
And, lining their pockets as quick as can be,
Because, you never know when the music will stop.
The LGBT have escaped from the closet and stolen the rainbow.
The wavering, nihilistic phantoms are engulfed in their own pity,
Waving their handkerchiefs,
But, at a loss of what to do.
They have nothing to say.

The fight has moved from survival to control.
It has gone from hand-in-hand to every-man-for-himself.
Unerring instincts giving way to words which turn to lies.
What man can understand himself with words,
When we are all propelled by the ebb and flow of wild emotions,
And, our dark and deep desires remain submerged?
Yet, by them we are urged.
Unconsciously, inevitable.
Nothing has changed,
Except the cast and the complications.
We will act the same.
No cosmic awakening,
Trinity shaking,
Fukushima shuddering realization.

V. Castellanos – November 2014

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