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The Four Faced Wind

Poetry by Valeria Castellanos

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love

Magic Carpet Ride

My artwork, ink on paper, 5½” x 7⅞”

We are on a magic carpet ride,
On an undulating road of cloud,
We are sailing through jade jungle halls,
Over emerald shade, green light grown walls,
Over seashell sparkles and opal streams,
Our hair kissed about in the gold sunbeams.

‘Round towers and torrents of cloud we fly,
Our wild spirits soar like the birds of the sky,
And, the span of our wings is as wide as the sea,
For I am in love with you,
With you,
And, you are in love with me.

An indigo light,
Floods the sky of our night.
The moon follows soon,
As a worn, silvers sphere,
She smiles like a mermaid,
A soul hovering near,
In an octopus cloud,
Spun of dark mist and swirls,
Medusa’s hair shining with snake spittle’s curls,
And, the span of our wings is as wide as the sea,
For I am in love with you,
With you,
Oh, with you,
And, you are in love with me.

At night we fly soft,
Through the cool Milky Way,
On the warmth of the winds,
Through the sparkling day.
You and I are there dreaming ones.
We are the drifters,
The whispering wind-waifs,
The ghosts of shape shifters.
We are the wandering, wondering nomads,
The pilgrims of spinning-skies wild open roads,
The green flash of sunset, the purple moon’s nodes.
We are children of all but forgotten stars,
Blue-green dreams of Neptune,
Red kisses of Mars.
We are made dizzy by dancing with the rainbow,
Flying with griffins above laughing trees,
By humming in clouds where the bright thunder seethes,
And, breathing the air that the sky giants breathe.

The silver sea shimmers,
Sea glimmers,
Grows wet,
Under our feet,
And, the heat,
And, the butterflies rise,
To a wondrous size.
They glow in our eyes,
And, their flash conjures visions,
Of velvet disguise,
Of orchid brushed breeze,
Of thin, cloud-whisp trees,
Of sky-haloed heron,
And, jasmine kissed bees.

When we come back to land,
Put your hand in my hand.
With hearts still in the sky,
Let’s make love in the sand,
For I am in love with you,
Oh, with you,
And, you are in love with me.

Spring Cleaning

The spiders have spent the last season,
Building castles between the leaves of the lilies.
The last of the winter leaves have turned into fantastic mobiles,
Toys for the breezes, woven from abandoned webs.
The porch is covered in pollen and dust.
The blackbirds are walking all over the roof,
And, trying not to annoy us.

I have a lovely, new red broom.
The jasmine is beginning to bloom.
I have a sponge and a brush and a mop,
The grasshoppers laugh and go hop, hop, hop.
I know that no one can make them stop.
The hummingbirds come and knock on the door,
To remind us, just in case.
The squirrels are up and down the trees,
Engaging in a race.
The green lizard’s cleaning the corners,
Which I am unable to reach.
Spring has finally reached us,
And, now you can eat a peach.
I need to put water into the fountains,
So, the blue birds do not faint.
Everything else needs a new coat of paint.
And, I need a facelift,
Or, at least a good smile,
And, I need time to sit on the porch next to you,
And, to hold your hand for a while.

Written by V. Castellanos – April 8, 2020

Southwest

You have been there before, I know.
And, I think you go there in your dreams,
You go off to where, it seems,
The purple mesas rise with dawn,
On the horizons hover long,
Delighted by their own mirages,
Illuminated images,
The Trickster waits,
The Trickster’s hidden,
Behind a boulder, not forbidden,
First Mother’s there, behind it all,
One thousand times older than yesterday,
Looking over our shoulder.

Long, blue shadows lie below,
The great, magnetic mountains,
Across the sands,
Across the lands,
Green with copper and yellow with uranium,
Red with rage,
The bones of the earth are all exposed,
The black magma showing her age.

The caverns yawn with echoes of memories,
Prophesies,
Festivities,
Tragedies,
Destinies,
Pictographs,
Smoke signals,
Droughts and floods,
Etchings on the trails,
Made by Kachina’s dancing feet.
They never miss a beat.
Hidden in the landscape,
Bending space,
Disappear and reappear,
In another place,
Start a barefoot race,
Kivas in the shadows,
Towers hidden from the angles of the wind,
And, the white clouds, soft and thin,
Dissolving in the blue sky, under the midday sun.

With us or without us,
The world still rages on,
At dawn, it seems,
My lovely dreams,
Are very nearly gone.

I have followed sandy footsteps from 40,000 years ago,
I have followed stars and spirals painted on the ceilings of caves,
Red hand prints and thirteen petaled flowers.
I have followed goats with rectangular eyes to feed on datura.
I have followed run away rains into the sky,
And, there they left me high and dry.

Now, I am falling into canyons filled with cactus flowers and spines,
I am falling into quicksand rivers lined with tamarac and vines,
I am falling into love, with places you and I, together, have been to.
And, I am falling more and more and more, in love with you.

Written by V. Castellanos – April 5, 2020

A Smile on Your Face

White lace, silver lace,
Mistletoe, come kiss my face.
Pink lace, red lace,
Time to go to bed, lace,
Lipstick, let’s pick up the pace,

Chiffon and satin, velvet lace,
High heels and feathers, just in case.
Rocking lace, silk stocking lace,
Rose perfume, but just a trace.

Old lace, gold lace,
I won’t fold-up-my-fan-yet lace,
Flirt with me, it’s not a race,
We’ve lots of time, no need for haste.

Candle light invokes romance,
So, come to me, I want to dance.
Don’t waste this space, its pleasure based.
I have a taste for smoky lace,
For bedroom lace, with a racy taste.
I’ve put away my can of mace.
I went out and got some peek-a-boo lace,
And, I put it here, in the very best place.

Scarlett lace, A harlot’s lace,
You don’t want this,
To go to waste.
Lollipop lace, And, don’t-stop lace.
Am I going to be, sometime tonight,
Right in your tight embrace?

Black lace, lace on fire,
I’m burning up with my desire.
Come on, let’s go, its no disgrace.
What ever you want, I’m still sure it’s the case,
That I can put a smile back on your face.

Half Full

Nowadays, I am only half way here. The rest of me is somehow somewhere else. Half hearted is not nearly enough. Still trapped inside of my own pain. Teeth chattering. Moving in too many directions at once. Smoke in my blood. Nowhere else to go. No doorways. No windows. Down stairs only. Basement. Dungeon deep. Whirlpool. Sinkhole. Avalanche. Drowning. Dizzy. Burning. Ice. Does life always drive you insane? The earth is no longer spinning. The sky has stopped. The daylight is trapped. Bubbles are bursting. The wind speed is minus five miles per hour and dropping faster than the air pressure. Dreams and delirium dancing down the dark street, howling, beckoning into the alley, and the bottomless tar pit. This is no time to let go.

Holding onto to a feather. A fallen tree leaf with a painted flower, floating in a pond by a toad with poison skin. A dark eyed butterfly on a lilly pad, rising into sunrise. One more day. One more surprise. I am going out to fill the bird baths and water the dog wood. Breezes and buzzing bees playing in the skies. The grasshoppers are smiling. Azaleas, slightly the worse for wear, shedding wilted flowers. Perfumes and pheromones carried upwards on the songs of brightly colored birds, iridescent feathers, sharp beaks, nests in the overlooking treetops, full of sun and new eggs, pink and blue and green, speckled. Speckled like the forest sunlight filtering through the leaves. Like joy. Every color in the world.
The color of life is color, and all the colors combined make white, in the world of light. Out of the corner of my eye I see that my hair is now silver and I have a pulsating aura. I am still in love.
Nurtured by melodies and hands. Memories. Laughter. Warmth. Friendship. Whispers of clouds in the bright blue sky are taking notice and beginning to snuggle with one another, just like us. Acceptance, whether you like it or not. Breezes of cinnamon and honey, vanilla and harmony. Kisses and caresses. Clean sheets and warm, sweet tea. All is well, even storms and wasps, plagues and wars. Just battles to be fought. Something to do. Take a stand. Time always moving forward, or standing still while we move on. Just a point of view. Doesn’t matter. I can still see my reflection. Breathe deeply. I’m still here. Hold my hand. Let me hold yours. The colors don’t matter. The glass is still half full and the plums still taste like plums.

Cafe

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Cafe

Tonight I ventured out and made my midnight way
To my favorite, little, friendly, shadowed, dark cafe
Perchance to meet a poet there, with nothing left to say
Perchance to meet an angel, who is lost and gone astray
A seer who knows tomorrow won’t be just another day

But, everyone here is in disguise
Unwilling to meet one another’s eyes

The couple in the corner have been to see a movie
Neither one of them liked it
But, for reasons completely different
They are arguing and will not stay together for long

More intriguing is the couple by the front door
Her back is to me but she wears her hair like mine
It is the same color as mine
His face is handsome and lively
He seems very pleased
Their hands meet across the table
They speak in low tones, like secret lovers

The two men by the window
Wearing suits and neckties
Are much more animated
One of them believes
Women should never have been given the vote
The other believes the aliens
Who have been sending us crop-circles since 1675
Are poised to rescue us at any moment
They’re voices keep getting louder

The cat in the alley has begun to wail
Louder than the necktied men
She is howling to announce
She has accepted a mate

There is a young man in the corner
Who has been sitting alone
Quiet as a ghost
Shuffling cards
He looks up suddenly and meets my eyes
I look away quickly
It strikes me as odd that he looks so much
Like the older man by the door
Holding his lady’s hand

I suddenly wish I had not put on perfume
I wish the room was not so bright
Was lit instead by candles
And, I could hide in their shadows
I wish my thoughts were strong enough to blow the candles out
And, I could hide in the dark
I wish the taste of bitter-sweet chocolate did not remind me of love

I am surprised by the clatter of my spoon
Falling to the floor, when I reach for my purse, to pay
The necktied men have fallen silent
After agreeing we never could have gone to the moon
The young man, quiet as a ghost
Has put away his cards
And, is reaching for his wallet
The woman whose hair is just like mine
Turns around and looks right at me
She looks like I might look
Twenty years from now

I am finding this very odd
I turn toward the door
The quiet, young man is already there
He is smiling and holds the door open for me

We pass the alley cat
Purring now, beside the door

The young man walks with me down the street

As though it were the most natural thing in the world
Because we are going in the same direction

At the corner he pauses
And, turns toward me
But, even before he says a word
I realize everything in my life has changed

Recluse

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Recluse

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

Dragon King

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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

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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

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