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The Four Faced Wind

Poetry by Valeria Castellanos

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Winter Solstice

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“Winter Solstice” digital art by V. Castellanos

I am filled with light and sparks.
My skin is shrivelling, growing withered.
My face is growing old, and wrinkled, cold.

The day has been shrinking,
Tired,
Giving up to the night.
Shrivelling, growing withered,
Growing old, wrinkled and cold,
Without putting up a fight,
But, tonight is the Winter Solstice.

The day has begun to yearn.
The tide begins to turn.

The day makes an effort to change the spin,
To turn around, begin again.
The day stops growing wrinkled and old.
Stops, cold,
In its tracks.

I would make the effort,
I would fight the night,
I yearn but I do not believe I can turn.
I must ride my own tide,
And, I am more indolent than the earth,
More lethargic than the day,
Less powerful than the winter or the night I have to fight.
The best I can do is stand my ground.
I do not believe I can overcome irreversible time.

And so, my hair keeps growing whiter and whiter,
But, each of my white hairs is a day I spent in sunshine,
Or, a night I slept in stardust dreams,
And, I still believe the best is always yet to come.

Some day I will be older than everyone else.
Then what I have to say will matter.

V. Castellanos

Vacation Day

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Vacation Day
Here I am, once again,

Standing the watch alone.

Today it seems the world is so old,
It is no longer able to age,
And, even when my eyes are closed,
I can no longer bear to see shadows.

… Sometimes it is so easy to go,
Away from the marketplace,
Away from the mob,
To close all the doors,
And, to just live inside my mind.
Then, reality is anything I choose.
Time, which was probably,
The starting point for everything,
Time, which is not a river,
Which is not an arrow,
Not even a circle,
Is at my bidding, then.

As long as I am alone,
I can be anywhere, everywhere, nowhere.
I can be myself,
With neither delay nor permanence,
And, the only things I have to watch out for,
Are my own thoughts and my nightmares.

When I am all alone,
I ask the clouds to talk to me.
Sometimes they have nothing to say.

Do you not love me enough to speak?
Nor even enough to laugh with me,
When I laugh?
To smile with me when I am smiling?

There isn’t much of a lock on this door,
And, I suppose soon I’ll be going out again.
Perhaps I’ll go back to the Everglades.
There I can be alone and still be in the middle of everything.
There I can hang around with the goblins,
Who drink from the fountain of youth,
And, laugh at gravity.

I find it very easy,
To get used to walking about like an animal.
But, still, I am doing my best,
To keep the fire from burning out,
Because I know there are salamanders,
Who grow into magicians when it is dark.
And, I am still trying to learn to write in blood,

So my words will be remembered by the heart.
December 31, 1998

Carving Insects

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Carving Insects – ink on paper by V. Castellanos

I walk on the edge,
With the desert phoenix.
The sky is full of light,
And, I am tangled up with snakes.

I walk in robes of jasmine perfume,
In clouds of dreams,
With tangled seed pods,
Bracelets hung with humming birds,
Are twisted ’round my neck.

I am going off to visit,
The mountains and the gargoyles.
Going to kiss the masks with open mouths,
That open caves.
Going to stir the dust that has gathered,
Under the unsung songs.

Off to the Village of Honey and Justice,
Where sages still drink tea of herbs,
Still sing the words of ancient times,
Still recite the ancient rhymes.

I am a lone bird,
Winging home,
In the afterglow of life.

All of my life,
I have spent carving insects,
Ivory, jade and sandalwood.
I have polished their skin.
I have dusted their eyes.
Now, in the dreams of my old, old age,
They are oozing into life.
They are flowing over the fragrant grass,
That grows at the end of the skies.

I do not think,
The way things are,
That I will pass this way again.

Winter Solstice

IMG_20151120_145631ca-picsay
“Winter Solstice” digital art by V. Castellanos

I am filled with light and sparks.
My skin is shrivelling, growing withered.
My face is growing old, and wrinkled, cold.

The day has been shrinking,
Tired,
Giving up to the night.
Shrivelling, growing withered,
Growing old, wrinkled and cold,
Without putting up a fight,
But, tonight is the Winter Solstice.

The day has begun to yearn.
The tide begins to turn.

The day makes an effort to change the spin,
To turn around, begin again.
The day stops growing wrinkled and old.
Stops, cold,
In its tracks.

I would make the effort,
I would fight the night,
I yearn but I do not believe I can turn.
I must ride my own tide,
And, I am more indolent than the earth,
More lethargic than the day,
Less powerful than the winter or the night I have to fight.
The best I can do is stand my ground.
I do not believe I can overcome irreversible time.

And so, my hair keeps growing whiter and whiter,
But, each of my white hairs is a day I spent in sunshine,
Or, a night I slept in stardust dreams,
And, I still believe the best is always yet to come.

Some day I will be older than everyone else.
Then what I have to say will matter.

V. Castellanos

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