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The Four Faced Wind

Poetry by Valeria Castellanos

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poem

The Glass Bead Game

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The Glass Bead Game – not my art

I awoke with the land folded in on itself.
A sky full of clouds,
With open mouths,
With tongues of sun,
And, eyes of wire,
Taunting the skies,
With spears of fire.

Wandering with fireflies,
What do you watch with moonlight eyes?
Are you lost, tonight, in moonlit nightshade?
In what darkness do you wade?
Do you dance with Belladonna?
Do you toast a toadstool moon?
Are you tossed about tonight,
By a hail storm’s tune?

The mist is mired, and maze inspired.
The labyrinth is spinning loud.
It sings in the opaque landscape’s light,
Behind the steel gray cloud.

Eat golden fire and scarlet weed,
Drink the tea of the dark datura seed.
Laughter, tears and heart aches feed,
Now, string another cold, glass bead.
Dust devils dance in warm swamp gas,
And, the Phoenix burns in the mermaid’s pass.
Jeweled thoughts roam outside my mind,
For the meek are weak and, the strong will shine.
It is always so, it will always be.
You must stand and fight or turn and flee.

Achieve and conquer,
Gain and grow.
Take the next glass bead,
Then turn and go.

With dragons are you dancing,
In the Hell-cat fires?
Did you pick a fight tonight,
With the tongue sharp liars?
Begonias, pink, boom in the shade,
With crooked sword and sharpened blade.
Is all this just for a cold, glass bead?
Does it fill your heart?
Does it make you bleed?
Is now the time to be afraid?
Are you ready to go? Was the piper paid?

Did you wish on the wishing star?
Do you know where you went? Did you travel far?
Did you know yourself. Do you know my name?
Do you think that you won the glass bead game?

1998

Dragonfly

Dragonfly – Painted Leaf by V. Castellanos

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
  forever

The dragonfly
gone from my sight
forever
asked me not to forget
She said this moment is worth a poem

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

Moon Turn

So, close your eyes,
Here’s a big surprise,
The moon has turned,
And, turned into,
An insect in the skies.

Locust in the day time,
Cicada in the night,
Spiders spinning,
Wasps are grinning,
Don’t turn out the light.

Ten thousand times as large as I,
What does she see, watching me, from the sky?
Am I as little, as a flea, as tiny a fly?
As invisible as a virus, to her insect eye?

Owls are in the treetops,
They do not stop their howling,
Wolves are up at midnight,
And, stay busy disembowling.

Bats are swooping,
Bats are flying,
Moths with burning wings,
Are dying.

Don’t tell me that I have to stay,
Don’t say that I can’t run away.
All the birds have taken flight.

I’m hearing ghosts, in my blood tonight,
They’re brawling, calling, scowling,
They will not go back, into their grave.
They’re screaming, boiling, growling.
They’re not being cool, but they’re being brave.
Rapping, tapping,
Giant wings are flapping,
Whiplash, antennae flash,
All my teeth are chattering.
The mandibles are clattering,
Yet, somehow, still, the moonlight is,
Both beautiful and flattering.

Incessant sounds, disturb the grounds,
They reside inside, the moon’s new wings.
They will not stop, though the beetle sings,
The sagebrush stings, and the brittle sands,
Rage beside me, So, hold my hands.
I’m sure the moon, will set pretty soon.

And, when she lands,
She’ll release all hands.
Then, suppose the insects all jump down,
Land on your land, on your lawn,
In your town?
If some of them come,
To where you already are,
You should run away, real quick,
And, run away, real far,
In a boat, or on a goat,
On a bike, or in a car,
Or, maybe you could hitch a ride,
On the nearest passing star.

With a sense of fun,
The sun has spun,
A web the same size,
As the solar system.
The Milky Way had the same idea,
And, that is why she kissed him.
They both play the very same game,
And, they play it in,
The very same way.

Whether or not, you come or go,
Regardless of the news,
Or the talk, or the show,
You know, they are the ones,
Holding all of us together,
In spite of static, interference,
Or, intergalactic weather.

We are watching the inside, and watching the outside,
And, watching everyone of the multiple levels,
All of the angels are starting to sing,
And, also all the devils.
With biting, bitter venom,
Or a neat, sweet, grateful heart,
Everyone of us is just waiting around,
For another world to start.

Damn It

A thousand clowns are laughing in the sky.
Waiting and watching us as we go by.
Fools are prancing on the edge.
Dancing on the highest ledge.
Sometimes its hidden under stones.
Guard dogs are sitting under thrones.
No one now is stepping out.
No one’s going ’round about.
Close your windows,
You can shout.
It’s not obscene. What does it mean?
It’s time to clean.

Pandemic pausing in the air.
Pandemonium everywhere,
And, it seems, in every breath,
Shades of fear and fears of death.

Catalytic. Prophetic.
Time for everything to change.
Even you if you’re in range.

Here’s the Pandemic,
And, you’re in it.
Damn it.

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.

Still Dreaming

The blue moon cast shadows beneath the mahogany,
Swinging in the branches between the dark sky and the horizon,
And, she dared me to open my eyes.
When I did the moonlight had changed everything,
But, I am still dreaming.
Wind chimes were solemn and prolonged,
Polished bronze,
Never quite stopping,
A hyper real undertone,
Intense strings of silver vibrations,
Building,
Reverberating and affecting everyone,
Flowing into the vacuum of the electric field,
Into the empty air,
Music of increasing complexity,
Strings tied to the breezes,
Webs tied to the stars,
Nets tied to the cosmic consciousness,
My breath tied to the expanding nebulae.

All of the owls are talking about it.
The curves of the smooth, white flowers,
Are following the moon,
And, tonight the moon is riding high,
In the middle of the sky,
Wearing a lavender halo.
Wisteria flowers behind her ear.

All of the moths and the spotted beetles are talking about it.
Everyone else has closed their eyes.
The unknown has grown,
Is growing, no one knowing,
Where are we going?
Be careful when you open the door.
You don’t want to do that anymore.

Do you want the moonlight to come in?
To bring mysteries and speculations,
Explanations outside of reality?
Would you invite a cloud?
Smoke of an unknown origin?
A nightmare?
Do you want a ghost?
Would you let a rocking chair rock with no one in it?
Walk under a ladder?
Spit at a black cat who has crossed your path?

Do you want to invite in an alien from a parallel universe?
A ferocious force field you don’t understand?
An unexpected time continuum?
A comet from beyond the solar system?
A demon from a Medieval carnival,
With cloven feet and a jesters hat?

Do you want the uncomfortable,
The uncertain,
The uncaring,
The uncontrollable,
The unconscious,
The limbic spirit,
Ready to do anything to survive,
Anything to thrive,
Anything to keep up,
Anything to get ahead,
Free to come and go?
Free as you and me?
Any time?

The moon has grown restless and wild,
And, is trying to claw her way out of the sky.
She is bigger than a dragon’s eye.
The blue hands of the nebulae are reaching out,
Arching, aching, shaking, earth quaking, breath taking,
Embers raking,
What have we been making?
A way out, a way in. A new way to begin again?
Scratching, searching for windows and worm holes,
For protections,
For directions,
For catastrophic detections,
For chaos and confusion, contagion,
And, for the stones,
Which mark the centers of the cities and souls,
And, the seats of power.

I am swinging in the branches of the mahogany,
Under the blue shadows,
Between the dark sky and the horizon,
Affecting everyone.
Getting ready to wake up.
The curves of the smooth, white flowers,
Are following the wind chimes.
Still, the moon refuses to let go,
And, so do I.
All of the cicadas are talking about it.

Soon, I will open my eyes,
And, the dawn will wash me,
And, will, as always, wash also the moon,
As clean and as clear as a silver spoon.

Time Travelers

Time travelers,
Let’s synchronize.
Close your eyes.
Reset.
Preset.
Don’t get upset.
Just go back.
Stay on track.
So, much easier than going into all the possible futures.
Maybe we’ll try that next time.
Anyway,
Yesterday.
And, the day before.
And, many more.
Back so far you can’t remember.
Back to the beginning.

A thousand years ago.
I don’t even know what people are saying.
Even people who say they speak English.
But, I understand human nature.
And, I understand the birds.
They have not changed.
They understand me because I sing without words.
They think I am the village idiot but,
They don’t dislike me because music soothes even the savage beast.

Three thousand years ago,
We are trying to make paper.
You can write on a leaf but,
Leaves don’t last.
They fall apart in the time capsule before the future ever arrives.
All too quick.
Still, things are where they should be.
The fish still swim,
And, the flowers bloom.

Forty thousand years ago,
We are painting on the walls of caves,
And, the aliens are here,
Mining gold,
And, playing around with our DNA.
They eye me with suspicion.
I sit around the campfire and try to act like everyone else, counting my toes.
The plums taste like plums.

Two million years ago,
Lucy is foraging.
The weather is unpredictable.
The land is not where it was in the future,
And, the only thing I understand is the wind.
I do not want to go back further,
Because I am only human.

If you don’t mind going further back than that,
I’m still a little curious and wouldn’t mind a chat.
I could meet up with you at:
Time Travelers next meeting will be held on
Wednesday of last week at 7 pm.

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