Worlds Away

what the nomad brought home

Stargazer

I was born of the Moon
While the Sun waged war
In a violent sky
Against the defiant light
That had charged a dying night’s blackness,
And I, made of the water
That drenched that morning,
Come careening down the centuries
To spill over the fires of Mars
In that smoldering burn
That transforms both
When ancient battles have ceased
And the phoenix fields are ripe for germinating
Seeds of realization.

This universe, you see,
Is a playground,
And blinded by the swirling nebulae,
I build castles in the sands of time,
Attempt hopscotch in constellations already drawn
Only for folly,
And artfully wield Mercury like a ball
Which I toss serendipitously to you
For the fun of the sport.

Every night, we lose ourselves
In this mystical haven,
All carefree children
Illuminated by stars
Where chaos is order
And time is a farce.

This Earth
Like a slingshot
Is blazing your course,
And only when the sun eclipses
These celestial wonders
Does it seem like an illusion.

Well, it’s not.

Just trust.
Climb up on this comet.
And play.

April 6, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, Reincarnation, Time | , , , , | 2 Comments

This, to me, is spring.

I am.
That’s all.
And yet there’s more!
I see —
Because I haven’t
I know
Because I can’t
And was
What now I won’t
For I’m reborn,
And there’s a pulse, a breath
A brilliant rush!
Of nothing.
And I sprint
I crash
I laugh!
I leap
They seize me, I surrender
And I live!

And I drink the devastation,
And lament my desolation
And I know
I am unworthy of
Such agonizing
Joy!
And yet
At least a dozen times
I die
To find it all again
And wrench it out
Unraveling
In a reckless dance of utter collapse
To music of the sound of chains
And I emerge undone here on my knees
Baptized
In a font of sacred tears
That shine
Ethereal!
Over this once-sullen gem
Of perfect imperfections.

So I set forth
Triumphantly
To abdicate my….
Self
To the constellation of calamities
Stretched out ahead as “fate”;

For this
To me
Is passion.

Yes, this, to me
Is spring.

April 2, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, Reincarnation | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Haunting

You said, “Who’s at the door?”
     I said, “Your slave.”
You said, 
 
“What do you want?”
     “To see you and bow.”
“How long will you wait?”
     “Until you call….”
Why
did you come?”
     “The musk of your wine was in the air….”
(“Talking Through the Door” — Rumi)

I discovered the above poem two weeks after having written what follows and thought I’d include it because it seems to possess a similar theme.  On that note, my own musings follow….

           I hear your voice,
           Turn my face toward the whisper
           That for a second was my name
           And with eyes closed, I inhale a vision
           So unmistakably yours
           That I realize I don’t know who you are.

           Unaware of your restless soul’s digression,
           You visit me as would a teenage lover
           Whose gleeful anticipation eclipses conscious thought
           And we meet in an embrace on this spot we chose
           Lifetimes before.

           You enter through my breath–
           So predictably exotic!–
           And descending upon this flesh,
           You roll over my tongue
           In every language I have ever known
           Only to slip off my fingertips
           And leave me empty-handed,
           Never having seen the thief
           Who robs my reason
           Leaves not but a footprint
           Sows poetry in his wake
           And doesn’t even know that he was there.

March 16, 2008 Posted by | muse, Poetry, Reincarnation, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anachronism

Rome was already dead.

It was her ghost which emerged from the barbarian raids
To witness the moment the Tawantinsuyo awoke to its own splendor
Just moments before discovering that the seeds of its destiny
Had always been germinating there among those Seven Hills.

And as the mountain kingdom lay bleeding,
With one final, desperate gasp before her altar,
A deathbed convert, but all too tragically late,
The prostrate Inca warrior poured his libation of virgin tears
Over the marble belly of Venus–
Whose alabaster robes had buried
The quena
That opened those last decisive battles on the páramo–
And an empire built on granite
Fell to dust at the feet of a fading Classical apparition.

When the most bitter of Andean chills
Mangled the Mediterranean olives on their branch,
Two great empires
Reigning out of time

Clashed in anguish.  Fused.
And fell
Right there

On our bed.


* ~ Ñoqa Chuquiagomarkamanta Pichopaq ~
Quena =
type of Andean flute, held vertically at the lips

February 10, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Traveler

The eyes may be the window to the soul
But the voice is the ticket for its journey,
Drawing, only if we’re lucky, the most intrepid of travelers
Like an irresistible siren song
To explore those depths within us,
Devouring the landscape with their eyes,
Illuminating the ancient corridors of spirit with golden fingerprints,
And tearing through the wildest jungles with flashes of insight,
But never trying to tame, no, relishing
The primal beast they find so submlimely seated
Somewhere in the being–
Enthroned on instinct,
Enrobed in the sumptuous trappings of human feeling,
Crowned with the dazzling jewels of articulation,
And wielding the precious sceptre of literacy.

So, traveler, perhaps our eyes have not yet met–
This time, at least,
But let me take you on this accidental journey
To the depths of my soul
Where we both might be surprised to find
That the lines of self begin to blur
In the blinding brilliance of my naked sincerity
And the earthy essence of your raw crusade for truth
Where you go seeking something palpable
On the timeless, winding river of words.

It’s hard to define what inspired this poem about the art of expression; I was watching “Laura non c’e” (Nek’s duet with Cerena).  Maybe it was the timelessness of the setting in the video, Nek and his absent muse, the tortured artists running frantically through some underground labyrinth, the beautiful illumination of the dark corridors they explore, I’m not sure….This poem is about even more than I am sure how to express in prose, so check out the video if you’re curious; maybe the imagery will convey what I cannot.

  

January 21, 2008 Posted by | muse, Poetry, Reincarnation, Wanderlust, Writing | , , , , | 2 Comments

Ahuac taita

Ahuac taitaTapestry
Hunched over your craft
Those calloused, twisted hands
So deftly scratching back and forth
Through the yet invisible landscape of your creation;
A thousand knives at your curving back
Strength, sight sacrificed for the power to
Build mountains
Forge rivers
And freeze flowers in paradise
With the simple tug of a thread.
Ahuac taita
Your wrinkled eyes, your grieving face,
Your fingers speak through the somber, silent figures that you build–
Those unmoving musicians,
Those vagrant porters
Those lonely peasants
And those wayward beasts of burden
Are far more powerful than the
Imposing cordilleras and the
Dazzling hillside pastures
That embrace your woolen outcasts.
Ahuac taita
Tell me more,
One humble fiber at a time;
I have nothing but to wait here in this place,
And I promise I will listen
To the colors, to the textures of your story.
I see the shapes emerge of
Four campesinas staring dejectedly into the distance as
The sun setting over the other side of their barren mountain
Illuminates someone else.
Ahuac taita, that someone else is me!
Where they fall to their knees in golden fields of failure,
Their heavy shawls ablaze with the jewel hues of yesterday’s abundance,
Their earthen jars….I know–
Their earthen jars are empty.
Ahuac taita
I will buy your tapestry,
This message in a bottle
That so few will ever dare to open,
This weaving, this world that you sell
For ten dollars.
But, oh, that I could give you so much more!….
To see your brightest visions come to life.

January 21, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, Travel, Writing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sugar

I collapsed

On fragrant afternoons of papaya and maduro,

Bathed in the light of a gentle sun

That danced off my weary, shimmering form—

A semi-conscious vision of golden rizos and bronze curvas,

Totally defenseless,

Wrapped in the scent of coco and piña

While my desperate panting sought the ever-thinner air,

Swimming in the oscuridad of my own sugary sea,

Wondering when I would surface

And if I would ever find the shore once I did.

Eventually, my caramelos would bring me back,

Melting justo a tiempo over a foreign lengua,

As music whispered its way back into my consciousness

And light trickled back in over my cama.

And with this newfound strength I left my rooftop refuge

To descend through the silver nubes

And explore the tantalizingly beautiful paraíso below,

Where no longer was I a prisoner of azúcar

But, alas, became a postre all myself

As I struggled to ford rivers of cerveza

Spilling off of sidewalks salty with the smell of chancho.

January 12, 2008 Posted by | Español, Memories, Poetry, Travel, Woman | | 2 Comments

Because writing is sexy!

Pull back the cover

I invite you

To take your pen

To this book

Those ink-stained hands

Should spread

The pages

Your pen

Can leave its strokes within.

I give you a question mark

With all its mystery

Its curves

Rounding downward to

That singularly provocative point

Where you can write your answer

With graceful plunges below the lines,

Playful dashes,

Teasing ellipses,

Decisive dots,

Languid loops,

And all the artful

Punctuation of your choosing.

What will you write for me?

Your pen is

Welcome to play

I will be your muse and

This book

Can be…

An adventure!

Of swashbuckling vagabonds and secret hideouts,

Buried treasure unearthed after some perilous voyage—

Or a poem

Of timeless verse and soul-born cadence,

So exquisite in its candor and instinctive to express—

Maybe an epic

Whose ancient threads and exotic places are

Woven together with the touch of your words to this page—

Or even, perhaps, a comedy

Of clumsy, carefree heroes who meet under some…

Ridiculous circumstance!  And smile at their flaws.

Now bring your pen

To the satin canvas I am ceding

Here between the covers.

Your barrel may empty

When the pages are full.

 

I dedicate this to the inventors of writing, whose names are forever lost to history but whose gift makes them immortal, and to each and every writer since — all of whom, of course, are sexy! Writing is a passionate act of creation that strips you bare every time. (And the reader too!)

If you found yourself inspired by this poem, please go out and buy a book — support the art! And if you found yourself inspired in the, ahem, *other* way, just be safe. 😉

December 30, 2007 Posted by | muse, Poetry, Sex, Woman, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Virgins

I made a pilgrimage

To the land of eternal spring

Where the ancient mountains are burning

And the verdant fields are bleeding

And the youthful streets are screaming –

Cries of the ghosts of virgins

Whose daughters

Are harvested every day.

I walked in wonder

Through the pristine savagery of eternal spring

Averting my eyes from the wolves

Closing my ears to the snakes

And opening my soul to the carnage

That first claimed the virgins

Whose daughters

Are ravaged every day.

I stopped the advances

Of the conquistadores of eternal spring,

Appropriating boulevards for myself,

Walking, exposed on all sides,

To protect my body from their gunshots

While my spirit was penetrated

Like the virgins

Whose daughters

Are born every day.

“Everything’s resolved in bed later,”

Some laugh on balmy afternoons in eternal spring,

When, exhausted from running

And dreading the blows,

The helpless desperately seek refuge

And are cast aside by the sons of a virgin

Whose daughters

Are flogged every day.

“Why won’t you drink!” he screamed

Of the poison of eternal spring

As I told him, instead, to imbibe it,

Wrestled myself from his grip,

And became

Another refugee of the virgin

Whose daughters

Are sedated every day.

Deep in the lion’s den

Higher than the clouds,

The beasts were salivating at my side,

And I could truly see the tragic glory of eternal spring

While, smaller than ever,

I stood at the feet of a virgin

Whose daughters

Are falling to their knees every day.

Stealing into the heavens one night,

I passed into a new season —

More alive than ever before, and crying with relief,

Unscathed but not untouched,

And forever remembering the virgin

Whose daughters

Are saved every day.

  

*I’m not here to make any claims about religious affiliation or devotion, so it is with the utmost of respect that I am requesting you not focus on however it may be that I experience my own spirituality.  I will say, however, that I firmly believe that life is experienced in a deeply cultural context, which, by its very nature, can vary drastically from scenario to scenario.  I hope to inspire reflection on this latter aspect of the human experience.  Travel memories come in all varieties, and sometimes your souvenirs choose you rather than the other way around.  Thank you sincerely for reading, and I wish you kindness, love, and peace.*

December 28, 2007 Posted by | Memories, Poetry, Travel, Woman, Writing | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

She Is

Las voces vivas del recuerdo se disfrazan de intuición.”  Bacilos — “Caraluna”

She is
A breath,
A whisper, if you will….
The scent of summer,
That intangible cue
That, unknowing, drifts parallel to a capricious wanderer,
Alights on a singular breeze,
Reveals its presence to the senses
And just as quickly vanishes.
Yet something about it has lightened your step,
Made you aware of a new season,
And announced itself in ways so subtle and accidental —
And undeniable —
That it almost seems like magic.

She is
A melody
So ancient
That your desires always carried her song
And the pulsing in your veins, her rhythm,
And you are surprised to find yourself aching for more of this familiar aria
Which your ears have never perceived.
But you tell no one — because there is nothing to tell.

She is that shadow
That indisputable stray reflection
That you catch in a careless glance
And never actually saw,
Yet you seek–
So stupid, foolish, crazy! —
Hoping to touch its ethereal fibre
By locking it in the casual gaze of coincidence.

She is the muse
That follows the inspiration,
Not a crazy, fevered obsession,
But a perfectly logical burning
That makes you doubt reason itself.

She is the rain
That lands only one unassuming drop at a time,
Yet of course, almost immediately, you find yourself drenched
In confused exhilaration,
And dripping, shining
With the most absurd of drunken certainty.

She is
That subconscious river flowing through your thoughts,
Which slowly, imperceptibly, but without fail,
Carves the most immutable of mountains into new landscapes;
Transforms the hardest of rocks into a powder fine enough to float on the wind,
And, with a fire to burn her, will seem to vanish from before your eyes,
While you breathe her in without knowing that you’re doing it
Because it is instinctive.

She is the dream you carelessly paint every night,
Half sleeping and barely alive,
In clumsy, frantic strokes
Tinged by the pathetic fury of free will
And the merciful finesse of fate,
And you know she’s real —
Because you never actually envisioned her.

She is
The exotic, so familiar!
A timeless truth
And a fleeting brush with myth.

She —
Elusive and stationary,
Fantastic and mundane,
Invisible and obvious,
Sublime….

She is
Your echo
Carrying words you haven’t uttered.
Your breath
Reaching lands you haven’t explored.
Your memories
Of adventures you haven’t had.
Your scars
From battles you haven’t waged.
Your pulse
In a body you haven’t touched.
And your footsteps
On a path you haven’t tread.
She is yesterday
And never before.
She is now —
But only in delusions.
She is the essence, the aura, of always.

December 19, 2007 Posted by | muse, Poetry, Uncategorized, Woman, Writing | , , | Leave a comment

Ch’aski

“Déjame mirarte por esa ventana que por las mañanas yo veo en tus ojos — el brillo de tu alma, ¡color solitario!  Déjame decirte que en mis pensamientos, yo llevo tus sueños y tus sentimientos — y mi alma siente morirse pequeña….”  Kjarkas–“La ventana”

A million miles, my footsteps pounding
Across the invisible stretch of sky,
Lighted by stars,
Dodging the cries of babies,
The slamming of car doors,
The music of neighbors,
And the sound of searing silence.
Every night, running, sprinting
Through time, through space, to your side
With my feet nailed to the floor
And the moon’s gaze turning each tear to liquid silver.
My heart racing,
I see you,
Lonelier than you know,
In an embrace you never felt.
Every night, I chased the stars—so close—
Up there
To touch,
Running with my peasant’s bag of magical whispers
To bring you a song
And go back again to my hell
Where I could burn the feelings out of myself with the same melodies.
I took flight into the night
Once I allowed myself to break the chains,
Carried safely back into a morning
That didn’t dawn over you.
For you, who traversed time, traversed space
With your child’s bouquet of magical promises
To bring me a kiss
Never met me where the stars meet the ground.

*Ch’aski, in the Quechua language, means “messenger” or “courier.”

December 10, 2007 Posted by | Poetry, Solitude, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hourglass

Minutes, hours, centuries, millennia–

Torrents of time that, taken alone, are unremarkable–

All come funneling through the hourglass at once,

And I, inside, buried in the swirl of measures,

Watch, bewildered, scared, as eternities slip through my fingers–

Upward.

The endless dunes, wastelands of yesteryear–

The weights that kept me grounded–

Gone, and I kneel exposed,

In awe and shaking with….

Fear?

I see familiar footprints in the now-transparent, endless, rolling landscape,

Leading from one era to the next,

Traversing lifetimes to connect the dots between every reality conceivable,

All stretched out over the entirety of existence.

Scenes of the exotic, the ancient, transposed

Over this “normal” and this “now.”

You see….

Today I hear in the bustle of the subway station

What yesterday you will play in the still hours of a mountain morning on your ocarina

And which tomorrow I performed before an ancient king in his court to welcome you home.

And on this underground note,

The soundtrack to my desert wanderings,

I toss a token of gratitude to the prophetic piper

While we rush to catch different trains on the same track

Which will collide for the thousandth time

In a fearsome, brilliant spray of sparkling sand

No sooner have we learned to let the minutes pass us by

And the moments carry us along.

November 15, 2007 Posted by | Poetry, Reincarnation, Time, Writing | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good morning!

Through a thick veil of hesitation,

Woven from the perpetual clash between passion and apathy,

Hope and resign,

Love and loss,

Reason and chaos,

Balance and imbalance,

I peer past into a morning—

Idyllic, warm, brilliant—

That defiantly forces its way into your bedroom

Where you lie,

A captive of your own unending night.

 

Fighting with every ounce of your fractured being,

You wage your tired war against the natural rhythm of life,

To conquer time,

To spit in the face of day…

Pretending if you have to,

Just for a few more seconds,

That roll into minutes,

That hurl into hours—

Ever since you were a child—

And no one ever wondered why.

 

Before your closed eyes, the stony mask of sleep,

I cry, wondering what kinds of delinquent chemicals

Are there swimming through your head,

And stealing everything that used to make you smile.

I’ve learned to stop thinking I could fight them

And bring you back.

You need to do that for yourself.

 

What are you thinking?

What are you dreaming?

Do you remember who you really are?

Do you know how much we miss you,

How much more determinately the nostalgia pounds us down

When you’re right there in our presence?

Child, sibling, hero, lover, stranger…

 

With tired shrugs and empty smiles,

So many times we’ve waited for you to make your entrance,

To join us

With your long-lost grin

And to breathe the most incredible words we hope to hear you say—

“Good morning.”

 

I pull open the curtains to let the light flood in,

But nothing I do can dissolve the shadowy heirloom

Destroying your home

If you refuse to throw it away.

 

You do all the sleeping that I cannot

When, ghostlike, I wander restless,

Desperately tearing through photo albums

For the chance to touch your face

And to see my own smile.

And I remember everything you cannot

Since you saw yourself so long ago,

Reached out from the stills,

Asked me for help,

And faded away again.

 

Well, here’s the sun once more.

And I will be slipping into your room,

Stubborn as ever,

Hoping that I haven’t got the wrong time of day,

And that, hand in hand, we can step back out into the world

Where everyone waits, arms outstretched,

To welcome you back with the sincerest of smiles.

I’ve come to say “good morning,”

But that pillow, your crutch;

Your bed, its own universe;

And your room, the cell that boxes it in—

I am nothing but the mute come to sing to the deaf.

 

 

“Something’s gone, you withdraw, and I’m not strong like before I was deep inside of you.  I can go nowhere, I burn candles and stare at a ghost deep inside of you.  And some great need in me starts to bleed.  I’ve lost myself; there’s nothing left.  It’s all gone — deep inside of you.”   Third Eye Blind –“Deep Inside of You”

October 8, 2007 Posted by | Poetry | , , , | 2 Comments

To the rooftops!…

Time.
Every sinking sun heralds another day that I will never know
And yet that I’ve already lived.
Like a farcical princess in a real dungeon—
A refugee
Of the all-consuming, merciless beast terrorizing the sacred hillsides below—
I watch from my window
As the bleeding sky before my eyes
Fades somewhere else into a festive night
Of friends, of music, of spontaneity, of life.
And while the spirits of ignorance dance, and whirl and meld,
And crescendo into the colorful laughter of abandon,
My own voice, my own form are absent,
While I watch and ponder the fate
Of the beaten, the violated, the penniless –
Because, tonight, their dusk, their chill is mine.
And we are all together.
And we are all alone.
And we are all forgotten.
And I learn all too late that the height of a cloudless summer
Is a time I would infinitely rather spend in the damp cover of the glistening snow,
And that yet another night delivered on the icy tails of the autumn wind,
Leads at this very moment into a joyous spring that I will never regain
And binds me, helpless, to the certainty that these
Are hours I will never recover.
So now that I—
My dreams, my soul, my hopes, my passions—
Have become, for myself, simply too much,
The fear twists deep within me that I’m still so very far from enough
And that perhaps it’s too late to prove
That I ever might be.

 

 “Listen as the wind blows from across the great divide — voices trapped in yearning, memories trapped in time.  The night is my companion and solitude, my guide.  Would I spend forever here and not be satisfied?”  — Sarah McLachlan (Opening lyrics of “Possession”)

July 26, 2007 Posted by | Memories, Poetry, Solitude, Time, Writing | , , , , | Leave a comment