Worlds Away

what the nomad brought home

Me acordé

Te encontré
En donde no me lo esperaba,
Hablándome desde los primeros rayos de la alborada,
Susurrando, tu voz disfrazada de la brisa,
Despertándome
Donde antes dormía mi paz vacía,
Y me acordé
De lo mucho que habíamos errado,
Lo que fallamos
Lo que fuimos
Y quienes llegamos a ser.



I found you
Where I didn’t expect it,
Speaking to me from the first rays of dawn,
Whispering, your voice disguised as the breeze itself,
Awakening me
Where I used to sleep my empty peace (*”sleep” as transitive verb) / Where my empty peace had slumbered
And I remembered
How very much we had erred
What we wronged
What we were
And who we are becoming / And who we became / And who we have come here to be.



* I have no idea what this one’s about, though reading it over calls to mind a dream I had when I was little. I typically don’t write in Spanish; I just heard these words, these lines in my head, two months ago, and I felt compelled to write them down. For whatever it’s worth, I decided I would post this, and I’ve translated the original into English. First of all, it wasn’t meant to be read in English, so forgive the awkward expression. Most importantly, however, some of the Spanish lines have multiple, simultaneous meanings. English only permits one at a time, but I’ve included them all. Read it as you wish.

* “Me acordé” = “I Remembered”

July 2, 2009 Posted by | Español, Poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Conquista / “In Tongues”

I find you on the edge of dreams.
Your open arms receive me in the night.
So self-assured
You wrap me in a robe of southern stars,
Pull back the veil,
And vocalize a vow to claim me as the queen
Of this paradise you rule outside of time.
You take my hand and lead me down
Through swirling mists and emerald vales
Into a church whose taste of dripping gold
I find in blood and tears
Upon the wounds you make me lick.

And so I labor on my knees here while you watch,
Until I choke out prayers

In tongues.

 

Alright, so this isn’t a pleasant one.  This was originally the intro for a longer poem (not published here).  It’s tough to deconstruct in any concise manner, but the tags offer a decent explanation.  To get really simplistic though, it has to do with violence, churches built on blood, revelations of various kinds, the allure of the exotic, and a deep sense of pain for people other than yourself.  It’s also about finding your own spirituality at the breaking point, where prayers escape your lips in a language other than your own.

Ooooor…..you could disregard everything I just said, get a little creative, and read this through the perspective of different generations, centuries removed from one another.  😉

(la) Conquista = the Conquest
conquista (common noun) = conquest, or the endeavor of conquering
conquista = (in an interpersonal sense) a female you decide to seduce/overtake (or whom you’ve succeeded in seducing/overtaking)

December 13, 2008 Posted by | Memories, muse, Nostalgia, Poetry, Travel, Uncategorized, Woman | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Worship — Sex vs. Spirit

At the confluence of souls,
I shed the vestments that encumber.
This rite is the communion of the universal faith.
Time transcended,
Space suspended,
The laying on of reverent hands
Revives the fading forms
That part their lips,
Drink from the cup,
And genuflect in passionate surrender,
Professing their devotion
For this incarnation’s gift.

Mystics,
Leading lives of passion, panting
Fervent, heated prayers,
Would say such worship is misguided,
For these idols, fallen in rapture,
Are energy,
A vital force,
A pulse,
Poured into veins that throb with lust
To assert command
Over lives they’ll never truly own.

Performing paradise, entwined,
We forsake the here and now
And find that immortality
Is never-ending transfiguration,
And ecstasy,
A temporary means to a timeless end.

November 18, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, Sex | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anima — Sex vs. Spirit

In a fog of fallibility,
Time and space divide,
While sex and spirit somehow form the haze
That happens
To be nothing more
Than life.
But, flawed and finite,
Unenlightened,
Here I stand —
Joyfully divested of my reason,
Relinquished to my humanity —
And I worship at the altar of your bed.

I’ll keep seeking what’s eternal
In a temporary self,
Rejoicing at the forever life-force surge
In your movement through the temple,
Where I fall to my knees in surrender of my spirit
Before the votive
That you light with borrowed breath,
The prayers you beg with lover’s tongue,
And the desperate pilgrimage you endeavor —
Aching, spent, and fallen
With fleeting flesh,
A sacrificial lamb unto your own,
In this transcendental, timeless rite
Of ever-entangling, oft-repeated selves.

November 12, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, Reincarnation, Sex | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

One year older, ten years wiser…

Now, there’s a very good chance I have it all wrong.  I’m no sage.  But who’s really brimming with wisdom at 24?  (Hey, I’m technically 23 as I write this.)  Anyway, just for fun, these are some of the lessons that solidified themselves for me in the last twelve months.  Some (or all) of them might sound silly.  A great many of these things, I actually learned from my experiences this year with writing recommendation letters.  Others, I learned from friends, from failure, from unexpected success, from delayed reactions to events that played out years ago, and from those simple moments where all you can do is just smile to yourself and slowly nod…

So, here’s to 24.  I thought I’d share my thoughts here to see how you feel about these ideas.  Or even how I feel about them months and years from now.  My apologies for the lack of articulate expression, but this isn’t meant to be a literary classic — just a way for me to reflect.  By all means, weigh in with your reactions.  I enjoy a good debate, or a philosophical conversation, so, in no particular order, let us begin!  🙂

  1. Don’t make plans; have experiences.
  2. Never pass up an opportunity to help someone else achieve his or her dreams.
  3. Leave no kind word unspoken.  And there’s always at least one kind word.
  4. Our experiences make us grow, but they never make us deserve anything — good or bad.
  5. If something is repeatedly getting in the way of your being genuinely happy, then you probably still didn’t learn your lesson.  This lesson usually tends to be one of two things:  “Stop doing that” or “Walk away.”
  6. Where women are oppressed, men are often suffering a deeper hell than many people bother to consider.
  7. A compliment needs no motive, no reason.  We’re all looking for reassurance, so be liberal with praise where praise is due, and you’ll make someone smile a little brighter.
  8. Soccer serves a VITALLY important emotional need in some areas of the world.
  9. No pain is so great that you can’t put it aside to heal someone who’s hurting even more.
  10. That said, sometimes, it really is best to be selfish.  Do not abuse this, but be able to discern which of your needs are not to be compromised.  Those are the ones you should honor.
  11. Sometimes, a door stays closed so that you’re forced to talk to the gatekeeper.  The gatekeeper can (and often will) lead you to a door which falls open on its own.
  12. No amount of denial achieves anything; it just keeps you from the path your soul is trying to walk.  Denial has never solved a single problem, so if an issue is significant enough that you feel inclined to invest your energy in pushing it out of your mind, then that bull is almost certainly worth taking by the horns (or the cojones — have it as you please).  ¡Olé !
  13. The most personally significant things you’ll ever do will probably have nothing at all to do with your own life goals and will mean much less to you than to the ones they touch.  If you have the chance to perform such an act, dedicate yourself to it in earnest, and consider yourself very blessed.
  14. The day you look in the mirror and sincerely say, “This is good enough,” that’s what everyone else sees too.
  15. A few minutes of your own time may be the rest of somebody else’s life — and this, in ways you can’t even fathom.
  16. If all else fails in life (or you just don’t know what the hell to do with yourself), it might not be a bad idea to consider dedicating a year to the project of riding Greyhounds around the country and making a book of it.  (Hey, if you decide to run with this one, you MUST send me a copy!)  🙂
  17. Whether or not you take the suggestion directly above, please be aware for your future adventures in public transportation that wearing a hat, a sweatshirt, and long pants still doesn’t ensure a pleasant bus ride for anyone with two X chromosomes.
  18. When life leads you to say, “WTF?!,” open an interesting book to a random page (You’ll know which one to pick up.), and you just might find your answer.
  19. In all reality, when it comes down to it, there’s usually no good reason to curb your enthusiasm.  Obviously, there are times when displaying your excitement is not appropriate, but, being objective, these instances are few and far-between.  Life is short, so show it when you’re happy!  And you’ll weed out any sticks in the mud in the process.
  20. If you keep waking up at the same time of night, do something creative in that hour; you might be pleasantly surprised to find that it’s well beyond what you produce during the day.
  21. If you’re convinced you can achieve something, you probably can.  But ask yourself how much effort it’s going to take and whether you’re going to feel like claiming your prize by the time you’ve won.
  22. There is a breath that whispers when we’re not listening.
  23. This same breath also tends to yell when you put your hands over your ears.
  24. Things will always fall into their proper place once you open your hands.

July 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vagabondage

I wasn’t so innocent when,
Sleeplessly rapt in the throes of
A virgin
Wanderlust,
I cried out to you
On instinct
From worlds away.

A shameless amateur
In the art of survival,
I confessed my desperate hunger
For the instant when you,
Laid bare of your own volition,
Would thrust me
Past the point of no return so that,
Indelibly marked by your tempestuous
Yesterday,
I could secure tomorrow’s consummate
Salvation.

Recklessly announcing my
Coming,
I pleaded that you impress upon
Your wide-eyed initiate
What only the chosen learn
And that you reveal that
Naked, primal self
I longed to know
With an abandon bordering on the
Predestined.

I came to you in the night,
A pilgrim unwittingly sacrificing
The flesh
To obtain transfiguration through
Your touch,
And you,
Wasting not a minute–
Though I fell damned by their abundance–
Anointed me with unbridled
Authenticity
As there in the fervor of my devotion,
You forced yourself
Ravenously into my
Soul.

Taken down by a spear you shot
Through centuries,
I was pinned
Like all the others who pray
In your bed
That with morning will
Come
Mercy.
Your brazen lust
Drove me to the edge
Of reason when,
Over and over,
You threw me
Breathless
To my knees
In a violent embrace that
My iron will
Refused to unbind.

My God,
You literally shook the ground
Beneath me!
And you rose to meet me at every
Unforgettable peak
Where you taught me
How hard
I could take it,
Satisfied
No less than I had asked for,
And provoked
Far more than I had ever expected.

My love, in truth,
It was not a novitiate but a mystic
Who designed the wager
Against her own self-preservation
That allowed you to
Find me inside,
Crush down upon me ever
Harder,
And press deeper

….Deeper!

Deeper….
Into my memory.

May 30, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, Sex, Travel, Uncategorized, Wanderlust, Woman | , , , , , , , | 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

Musings at 23

What is time?
If not a tie that binds
And yet
A smokescreen
Tucking truths away behind “impossibilities”
Created only by our fallible awareness
And our unquestioning obedience
To rules that are anything but universal
And we
Counting the years
Overlook immortality
In seeing only moments already dead.

And what is life
If not a game
A choose-your-own adventure
Of amateur play-actors
Who screw up their lines
Bump into one another on the stage
Knock things over on the set
Yet always, each and every one, steal the show
Once they finally heed their cue?

No, no one gets a standing ovation
Because the seats are empty
The audience is on the stage
And each production is a rehearsal
And
Just maybe
Every curtain call a past-present-future simultaneous beginning.

So imagine
How magnificent the work
If all the actors were awake!
 
 
This random musing was partly inspired by the Quichua/Quechua concept of pacha — time, space, Earth/earth/ground/land.  It’s all the same.  When a Quechua refers to the future, he gestures behind himself, because we are completely blind to what lies behind us.  And when a Quechua speaks of the past, she motions forward because it stretches ahead of us, represented by everything that we are able to view.  In a sense, I suppose, “Western” notions of time seem to deal greatly with movement; what we are approaching, and what we are leaving behind.  But to the Quechua, the focus of time is on vision, clarity.  Just a thought to ponder…
(This post was also born when my sugar crashed one afternoon.  On that note, read below a bit and check out “Sugar” to see what that experience is like!)

March 27, 2008 Posted by | Reincarnation, Time | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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