Behinjari and I

I am a demigod in training
and have a name but can never say it
I only know it when I am called

In the rainy days of heaven
we often seek entertainments and distractions
and having tired of several kinds of argument
I begged Behinjari to spar with me

Not often given to such amusements
he at last relents
Several of our number gather
for he seldom engages in the contact sports

He toys with me and every time I advance
he moves like water
moves like wind
and he is suddenly behind
in front of
nowhere near me

I go through the dance the third time
and decide to put a little spontaneous variation
in my movement
I lunge at him when anyone would expect me to pull away

And he is not there
he is no longer anywhere
Everyone gasps in surprise

I laugh
but it turns into a troubled sound
I call for him to come out and show himself
Everyone looks about uncomfortably

I ask everyone to help look for Behinjari
and we look behind the clouds
we look below the seas and beyond the stars
we look under the mountains and within the hearts of the stars
we look between the moments and across the time after time

We look till we are exhausted and spent
I stumble while climbing back up the hill and feel something
funny inside me when I lurch
I call the others to the hall and ask them to watch me closely

I go through the dance a forth time
and pull a spontaneous movement
as I land
I lunge to the left
as he is lunging to the right
and there he is
He has been hiding inside me all this time

We all laugh till we cry

the reality of the sky-eyed child

i met a child on the road
that runs beside Parnassus

and we had conversations about all the animals
the way waters run downhill
and the way the sun plays with the moon

later that day a man came up the path
the man began to scream and stamp his feet
the man challenged the child
and called the child all manner of fowl and vile names

i tried to comfort the man
but he would have none of it
i put my hand on the man’s shoulder
and i saw that where the child stood there was a demon
i jumped away
and where the demon stood there was a fearful child

the man started toward the child and i hit the man
i did my best to deter the man but he got past me

the child picked up a stem of grass
and stuck the man

the man was grievously hurt
and he lay on the ground writhing

the child was very upset and crying

i shouted
“Why did this happen?
Why did he see you as a demon and i see you as a child?”

i did my best to tend the man’s wounds

the child came to us then
and lay his hand on the man’s head

the man drooped and i thought the child had killed him
but the man was asleep and dreaming
his breathing was regular and his face at peace

i looked into the sky-eyes of the child
i asked “Will he die?”
the child replied “Not today.”

there ensued a silence
not unlike the silence between the stars

again i asked
“Why do i see you as a child
and he saw you as a demon?”

the child sighed a sigh
centuries old
then said
“I am reality
and humans see me as they want me to be.”

and i wept
for my own stupidity and carelessness
but the child touched my arm and said
“You may not see me for all that I am
but you see me for the good I do.
Between you and him
I much prefer your interpretation.”

I have only to wait

As the sun descends in crimson
I feel the darkness
that I have carried all day
in the form of shadows

I feel the darkness flow out of me and all things
and I pray for fires
and lamps
lasers and street-lights

I light a candle
stare at it
and focus on the light in front of me
not the darkness crawling all over my back

Tomorrow the sun will come
warm
gentle
and unstoppable

I have only to wait

We were Quimeras

We were poets
Yes, we were engineers and technicians
but we were poets

We molded our poetry to romance
Calibrated our hypothesis with mythology
and deep ocean-emotion energy vectors
We tried to save the astronauts
the aliens and the killer clones

We tried to free the monstrous creations
grown in secret, silent, dark dank labs

We were quimeras
unholy hybrids of science and art
and we were the better for it

On the Question of Spirit Animals

do you realize that most people don’t even get the glances that you have?
your spirit animal is something that you can not control – just like your heart
oh sure
you leave bread crumbs out for her – only to find out she eats meat
you offer to give her a bath and she is so not into that
this is not some domesticated, sweet, beautiful bird

you spirit animal is all that you are
but the part you can control
and the part you can’t control

she is creativity in its most destructive form
she is the painful beauty of the sun
and she will not answer like a dog

and that is what makes her worthwhile
that is what makes her a thing of rare beauty

so
yeah
you’re either going to have to live with your current rate of progress
work hard
trust your mentor

or you can run her off

because you can

i would chose to feel honored that she has even come to sniff your hand
she must love you very much
because she is feral and wild and just possibly the most beautiful thing ever

poetry is always a lie ~ but this is a very good lie

under a moon the size of the sky
he said

never trust to poets
for poetic justice is neither just nor poetic
poets lie with liquid lips
their farewells are never fair
and their good-byes are seldom good

overlooking a sea the size of love
he raised his hand
and lifted the oceans from their bed
revealing all the secret treasures hidden in the seas

he said
i have cried a million tears
and all my tears have not made one inch of difference in the seas
he lowered the waters and set them to moving again

he pulled stars into his hands and twisted them into a diamond chip sparkled flower
an ever-opening flower
convoluting and growing from the center

he said
the flower can not sing
it can only be beautiful to us in this place
i would not have it so

and he set the stars free like lightning bugs
on a warm West Virginia night

she said
teach me

he said
if you could turn the sky backward
rewriting those moments when you were hurt
do you think you would be the victor?

she said
no
because there can be no victory
only pain and death

he said
if you could bind you wounds and grow tens arm
becoming a goddess
do you think you would be happy?

she said
no
because happiness is not a thing that can be wrestled
or bound
or even properly talked about

he said
if you could change the weather?
if you could grow gold in the palm of your hand?
if you could forget all your suffering
would you?

she said nothing

he returned the sky to exactly the way the sky is
he returned the earth and sea to exactly what the earth and sea are
as he twisted something in his hands
he said
this is a poem
this is a lie

she said
it looks like an arrow

he said
yes
and it is only beautiful in flight
make a bow

she said
i can’t

he said nothing

she said
this isn’t fair
you ask me to change the weather
to grow gold in the palm of my hand
forget all my suffering

how can i do these things?

he said
you have always had the power
but you have chosen to hide it from yourself
until you were ready to transition

she said
teach me to transition

he said
i can’t
you must figure this out for yourself

she said
you are a bad teacher

he said
true

she said
you promised. . .

he said
no
i never promised anything

she said
why won’t you help me?

he said
i am helping you
if i were to be your armor
i would keep you from experiences you need
if i were to protect you from the rain
you’d become a desert
if i were to sing you sweet songs
you’d lose your place in the dance

he turned and the wind played with his clothing
the way a playful dog might
with a gesture he made a bow the shape of the night sky

he said
i can not give you love
nor children
nor courage
nor reasons for the way of things

she said
then what good are you?

he notched the poem that is an arrow
pulled it back on the bow let let it fly screaming into the belly of Nux

he let the bow slip form his hands
he laughed a snort then
held his hand out palm down
turned it over
in his hand is a piece of paper
this poem is written on it

he says
poetry is always a lie
but this is a very good lie