Updated: Jan 10

Today is the day of amazement

the elder told me his eyes closed

his head back his lips mimicking

sounds of an incantatory plea

to an unknown god

I had asked how to reach the arroyo

I had wanted only to cross it

out of harms way

he laughed at my naivete

I knew enough he said

to stay ignorant

of the whole cosmos

sailing around me

what was a little gully

to a star traveler

New Mexico's pillars of smoke

on the horizon wildfires racing

to the sky I had coughed

up their pollution I had ducked

for cover from their flames

muscular firefighters on the ridge

they will die unless they can save us

all this is the union of self to self

this the marriage feast of the lamb

all in as one body all out as one

redeemable whole

adobe bright colors weak fireworks

explode on my retina

I see more than I thought

I think less than I saw

this vortex of wish and will and want

who can deliver me from it

On the outskirts of town

D. H. Lawrence lay buried

a gift of his wife Frieda

who knew how much

he loved this arid land

its primitive power

hypnotized him

he thought he had found

the really real incarnate

in Indian dances Mayan pyramids

blood sacrifices corn

blood trumped reason in his books

blood carried the life of men and women

into the pits of desire envy and hatred

all virtues of the Heraclitean fire

that burns below the belt

the fire of life of death

that consumes and purifies

who can find these virtues

in his humble shrine

an anemic phoenix stuck

pitifully in midair

its fire has gone out

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