Blue Moves (Tonight) 1980


I’m headed up I-25 out of Las Cruces, the road looks dirty under half moonlight. There’s a glow to the east that lights Timber Mountain, with no Timber, it’s not named right. What is my name as I drive on four lanes, all I know is I’m a lonely sight. Tonight! The eight track spins on strange cylinders, as all eight tracks are known to do, and I’m listening to Elton, a double album that’s all “Blue Moves“. The desert moves unto me, butte and sky, they are one, and as the lights of Truth or Consequences come upon me, I know without question, to that they call the Christ, I have become no one.  No one is here tonight.  And the Blue Moves they are around me, with magic notes from nine to ten, the clock is turning solemnly, I am too young to know.  The night, tonight, is the time to end all, that is this boy inside me, by myself in silence, in silence, all around me ,tonight.

Elephant Butte is on fire, as it descends into the Rio Grande, and my small Ford stands empty. I see, I’m not high now, the glowing water is flowing. Ghost reach me from some eternal temple, by two they come… And it beseeches me, reaching to me under moonlight like a hand. And as Crazy Water echoes, the East storm approaching, lightning, something older, for years I will not know it, but tonight, as Elton sings Idol, tonight.

And something ancient comes to me, by its blue moves it caresses free, a stranger form than what I have known, by here in my childhood, I have grown tonight, come to me Adonai Nissi tonight, you are so different tonight.

It’s been years now since that night, driving north from Las Cruces by a strange light. All the turns that have come in my life. Something chilling, something moved that night, that made my life for the rest of time. Blue Moves is the place where I revived, one night. The light! – 06.02.2017 – דָּנִיֵּאל

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Bisti (All the Souls)


Wednesday February 1, 2017 – Did you just now rise from a dream white boy, did you just rise from a dream?

Wednesday, February 1, 1978 – “It’s a waxing crescent moon”, I say to Davis, “a perfect night to cruise”. “The snow is spinning its way forward, leaving New Mexico, dropping on to Amarillo, underneath the arc of the silent moon”. “What say we take these beers down the “Old Bisti Highway“, through this inch of ice, towards the landscape of the moon”. “There’s bound to be souls down in those old badlands, that we should see, maybe some things we should not do”.

Wednesday February 1, 2017 – Why did you come on out here white boy, trying to replicate in dreams? Thirty-nine years of dust between us, imagination so keen. Why did you instigate our raising, you left us years ago? Here we are in the Bisti Hoodoos, silent still waiting, as the dead cells, in petrified wood. Why did you come here, calling, opening chapters so long closed, bibles so deep, where words don’t mean what they seem? Why did you dream your, book of the shadows, where western winds blow? The legends we thought were gone, in puffs of smoke, now you raise us up. Why did you raise us up, haven’t you seen enough?

Wednesday, February 1, 1978 – “We are voyagers”, a thick voiced Davy, says to me. “Player is on KWYK, the signal weak, “Baby Come Back“, moving the frost back from the “Oldsmobile’s” windows where we can see. “Look at that coyote”, I say, “he’s faster than anything can be”. “He’s faster than me, faster than me”. The air is moving, the hoodoo‘s are alive. And it is the night, where two friends come to a place where there is no retreat. And before “All the Souls”, we “shudder before the beautiful”!

Wednesday February 1, 2017 – Did you rise before midnight white boy, see the waxing crescent, hear the moans still rising from the ancient ruins. Did you really think you were still there upon the Bisti, watching “All the Souls”, of the old worlds watching you? Did you dream of stories, here in your quiet bedroom, going years before now, thinking were they true? Did you learn a lesson now, laying here so quietly, breathing in your spirit, what you saw then you can see now too? Did you stir your vision, from its years of slumber, did you grow to know us, like we know you? Shudder before the beautiful, shudder in the darkness, of this night, “All the Souls” are waiting, now they wait for you.

Wednesday, February 1, 1978 – “The planet is moving”, I say in the cold, outside of the Oldsmobile, watching wide eyed while a story unfolds. “All the Souls”, my friend says with a gasp, “I think the dead are rising, were they ever dying”.

And Davis and I look at the souls, the spirits of ancients, the stories so surprising, in their colors and their hues. And there in the Bisti, the night drawing in, we sober together and watch the dawn bring clarity in. To bring sweet clarity in.

Wednesday February 1, 2017 – Did you just now rise from a dream white boy, did you just rise from a dream? – 02.01.2017 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Chasing Light (1981)

I think I will chase light forever, for it was whispered to me once upon a time that it is “All We Are”!

Cecil and I sat there, the air floating by, in those days we termed it a dry special night spring.  The crosses white and crooked glowing ethereal, like turnstiles to another world of kings.  The moon came down and left a ring, and somewhere near the San Juan Mission Cemetery A desert Poorwill began to sing.  “You “chasing light”, he asked, his Navy blue, setting off an odor that smelled like a mixture of a Navajo sweat bath, or maybe the south sea.  “Yea” I say, just talking to the past, that only my soul can see.  The bluffs above us throw sacred shadows, and nearby the Animas meets the San Juan in a muddy reverie.  And just below the lights of Farmington, lean forward, throwing stars that disappear before they reach the cemetery.

Cecil scoots forward, the headstone becoming a poor thin seat, “You chasing light”?   His eyes are a cobalt fire.  This time it’s more a question, than a statement about my spirituality.  “I won’t be back”, I whisper. “Not until your grey”, says he, then smiles.  “Very dramatic”, he whispers, pushing his lips like a Navajo at me, knowing being dead, has more insight than what my brown mortal eyes can ever see.

“What’s chasing light”, I ask, without expecting a reply.  I’ve been here before with Cecil, six crosses in, with my pagan faith by the Bisti Highway.  His questions are the answers, his statements the questions, a conversation behind the veil of life, with a skinny white boy.  It’s a woven discussion between my life, and that which is still.  Not even those other ghost by crosses three, two and five, dare to intercede

It’s sudden, while the dawn’s nearby.  The bluffs leaning in to watch a flicker as a verb say goodbye, and Cecil speaks a phrase, the last to me he’ll ever say, “chasing light, it’s all we are”!  “BOY, are you chasing light”?  It’s sudden, his tattered purple ribbon disappearing, over his star of bronze.  The desert smells like the Pacific, the crooked crosses all around me look like life from another day.  I turn to see Cecil fading away, forever.

I think I will chase light forever, for it was whispered to me once upon a time that it is “All We Are”!

PFC Cecil Hoskey was killed in action on April 2, 1945 during the battle to secure the bridges on the Island of Negros.  He is buried at the San Juan Mission Cemetery.  Sometimes I still see him in my dreams, when I’m “Chasing Light”! – 09.20.2016 –  דָּנִיֵּאל

 

 

 

 

Black Tree (La Plata Song)

When you bade me hello, standing near the road, it could have been farewell, you probably were the truth. For on that day in July, Saturday, of thirteen, nineteen seventy-four, you came on past me. Said you from my eyes, bathed me till I cried, I no longer knew, what was me, and what was you. Black tree you covered me, fared me so well. Silver lining blue, La Plata what a spell. You spake to me in lies, you wounded me in truths, you prophesied my life, a little boy I’m you. Highway in my dreams, a neurological new, always standing there, black tree who knows who. What came before, a child, a spawn before a man, is that child inside me, afraid of who I am. Cover me like that, black tree turned in earth, fight the light of heaven, opened here on earth. Above you only color, a silver lining roof, down here near earth tones, it’s what I’m fortuned to. It’s what I’m fortuned to.

Now I am a man, with silver on my scalp, but still in dreams like tunnels, my inner vision south, I drive along the La Plata, the state line so near, that black tree is waiting, swallowing up my fears. It says to me your different, not full of sap of sky, but introverted passion, the answer to not why. And in your inner vision, along this highway true, you’re not a transgressed beggar, you’re not what’s new. For there are many forest, along the plains of earth, but only one black tree, near the state line, around a curve. And just like it was summer in nineteen seventy-four, when you were still a virgin, craving an open door. Reach inside my mystery, let covers float on high, let all my black leaves cover, all your broken mind. For there are book of shadows, and shattered broken rhymes, that could not best the riddle, like I can in your mind. Like I can in your mind.

Along the La Plata, a curve that leads towards birth, a younger me waiting, a black tree in the earth. A sign of the coven, a sign forever new, a curtain of the calling. The me forever new. I will not forget you, I bet your standing real, forty-two years, a yesteryear but still. But still…So still. Black tree. – 07.13.2016 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Nenahnezad (Navajo Moon)


When I was a child, I saw as a child, all things beautiful all life bright. Colors, especially at night, those moving shapes like dancers under the high desert rite, and there was no dark valley, in that world where a boy dwelled, laying in darkness, where the moon fell, listening to voices, at last for you I’ll tell….

Under the spells of the harvest in September, it could be October too, the smell of sand waiting for winter, the tide of the sky rolls out the moon. And see there a boy that looks kind of awkward, that wishes he lived what he knew, walking outside his house in the desert, the reservation around him so new. And spirits they fly in ever endeavor from up off the river to bring him clues, to inhabit his soul and tell him to look up at the Navajo moon. He walks on into the night of November, colder frost from mesa’s in view, if his parents knew he was wandering out in the darkness what would they do? What should they do?  A car with lights it comes gliding so slowly, down the dirt road, rolling by, its faces in view, dancers their faces reeling, for some sing of healing, their faces painted, they do what they do. They leave that boy alone by the pathway, that road, that leads straight up to the moon.

December’s a dream, and on into winter, it could be he’s crazy, but what should he do. Walking around the school, and the playground, at Nenahnezad under the moon. That Navajo moon.  And time and again when he’s going solo, out on the dirt road, the desert in view, he hears a car, driving so slowly, right by his elbow what should he do. Those yeibichai fellows, ghostly eyes staring, silent in wisdom, drive by, and disappear into the hue.

When I was a child, I saw as a child, all things beautiful all life bright. Colors, especially at night, those moving shapes like dancers under the high desert rite, and there was no dark valley, in that world where a boy dwelled, laying in darkness, where the moon fell, listening to voices, at last for you I’ll tell….

Over a period of five months in the fall and winter of 1969 and 1970, near Nenahnezad, New Mexico, I saw on three different occasions the same dark blue car full of Yeibichai dancers headed into the full moon. What I was doing wandering around in the dark by myself, on those various occasions is known only to that younger self that was me. Maybe I’ll learn more as time goes by, there might even be a part II. – 01.29.2016 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Sanostee (Ordinary World) 1973


Lately I’ve been dreaming of strange autumn days, a car, with my parents inside. Missions of the heart, and Jesus in the way, the sand on the rez its painted, painted art. There upon a desert corridor in flame, the Hogan stands empty and still, surrounded by a painting, of memory that’s stained, a course of my life not of my will. Daddy preaches goodness, while time it whiles away, fry bread and the smell of mutton still. Mom, she plays an accordion, that brings strange notes, so shrill, “No Dark Valley” changes nothing still. I reach for water it’s not there, the sky a winter’s gray, a bastion where I find my childhood’s real. Sanostee brings memories of life that death can’t kill, it’s not just an ordinary world, well G-D says it’s an ordinary world.

Still, so still a Thursday, a late Autumns day, Dad and Mum, they take gifts to help make things okay. Navajo, their hungry, and spirits must be fed, the spirits only willing, look how Jesus bled. The storms they move asunder, the sky looks purple black, I leave the Hogan looking, for some sheep can’t be led. I hear the sounds of angels, the psalms of ancient deep, moving I a young boy walking with the feel of ancient feet. Somewhere in the distance is the sound that mourns, the desert comes together it is the perfect storm. And I know there are missions that just can’t be reached, a lonely spirit crying, a wilderness out of reach. I turn blue takes the highland, the fire from below, a flame in the desert, a dream I will keep. Sanostee brings memories of life that death can’t kill, it’s not just an ordinary world, well G-D says it’s an ordinary world.

Sometimes I am lonely, sometimes I am sad, thinking of all others, and things I haven’t had, but then the dream before me, the one that mocks the past. My childhood in the desert, the best I ever had. It’s still just a Thursday, a strange autumn day, my missionary parents keeping daemons at bay. A trip out to Sanostee, a Thanksgiving noon, a storm out of the wasteland, bringing birth, out of a wound, a young boys wound. I reach for water it’s not there, the sky a winter’s gray, a bastion where I find my childhood’s real. Sanostee brings memories of life that death can’t kill, it’s not just an ordinary world, well G-D says it’s an ordinary world.

My parents were Wesleyan Methodist missionaries in the early to mid- nineteen seventies, serving the Navajo Indian reservation in Northwest New Mexico. Often they would travel to a place south of Shiprock, New Mexico, to hold services. While they served, I wandered, running through the desert washes, and climbing mesa’s that touched the sky. One November around Thanksgiving I believe, I saw a late autumn storm, that I have never forgotten. I dream about it still. I think we live in no ordinary world, although my faith tells me different. What is seen is ordinary, that not seen, not so much. I think what I saw that November day in 1973 was the unordinary made ordinary, and it was beautiful. – 11.27.2015 –  דָּנִיֵּאל

Boaz (White Sands 1945)


He Said, “She came like a woman’s body, of incandescent light upon his own, it could be as the poet said”, “So death doth touch the resurrection*”.

In morning he wanders the high plains above, Boaz searching, looking for some kind of answer, maybe angelic where ever he roams. His sheep find the border, the white sand of home, sometimes under sunlight the lambs look like snow on a mountain, he once used to know. A high arid climate, a place made for the unknown, the Eden of sea sands, Boaz the Shepard, finds his dreams coming home.

A morning in summer, a darkness well known, in white sands a first quarter, of moon now not known. And Boaz he walks through the shadows and hue, and looks out there yonder for the land that he knew. His lambs they lay waiting in shelter and home, their white wool of goodness, a dream he has sown. He wanders still waiting is she with him still, Shekinah, the wisdom, the spirit that follows, her hunger, wanting its fill.

She sounds like a soft word, a whisper of blossom, a syllable, a rhyming, a rod of learning, a yearning in hips perhaps a moan. A seraph of witches, a majik, this herder finds unknown. She surrounds him glory, her face not twisted, the truth of a mistress, a wife to be known. Oh Boaz of white sands in thoughts of a herder, perhaps she is waiting to take you home. No better truth in this world has his body ever known. The wind is quiet now, perhaps a dream, the lonely shepherd groans.

She joins him like atoms, a mass of just one, and a falling omission of choice in the sun. A woman of burning, a treasure won, her legs wrapped in union of cry’s when ones done. The air of the mighty, the dawn of dark morn, when all around Boaz, the desert adorns. With wild roars of fury, and lightning behest, unleashed of her gash, lust duty beholden, at all times request. The changing of fission of all he now sees, the raining of white sand, an all moving sea.

For Boaz the shepherd, his sheep now awake, the desert before him, the ground still it shakes. His visions from red to purple in sky, man’s purpose for living, lost in the fires eye, but still she does stand there, that purest of kind. That purpose of wisdom, her smile heals his why. And heavens fall harder, in white from the sky, the bomb of destruction, the cancer of lies. For Boaz the shepherd lives in the dream, for some ark of beauty, has kept death unseen.

*(So death doth touch the resurrection) – Hymn to G_D, My G_D, in My Sickness by John Donne

Boaz Martinez, was a sheep farmer who lived south of Socorro, New Mexico. On July 16, 1945, he claims to have seen G_D rising up in the desert, in the white sand, reaching high into the firmament, dancing perversely before him, and then coming down, settling he said, “She came like a woman’s body, of incandescent light upon his own, it could be as the poet said”, “So death doth touch the resurrection*”. Changing him, rearranging his thoughts and beliefs, removing a mask, and helping him to see a different life from any he had ever known. I met Boaz at the Hatch, New Mexico Green Chili Festival in September of 1979. The above is for him.7.25.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל