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New Legend, Old Story

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Salmon was stuck

Behind Beaver’s dam.

Sea Lions were eating

Her sisters and brothers

So, Salmon decided

To walk around the dam.

This was risky, because

Salmon had no legs and

Couldn’t breathe outside water.

Salmon asked Man for help.

Man agreed and scooped

Up Salmon in nets,

Promising to take her

Beyond Beaver’s dam.

But, Man liked Salmon too much

Breaking the promise,

Keeping Salmon for himself.

While Man fished for Salmon

Beaver kept building

His dam, bigger and bigger.

So big, that River started

To worry… and like Salmon

Decided to go around the dam

With no legs and lungs,

Ruining Man’s corn and wheat.

Man became mad at River

Bringing in the army corps of profiteers

Who built dikes and false banks

Alongside River’s shoulders

Causing River to ask Rain and Wind

For help

Flooding Man’s lodge,

Freeing Salmon.

Upon returning home

Salmon didn’t recognize her

Sisters and brothers…and

Today, this very moment,

Who is the twin of Tomorrow,

She swims alone

Until River and Man

Agree together…..to

Take her beyond Beaver’s dam

Where Mountains

Have been waiting

Upstream

Message From A Cat

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I catch my cat asleep

Dreaming, head down

Concealing a moustache

Buried in his bed

A paw curled over a nose

Hind legs tucked in warmth.

His ears twitch,

Flutter, and slant.

Eyes blink, bat, while closed

A muffled meow

Slips out trembling lips

I know he dreams of me

The wizard of dry food

Good witch of treats

Dionysus of catnip

Then, I am also

Evil magus of loud voice

Mystic of flea medication

Charon to the veterinarian

Still, after all I put

Him through, he looks up

With those blue eyes

Forgiving me for

All my offenses

Thanking me for

All my kindnesses

Head butting my leg

Brushing my legs

Letting me know

Our love is unconditional

And forever

As a human

My cat reveals to me

A skill, a craft, seemingly

Buried deep in dreaming

That periodically wakens

Then, dozes off……it’s

An awareness I share with

All other wizards and witches.

Humanity

Visual Rhetoric

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Certain visuals are sketches

Finger-painted perspectives

Two-dimensional representations

Of a dot-to-dot planet

Color-coded into subdivisions.

Northern hemisphere, southern hemisphere

States, countries, and continents

Poor, rich, dark and light…a

Pseudo-scientific hopscotch

Drawn upon the streets, which…

We all can view on Google

Zooming in on frozen houses

Cars blurred while in movement

The past re-done, crime and punishment.

There is no sound in these places

Listening is obsolete.

We watch in focus mode,

For seeing is believing

And believing is sketchy.

These true images tumble in an

IP address bingo game.

Our humanity is a muffled noise

Behind the source…where

We are an array of likenesses

Are we

Mystery trolls hiding from

The bright crayon drawing of the sun?

Thinking in binary, or even worse,

Singularities of the infinite

Yelling at the top of our

Copy and pastes, proving

Yet another dead-end dual

Of conception and misconception.

Reasons to hate, reasons to love,

Do we construct art galleries of catharsis

Using only two hands?

Relieving the little voice, gurgling

Deep within empathy’s consciousness.

A temporary suture, a pause

From unending and constant bleeding,

The blaming of whoever and whomever,

While we run from sounds telling us

We are the ones placing images, messages

Inside the ubiquitous search engine

To gaze upon the shape of definition

Hunting for an undeniable truth,

The one math equation that explains it all

The impetus behind

Constructing inescapable jails

So beautiful, they become

Mirrors of our arguing love talk

The image of the red heart is something we recognize. But, that image does not make the sound of beating. In order to have the best chance at creating understanding, we must listen as well as gaze upon the image.–Elan

A Picture’s worth a thousand words, but a word ain’t worth a dime. –Sturgill Simpson

 

The Forest Across The Road

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We have looked at the embers

Found where the trail

Used to wind through

The forest , still warm.

You with that bright

Fever on your cheek

Me, dull, a copy

Of another fire you had

claimed as yours…. or

So you thought…,I know

Things are brightest

When burning…yet

There is a path flames take

When pavement bars it

From jumping across

A road to other trees.

One forest burnt, another preserved.

A relationship of nature and asphalt.

 

The burnt is reported to

A general public, in amounts.

Acres, ridges, houses, towns

As if the larger the area scorched

The bigger the desire.

I can remember one reporter

Asking me where the rain forest was

I motioned to everywhere

He asked me why I fought fire

I looked at you, still on the trail

Ash on your nose, smiling.

 

Coldness is measured in wind strength.

Inches of snow or rain.

I came across the road

To help you with the flames

Quelling the overall fear

With my calmness, while

Your inner heart searched

for a fire to overcome you

And when things were smoldering

I lost you…………., others

Found my charcoal shell,

Applied what they knew

To my appearance.

(Fire changes people)

I am now built of similes.

I am like the spring water

And cannot feel like a flame

The fire resembles you

 

All who look at me

Apply apocryphal images

Upon my cold, cold smile

They love the dystopian burning

Asking questions, only during

The catastrophe of transformed acres

Keeping distance from the spring

Which saves their lives.

A spring I cupped my hands in

Bringing it to our fire.

 

My desire is misconstrued

It was my mistake

Thinking we all could live together

Even though we already do

And always have.

 

I can remember the time

When we sat above

Valleys scraped of their trees

Waiting for the next blaze

Looking at a photograph taken

From space, the lights of cities

Were a ring of fire.

You were convinced the world

Was on fire, then as now.

You were kissing inflamed lips

Were they mine?

I have only the taste of spit

Rolling around a granule of ash

Between my tongue and teeth

Good enough for a memory.

 

I have always been a passionate

Wanderer of recovered trails

Through burnt timber

Even while I forever

Remain a water sign

Waving to you from

The forest across the road