We think of the key each in his own prison. . .
Shape without form shade without colour
Paralysed force gesture without motion. . .
Under skies churning with anvil clouds,
I arrive on the streets of the nameless city.
The sound of my footfalls echoes off walls
of blood-tempered brick, concrete, and steel,
blends with the voices storming
around me here in death’s other kingdom.
Lightning flashes blue and bright–
thunder rumbles across the dry fields,
dust billows, but the rain never falls.
Like a bitter wind blowing down from the north,
the New Right’s cathedrals rise up from the land–
monuments of chain link and razor wire
like multiform stelae spearing the sky.
Acolytes chant paeans to loss, longing, and pain,
while stalks rustling out in the fields
whisper in sibilant voices the names of the dead.
The Kachina dance to the abyss’ edge,
but the Shalako don’t come on solstice night–
no promise of rain, no end to the blight.
The cruel month’s sun beats down
on the streets of the nameless city
yet coaxes no life from this desolate land
where I’ve wasted too many years
keeping the best part of myself buried inside,
yearning to touch, burning to be touched–
trapped between desire and spasm.
No clouds gather, no breezes blow.
The cricket finds no relief, the man
no shelter–there is no red rock.
Again storm clouds blacken the city’s skies,
lightning flashes, thunder rolls and shakes.
I run through dark streets, search for my escape.
When I see the way out, I find it lies
in facing the void with unflinching eyes.
In giving color shade, a form to shape,
the motion to gesture, I liberate
creative forces deep inside. They rise
to flow like waters down through the furrows
of my dry fields. Imagination then
nurtures the new life that, beginning to grow,
lifts fresh shoots from rich earth, both bud and stem.
And making meaning from the chaos, so
I set my lands in order once again.