Beyond Red Feather

“If you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.” – Beryl Markham

His spirit came upon me on a fourth night last before, and he laid out all the burdens that I thought once solved once more. And I worried all about it, and I prayed to G-D above, but it was in his insistence and according to his word that I followed my dad the phantom, on into a different western world. Into a different western world.

I set my mind on answers and I lay them at false feet. The Ying and yang of could be, the Ying and yang of disarray. And I climb that lonely mountain. Just the one I climbed before. Oh, here I stand a mountain, on it rest a hollow core. For if there was an answer in every peak, I’ve climbed than surely, I would be a wise man or perhaps holy divine. But oh, this Ghost upon me. The churning of my mind. This answer for a reason. Time to move, nothings left to find. Nothings left that’s mine.

Red Feather, was my fortune in the fall of ninety-nine, and I built it to a temple. To a mystery within my mind. And it’s true my daddy lies there with his ashes that dirt binds cold this very day. It’s all a part of history, the kind the spirit moves with time away. Oh, Daddy why all the mountains, that you breath into my mind, when you whisper out of the cold gray “Lay, sweet lady lay.”

And all I want is wonder, that beckons to my word, changes me forever, frees me like a bird. Makes me to an angel, just the only kind, that flies beyond your mountain to something that won’t fade away. That won’t fade away.

For maybe it’s a treasure, or just an extra breathe, maybe I’m just naked while an eagle makes a nest. Could be I see Jesus, in the beer from the night before, or maybe there is a miracle, laid in my inner core. But somehow, I know there’s a sunrise exploding in the west, laid out like days turned windy with time and secrets to explore. For ghost you are now upon me, mapping my seconds to the day, and what tomorrow may find me. With a grace tracing lines upon my face. On a distant shore of mystery where new muses come to play. A miracle of the day. A miracle of the day.

His spirit came upon me on a fourth night last before, and he laid out all the burdens that I thought once solved once more. But this time it was different, so strange in a good way. A miracle as my daddy bowed his head to pray, and I moved away. I moved away. – 01.24.22 – דָנִיֵּאל


“Life without a friend, is like death without a witness’. – Spanish Proverb

Sunday, January 11, 1975

“What are you drawing”, I ask him, bending my neck over to get a better view of the pencil scrawl, Davis is working on. “Just our lives at the end”, he grins pulling the piece of paper away and holding it up to his chest, where I can’t see it. “How does it go”, I ask him trying to sound a bit miffed at not being able to see it. “Well,” he says slowly before laying his artwork out before me. “It’s like we are the last owls, all the other owls are gone, and we are late for the sky”. One of us must fly and see what the other side looks like. “What happens to the one of us that stays”, I ask looking at the picture that shows an owl in a mirror. “The one who stays”, he says slowly, now no longer grinning. “The one who stays, looks for the reflection, to show him the way to go”.

He flew into the Western sky, one companion true to the other, knowing one would become a Yeibichai, knowing one would be left alone without a brother. The heavy sound of knocking, the forceful wind, in fight, the traces of burning wings, the death on high that makes me shutter. Oh you, just you, have crossed somewhere, left me to live without a rudder. Flew you alone, late for the sky this world has cha cha changed, oh how I stutter. Those sounds of ghost, the holy host, left you to go my wings can’t flutter. My world has changed too many times, I shriek I cry, so empty now, one owl alone, oh how I shudder.

On, phantom tides, the darkened queen has come. She picks your name, while I sit by. She calls you her bird of prey. Oh, is it that you are me? On that dresser of hers sits a mirrored reverie. One in which she pitches your name, the feathers fall it’s never a game. She mixes a cup, and life fills her up, but still there is destiny, the two of us fly eternally. For if I were to look into the mirror, see the high desert flowing all so clear. Know I am the last owl, and the hour is late. Experience the shadow of your fate, then I will see the pattern of the sky, know every reason for why, and then I will fly, so high, then I will fly so high, even though I am late for the sky.

“I think it will be me, that flies first”, Davis says. He’s grinning again, and it seems if I look close enough, he does indeed, seem to have a light down of feathers. “Don’t go to early”, I say, not feeling like grinning myself, for the hour is early, much too soon to be speaking of such things. “Yeah”, he says, “still, still, it has to happen someday”.

Davis Begay flew from this world on November 22, 2021. He was late for the sky. He was my dearest friend, and blood brother. I shall miss him so much. I think he would want me to find the reflection, he drew all those many years ago, and chart my own flight someday. For where he is there is only sky, and in it owls fly both day and night. – 01-11-22 – דָנִיֵּאל

The Ghost on the Bridge

“It is required of every man, the ghost returned, “that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and, if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death”. – Charles Dickens

“Listen, listen”, the boy ghost said, “we are present caricatures of what we once knew, no better time than Christmas, to know the life that once was you”. “From this same stargate a child was born, and in that image all lives were formed”.

Blew a kiss your way in the snow of “73”, you were transparent so hard to see, a foot pointed in reverie, no one saw you but me. Just a sprite upon the bridge, looking southward toward a ridge. The bluffs above you, and down below the muddy San Juan looked like moving brown snow. I thought about you standing there, a Dicken’s character with muffled hair. What were you doing, where was your home? Were you the same ghost who whispered to me when I felt so alone? I saw you again when we drove home, winds swirling, the spirits they roam. Oh, the ides of Noel be, above a river, on Christmas Eve. Faire thee well then, from my way back when, the clock is ticking while darkness moves in. A change to shadow, the book of dark, forever thirteen, a phantom in my heart.

Beyond our house, the wind it blew, from the steeps of twin peaks, the sand it made a witches brew. And in the interest of the dark, the Christmas story had a different start. For instead of Judea from my Father’s lips, I heard a whisper about desert ships. A different story from a different arc, a previous world in its glory before our start. “Listen, listen”, the ghost boy said, I’m a reflection of you before you were dead. “Listen, listen”, to your own heart, the Yuletide of genesis was the beginning before this Christmas start. And I heard him singing inside my head, and it sounded of wonder as I made my way toward bed.

That once in a lifetime on Christmas Eve, December 24th, 1973, the ghost on the bridge, came with me home, made my life different from all I had known. Told me stories of how life had been before division of meaning was borne upon men. Told me of stars, that spelled out their names, as they danced in unison, until morning came. Told me of meaning of why we are born, to love in adventure, to love in the storm. And as I traveled so far in my dreams, a boyhood voyager, to give or receive. I passed that bridge by the one where I’d seen, the boy ghost looking, staring at me. He looked so familiar, like someone I knew, no different from me. He waved me on through. He waved me on through.

“Listen, listen”, the boy ghost said, “we are present caricatures of what we once knew, no better time than Christmas, to know the life that once was you”. “From this same stargate a child was born, and in that image all lives were formed”. – 12.20.21 – דניאל


In Marriage by the Witch’s Gate

“Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires”. – William Shakespeare

My love, my love your all I ever see.

My heart beats in my ear, my eye will not see shadow, or color near. Oh, thought you have left me, tongue you cannot cry or speak. For I am a lost, consumed by faire fire and light, devoured by the craft of those sounds that cannot speak. And I must know you….

By the witch’s gate, in the sea of reeds, breath of female love, gives me mystery.  Oh, you are the stars of Babylon, with your eyes so green, mother to our magic children, born from matter drawn from we. On the salty tides, with a crown of leaves. On the grace that brings a shutter, let me fall upon one knee. Let me go forth now, pronounce my love of all of thee. By the oath of love, I bring my seed in thee, until this life has passed, then on eternally. By thy olive hand, waves a mystery, under this canopy of stars, starts the life that we will be. By the sworn oath, by the earned destiny. By the growing clouds and circles, trouble cometh, bare it all with me. By the witch’s gate, I marry thee. By the witch’s gate, let sovereign be.

By a song of praise, inside a seal of stone and weed. Comes now a silent witness of a world unseen. Be it he or she, we bend ourselves to thee. Something gifted by hosts of angels, finds a place in we. Forge it a gift to me, I give it back a seed. Know you now my treasure, better than breathe in me. That November moon, seen by a swamp tree, has a bite gone, from its periphery. Bended bands on hands show imperfectibly. So is our life defined, dark messengers cry to blessed be. By the witch’s gate, I marry thee. By the witch’s gate, let sovereign be.

Shadows move, to clear the fog away, some humidity decides to stay. Open now far heavens guide us here by the witch’s gate. Our lives together bound by only what we take. Oh, this fire does clear the gloom, takes us on toward better to a different moon. Clearer than, man-made prophecy. My love, my love your all I ever see. Praise the ties that bind us, mother from her wound. What we weave. By the witch’s gate, I marry thee. By the witch’s gate, let sovereign be.

My heart beats in my ear, my eye will not see shadow, or color near. Oh, thought you have left me, tongue you cannot cry or speak. For I am a lost, consumed by faire fire and light, devoured by the craft of those sounds that cannot speak. And I must know you by the witch’s gate.

For Susan. My love, my love your all I ever see. – 11.30.21 – דָנִיֵּאל


The Haunted Time

“If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother”. – Sigmund Freud

I have traversed time, flown across a great divide, hastened shadows of unknown kinds, to seek answers to questions in the haunted time. To find out why I dream of this house and you. To tear the curtain in the temple that keeps me blind. Mom I have come from the future in search of a find.

She is hidden in great darkness, a silhouette, no face, a gloom that attaches itself against my heart but not my soul or grace. A chill beyond that upstairs door, where no one can escape. A depression lost in crying on a toilet in disgrace. A something unpleasing, a matriarchal glaze, a father standing silent, chastened by her distaste. I climb the stairs in quietness, no expression on my face, the yellow carpet under me, knows I am out of place. I have come back now, called by your ghost of grasp and tow, trying to find the reasons why I was born and how. I have trapsed through time, my life shattered undefined, my heart lonelier than all past rhymes, to understand you. Another corner to the dream of tombs, the quickened of my heartbeat way too soon. For what if after all this time. I should find the answer was denied by that not known by you.

So suddenly now, with distant sounds of a lost heartache, I find you sitting in your own mistake, not knowing what to do. “Jesus must have come, and it’s too late”, I hear you wail, as tears of sorrow run down your face, I find myself transfixed by a bathroom door. Outside the wind shapes a different landscape, but you do not notice in your forsake, self-induced depression what are you crying for. The ghost of time in me, that child that lives in dread not seen, wants to please, not know you in that inward terror that you believe. I see you and me, worst of all I see what could be, what was selfish not given in those years. And I want to leave, transfer myself to a current age, but for just a moment I stand still caged.

The whisper near, drawn from a better sphere, known as good to some, known to me. The small still voice capturing time and belief, entering life and seed entering me. Something more than words has brought me here, back in time to understand my mother’s fears. For here in this haunted time, forever forward in ties that bind, I will love her and me. It is enough to set me free.

I have traversed time, flown across a great divide, hastened shadows of unknown kinds, to seek answers to questions in the haunted time. To find out why I dream of this house and you. To tear the curtain in the temple that keeps me blind. Mom I have come from the future in search of a find. – 10.13.21 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Yazzie & I (1977)

“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend’s life also, in our own, to the world.” – Henry David Thoreau

I met Yazzie when I was seven and she was six.  We rubbed noses in the alfalfa field out to the North of the Nenahnezad School and made secret promises to each other.  Some I will never reveal.  Through the years, we drifted apart and then back together again.  We were a mystery to each other.  We saw wonder in the world all around us.  In September of 1977 when I was sixteen and she was fifteen, we drove out near Burnham Mesa and danced under the stars to an Alice Cooper song.  It was our first and last date.

My old friend is gone so quick, without a touch, her breath has skipped.  A seal is broken; the spirits move fast, a famous journey on a distant path.  Oh, my partner, your lips brushing past, the four winds whirling, a picture still last.  My vision, my flame, my Navajo, that warmed me when the night was cold, took me, touched me while stars preformed a mass.  We danced so close, that we weaved a cocoon while our bodies touched inside our passions grew.  For you made me a ghost, I made one of you too, the sand on my back, while the world was you.  Made me a never, never, never, never man, whispering to me “be mine in thought, if only you can.”

For it was back then, so long ago, I became first boy on a sea of sand.  And I grew still inside of first girl so true, while the demons hid while the sky turned turquoise blue.  Her sheer layered dress, her falling hair, a pathway in time that charts a future shared.  Our souls so silent before the beauty we made, below the mesa, while destiny played.  For oh, my Yazzie, we are more than flesh, under stars that trail, that seek our breath.  For You and I, were I and you, a gasp in laughter, while worlds unglued.  A time together when where, was where. Indus crosses meridian, this now September, my Yazzie you are over there.

Just last night as I tried to sleep, my mind so anxious from a week so bleak.  I saw you passing just two stars to the right, headed beyond Mercury to a sun so bright.  Your gray hair streaming turning black by my sight, and you looked so young like you did that night.  And I played some Alice, and I played him loud, for just like back then you assured this old man, we were a constant somehow.

Deb Yazzie was a dear friend of mine from Childhood that left just the other day to travel to where there is no dark valley, just open sky and the best of an enduring mystery in Neverland. – 09.29.2021 – דָּנִיֵּאל


Portals (The End of Days)

“The irrevocable hand That opes the year’s fair gate, doth ope and shut the portals of our earthly destinies; We walk through blindfolded, and the noiseless doors close after us, forever. Pause, my soul, on these strange words for ever whose large sound breaks flood-like, drowning all the petty noise our human moans make on the shores of time. O Thou that openest, and no man shuts; That shut’st, and no man opens Thee we wait!” – Dinah Maria Mulack

“It is a bad time to think about wanting baby’s”, he said. “So much happening”. “So much darkness”, “so much hate”. “Still” she says, smiling, her lips drawing back to show her teeth. Still…

And the sun hid its face…

In the end of days, the sky fell forward, rolling toward us as summer set. For the fires from California, made our breathes so hard to get. In the cities along the front range, homeless came from not the west, brought their needles, sold their spirits, laid on concrete, the only place to find their rest. Dead was color, that of aura, that which circles an Eagles nest. No one spoke language, that word of people, all was transmitted in sign or texts. For what was summoned from those that ruled us an old man, whose mind forgets. A dangerous daemon of centuries stolen. Empires fallen on rich made bets. A turn of fortune, a once held glory, in darkened churches, those once used temples, where Jesus, forgot his wept. The end of days now, a turning seraph, a plague worth noting, in our minds kept. All thine the glory, in earth forgotten, a soul of total, is judged not worthy, not on a gross but on a net.

And the moon reddened its eye…

For all who tremble looking skyward, for those who hide their dry eyes in sand. That day has long been passed. Deemed completed, to sharpen weapons to cry reset. And oh, the vale is wide indeed, barren of spirit and growth of seed, one-wheel stops, while another one turns in need. The clock no longer measures the seasons, the long grass has turned into weeds. Flags of nations wave, while Rome burns on a pirate’s creed.

And the portal was ready to receive…

In the end of days, I hold out my hand through darkness and touch you where your legs recede. The whole world is silent, as into each other our soul’s weave. A cosmic duration, that conjures meaning. Then, now, and forever, I love you. For we conceive portals, the kind each lover needs, an answer to the question, of how to believe. And the world explodes around us, the old and what was new. For the door is falling open the signs upspoken, our souls a turquoise blue.

And the day was made of lightning for the night had been so long…

“It is a bad time to think about wanting baby’s”, he said. “So much happening”. “So much darkness”, “so much hate”. “Still” she says, smiling, her lips drawing back to show her teeth. Still… – 09.08.21 – דָנִיֵּאל


The Turquoise Soul (Dreaming)

“You’ve got to always go back in time if you want to move forward.” – Snoop Dogg

“You have a turquoise iiʼ sizíinii“, Grandma Blackhorse says. She is looking deep into the campfire. The flames reflect in her aged eyes and make them look like they are glowing. “Don’t scare the boy”, Ms. Woods says. She is to my back; I can hear the sound of the dough, flipping back and forth slapping her hands. “He’s not scared “, Grandma says, opening her mouth to show a toothless smile, “he is soon to dream”. “Stop it mother, it is not their way”, Ms. Woods says, her voice lower, sounding concentrated. She is no doubt worried about the consistency of the fry bread and hoping it does not burn. “May be not their way”, Grandma, laughs, “but it is his way”. “It is his way”.

A lighter blue just before sunrise, still it is dark at 4:00 AM. Falling deep into a slumber, as the chants begin and end. Three-sixteenths a time a sliver, into a higher desert wind, high above this firmament, this journey, into your ways do I descend. Not of this world, but of this people, between four mountains that ascend. Night has fallen on the Black Yeii; let the light of holy boy begin again. Round and round the worlds bend.

So it is that I am dreaming, of the beginning and the end. Of a soul that learns from mercy, born for water in the San Juan’s
end. Star gaze I into the heavens of a universe where life begins, five billion light years of glory, while right here now I am ten again. Black, yellow, white rotates again, while the turquoise eats my sin.

A safer place has never happened, why oh why can it not be. That every grey hair on this planet should be a child with me. Spinning it would seem in a turquoise destiny. Seeing this stone ship, that which flew, with fires and ash from a deep cold blue. Now it brings me here, from time immortal, cast down by a dream so clear. Everything happens in time, a constant in movement by design. Forwards, backwards, jumping over rhymes. The answer to the riddle is those who seek will find. Floating in a dream three-sixteenths at a time. In a desert near, may be like a child the answer comes so clear. Never fear, be free, dream with me.

“Come boy, come here”. Grandma Blackhorse is motioning me over to her side of the fire, using her nose to beckon. I look to see if Ms. Woods is paying attention, but she is busy hustling pots and pans over to the house to clean. “Boy I said come here”, Grandma has raised her tone. I shuffle over to her, hesitant but not afraid for Grandma is smiling again. Grandma is holding out something in her hand, and as I reach her side, she motions for me to take it. I look for just a moment into her eyes, those eyes that have seen time, and perhaps traveled it too. When I look down, my hand is holding a piece of rough-hewn turquoise. “You have a turquoise iiʼ sizíinii”, Grandma Blackhorse says. -08.27.21- דָנִיֵּאל

Authors Note: Grandma Blackhorse’s piece of Turquoise resides with this author’s soul and rock collection, as it will until the stars fall from the sky and I fly the Shiprock home.

Never Never Land

“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!” – James M. Barrie

Nothing had ever forbade me to dream of that home I searched for, that place in childhood where I felt safe. Still it seemed to elude me in my nightly visions, for to go there would require a balance. A threading of the needle between lack of, and want to. The summoning of the spirit of will. A belief in divination. The conquering of great adversities to find “Never Never Land” and to own within my own nature, that I was “The Pan”.

3:00 AM August 7, 2021

Left alone it would seem in ferocious weather on a roughhewn stone, in a violent sea. Dreams in phases am I young man, or am I in want, an old man deceived. What would I say has brought me this mystery, brought me this sword that cuts flesh from bone. Sold me naked in a world not my own. What would I say surrounds me in darkness, comforts me more than a warm bed at home. Standing still, I feel so disabled, lightning comes and I am alone. I am so alone.

The dragons have risen to lighten my darkness, come to demand a payment a toll. Deals made in ignorance, while I was younger, have put a strain on my inward soul. Questions unanswered, one and another, why do we search to find what stories have told. Too many thoughts lost in reflection, time owes no man what he cannot hold. Still I say it bold, a legend of fancy, a legacy behold. I am The Pan.

For what is the discomfort here? In my own thoughts, a judgment made clear. Flaws ingrained by my own instigated fear. Aged frowning daemons attack. To what I would not wish for myself to go back. To find my comfort in what I do lack. Wrapped in darkness within my soul. Not to see this storm in phantoms unfold. Not to see the rocks that I must climb, lines on my face, say I am out of my time. Tick tock, tick tock, I should have ran. Still my better ghost remind me in this late hour. I am The Pan.

So on to my hunt, with old bones creaking, tame the dragon my childhood is seeking. To find the tunnels, to enter the arch, know the secret that carries the ark. A covenant of mystery I see, an ancient rite brought to me. Count the numbers ahead, they fall from the skies and enter my head. Enter the sea the spirits forbade. The sky is spinning, my best plans unmade. Enter the doorways ahead. The seal is broken and time is unwed. For I will go on, straight to the castle, the light just ahead. To find the final truth, in G_D’s plan. An old man young in “Never Never Land”. I am The Pan. I am The Pan. – 08.12.2021- דָּנִיֵּאל‎ 

The Thin Wire

“Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it”. – Hunter S. Thompson

It took place by a dark bayou, the war in her mind. It raged both within and without her. It happened with hardly a sound, say that gasp she heard before she gave up the ghost and simply went away. Simply went away.

The Daemon’s eyes were lightning, seizing the warm June air about his glare, making it smell of Sulphur and musty faire. He spoke in a voice of judgment taught to him by his father the deceiver. It was his only weapon. His words formed circles around the head of the brown haired maiden, and with each syllable that was twisted; she jerked her body as if she was receiving pain. For indeed she appeared bereaved, and sadly enough her image itself began to change. It was with a ghastly sigh, a sorrow untold, a difference between the fantasy and the lie, the keeper of breath and the devil that defies. The war of the mind between judgment and the divine. The thin wire that separates the divide.

Still, lay still my faire maiden, rest thy torn, and shattered mind, gentle here by this dark water, a bottle by thy side. Gone is guile of some temptation that is to try a greater high. No more days of emulation, loss of weight the candy’s eye. Now we see you in death’s slumber, form so small beneath humid skies. Shadows summoned, wrap around you, a smaller form, have not seen I. Ere the cries of those who love you, those to whom there was no bye. Read they now of your alienation, in “The Catcher and the Rye“, and how the thin wire breaks inside. For when it breaks, it breaks inside.

Cast her spirit on the water; let her soul find comfort there. Watch it fly then into thin wonder air. There is no judgment there. Had she not some good within her, that extinguished by a rain. That of falsehood and addiction that fell upon her by disdain. Gather here, you grounded muses, those who taunt and flame. Look at her form still before you know she fell in war, that conflict in your name. For her thin wire is stretched among you, from one to each your much the same. Is it not true one less among you, and yet you feel no shame. Not one or two will ever change. For though she dies just barely, her thin wire cut in two. Something that has compassion nearby will welcome her completely and new. For wars are fought in many battles, in this world to stars beyond our own. This now still faire maiden, has moved on to take a future home.

Still, lay still my faire maiden, rest thy torn, and shattered mind…

For the faire maiden (for there on the other side you now know who you are) and the many more out there, whom embrace a battle inside all their own. It is not too late, wait but just a little while. – 06.30.2021 – דָנִיֵּאל