The Sandpainting


“They find joy in motion, which transforms their lives into unending odysseys. Their souls are brightly burning streaks of light across the universe—constantly traveling in an endless dance across space and time.” – Zita Steele

We are two chums in the high desert, out near the dump, near the dragon!  We are here to paint the sand to seal our destiny, and to travel far away, on this long dark night. On this long dark night.

From the center out, we brushed our way through, colors of the earth and sun, with our own different hues. A painting under constellations that gave us clues. While first man talked, first woman brought us through, to the other side, on this long dark night. On this long dark night.

One by one we turn to two, dark filled Ravens by a cobalt blue, folding dragons our wings non flew, an ark from heaven, my friend me and you. Desert stories while young men sleep. We paint the colored sand from deep, to deep, drawing lines between our times, closing out the devil and the evil eye, on this long dark night. On this long dark night. Bended shoulders to what may come, the better we are, when we count as a sum, first the planet and then the sun, drawing a labyrinth where we may run. When time has ended and the world has stopped, we will step through the doorway, where our painting plots. To a new galaxy, a different moon. We will draw our new lives to escape our doom, while there is still time, and the sand is cold, on this long dark night. On this long dark night.

The mesa vultures, and the scorpions too, came and surrounded us while we drew. All dead creatures of things to come from the twenty-first century, when time is done. Dark angels, and soulless men, depraved demons in the craft of sin. All the past and the future too, hovered nearby but could not come through. Our seal of lines, on this long dark night. On this long dark night. First the pollen and then the corn meal, the San Juan sand, and the gypsum to heal, the universe of layers within us we seal in a turquoise bind. His brown eyes open, mine open too, we chant then we sing of the bridge on through, to the other side. To the other side. Boys translucent to the dead of night, a new moon existent, it will be all right, on this long dark night. On this long dark night.

From the center out, we brushed our way through, colors of the earth and sun, with our own different hues. A painting under constellations that gave us clues. While first man talked, first woman brought us through to the other side, on this long dark night. On this long dark night.

We are two chums in the high desert, out near the dump, near the dragon!  We are here to paint the sand to seal our destiny, and to travel far away, on this long dark night. On this long dark night. – 10.18.2020 – דָנִיֵּאל

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

Angel Peak (Long Time 1977)

She whispers, not breathing, at least not so that I can see, she bathes there in the cover of red rocks just like when she was fifteen. She’s at the two o’clock marker in the shadow of the Angel peak, I’m sixteen or fifty-five now, not no more than yesterday’s dream. The sandstone, looks past petrified mummies, the badlands of the San Juan basin to the back of a wet brown hued lady. “It was “such a long time”, she sings, the pool of clay seems clear at her feet, just sparkling minerals, dropping diamonds of sun beneath her wings.

The world has stopped, moving, and the sun would still it’s shine. The triune strata of the Kirtland Shale, The San Jose Formation, and Nacimiento Formation, bending to catch the sound of her voice singing Boston to me.

“Funny there would be music here”, I think I say, and then I wish there was stars, for maybe under the seven stars, this would all be a different dream, not real, not her making me dare, to be what maybe I can’t perceive.

Her fingers like the canyon, they bend and keep moving, bringing, the raw colors of the world to me. “You’re coming back to find me”, her voice, teasing, the sage carpet of the ancient ocean bending to see what I see.

She whispers, not breathing, at least not so that I can see, “it’s just outside of your front door”, and the angels come down from the peak, and they play with her. And just like the mystery of the song in the Kutz Canyon, she continues to sing to me. “I’ve got to keep on chasing that dream, though I may never find it, I’m always just behind it”. And the angel’s just fifteen, but she’s older than the peak, for it seems the vaults of canyons seem to echo, what she repeats, for a long time, all my life for a long time.

She whispers, not breathing, at least not so that I can see…10.7.2016 – דָּנִיֵּאל 

  • All rights to lyrics “Long Time” – Tom Schotz (Boston)

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

Sante Fe (Chaco Canyon 1978)


There’s a place I went, when I was just something of a kid, a Cibola somewhere south, where spirits in the Chaco speak to only those who know, that earth is in the bow, of a terrestrial time.  When daemons will not still their selves and they will fly to Santé Fe, on the seven rocks, they will lay. I have heard them when I drove 371 South through the nomenclature wars. I heard them when I drove through judgement to Santé Fe.  Those words, modern man, does not know what they are for, and what those whispers say.  Oh and here in Chaco Canyon clear, once upon a time when I was just by myself, the seven altars stood, and those rocks in all their witch hood, rained down fire from all the sky, upon my soul.  And Santé Fe you took me, I cried, and declared I would not die, before I walked beyond the door. Those Rocks of legend, fire and before, of destiny, they took away my pride, brought me down to beyond, pure Christian pride. Right inside me while Jesus died, the peace and calm, from the deserts dawn, I became Santé Fe.  I might be seventeen, and so withdrawn, but I know, of what is true, golden light insight my love for you, Santé Fe.

Took me upon the desert floor, took me upon the granites door, to where the sandstone carved my eyes, took me inside, made me Chaco’s bride, then I saw Santé Fe, Santé Fe! There some say, New Mexico has swum away, upon some sand, or some tide, desert specters haunt some minds, but not mine, no not mine.  For I have found an old home. A place in the desert, hearts can come to cry, I was there when Chaco Canyon spun from the sky, I was only seventeen when I died, then I rose in Santé Fe, my true boyhood, rose in play, Anasazi, moonlight play, while all around the wind and ghost do relay.  Holy Ghost, or special play, I am risen here by the weather or a whim.  Upon the seven rocks Cibola lays, her legs stretched to catch my wanton eyes that stray. Here in the desert I come to lay, and I rise, rise to say. I’m alive, my mind is alive in Santé Fe.

And oh just like the boyhood dream of seventeen in 1978, I will fly, by myself in Chaco Canyon to the seven altars, there I will find holy faith, Santé Fe.

Santé Fe means “Holy Ground”.  This is written in memory of a solitary June trip to Chaco Canyon when I was seventeen! – 06.25.2016 – דָּנִיֵּאל

The House (Specters)


Trust is a whisper from the moonlit house near me, there so close to the mesa near the tree, there by the stars of the Navajo sky, there when I was eight did I watch shadows move by. Nenahnezad a long incline backwards whirling dervish sounds that formed my mind, daemons, my friends said, those figures from the den of time. Boy she whispers my throat so dry, here I am, in the sweet by and by, bring your sneakers, come here, life is nearby.

By moon a statue, that looks like me, by ever longing, lost in a sea. A silent world of wind and keys, numbers swirling by night so free, a small boy I stand, I stand by the tree, and look possessed in sweet conjunction harmony. Of all the high ground around me, just the house, asking me, to enter free, a white boy on the Rez you see. Pass young one without hesitation, do not hide, bring your empty spirit, take the glimmer filled ride. A ray of full moonlight comes and goes, I sit out by the cottonwood and watch orbs flow, it’s daring I would say, that one could reach my heart, and take me far away.

The house it travels to my many dreams, it follows me to this very day, under moonlight while the presence does play. There upon the bluffs so high, where my childhood played and was so shy. Near the back of that old school, in sandstone, alone where specters rule, skin walkers of the other side, a small boy standing just outside. That old house at night near the reservation school, Nenahnezad, myself fulfilled. To stand upon sand so cold, by there that cotton tree, the moon to blackness come over me. To watch and feel an invitation pass, at eight years old, it touched my flesh. To know it’s there to see it real, the house it waits there now, after all these years it waits for me still.

Trust is a whisper from the moonlit house near me, there so close to the mesa near the tree, there by the stars of the Navajo sky, there when I was eight did I watch shadows move by.

This is a true story. When I was eight years old, wandering around the BIA compound at Nenahnezad, New Mexico by myself, there was an old house, made of stone, empty, but filled with something still. On my travels at night, I would watch it, orbs moving from room to room, beckoning, calling. It still calls me to this day it calls me. The picture above is that house. May be you too will see it now, for I think it waits for all of us, someday. Some enter before others, some wait afraid to enter in. It is our childhood, that circles, and the specters inside would have us enter in. – 02.21.2016 – 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

Judges & Companions


For there are companions, and they come in the valley of tears, they come with hands raised, and they will not be judged!

Judges never have danced under the moon, no sir, they never have danced under the moon.

Judges all around you everywhere you go, morphed into your spirit, they tell you where you should go. Everywhere since worlds began, there’s been hypocrisy, some little law based on criminality. Politics in places, spurn they the mystery, of all that is in your heart, know they not when you breathe. Did you know that scares them, when you look unto the moon, frightens them like Socrates, frightened that, which never blooms. Like those three men of old, Meletus, Anytus and Lycon, they could not see, those shiny companions that loved philosophy!!! Judges never have danced under the moon, no sir, they never have danced under the moon.

Companions walk beside you, never far from where you’ve come. Never leading onward, or following what you have yet become. Is it not a miracle, you have so much to give, look unto the right of you, angels, wink and follow your eyelid, as it see’s, carefully, your companion, touches you, and gives. Everything from all you are, paths of horror, trails of stars, life that goes from beginning unto the end, even in your sin, companions live, forever with you, never judging, always loving, who you are.

And you follow them in love, they follow you too, your deepest darkest secrets, become companions too, and someday soon they’ll bring you home, turn around, and you’ll no longer roam, for G_D will love you, and you’ll understand….

The companion is all you ever waited for, the deep dark mystery, that, your shadows for, it’s you, oh my friend, it’s always been you.

Judges and companions, the world has always been, those who change your raiment, and those who choose within. For I would not have judges be, ruling over me, for there is only one who my name always see’s. For I am not an angel bought to live by rule of men, I choose my companions by the G-D who lives within. For stars they light a pathway, to those, who choose for want, to be a companion, to never judge their want. I will not allow a judge to rule over me, for G-D is my companion, we choose what I will ever be, and then my will, it walks forever, by my side, a great companion, from the other side. A great companion from the other side.

Judges never have danced under the moon, no sir, they never have danced under the moon. – 11.18.2015 –  דָּנִיֵּאל (Daniyyel) meaning “G_d is my judge”!

Eagle Rock (55)

Move a little bit, and open up your door, come on outside with me, it’s just a little holiday to celebrate something, higher than our eyes can see. For up there really far on the Mummy Range, a trail twist and turns then it bows in pain, it introduces itself as my life and gain, for it is me, on my birthday it is me. Eagle Rock it lays like a woman spread, at thirteen o seventy elevations head, such a pretty site and its Hagues Peak, on my birthday where wings are formed, it is me. Come a little closer with your broken dreams, hike a little higher, with your shattered seams, know if I can do it, through all of my life, you can too, on Eagle Rock, turn around, let loose your arms and fly.

On my birthday brother you could see if I rhyme, tell a pretty story about this high mountain climb, but I’d just laugh and say it’s been all my life, nothing’s changed, I’m the creature of a habit of the G_D with no name. That brings me to a subject here on Eagle Rock, stretching my hands toward the summit of naught, sister let me breath in your ear a dream, I am free, in these seventy-two names, I see, you can too, just breathe. After all in all those circles, and those thoughts of blame, you been around this lonely mountain in a time of shame. Time to climb it with your teeth bared in a grin of flame, climb it high, to Eagle Rock.

From here above the timberline an eagle screams, I match it on my birthday, for all it means, I’m something born of Torah, while the whole world sings. Here on my day, the dead move away, for I am alive, on Eagle Rock. Come on dance with me, through the bare aspen lot, climb a rocky trail, breathe, be who you were told you’re not, here above the common traits of man, find your soul, on Eagle Rock.

Move a little bit, and open up your door, come on outside with me. It’s just a little holiday to celebrate something, higher than our eyes can see. I’m fifty-five years old, and I’m born in peace, here I am, come with me, on Eagle Rock, blessed be, on Eagle Rock. – 11.03.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Come do the Eagle Rock with me, it’s my birthday, I’m 55!!!!! – “Well I feel so free” J

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