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

 

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 Spirits of Bisti (Patiently)


“The future for me is already a thing of the past –
You were my first love and you will be my last” – Bob Dylan

So long ago, first man, first woman, first love a song sung so patiently. Stars and angels, ruins beneath the eggs of Bisti, let what we do be born patiently. My love, my love I will love you eternally. My love, my love, I will see you again in Bisti eventually,

She, moves and summons so patiently, in threes, sixes and nines, the Bisti moving she on bended knee. Moving these images throughout these dreams. Swaying in song so delicately, her whispers dialectically. While Steve Perry wails, she kisses me, under rocks above me, oh another world that beckons me. Ruins that spin, while she touches me, here to live eternally. Sand pouring methodically, the notes of stars above fall melodically. The universe outside my car, our score that no one see’s. Just the spirits of Bisti so patiently, in you and me, moving, eyes closed, incessantly. We burst, worlds move, so patiently, light shines incandescently. Inside and outside of me, only this once. I succumb patiently.

Night winds fly higher than we can see, desert moon in November touches the ground in prophesy. Your hips bare the secrets inside of me, together, first woman, and first man, mythically almost tragically. Still there is a song forever, I keep gloriously. Later I learned you died, on a highway knowing what you did not see. No doubt your eyes closed, just like in Bisti, so patiently. November 29th so early. The morning star falling on a frozen desert sea. To your grave, in my head you kept me, so no one could see, the trail we blazed patiently. The spirits of Bisti, a covenant in immortality, tall columns of rock of relevancy, that watched so quietly, while we shared so patiently. So patiently.

Spirit I summon thee, so patiently, just like then move with me, let doors open like her with me. First man, first woman, let guardians shelter us in this moving desert sea, while we move too. Her to me. Me to what I cannot see, above these ruins, where shadows recede. Let what we did bring immortality. Let our love be patiently.

So long ago, first man, first woman, first love a song sung so patiently. Stars and angels, ruins beneath the eggs of Bisti, let what we do be born patiently. My love, my love I will love you eternally. My love, my love, I will see you again in Bisti eventually. – דָּנִיֵּאל – 11.29.20

Valiant


“You cannot give me my soul and take away my heart” – Prince Valiant

Upon this terrible eve of difference, that between the dragon and me.  His, the daemons troops so terrible, that which brings the fear I see.  So it is, in that great battle, that which quakes inside of  me. Move I unto my great lady in this darkness comfort me.  In this darkness comfort me.

Oh, hallowed place oft with no sun, to drench the soil of goodness done. Why here I pray, and ask someone in shadows come and cloak thy son. Bring grace in step and purpose some, make inside stronger than outsides sum. Know thee to me, my ladylove, one life, one soul, I will not run. For battle rages, I know it true, it rises when the sunrise is through, and I will not have glory then, for all blood spilt, is mortal sin. In truth right now, when darkness comes, a slight chill uttered on thy light tongue. Kiss it to me, and I to you, become we one in ghost and shadow too. Lay here with me, and know not my tears, take now my thoughts for the coming years. For here so cold on nighttime’s shore, we know each other in skin and more, and share a shimmer of what might be if on the morrow I cease to be.

Light here no candles as if I am staid, a token monument while breath is weighed. Still laugh with me and breathe in true and call the muses to sing us through. One life, one soul that parts nowhere, even on that morrow when blood flows everywhere. So the question asked between us two, are we finite now, in what we do? Tonight, tomorrow when the battle is through. To know this eve of that to come, will be enough when sleep is done.

Oh, sprite, thy torments everywhere, thy flurries dark and teeth still bared, to rent my grasp from what I do. To sow the doubt within my love so true. To split my will as if it is none, to change the mystery of what must be done. To show this place where we now lay, to describe its hollowness as my shallow grave. My sword to me, my strength renewed, the stars above fall, and show me to you. For in my heart, laid deep to test, one life, one soul, will pay to rest.  One life, one soul will pay to rest.

Oh, hallowed place oft with no sun, to drench the soil of goodness done. Lay down thy time, look not ahead, for what is future could already be stead. In this black place which knows no sun, bring light to me, thy will be done. Know thee to me, my ladylove, one life, one soul, I will not run.

Upon this terrible eve of difference, that between the dragon and me.  His, the daemons troops so terrible, that which brings the fear I see.  So it is, in that great battle, that which quakes inside of  me. Move I unto my great lady in this darkness comfort me.  In this darkness comfort me.

For Queen Aleta and my wife, both who have put up with much the night before a battle. – 10.26.20 – דָּנִיֵּאל

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