Infinite Culture

Music. Art. Culture. Writing.

Ways of Seeing: Poetry From Jemez Springs

“Jemez Breathing”

1.
Piñon woodsmoke mixes
with pale cottonwood
branches, lifts
skyward to meet
a haze of clouds
above canyon walls.
Sunheat against my back
as steam rises
from thermal pools.
I walk
over pebble landscapes
and concrete footpath
as dry leaves scatter
across winter grass.
Wondering zazen,
thoughts like wind
as body takes form
inside the house
of sutra.
Knees point
toward earth,
stillness enters
as I sit,
arms with slight
tension,
thoughts breathing,
I universe,
rush of spirit
from bones
of lost time.
All one
through heart center.
Zazen.

2.
Angled footpath,
carved canyon slope.
Boots compress
red earthdust.
Morning wind
through fresh
sunlight,
caresses,
claims,
kiva remains,
Patokwa stones,
a fallen pueblo
where Spanish
and Hemish
collide.
Brilliant black obsidian,
fine arrowhead edge
glows brown
in my sunlit palm.
Layers of story
built
by broken walls
as gray
gnarled branches
point to blue sky
over Astialakwa,
to final refuge,
to memories
of weightless souls,
butterfly warriors,
descending,
descending.

3.
Red sandstone cliffs
inside canyon
of San Diego
rise
from mile-high mesa
where Hemish pueblo
survives.
Open eyes
open, see
what is there,
see deeply
with fresh lens,
with oral story
through compressed time,
volcanic ash, and
infinite battles
where drum song calls
masked dancers
to altar.
Ancestors circle
in brilliant winter light,
my hand warm
from the touch
of sun clan
as pulse rhythm
drives Matachines
across earthdust plaza.
Perceive. Be.
Filters collapse
inside valley
where history
is now, is art, is life
and I universe
breathes.

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2 comments on “Ways of Seeing: Poetry From Jemez Springs

  1. Neil Diamente
    April 26, 2011

    Raf-

    Cool site; I guess I hadn’t seen it yet! I’m almost finished with the MFA. If you’re looking to interview someone with opinions about the MFA programs, in general, let me know.

    Also, my friend Alex will be in town from May 16-26 and you’re welcome to join us again; this time we’ll mic you correctly and give you what we record.

    Take care,
    Neil

  2. Pingback: Poetry & Music: Jemez Breathing | Infinite Culture

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All content on Infinite Culture, unless noted otherwise, is copyright © 2016 Rafael Otto. All rights reserved.