My Book of the Dead: A Storm Upon Us
A Storm Upon Us
(In Memory of John Trudell, written upon the occasion of his crossing over.)
A storm is coming. It is on the horizon.
It has traveled far, fast, wide, and
taken much in tow, the storm
infused with lies and nitrogen. Water, air, ground—
infused, our fruit and animals infused,
our minds infused with lies and nitrogen. We’re dumb struck,
believe ourselves smart when we are, instead, confused.
The tricksters counted on our being caught unawares.
They knew our selfishness, greed. Most of all, fears.
The storm approaches. (Can you hear it?
Nine hundred and ninety-nine hoof-like vibrations beat against our eardrums &
we remain indifferent.) We have our things gathered. Our children
seem fine. We always rebound.
The storm comes and goes, returns. Next time, harder. We don’t even bother
with shelters. We give it new names, each time, further fire and rain.
We start again. It could have been you or me, we say, dying
in public beneath a baton’s blows falling amidst a spray of a sniper’s bullets,
but it wasn’t. We go on.
Disaster has happened to someone else.
We venture out and buy more. We take more. We discard. We pillage the earth.
The storms take sinister forms, go by isms, neo, and post-hyphenations. Be afraid, leaders of the faceless enemy, warn. Beware.
when you travel we cannot protect you. We will be vigilant of your whereabouts.
Our watchful Eye will know your life. Long lines to survive much less thrive lie
before you. You’ll feel shame like in naked dreams but worse because we, in fact
are watching you. We will make sure you don’t question.
And when the storm is upon you, when it has destroyed your homes, and your children are not fine and your dreams of golden roses and bright days are nowhere but in the pages of a storybook, we will be content in our heavens eating peeled
grapes, sipping fine wines from our vineyards of abundance,
sitting on our thrones,
new gods. We’ll smile down upon you
our creation of ruin,
pick our teeth with your bones.
This lead poem in my forthcoming collection written in 2015 set the tone for what was to come until the present. A collection for me takes approximately 10 years to complete. I decided to start working on a new book of poems in 2012. Many poems were eliminated, some times completely dismissed because I
didn’t feel them strong enough to include. As I often have, I worked independently, including eventually organizing the book’s format. Many are dark poems but these have also been dark times. However, as grim as my perspective may have been on some days, hope has been vanquished. As in my previous collection, I ASK THE IMPOSSIBLE, I’ve included a handful of poems I’ve written in Spanish. Translations to English are included. I am grateful to see this project come to fruition. I hope readers all over will find solace and comfort in the affirmation of the storms we’ve been through and that we are pushing through.