Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Fable Of The Western Plains

Even in the beginning,
When Goddess laid Her fingers across the land and brought forth the prairie grass,
The West has had two-lane highways
And little diners by the road side.

In those times,
Horses had the power of speech,
And they said,
"The Man Who Knows Everything doesn't need a menu
Or a map.
He is usually divorced;
When he opens his mouth, it makes a muffled, dusty foomp,
Like blackboard erasers being knocked together."

"There is also the Woman Who Knows Everything;
Her children's feet are on fire for the sunset,
And they leave her alone, like a cricket inside a geode."

Still, there are things that even horses don't know.
For these, one must find a waitress, and ask her for the Secret Meaning Of Eggs.
Don't be shy--
She is the Queen of Honey & Jam,
The Voice of the Goddess in the everyday world.

"Eggs," (she will tell you,)
"Contain the dreams you had last night, but can't remember;
The obstacles you fought with.
The woman you've longed to kiss, and did, until your lips were deliciously sore."

"There is a way," (she will further reveal,)
"To retrieve these dreams,
But there is a special method for it."
Watch, as she yanks the checkered table cloth out in one quick motion,
Leaving your coffee cup and plate of pancakes
Undisturbed and serene
As a Western morning.

"So it is with dreams.
You can charm them out, like barn cats,
But you must do so without breaking the shell of the egg."
If you can do this,
You can find the Horizon,
Keep the knowing of the Dream Time,
And cross the border into
The Anasazi village
Of your own absent Joy.


for dverse poetics--borders.


Kerry O'Connor said...

Oh Shay!
That you have such tales within your mind and soul... Really I'm speechless to say how gifted you are as an artist and how amazing you are as a human being.

Jannie Funster said...

I wonder if there's a cricket inside the geode that even with a sledge hammer on concrete, I CANNOT open? And ouch, the kickback from said hammer makes my tender hand bones pay attention. I guess like dreams inside eggshells that geode is best left to it own plan.

I was actually do that table cloth yanking thing successfully a couple times!

Just an AWESOME poem, Shay! As usual.


Jannie Funster said...

actually "able" to do that, should read up there.

And crap -- I snoozed whilst that lightening-fingered Kerry zipped in to snag first comment. :)

wood said...

and it's all true, i had breakfast there this morning, talked to all the horses, but never found the horizonor the border, aimed for it, but never arrived, but that's a western dream... all in all a good morning. really enjoyed the read

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my Goddess, what a wonderful tale. You are a genius, I'm just sayin'. I can never figure out why you are not famous. One day you will be. Some editor somewhere should be thwacking himself upside the head right this minute.

I so love this story, and am especially stunned at "like blackboard erasers being knocked together" and the final six closing lines. Wow.

Susie Clevenger said...

This is fantastic..."So it is with dreams. You can charm them out, like barn cats, But you must do so without breaking the shell of the egg." I am in the midst of my own fragile dream..I shall be careful to not break its shell.

hedgewitch said...

The horses know a lot. And the waitress, but it's the poet that is the ventriloquist here, making what is the most obvious the most arcane, and vice versa. The set pieces in this are exquisitely staged, and the images a cinema verite recap of verity itself. A fine-feathered and frolicksome tale, Shay--no one but you could write this.

Natasha Head said...

Hello Goddess...this is fantastic! Rumor has it I was born in one of those roadside diners back at the beginning of time...but you know the thing about rumors! Fell in love with both the language and the imagery in this piece...and always so freaking awesome to visit!

Brian Miller said...

my what wonderful toes you have shay...smiles. lovely scene with a bit of magic...that table cloth trick has often alluded me...though i still dream...beautiful as always ma'am...great to see you at dverse as well...smiles.

Charles Miller said...

wow, blow me the f*** away. There's so much going on here and that works, I want to take it home and watch on my radio! You got the voice, the dialogic, the interplay between dream and reality going big time. Thanks for an excellent experience.

Claudia said...

i think i will go to the kitchen now and try to charm out some of my last night's dreams from the eggs.... great poem shay..

Anonymous said...

Apparently I linked up today to have my mind blown. Your imagination is a superhighway and I, as ever, am in awe. Will try not to bump into walls on my way out.

Mary said...

Love it. I think horses would probably be wiser than many human beings!

Anonymous said...

This was a joy to read...wonderful stuff!

Mama Zen said...

Lord have mercy! This is . . . I don't know what this is, but it's amazing, makes me glad I can read, and wish to hell that I had written it.

Lydia said...

What's going on with you? Your poetry has been ratcheted up so many notches that a cowgirl would run out of space on her belt to measure them! This is marvelous (and I agree with what Mama Zen said, too).

Anonymous said...

Wonderful journey and vivid images :)

Laurie Kolp said...

Great story-telling, Shay! I especially like the ending.

Oh, and your poem in my nonsense post over at Real Toads made me smile... wish you would have linked, though.

Anonymous said...

You leave me speechless. What can I add to all these comments but "Wow!"

Anonymous said...

i'd love to have a conversation with the horses.


LOVE this!

Dave King said...

This is the way dream poems should be written (only it aint easy), like a dream, true to their own form. Beyond which I echo Mama Zen's response. Brilliant. Impossible, but brilliant!

Shaista said...

I like that our names sound similar :) makes me feel extra special... I love your header photograph too - how cool are you?!! Your poem is a book I want to read, and a journey I want to be on too. I guess reading you is the closest we can get to that.
Happy New Year Shay from The Other Shai x

C. Elizabeth said...

I love the magical, playful nature of this poem. It's been a while since I've seen the site. It looks great!

Shawna said...

I just LOVE this part:

"Still, there are things that even horses don't know.
For these, one must find a waitress, and ask her for the Secret Meaning Of Eggs."

Shawna said...

And this:

"The Man Who Knows Everything doesn't need a menu
Or a map.
He is usually divorced"


Anonymous said...

i love how you give so much credit to the horses. how much do they really know?

Lolamouse said...

Awesome story! I need that waitress to tutor me on accessing my dreams!