Salem by El Collie

‘Motherlode’ – collage by El Collie
I have burned at the stake long enough
To atone for any magic
I may have inadvertently
Or deliberately performed
Some forgotten century past.
I have given myself up to smoke
To be cured like a butchered ham
Devoid of rationale when served up
Steaming on sterling platters
In overfed rooms.
I have tasted the last ash of myself
Suspended over an unsteady flame,
Fanned by the hands of senseless fear.
These charred remains have lost their captive power
Even the pain is too black to be identified.
I tell you
I have had it.
I am climbing out of
This hysterical holocaust
And going home.
El Collie
1980
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What is the meaning of the Moon – 2

‘Full Moon Shadows and flowers’ – yamabuki
I.
Can your fingers
Show the way
Through the map
Of Winter’s sound
Have you wondered
As you wandered
Where we’re headed
This time around
II.
Can you see me
Drunk in sorrow
Sleeping Restless
Among the weeds
Without love
Who will hear us
All our needs
Are lost in greed
III.
Is the Shepherd
Broken hearted
When he stumbles
In the night
Can you follow
Dark eyed visions
When they lead you
Away form sight
IV.
Do your mysteries
Bring you healing
When you’re hearing
Whispered screams
Do the shadows
Lightly linger
When they push
Against your dreams
V.
Silver moonlight
Trembles lightly
Painting walls
With its blood
Golden slumbers
Have no meaning
Where are you
Within this flood
VI.
In the morning
Will you waken
From your nightmares
From your fears
All our prayers
All our wisdom
Melt away
Within our tears
VII.
Can your fingers
Show the way
Through the map
Of Winter’s stark
Full Moon meanings 
Conjure shadows
That tremble bluely
In the dark
yamabuki
Dec 2010

Mass-Mind Demons – El Collie

‘Night light blue’ – yamabuki
“It is assumed that
the guilt of the thief
is greed.
No, the real guilt
is the greed
for ordinary things”
– Rumi
We are hemophiliacs,
We love the sight of blood.
Take us down below the ocean,
Let us feel the flood
We want to feel the flood.
Fill our hearts with purple flowers,
Take us on a cruise.
Never move toward us too sharply,
We are quick to bruise,
We are made to bruise.

We will tell you all our secrets,
Mostly we will lie,
We’re weak on promise,
But we promise,
We’re strong on alibi;
We thrive on alibi.
We are masters of confusion,
We dream that we don’t know.
We do very well with chaos.
We’re here to watch the show.
We’re here to steal the show.
We can see what you are thinking,
We’ve crept into your brain.
Nevermind the ship is sinking,
We’ll pretend that it’s rain,
We’ll act as if it’s rain.
We are necrophiliacs,
We love to love the dead.
We are vultures at the banquet,
Eager to be fed;
We don’t care what we’re fed.
Dress us up in leaden swimsuits,
We have come to drown.
You can join us if you want to;
We will take you down,
We’ll gladly take you down.
— El Collie
  1977

Half Dreaming

‘Window’ – yamabuki

Snow capped branches
Laze sleepily
Half dreaming 
Of Spring mornings
And warm Summer moons

The wind speaks coldly
Slyly using branch tips
As its fingers
Writing its name
In the frosty air 

Ice and snow 
Speak Wintery tales
Beguiling us at first
But soon we long for
The burning touch of flesh

yamabuki
Dec 2010

Happy Full Moon
Winter Solstice 

Love is all around

The Magic of Words

‘Leaf and Water’ – yamabuki

If you could…
Listen to the song
Listen to the words
Listen to the Birds
Listen to my Heart
Words, words, words
The world is full of words
So many words
Like the blackbirds in the song
Listen to the song
“Too many birds in one tree”
Is how it starts
Is this a song or a poem
Words and 
More words
Going where
Doing what

I can imagine 
Your words
Your complaint
About my words

What is he 
Talking about

Say something
That makes sense
Birds 
Lined up in a row
Do the birds make sense
To you and me
No
Our words
Lined up in a row
Do our words make sense
To the birds
No
Who is right
Us or the birds
This is what
It comes down to
Who are we, and
who are we not
The Birds 
Understand 
Each other
They make sense
To each other
Are intimate 
With each other
Fight with 
Each other
Play
Eat
Drink and
Fly 
With each other
To paraphrase
ee cummings
They keep
Each others hearts
In their own heart
How do we
Understand 
Each other
We use words
We write to 
each other
Speak to 
Each other
Sing to 
Each other
Even lie to 
Each other
We all do it
That’s who we are
That’s what we do
But these same words
Keep us apart too
It’s like with dreams.
We say 
“I had a dream
last night 
in which
you and I 
were in love,
in bed 
together,
we kissed and 
tickeled…”
Well you get the idea
But that’s not the dream
Those are the words
We use to describe
The memory of the dream
If you could only
Stop your heart beat
For one heart beat
It would change the world
To stop your heart beat
For one heart beat
Is to stop the world
For one heart beat
Impossible
You might think,
But I beg to differ
I believe we do it
Do it all the time
I believe that 
Every time
We blink
We stop 
The world
The same as
Stopping your heart beat
For one heart beat
We pretend
Not to notice
Or say it’s not
Important
Just as we try
To ignore death
The Tibetans 
Have a word
For these 
Eye blink
Stop your heart beat
For one heart beat times
They call it 
The Bardo
This is the place
Where the world
Has stopped
Where anything
Can happen
Where the gods and
Goddesses live
Where magic is real
Where the birds
Are human like us
Where poetry and
Song are the truth
Where we go
Just after we
Have died
Where we go
When we blink
Our eyes
This is the magic
Of words
Their spell
So to speak
When used
As in the song
They work
Their magic and
Change the world
A little or a lot
Who can say
Even the oracle
Won’t give
A straight answer
Because the oracle
Knows that the world
Is always changing
And that everything
We say and do
Changes things too
Yamabuki
April 2010

The song is:
“Too many birds”
by Bill Callahan

Too many birds in one tree
Too many birds in one tree
And the sky is full of black and screaming leaves
The sky is full of black and screaming

And one more bird
Then one more bird
And one last bird
And another

One last black bird without a place to land
One last black bird without a place to be
Turns around in hopes to find the place it last knew rest
Oh black bird, over black rain burn
This is not where you last knew rest
You fly all night to sleep on stone
The heartless rest that in the morn, we’ll be gone
You fly all night to sleep on stone, to return to the tree with too many birds
Too many birds
Too many birds

If…
If you…
If you could…
If you could only…
If you could only stop…
If you could only stop your…
If you could only stop your heart…
If you could only stop your heart beat…
If you could only stop your heart beat for…
If you could only stop your heart beat for one heart…
If you could only stop your heart beat for one heart beat.
and can be heard at:

Here Now – by El Collie

‘Chinese Herbs’ – yamabuki
The ordinary things
Were never ordinary at all
They were merely disguised
Dressed up like bums
And held up for us
To ridicule and ignore
The ordinary things —
  A sip of water
  A beam of sunlight
  The brush of a hand
   A laughing child–
Were made into trivia
While we were taught
To hate our lives
The ordinary things
Were neglected, shunned, and mocked
While we went searching madly
For something that mattered
The ordinary things
Were labeled as obstacles
To be overcome
In our race
To collect unspecified treasure
At the legendary
Rainbow’s end
The ordinary things —
  A soft night’s sleep
  A feather in the grass
  Talking to each other —
Were denounced
As nothing special
But the ordinary things
Were never ordinary at all
We were mislead
As we blindly
Pushed aside
Everything holy
Believing all the while
That we were making way
For miracles
— El Collie
March 1992

Unseen Connections

‘Plant Mind’ – yamabuki
Dark angel feet
Marking the beat
Shifting our vision
Gaming the street
Blood silver wine
Dripping from vines
Swallowing darkness
Ending all time
Drunkenly sober
watching life’s horror
dead devil’s eyes
Tripping the joker
Steel doors shining
Silently pining
Killing the docile
Stealing death’s timing
Falling white blocks
Eating our clocks
Under the bed ghouls
Shooting red glocks
Jumping off bridges
Staring at ridges
Shooting up darkness
Dancing with witches
Water flows bloody
Hitting us bluntly
Eating the moon
Stars dying roughly
Broken bird hearts
Falling from carts
Sinking in sand
Swallowed by sharks
Prayer wheels spin

In cold desert winds

Angels fly past
Eating our sins
Silver sharp razors
Fast as a taser
Sharper than pain
Stronger than glaciers
Their shadows are cast
Memories flood past
All of us changing
But nothing is asked
Blue bodies shaken
All have awakened
Death has its day
Graves are forsaken
Quantum engagements
Waiting for payment
Stars in a dream
Sleep in our basement
Moons ramble by
Tearing the sky
Eating the day
Making us cry
Someone’s been thinking
Our time it is shrinking
Experience wanes
All of us sinking
Our vision’s receding
Neurons are bleeding
Identity fails
Our souls are still weeping
Worlds lightly lifting 
Spirits slightly shifting
Fear pulls us down
Truth it is twisting
Angels wing past
Questions are asked
Is this the end
Will we be gassed
Dancing thoughts dream
Of memory streams
With all our questions
Will we be seen
The answers have gone
Coming up wrong
Know only this
Our life’s but a song
yamabuki
Dec 2010