from Temazcal: The Steam House Chronicles
Beneath shaded bough,
I sat gazing at agave-blue mountains
This is when I saw it.
A round room in the center of a vast prairie.
A temple of the sun.
Inside the room, two great faces were locked in tense dispute.
One was White Face, a Taker-Spirit.
He spun and spun like a violent wind.
His pale face bore a smirk of self-satisfaction.
The other was Red Face, an Elder-Spirit.
His red and copper face bore paint and markings that represented earth powers.
His face also bore a mark of concern.
He twirled and flowed with the aggression of White Face, blending with the Taker-Spirit
just-enough to maintain a temporary connection.
White Face laughed.
"I am powerful. I take what I want.
You will not stand in my way."
Red Face replied,
"There is more than one kind of power.
Our way is the oldest way, and will endure in the end."
White Face scoffed.
"You are weak. I own the land.
I own the water. I even own the air, as you can see from my great flying machines.
There is only one kind of power, and it is mine.
What do you have to show for your way?"
Red Face grimaced.
"You make bombers, prisons, tear gas. We taught our children the old silent power; how to dream, when to purify, when to gather rice and sap, how to live in harmony."
Again, White Face laughed.
"These are irrelevant in my world. Anything I need I can make or I can take. It has always been this way, thus it will always be."
Red Face shook his head.
"The gleam and glitter shining off all of your new gadgets has blinded you to what is at stake."
Suddenly, a dark cloud blew in. The sky outside the round room turned gray. White Face could see images in the ink-dark eyes of Red Face. He saw his great machines rusting. His crops withering. His own children were thirsty and starving, sitting in lifeless square rooms, burning piles of money to stay warm.
White Face shrieked, for he finally understood.
The dark cloud blew on.
Light filtered into the round room again.
It fell softly on ancient pots and weavings of those who once tended the Way of Harmony.
White Face wept.
I turned to see low strobing currents all around the round room.The currents flowed outward and became clouds, rivers, herds of elk, ants-in-formation.
My Heart-Eye was reminded of the Sixth World of Blessing
that will go on and on
long after this current dying world has passed away.
(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com
image: Hopi basket / family collection