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  • The Oyster

    A FREE Sampler of poems/teachings/writings from the work of

    Julio Donato Cianci

    including the text of 37 readings by him on his CD, Donato’s Stuff, and some from
    Climbing that Mountain and subsequent books.

    Two Red Birds Publishing

    All rights reserved.
    Reproduction, or distribution or use of material in this book
    for resale may be done only with the permission of the publisher.

    Donato Cianci
    Two Red Birds Publishing,


    First Printing September, 2000, 2nd Printing January, 2010
    ebook scroll edition 2012


    From, I Would Be the Buffalo’s Guest, 1992 p. 6 ff
    From, A Man is a Sacred Journey, A Woman is a Sacred Fire, 1995 p. 10 ff
    From, the Goldstone Diaries, 1997 p. 14 ff
    From, Being in a Man’s Skin, vol. 1, 2, 1998 p. 22 ff
    From, Me, Made Like Coyote, 1998 p. 31 ff
    From, Climbing That Mountain, 1999 p. 40 ff
    From, The Wedding Line and other books p. 49 ff



    Watching two cats
    One growls and softly leaps.
    Two become one
    Teeth in the neck
    Loins covering thrusting

    Sudden disjunction

    No so fast
    Lets do it this way
    I hear my voice say
    As I too
    Roll in the dust
    At my back this solid rock.
    Cloaked in my softness
    I feel buttocks swell
    Arms outstretched provoking union
    Caressing myself against the earth
    Yearning to be played by you
    Like a harp
    Or a wild mountain guitar

    So we roll over and over
    Making one out of two
    Creating the axis mundi
    Drowning like those cats in heat
    In the sun-spilt juices
    Of dripping locust flowers in June.


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    I know that granite is worthwhile
    Not that involutions in the stone
    By craftsman 'A' are mine to condone
    But simply that
    Black feldspar, mica, quartz
    Crystallized by a mountain out of sorts
    With an amorphous brew in its bowel
    Is for instance a permanent file
    Of old sounds, old tastes, and young memories;
    Sea-rattle, where the round rocks beat;
    A shoulder for a moss shawl;
    A catch basin for rain water
    For sunlight, and arthritic hands gay tales;
    A boy's thirst quencher, and a skyjack's ladder.
    Old granite, peeling off a mountain
    Shakes my dust into a world tour
    And then
    Marks the journey's end

    Fall 1957

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    A snare is a circle of grass
    Lying, waiting
    My intelligence stored in it
    Deadly to Rabbit.

    Whose intelligence sets me
    As I lie waiting
    In the dreaming dark
    Waiting for day
    And what I might do


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    Buffalo’s Guest

    I would be the green grass
    Gathered so diligent made hay
    By Marmot in her rocky mountain lodge
    Laid out to dry on her doorstep
    High over the land brushed by day

    I would be cold lake water
    Whipped to frenzy
    Under Loons display of ardor
    Singing their operatic duet
    Showing us a good way to go
    How celebration and living are one

    I would be the quiet whimpering
    Of Old Wolf as he dreams
    That clear calling to moon spirit
    He so often made with his choir
    Now become his final song in his last sleep

    I would be the Buffalo's guest

    Great snorting shaggy craggy bodies
    All around me
    The air dense with rank odour
    So thick my nostrils
    Drool with it
    Snorting the green
    Through delicious lips
    Cooking the gift of meat
    On the dried ashes of their bodies' fires
    Wrapped in the bloody robe
    Against the bitter cold.

    Ah Yah! Ah Yah! Ho!

    I would be a path of beaten dirt
    Beneath their drumming leather legs
    Their stamping restless sleep
    Their moongazing
    Milk-nuzzling lover's mouths of calves.

    Ah Yah!
    I am the dark!
    Ah Yah!
    I greet the day!
    Ah Yah!
    I would return in millions Yo!

    I would be your guest again
    Riot across the plain
    Smashing men's fences down
    Enduring the rain
    Teaching the rivers my name.


    p. 4/5

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    At the Play
    Feeling moved or not
    Sitting by my lover feeling close
    Delighting in her reactions with my own

    Writing the play
    Trying to persuade others
    To have it performed

    Being asked to write the play
    Arguing with others who will pay or not
    What should it say

    Maybe asked to be in the play
    Directed how to be
    Maybe asking being persuasive
    Trying to be in it
    Being in it
    Delighting or agonizing
    Whether there will be applause or not
    Who besides I will get the most?

    Noticing that as time goes by
    Applause dies out for me
    For us all

    Being the principal Actor the Writer the Director
    Bearing shame or blame or fame
    Being a bit player or less
    Much less to blame
    Easier to be ignored
    Left out altogether

    Producing the play
    Making it happen anyway
    Whatever play can be produced
    By me with whomever will be in it
    For whatever audience as long as it lasts
    Feasting and celebrating after every performance

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    These Stones

    Just like these stones
    I carry in my body the history I am
    From my beginnings
    Broken away from the family rock
    I have been washed along the beach of my life
    Sometimes calmly
    Sometimes with tearing violence
    Jumbled amidst a thousand such beings
    I have worn off my rough and broken edges
    Found beneath my surface
    Some gifts of beauty to display

    Finally picked up in the hand of God
    As I pick up this wave-worn smooth black beauty
    I know myself as drum-maker, Pipe-carrier
    Travelling Deer, my name
    An ordinary man of the rock clan
    Whose story can be told
    My story I bring to the Creator
    Returning the gift
    The way the rocks on this beach
    From the One Rock of this land
    Return their sand to the sea

    p. 7

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    All the World's a Stage

    Visiting Luke the Pipemaker with Dennis
    Showing him the Pipe I had carved from the stone
    He had gifted me
    Listening to him
    I felt the urge to gift him
    With my Owl wing smudge fan
    Long with me a precious numinous object in my worship
    When I told Luke and Dennis
    About the Spirit Pipe visiting our family Sweat
    Dennis said it was a message for someone in the Sweat
    Someone there not yet a Pipe carrier
    Has just become one
    I am startled into recognizing my son Michael
    Age 11 but a lot older in his ways
    He is certainly ready

    Luke told me to envision that Pipe
    Send the drawing of it
    Michael too will get his Pipe from Luke
    Is not this a drama?

    When I'm with my friends of the First Nations
    I am constantly made aware
    Of the drama in which I walk
    Of the drama which I write and play
    So I know myself an equal
    Among all Earth's players
    The dance of lightning
    The peaceful songs of sundown
    The chants of sunrise
    Confronting the story
    Told by clouds and rain and other life
    With my own part in this play

    p. 8

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    Someone Special

    You are special to me
    What do these words mean?
    Why am I so attracted to them?
    Why desiring to speak them to you?
    Why thrilling to hear them
    Said by you?

    Thinking of you this way
    I hear "sacred"
    This place by the river
    A rock or an old tree
    A place we united in communion
    Deep peace
    The Sweat lodge and its Fire ceremony
    That unmarked spot
    The centre of all the world's seas
    Where whales come once a thousand years
    To learn new songs from the Cosmos

    Each of us knows and names
    Our own sacred places
    These are special to us
    When we share a sacred space
    This is our special time
    Each of us is gifted by the Manitou
    With our own sacred work
    Seeking it or doing it
    We travel
    A sacred journey on this world

    So you are special to me
    And I to you
    Because like pieces broken off
    The One Rock and now travelling
    We carry within the words of the Manitou
    Spoken only to you and I
    Like the secret name of God
    They name us sacred too

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    My Journey

    This is my journey
    I don’t name it a tourney
    More like sailing along
    Alone right or wrong
    Dodging, discovering,
    Using the weather
    Seeking one verse or another
    For my life’s daily song
    Seeking the scenes I’d paint
    On Her royal bowl
    The scenes I can toll
    From the depths of my soul
    This is my journey
    It’s where I belong


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    The SAGA of “The EAGLE”

    (Edmund Arthur Goldstone, Loyal Eagle)

    “love’s not an answer, love is the way”

    He came into this world
    As we all do of course
    Pushed out, struggled out, by a mother
    Torn between joy and remorse

    A man’s world of disease
    Yet with hope for heart’s ease

    A woman’s world of pondering
    Occasional dancing
    Attempts at romancing
    Maybe one thought of wandering

    The young boy was bullied
    His manhood was sullied
    By gross acts with his penis
    Turning away from the Venus

    He’s smart, the old farmer said
    Tell him once and he’s got it
    Every kind of new knowledge
    He eagerly sought it

    He always knew answers
    To most of their questions
    But never an answer
    To the shame and the lust

    Never the answer
    To dust speaking to dust
    Or how make a living
    When himself he’d not trust. another 67 verses.....

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    Man Alone

    Sometimes a man is so frozen up
    So gray
    So heart-clutched and foot-staggered
    He knows only to call himself a man
    Because someone did yesterday.

    Yet if he can carry his wounded heart
    Out under the night sky
    Into the field of silver
    He might slowly begin to dance there
    Being all alone
    Alone under all the vast universe of starlight
    The eyes of spectral deer

    He would know at last his name
    Know that alone is all there is

    It is enough.

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    Rock Climbing by Night

    I’m like a man climbing a rock face alone
    -at night-
    I must do it
    There’s no seeing the way down
    Only able to feel the way up by handholds
    No telling how far to the front page
    If there is one, there’s no guarantee
    It will be worth reaching
    One needs faith and grit
    This is an exercise in faith and grit
    It’s not even an exercise in getting to the front page
    Maybe, it’s also an exercise
    In identifying
    A few wild strawberries in the dark
    Trying to eat them one-handed.


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    Doing Together

    What will we do together
    After all the upheaval is over?
    You will bring me stories
    Your stories of new life
    New explorations
    Bodies fires aroused by strangeness
    The hint of danger
    Exploring new territories
    Peace of finally coming home

    I will bring you something of pain
    Maybe something of work too
    But surely something of pain

    I have set myself the task
    Of learning to love it
    What it might birth
    This angst in my chest
    So familiar
    So many times past
    I woke suddenly
    To find the Other gone
    Opening what I called
    A gaping wound in my chest
    Raking my heart

    So many times past
    Remaking my heart
    Finally I have learned
    How to love
    The magic it will bring
    My fear-filled heart


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    For Her

    Wish I could just let your shadow lay
    Woman who has gone away

    The shadow’s on my mind I know
    But somehow it still seems to throw
    Itself as cliche says it’s wont to do
    Cast it is on every day
    Something of what witches brew
    So I’ll wear it like a perfumed shawl
    The Lady’s favour her distant call
    A memory haunting like an unsaid rhyme
    Gives my every taste a touch of wine.


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    I’d like for a time
    To stay at the sign
    Of the Inn named Quiet
    Peace and quiet to find
    Therein to dine
    On sweet love’s diet
    Let it not be a riot
    Of body and mind blowing passion
    Let it just be that we
    Make love gentle, sleep peaceful
    Under the eave
    Of the Inn named Quiet.


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    The Dragon Comet

    Recently, I dreamed I was somewhat entangled with an octopus,
    creature of the deep, cephalopod (head-footed),
    metaphors for the deep of the unconscious and the use of logos for movement and activity.
    Along came a medium size elephant and ate the octopus! As I watched it chomping and chewing, I said, “
    of course, nobody knows this, but the proper food, the true basic food of elephants, is the octopus.”
    Here is a metaphor of how the Self uses all
    of life’s entanglements from the unconscious as its fundamental and best nourishment.
    All my entanglements, all my loving and excitement, all my desperate attempts to escape emotional pain, are all the proper food of my soul.

    The Dragon Comet

    This spring the comet came
    Not one of us has stayed the same
    We first dimly aware of only a rumour
    Something that flew more
    Long ago, out of time
    Something which flames in the sky
    A word without rhyme
    A flight of some preyer
    Come here from its’ lair
    Something fearful,
    Something of wonder
    Will it break us break us
    What will it make us?

    In deep space stirs again
    The She dragon of old
    Now swiftly coming
    Strange wolf running
    Bringing us now and right now
    Reminding us “Now” is her name
    Maybe this solid space-wild
    Thing we see
    Maybe this flaring sky-belted
    Ice-storm will be
    Sweeping us into our long feared chaos
    Horse borne Huns come to slay us
    Explode our planet, smash her seas
    Thundering thundering tidal bore
    Sweeping all all we
    Were all before.

    Yet do I see her
    Shining evanescently
    Her radiant luminescent hair
    All beauty’s essence just out there
    Just out my reach

    Making me ask
    What have you come to teach?
    What means this longing?
    Making me ask
    What means belonging?
    What could I be dreaming?
    What will I be seeming
    To do
    While the elephant’s feeding?

    I watch her seeding
    Our place in the Universe
    We in her radiance
    We in her magic dance
    Gleaning her liturgy
    She’s gifted us her only verse
    A poem of love’s pure energy.


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    Aldo is a bear king
    Beseiged by an enemy
    Maybe deaf to the songs of the al-thing
    So he sings alone by the sea
    I hear his summoning drone
    Imagine his vibrations shifting
    Some deep-buried ancestral bone

    I am a man like him
    He is my father my son
    I am aware of something left undone
    I walk constantly lifting, turning over stone
    Seeking that place wherein
    My ancestor buried a bone
    Which I must sing to the surface

    Carve on it my runes
    Bury it deep maybe under dunes
    Containing the weeping sea
    Awaiting songs of resurrection
    Sung by my progeny.


    Aldo’s long time friend Domenic told me a dream he’d had in which he and Aldo
    were in the same small Italian town in Calabria. Aldo invited him to a nearby trattoria for some lunch.
    Domenic un-derstood that they were from the same village, had grown up together in that place.
    This was the dream. The reality was that they had been born and lived in different villages.

    The truth this dream has revealed to me, is that Aldo and I are not merely deep friends, we are “from the same village”,
    fratelli dello stesso villagio, as if we were siblings of that culture. This is how we loved each other.
    Aldo has just died of a brain tumour at his age 49.


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    The Poet’s Life

    Damned if I do or if I don’t
    The curse is never to be normal
    Always interrupt what’s formal
    Often say I do, but won’t
    Because of some wandering pulse
    Of interest like a firefly’s beam
    Flicking light on some new scene

    My soul like bladder-wrack and dulse
    When she’s live she’s mostly under water
    Others see her beached and dying
    Ink on dead wood pages drying
    “Muse for sale” but no one bought her

    My life is lived between the worlds
    Terror one day, joy the next
    No place for magic man to rest
    No rudder, yet my sail’s unfurled
    I must go where fate’s wind sends me

    I hope my poet’s life has taught her
    She’s the Goddess’ beloved daughter
    I’ll never break though she does bend me!
    How I must love her
    How I’ll never seek another.

    Oh how I love my Lisa love
    How I delight to please her!


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    So the question of Purpose

    Mine or yours
    Comes to this

    We wander in the fields
    Sometimes of bliss
    Sometimes in desire steeled

    The pattern of our daily doings
    An ancient riddle

    Will we but repeat
    Every cycle known to us?

    Or will we push
    Until the chaos comes
    Die in that
    Or live unchained
    Or live unframed?

    All unknowing, I push you, or myself, into bitchiness and upset,
    then take what comes, to make my life anew.


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    People want me
    To make a living
    Yet I’m being driven, compelled
    To write this stuff, to sing

    A half-century ago
    When I was twelve
    I loved then to sing

    In class one day
    We were all singing
    Me too, full of joy
    Like blackbird springing
    Teacher stepped quietly over
    Her hand on my shoulder
    Don, better not sing
    Your voice’s breaking
    Disturbs the rest of us

    So does Blackbird's
    You damned bitch!!
    I yell at her now
    Mind miles and years away

    I’ve never been able
    To make a living, singing
    Yet it’s all
    I’ve ever been asked to do


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    I passionately want
    To leave words whispering
    In people’s heads
    For centuries

    To plant the seeds of blooms
    Of fascination and of fear
    Of delight and lusts
    Of concupiscent deer

    We hear
    but do not know

    What do I hear
    That I do not know I hear?
    What causes me to look away
    When the path is clear?
    What have I long forgotten feared
    That chooses me this day?


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    Handfuls For My Lady

    If I could bring handfuls
    I would
    And spread them out in front of you
    My Lady
    Just for your honour
    For your pleasure
    To let, to give you
    To let you see
    How you this lovely place
    Knows to be
    The strewn fresh liveliness
    Yellow yellow daffodils
    And blazing tulips
    Roses lips hungering
    For your delicious kiss

    I, embodied, lingering
    Just for this.


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    My Plight

    I want to write one poem
    About man’s plight
    That will change our experience
    Yours and mine
    Make the world right
    For us as animals

    So that we as animals
    Going from our day to days
    Will always
    Feel we might
    Just around the corner
    Recover Eden

    If the word “plight”
    Could bring the feeling
    Of sunrise, sun day, sunset, night

    Say what you want, you might get it.


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    Men of the Hollow

    We are the men who come down
    Into the hollow
    Where the ground is lower
    Where earth has made a bowl to hold us
    Gather a circle around
    The sacred fire, the sacred centre
    We journey here, the man’s journey
    The journey of the so-called hero who seeks
    His way and hears his own heart
    In the company of others

    Following our way
    We come to the fire
    The Great Mother, the centre of life
    She who is the Sacred Fire

    Having known only what to do
    Here we know at last
    Who we are
    We speak our names, our truth
    We are all the emotions together
    A Great Sea rolling
    We are the community of men
    In being on this earth
    Telling our stories
    Singing our songs
    Among each other
    Before we sleep.


    Made Like Coyote

    I am as carefully made as Coyote
    Why don’t I know that?
    Why don’t I walk this land
    As confidently as Coyote?

    A canoe
    A coyote
    A human

    We all came to be here
    The same way
    Careful refinement
    Small adjustments and approximations
    Over millenia of trials
    The unseen Shaper
    In the continuous presence
    Of Mystery

    So I must go on
    As I was made
    Design myself continuously
    By small acts and gestures
    Daily altering my surroundings
    By the takings in and lettings out

    Seeking protection from all others
    In rationality and magic
    Seeking to find that cloak
    The final protective cover
    Against all that would ravage
    My tender skin
    The cloak of the land
    She decorates Herself
    Lends me
    So I would go in fealty
    So I would be as comfortable as Coyote
    Anywhere he goes
    In all weathers



    These strands all come together
    The passion for a history
    To know who we are

    Who we are separate and with
    Feeling the beauty aching
    Of spruce trees and willow
    Artful shapes of branches
    Bent and dancing
    Astonishing the wind
    To know the right arrangement
    Of things that come into beauty
    What makes this beautiful
    That not
    What makes everything beautiful
    Frozen shadow of black pine
    Photographed by iridescent
    Erotic lakes
    Held forever in that moment

    Wolf has been here
    His tracks in the light snow
    Pressed deep his weight
    The lady dancing around
    Beside as they moving go
    Photographed by the land
    Choreographed by wet sand
    As if this and all the others
    Were still
    Within me
    I carry my history

    See that Wolf again
    Flash lit in my car’s light
    Bows his head
    Turns away his face
    As I strike past
    A lightning flash in his world
    A remembering in mine


    Did We?

    Speaking to Linda
    Who says “We have done it to them, big time!”
    Meaning the Whites versus the First Nations people

    Wondering, done what, to whom, exactly who
    Is the doer here.

    If I ask my First Nations friend
    What were you like
    Before we came
    Can I believe his answer?
    What is the standard
    For credibility in matters of belief?
    I think
    When he answers me this question
    He tells me no more
    Than I already know about myself

    What do I know anyway?
    Werner says make declarations or requests
    Everything else is crap
    Wading in a swamp of discourse
    With no sure ground
    Except by accident

    We sail through
    The only passage
    In the Great Barrier reef
    Not even aware
    She is there
    Not knowing how near

    We have escaped grounding
    Escaped being pounded
    To pieces by the ceaseless waves
    She decorates herself

    How her dancing gown
    Might have become our shroud

    The blissful peace we found
    In that lagoon beyond
    We call our fate
    Our star-struck encounter
    If we but knew
    How much we are of accident
    How little by our own design
    We should be less self-blaming
    When we hit the rocks
    Get smashed
    The waves roll over us
    And all our careful plans




    She is guarded by a bleak dog
    I cannot call nor make
    Myself known
    I fear hurting her alone
    Though she would gladly speak of us
    Gladly learn what I would say

    Just simple things of every day
    Brother for sister
    What could love more?
    Walking on a rocky shore
    Tide pools and sea-wrack beguiling us
    Surrounded as we wander thus
    By their languages of poetry and songs
    What to us belongs

    Every word we think
    Thoughts we drink
    The eldest wine we made

    Oh no! I’ll not let this
    Time fade.

    I have had to work incredibly hard on myself,
    all kinds of mantras and jogging and writing, in order to make manageable
    the fierce pangs of jealousy that have seized my body at the knowledge
    of my one time lovers in some one else’s arms and laughter.
    I feel incredibly blessed, to know that this is possible,
    that I have come close to mastery of this passion in me.


    On Living Together

    On living together
    On living together

    On living together

    On what we share or don’t

    On whether we can ever
    Find stuff to do together
    Peacefully, happily

    That is other than ceremonial

    On making
    Everything be ceremonial
    Our daily ordinary lives
    The big events
    The dissolution
    And the dying

    On whether in chaos
    We can find peace
    Without emerging
    From that chaos.


    Mirroring Chaos

    She leaves
    Then so do I

    Rain and hail
    Smash the flowers
    I run out naked
    Smashed and dancing
    In it too


    Wet Cold Songs

    I cannot sing my song
    In snow
    Cannot but be upset
    At what is here
    Soaking in the wet
    I feel a dulling fear
    As of a kind of debt
    I maybe owe
    Hostage to inaction I must
    The drum of beauty I would play

    Bound by the drizzling damp
    The melting snow
    I must stay
    Feeling alone, unbidden, uninvited
    A tramp
    Too tired
    Even to light
    My lamp


    Waiting The Rain

    Waiting the rain
    Waiting the wind
    Contained in heat
    When rain comes
    I will then sleep
    Cool rain cool sleep


    Canoeing in the Gardens

    These are hanging gardens
    These water carved rocks
    Pines at the back
    The stockade walls
    The Huron long ago
    Used those pines too
    Babylon never had such
    An imagination against which
    I could stare for hours
    Losing myself completely
    In that futile attempt to penetrate
    To a completion
    Of the mystery of understanding
    Of the pure significance
    Of the sculptured rock
    The frescoes of painted lichen

    The small trees, grasses, brush
    Growing from carefully placed
    Cracks in the sheer facade
    Marking our unfathomed water pathway
    Populated by birds and small creatures
    Naked here
    As everything else
    Decorated only for the effect
    Manitou wants to create
    Not ever for wandering eyes
    Just for the erotic pleasure of it

    I too would like to stand naked
    A David
    In front of passing crowds
    Who would stare at me
    In fascination trying to penetrate
    My story to finally comprehend
    How we are all one
    In this moment of contemplation
    At this moment of our orgasm
    At this moment of our death



    Maybe it’s just this place
    Plugs into my gloom spot
    My paranoia of the dark
    The basement with ghosts
    I forced into it by Mother
    Who would not come too
    Until I saw the Devil
    And then she did come
    To acknowledge the Rat
    Jumping at the dim window

    Often came sudden
    Unlooked for

    Or maybe
    Was only realized slowly
    So slowly so
    My hope of restoration
    To the home I remembered
    Was gone
    Before I noticed

    Being lost in the bush
    The trail I remembered
    Gone as if never would
    Come again

    When She left me
    Or I lost Her in dreams
    The togethering pleasure
    Once was
    Become searching anxiety


    The Creed

    The creed is:

    Everyone Canadian is bound to explore and struggle with
    the need to reconcile the culture they were born into, with the Red Road
    and that way of walking on this planet.

    The context for our education, acquisition of culture and skills should be:

    1. to participate consciously in bringing order out of the chaos which we inhabit.

    2. the understanding that we come from the rock.

    3. That our life processes and spiritual priorities be in harmony
    with our physical roots on this planet.

    We are, at our most basic, a rock with imagination..
    .and all our understanding of ourselves and our surroundings and our possibilities
    must be conscious of that dual reality...or we will never be all we can be.
    This is our definition of sanity and health.


    Death Ritual

    Eagle feasts on Snake
    On Salmon

    Beautiful creatures
    They were not made
    For his pleasure only
    Nevertheless their sacrifice
    Is a power element
    In the ritual of Life

    We use Eagle’s feathers
    To carry us into
    The Spirit world
    Of healing and of ecstasy
    Even while yet we walk here

    So my part in that Ritual
    Of life we call Death
    Is not to end
    A discarded bag of shit and pus
    But to be the feast of the Holy

    I must die contributing
    My body to the living
    For their life
    As Christ declared
    This is my flesh
    This is my blood
    Not a martyr
    But a willing
    Partner in the Dance



    Having explored every part
    Of your body
    With my tongue
    The language I have spoken
    Is that no part of us
    Fears me nor you
    So our feasting on each other
    Becomes together like Eagles
    Free falling from the ardent sky
    Their mating ecstasy.


    Hawk Too

    Mulling all this stuff
    Nothing but Breughel
    Everywhere I go

    I see small hawk sitting
    On high branch
    Edge of the Spring thicket
    No leaves yet
    Sky gray, questing rain
    Whole fields open
    Before him a tantric pause
    Awaiting their embrace


    n Me

    Somewhere in me
    Is a crying angry child
    Locked into a cage
    No way for me
    To come to him
    Yet somehow from deep within
    There from that crypt of rage
    He takes me over
    Runs my body as if
    It were his own
    Beating my frail flesh
    Against the rocks of this world
    Me watching through bars
    As if it were I in that cage
    Helpless to soothe his crying
    Helpless to save us
    Watching him in fear
    As he hurls
    Our paddles overboard
    While our canoe flings us
    Into those rapids of our destruction


    Magic Woman

    I dreamed I was a woman fabulously dressed
    gliding on air through the stone city...

    You have in you a flowing
    Magic woman floating on air
    Like Mary Poppins in drag
    Magenta cloak with silver and blue threads
    She flows through stone
    Could make this one seem
    To cry or laugh or be encouraging
    This magic-making woman
    Drifting thistledown along
    Your inner space is drifting
    Through every stone you hold
    Every wave-washed rough-cut rock
    You contemplate.


    Men’s Stories

    Of the pleasures
    Of expanding one’s soul,
    Of less fear in exploring
    Possibilities of life

    Of struggles to break free
    Of bonds of guilt and fear
    In relationships, to sail
    On the river
    Of love more often.

    Of the keen pleasures of sharp knife carving
    Of a mind building figures
    So beautiful it would
    Take a Michelangelo to get it

    Of reading these black marks on snow
    We could taste the sunset
    Feel our bodies bathed in the last red glow

    Of the failure of the hunt
    The fear of crying babies
    Forlorn women watching and
    Waiting for the return

    Of the stubborn determination
    The exhilaration of climbing
    Reaching the front page
    And the altar we may find
    There to perform our ceremony
    Before we must descend
    Into the rising night



    I like to go naked
    Through the natural world
    Cedar and tall grasses
    Rough pines and poplar
    With Chickadee and Raven
    Trout sculling slowly
    Black streams flowing over
    Dark ooze thigh deep
    Before my feet
    Find their solid way

    My naked sex vulnerable
    Before these Beings
    Naked too
    Here is the only place
    On this planet
    I may be accepted
    Just as I am
    Because I am willing
    To go unarmoured
    Because they have no judgments



    We stand in awe and pride
    Before great stone cathedrals
    Hunting castles giant-built walls
    The work of men
    Admired in halls
    We call the corridors of power

    Never of women
    Their work is not displayed
    Nor stood in front of
    To be admired

    Nor of those men
    Going naked
    With but a stone knife
    And getting all they need
    For life


    Raven Knows

    Smart black bird
    Choosing stocks to buy
    Broker saying
    You have an instinct
    For this
    Raven goes where he should
    Before he knows that
    When I left here
    Went there
    Blown on a wind
    Inescapable desire

    We go in flocks
    In Pairs
    No territory ours
    Yet we know
    All the passwords

    Even yours...



    I am thanksgiving for you
    At this time this season
    I remember these days
    When we have come together
    After a long time parted
    And been so happy
    Playing together
    Under the blue sky
    In yellow leaves fallen
    The black and the red
    Of Autumn skies
    When mist rises
    Off the lake in morning
    Still water’s water shroud
    Hillsides full of trees
    Wearing their brilliant robes
    Not yet fallen to be
    The many-coloured undergarment
    Still Winter’s cool snow cover

    Maybe we seem single-coloured
    Like that snow to others
    And now you and I know
    We do wear incredible
    Brilliant vestments
    Always changing under
    What we may show



    When I was young I hung around
    Saturdays after the ride to town
    Behind the trotting horses
    Rattling buggy named Bennett
    At the blacksmith shop Henry Hope
    His greasy blackened thick leathered apron
    Arms muscles rippling horses thighs
    He grappled those hooves to himself
    Ingesting their power
    Hammered on their shoes
    Conducting ringing steel symphonies
    In sweat and scents of burning bone
    I turning the handle of his fire
    Coke hissing blue/green flames
    Hard iron going red then white
    Among the black
    Colours of the goddess
    He’d always find a way
    To help me with my small endeavours
    Can’t skate, ankles turn over?
    Here’s some straps to hold ‘em up
    Can’t buy kidney pads for your lacrosse?
    Here’s a girdle made of harness felt
    Leather straps sewn on by his own
    Hands as deft and kind
    Strong as that leather
    Now whenever I hear
    “Our father, who art in heaven”
    I think with a rush
    Of that blacksmith man
    Scion of the old god Haephestus
    Making his art in heaven
    His anvil ringing in the thunder
    Calling encouragement and simple answers
    Yes of course there will be rain and storms
    And I have got from him such a boat
    The flood for me
    Need never come again.

    July 22


    Men’s Group

    Some want to horse around
    Sometimes just hang out
    Shoot baskets or whatever
    A few want always
    To be in sacred space
    When we meet
    Seriously probe the depths
    Of our psychic mines
    Past of shame or difficulty
    Present irritations and griefs
    Notice the patterns of joy or
    Anxieties spread butter
    On the sandwich of our group

    All this talk of issues and
    Interventions flowing around
    The islands of our drumming
    Our sweat ceremony
    Meals we eat together
    Greetings and partings
    Hugs each to each and
    Group songs
    That song we all share
    In the back of our throats
    Only the Inuit women
    Among us know to make real
    The hunt or other ceremony
    We will make this day

    July 22


    So Much Love

    I have so much love in me
    Where to put it?
    Should I grow lots of orchids
    Would they die when I’m away

    I cannot sit and gaze at my honey
    She gets restless
    She likes my adoration
    She also fears the possible
    The way it could mean
    Her loss of herself
    To herself

    My books are beautiful
    I will make more
    I want to put my tipi
    In a sacred grove
    Do my pipe
    Sleep quiet by the fire
    After starlight
    Some drum songs

    I would if I could
    Embrace the world
    Be like a jelly fish
    Listening to whales
    Green water plashed with sunlight
    Bringing me bathing me in
    Celestial music for my erotic massage

    Mar 23

    The message for today is
    If you want your arrow
    To hit the target
    You must aim up
    Over it



    The supermarket displays huge bags
    Of water conditioner chemicals
    Half their rows of shelves of stuff
    Are not food but knicknacks
    And pet supplies

    At Port Week-end deep in the bush
    The lake is disturbed by leisure craft
    By cottagers kids wake-boarding
    Not even wind and rain whipping
    The surface into dancing foam
    Brings any fear of ancient gods
    Back to those cottagers placid
    Shopping eyes

    Once we camped here
    Fished for food and trade
    With those who made stone knives

    Now we come
    Only to rest and play
    To get away from the illusion
    Of hard work and careful calculation
    Needed to sustain the illusion
    That trading our daily life energy
    For paper promises and being unafraid
    Of gods in stone or weather
    Is a better way to live

    When our paper promises burn
    What story will we have
    To keep us
    To keep us from preying on each other?
    Stay tuned.....

    July 16


    Sailing at Night

    If you sail with Her
    Alone at night and
    She starts crying in fear
    The noise of fireworks
    Cracking sails

    Let yourself be caught
    By an underwater reef
    Stay there holding
    Her in your arms
    Until your guilt her fear
    And the fire light
    Are absorbed in the soft dark

    July 2


    classic poetry

    I say I am following the truly Canadian Way, to be exploring the Red World, on a White Background.

    I would be delighted to hear from you.

    Donato Cianci, Two Red Birds Publishing,
    51 James St. Peterborough Ontario Canada,
    705 313 4100
    classic poetry
    classic poetry
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