by Artchil C. Daug
On Leaving Her
To Chieftain Kaela
Your steps spoke, as if
the clouds knew of your songs
off the blades of grass that
sway on the mountainside.
Your journey, a lament
on the notes of life playing by
the lines of your palm. Hardened
hands that whisper to the ground:
bring forth the spirits
of old time. Cure away the mud
that envelops those boots,
your shelter from the travails
of fleeting in the lands of the gods,
trudging its sour soil,
tasting its bitter fruits,
forgetting that sweet crop
that lie treacherous on your gardens.
You ran away from betrayal
and in solitude, in walking alone
you became not a prophet
of misery, a wandering nomad.
The waters spoke, Vasudeva
of the forest, of the hilltops.
You transport the world away
from the prowling of new savages
who clipped the lands of its follicles
until what remained was a silence
as troubling as your murderous wife.
Your steps spoke of those tears,
when you left them hungry
for the blood of your ancestors.
Lost in Macao
Walking along in heavy steps
I found myself wondering
beneath the meanings
laid by your circuitous paths
under the fiery gaze
of those Portuguese cannons.
It is a citadel with eyes
left to witness those dancing lights
on the western byway, where
the east is pulling away
from the reflections of shiny casinos.
They gleam over the twilight
letting the church endure the music
inside this Las Vegas mirage
or that miniature Venice.
Perhaps the past is unable
to understand the dancing waters
filling your streets with chaotic grace
and flooding you with faces
unknown to the old language
that continue to mark
the foreign landscape, which I am
walking and emerging lost
just in time for a world
to pass by the oblivious crowd.