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A DREAM OF YOU, Desert Vision,
Parts 3, 4 & 5
I remember Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona,
Danny’s store packed with Native American silver,
All properly displayed: bracelets, necklaces and rings,
On racks, in trays, locked within showcases,
And on clear glass shelves, velvet pads, and boxed trays,
Hosting jewelry of turquoise, coral, and black onyx
Along with mother of pearl, abalone,
Plus agates mined and cut to display their fire,
And Alexander, my son, maybe eight, no more than ten,
His years of age at the time, playing behind the counters,
Next to the shotguns, diagonally propped,
On the floor twelve-gauge shells in open boxes,
Ready, should there be an extended engagement.
I share with you the times when, flying in
From Dallas, the grand noise, engines’ reversal
To land at Sky Harbor, the ground crew,
How they scrambled, and then,
Wheeled up the staircase,
The platform for debarkation, and me, I would descend
The steps full-tilt straight onto the tarmac,
Fahrenheit, ninety-five degrees in early morning,
A rental car awaited me, and I was off over to Dog Track,
To the swap meet that was unfolding and I sought
The cowboy named, Roadrunner, who always had
Tons of loot, the goods, every Sunday he brought a haul.
Though at his point, it, more dream than reality,
I recall the very special meeting, when traders
Lined up, raised hands, and one after the other,
Volunteered to say that jewelry great here and
Declared that whosoever is welcomed into
The lounge camper, who greets the Navajo,
Both the man and wife and acts with propriety,
Slights his eyes and keeps in camera in the holster,
And the traders at the meeting continued their delaration
Saying that the person who watches the children playing,
Their running across the white gravel parking lot,
Left and right, up and down, then unto the asphalt sidewalk,
Who enjoys those moments
When the young ones stop
And form a line to refresh themselves from
The water-cooled, stainless steel, floor-pedal fountain,
(It stood next to the right side of the pari-mutuel windows)
Who knows that the bright-sparkling, that eye of the desert,
Quenches every human thirst and brings joy to the moment,
Upon that person, who has witnessed design,
Who has abstracted anagram from within
All the children’s scurry, who traces,
Out upon the open parking space, meaning,
Who divines new vision,
Who is able to see within the minds’ eye, the dance,
The dance the holy ones once danced in godly regalia,
That person, who hears within the youngsters' feet
The drums, the rhythms which ancestors had orchestrated,
So to let go, leave this material world,
And find entrance to separate reality,
The traders at the meeting, in-order, one-by-one,
Both arms raised up on high, heads flung back,
Palms stretched and fingers spread wide apart,
As though they reached and pressed upon the sky,
Called upon Great Talking God to sanctify their wish.
It was at that moment, the glory of it all,
They stopped and asked if one such person was present,
There at assembly of Sunday traders at the swap meet
The question became would there be any one to step forward,
Would anyone acknowledge the gift?
And when I answered, yeah
They bestowed their most precious title upon me,
And between the ghosts and the human beings
The word rang and cemented the union, ‘Friend’.
Later that Sunday morning, I felt good magic
When a child ran up behind me,
He quickly, then, touched the back of my hand,
and laughing aloud he scurried away.
At noon, I met a Mexican friend up on South Mountain.
His house was painted a bright, distinctive blue.
I bought more jewelry and got into my car,
I took the Express Way North, exited at Bell Road,
And headed to way out west of the city.
At one point, I passed the shopping mall,
I thought about Monday’s appointments,
How a salesman's lot means he sits,
Marks time to wait his turn with buyers.
Late that afternoon on the concrete patio,
The one surrounding
The big swimming pool at the Community Center,
I buck-danced to the beat, which played
On the rock an’ roll, radio station.
Although it was already that Sunday’s dusk,
And the day’s high temperature had receded,
It still was ninety, over ninety degrees,
When I pulled up a lounge chair, sat back
And watched Alexander practice dives off the high board.
Even then, it was long ago, and in Phoenix,
It was you! Darling, I had been waiting for you;
The desert air brought me a waking vision,
The shimmering, the uplifts, the vertical lines,
Up, upward, shafts of heat rising
Out across the desert vista,
Now I recognize it was a dream of you,
And this, my verse was racing,
I flashed on a fast and mighty steed;
I road atop a beast, it galloped through my mind,
Yet I had command --
I managed to pull in the reins,
Halted its furious run, tied the horse up to the rail at the tip,
I hitched the reins to the post at the tip of my tongue.
While I watched the colors of the sunset, as I heard
The splash of the practiced head-first dives,
I was reciting poetry, not out loud, but to myself,
Though I knew not its power, no idea of the prophecy,
I knew not the meaning of that woman,
Who I glimpsed,
Whose image I caught from from the corner of my eye,
Who walked out among the columns of earth fever,
And stood next to the Saguaros in the twilight,
Who appeared in an instant out on the horizon,
Seemingly, her feet upon the hard scrub of the desert,
Yet before she disappeared, she nodded,
It was as if she had sanctioned the voice,
The true heart of these lines,
The cadences and syntax I repeat from once upon a time
And now so long ago, she blessed me
And today at the keyboard, she grants me
These words, this lyric I use to describe a dream of you.
Long before I had ever made your actual acquaintance,
A figure in the landscape,
I saw you, your form, at a time prior to when you were born.
At the airport, upon my once-again departure
From the Valley of the Sun to my New-York-City market,
Security stopped me, I stood
In a booth whose sliding curtains dropped to the floor,
The jewelry I carried in my on-board luggage,
X ray showed a concentrated jumble of metal,
And as I awaited the woos and ahs of personnel,
When they inspected my bags before I boarded the aircraft,
It was then that I began to wonder, and it remains
Fresh today, as clear in my mind as events
Which might have happened only yesterday.
It was then I began to wonder, when you,
When your love might saunter in, and make life complete.