Paul Nelson




(One Ode to Shango)

Could be the blood in the sink, could

be the

recognition of projection/reflection of your dying self.


be the antidote for madness   or   thin

cattle grazing  in  the  Taos  heat  near

the  pueblo.  In the

bottle, an elixir

in  her  hand, in

Kuan Yin’s compassionate

hand.        Could be Coors Light or forgiveness.


Birds circle, hawks fend off posse of crows

all the vultures want is meat & there is flesh all

around  this  place  aching  to  be  meat

you  dig?   aching to be memory.     Remember

her scent?  It’s  coming  out  of  you.    Remember the

scarlet stains on the bathroom floor?   Under her

robe the flesh, bones & tendons of

patience personified

of a reminder of the experience human.

Ganesh is an elephant god w/ ash in his belly & one broke tusk.

Shango is the communication of fire, bloodfire.  He is

waiting for it to stop dripping from your nose.  Until then, he drums.


Smoke  rising  from  the  remnants  of  thunderbolts.   You

almost got hit & wish you did. Everything


but  the  sound  of  Dr. Williams  laughing  in  heaven, he too

still  waiting, smoke

rising  in  desert  heat  while  we  search  for  rams,  roosters  &  one  red  candle.


Death comes w/ the mighty swing of one double axe. It


&  you’d  be  wise  to  surrender  to  this  death  sentence

sentience  renewed  &  deepened.  Murmur  of  drums  continues.


The  violent  temper.  Dreams  of  rabbits  scattering.  The

growth of corn in Anasazi heat.   Dreams

of crying  w/ childhood friends who notice the growth of

a  child,  the growth  of  a

will   &  hear  the muffled  roars  of  7  generations  watching.


The  KING  DID  NOT  HANG!    The

memory  of  fire,  bloodfire  leaking

of  blood  spilling  on  the  bathroom  floor  or

your  smile  from  above, your  face  contorted  by  ecstasy  &  your

scent  enveloping  me  as  if  it  were  madness  or  surrender.


All  of  it  comes  down  to  the  edge

of  Shango’s  axe  or  Manjushri’s  sword

it  is  the  warrior  filled  w/  remorse

becoming   a  pile   of  

ash in  front  of  our  eyes  in  millions  of  shrines   the



sunset  red  over  Moab  is  only  the

bloodstains  of  Orishas

is  heaven’s  reflection,  the

recognition  of  the  need  to surrender,  save

nothing  if  necessary  -  thunder beckons -  for

ever  is  this  moment  you  share  w/ me.  &  remember,   nothing   is   ever



1:30PM – 6.19.02

508 E. Main Street #E.

Copyright © 2003 Paul Nelson.  All Rights Reserved.

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