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Chris D Aechtner May 2018


While thunder clapped for an encore,
we put on iron boots
and danced in puddles
that reflected the obsidian
of Raven's crick-craw chorus
between the ripples.

I splashed with rod in hand, and yelled,
"You are the hammer and anvil,
I am the lightning! I am the quickening!"


They came from the East.

The ground shook, and cracks spread
from the pounding of their hammer-steps.
Wisakedjaks fled from roosts now pitched askew
by fingers that brushed the tips of pines
with every swing of lumbering limbs.

Lofty mouths inhaled the clouds
and blew out smoke rings on the wind.


I charged across the ground—a bolt—towards
the nearest Cyclops.
Like a sparking pinball, I zig-zagged
up the giant's shins,
past his thighs, and higher still,
then struck him in the eye.

And we became one—euphoria!


The Wisakedjaks repaired their nests,
and have less space in the minds of those

who found a scapegoat for mythologies
preached in smoke-filled rooms
where followers choke on the want to be saved.

Words were curved into a staff
that false Hermes uses to shepherd his flock:
people who pocket gold coins for Charon,
having surrendered the kingdom within—dead, though their bodies continue to pulse with life.
March 16, 2013

The version of "Omega" posted above
was written on May 6, 2018

This poem is more than 5 years old.
It involves a mix of reinvented mythology from 4
different cultures (and time periods).
Over the years, I've played around with the poem,
especially with "Omega", including how it shifts
between past and present tense.

Some people are probably more familiar with the
modernized, English classification of the bird
species, Wisakedjak (there are many variations
of its spelling according to tribe): Whiskey Jack.
In some North American-based First Nations
mythology, Wisakedjak is the Creator that caused
a "Great Flood" to cleanse the Earth of a creation
turned rotten. First Nations flood mythology existed
about 12,000 years before flood mythology first
sprang up in ancient Sumeria.
I believe that religions incorporate a regurgitation
of mythology.
Also, I believe that the strongest historical accounts
are a hybrid of fact and mythology, regardless of how much that might go against surface logic.
When historical accounts are comprised of supposed cold, hard facts, who was it who wrote such historical accounts? Why? What were their sources, biases, subjective angles, and perspectives?

In a lot of First Nations mythology, Raven, Coyote,
Turtle, Wisakedjak, etc., are not separate creators,
as they are shapeshifted forms of the same Creator.
Also, in such belief systems, it's understood that
the Creator, in all its different, shapeshifted forms,
is simultaneously singular and plural. That, and
the different forms of the Creator, have caused
problems with the translation and understanding
of First Nations mythology amongst some non
First Nations people.  

This post was formatted in a way that won't
cause unintended line breaks when viewed with
a smaller-screened mobile device.

Chris D Aechtner Mar 2017
A plastic bag is snagged in the branches where I can't reach to stop its crackled song. The bag is an *****—its kidney? Stomach? Heart?—of the thing that's dying. The thing's given pills and powders, and graveyards are robbed to replace its parts. When it dies, it'll be brought to the taxidermist to be stuffed, and its stiffened corpse will be strung in lights—a beacon for people to arrive, two-by-two, and scoop out the void from behind its glass eyes. And when the void has been doled around, the dead will shuck, jive, and shuffle step to plastic song.
March 25th, 2017

The 10 minute time-span of these exercises includes any punctuation and other cohesion that I add after the words have streamed out.

When the plastic bag rustles in the wind,
I hear its crackled song as an omen heralding in another phase. No matter what happens, only the moment is ever assured for us.
  Aug 2016 Chris D Aechtner
Ezra Pound
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
Chris D Aechtner Sep 2015
Dressed-up words
misguide our naked thoughts
far more than naked thoughts
influence the use of dressed-up words.

Words can be a narcissistic cover-up
masks expressing secondary emotions,
even if the wordsmith
is begging to be

If one desires to communicate
with a purer intent,
to cut through language's sinew
of misinterpretation,
and into truth's marrow,

such communication can happen
within wordless silence
where blooms
true north,

in the cold;
the swelling heat
of iron ignition.

When my tongue dissolves the words,
laps up innuendos
and syntax errors of reality
from in-between
the honeyed surface
of language,
spins me deliriously.

needs a pause,
a breath to breathe,
to feel the distance,

our wavelengths
will never cease
to communicate.

September 12th, 2015
Chris D Aechtner Dec 2013
Long before Horus' exposure on its trunk
and the nailing of Jesus upon its grain,
rings have been added within the Tree
while people proclaim to hold the key
of salvation: a continually borrowed mythology
swallowed; an extra-strength sleeping pill

pulling the masses into slumber,
and away from the awakened truth
that such supposed salvation
is an illusory ticket far too easy to obtain
for it to be real—
a discriminatory, fairy tale-damnation
that multiplies the divide
of "Us and Them."

Too many people hand out the easy tickets,
then cut and light the tree:
a hypodermic injection of selfish memories
mixed into the mortar of temples designated as sacred,
while dogmatic shears amputate roots from the sky.

Too many people preach
about a cheap, polystyrene heaven,
while only a few walk the narrow path
that leads towards the kingdom within,
and live the sacrifice because it feels right.

Again and again,
the ticket isn't so easy.
We must put aside our slumber-crutches,
stop watching the few carry the rest
upon their backs, until bones creak and groan
from the weight of people waiting for salvation
to be handed to them.

For 27 years, 46664 was etched into the bark
of a branch in the road.
When forked doors opened,
a living, breathing gospel
brought down fences,
and even then, the wood was made into crutches
for people to say,
"M will fix it; M will do this, M will do that;
M will save us, just wait and see."

M is finally free. Yes, he is free!
Free, but not lost to us;
he survives as spirit-seeds.

We must cease to lean upon crutches;
we must purge the pill from our blood
and awaken into gardeners who water the seeds
within the soil of our hearts,
before the vision withers completely,

and we remain only as husks
waiting to be hydrated by watering cans—
weakened hands and arms unable to lift their weight

held in our own hands all along,
held in our hands all along.
Inspired by Madiba (Mandela)

December 7th/8th, 2013
Chris D Aechtner Aug 2013
(it's cliché to admonish clichés in their entirety)

I. (love)

We are meant to live the clichés;
we are meant to resuscitate the words,
and rehabilitate their wounds
into a fertile viewpoint
where we build respirators from clichés
to filter the virulent dust kicked up
by the marching pigs.

(re-invented clichés offer back breath
in an exchange of circular breathing)

The swine contort love
into armaments of antipathy;
they push buttons,
squeeze triggers,
pull pins,
and aim where it causes the most damage.

Even though we are natural born hypocrites,
we don't have to let that knowledge corner us
into using love as a weapon.

The pen is mightier than the sword,
and I wield both;
I sharpen the quill on the blade's edge.

If need be, use the pen for a counter-strike,
but only channel love in defence.

II. (poetry)

The pigs march to a beat
of nuclear blasts
that bring poetry's flag
nearer to half-mast.

Poetry should stand on its own merit,
instead of leaning on shanks that hide behind smiles
constructed with aspirations of popularity
that churn out lazy, aspartame-laced lines
devoid of accountability and integrity,

or lean upon smiles filled with slivers
from far too much fence-sitting,
too worried about the trending majority,
to see the complexity within simplicity

and clarity,


propped-up against degrees
while writing poems that are drier than the Sahara:
husks of lines tumbling across dunes,
only to be imploded
by atomic-pork mushroom clouds,
their fallout marring parchment
into a poisonous terrain.

III. (dreams)

(revive, twist, and switch the clichés )

We must not fear saying "never".
Surrender to love, but never surrender
to the jealous captains who attempt
to hook and net the defenders of Neverland.

With compasses of conscience
beating in hearts kept young,
navigate through the smoke and mirror-smog
emitted by the marching pigs.

(we must never give up on our dreams)

Dream about the courage needed
to love everyone and everything,
including our enemies
who conduct genocide
on the language of a purer intent.

Dream about word-seedlings
pushing through the arid rind
of dying poetry,

in hope for a more organic fruition
to grow in our hearts and minds,

so that poetry gains back its strength and vitality
to once again stand on its own merit.

Chris D Aechtner Dec 2012
Memories of the North Sea
sift in like sand kernels
on a fast, frigid tide:
events that transpired outside
the confines of rhyme,
unfolding exactly
as they were meant to.

Never before had I seen
so many shades of gray;
the overcast, monochromatic splendor
was awe-inspiring,
instead of being bleak and bleary.

The smell of salt and seaweed
awakes something dormant and eternal,
deep within me.
I have a surging desire
to flush stagnancy from my blood—

salty blood and water
come together in a communion
of distant relations and movements.

Beside me, a flash of bright red
digs in the sand; my child
is wearing the only vibrant colour
to be seen for many kilometres.
The colour matches her
enthusiasm and energy,
as she moves from one spot to the next
like a dancing flame;
reflected, a fire glows from my eyes.

Unknowingly, I had dressed
in the same colours of the sky and sea,
blending into the scenery
like a chameleon:
an illusion thicker than the clouds;
an illusion of stone
for me to melt and reinvent
at the spinning speed of thought.

I watch my daughter
drink the seascape with a smile of wonder;
it's her first time visiting an ocean.
With our pants rolled up to the knee,
we wade through waves,
and collect stones and shells.
She knows the chameleon
who walks alongside her in the frothy surf.

Observing seabirds cover the steep cliffs
of the island located further out,
in a blanket of black and white feathers,
I wonder if people onshore
only see a solitary dash of red out here,
or if the chameleon
is more noticeable than I had thought.

2012 North Sea Remix
December 17th, 2012
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