Oracle of the Ring
painful sediments of the past
encrust my eyes.
Decade upon decade of
receding waters and cracked soil
and when new rains fall,
muddy channels of folly!
All washed to the ocean,
all blown across the desert.
Now I stand on earth,
in the turning sky I see the carved stair.
Where my spirit marches
in great steps up the mountain.
Sun and star find this path,
stone and tree remember this ground,
by the tale my gods tell of me.
Wailing songs sung by machines,
strong nectar of breath and action!
Fragrant caress of snowy flesh,
wonderous gift of life from love!
Upon my soul each terrace sculpted,
night’s bivouac for tomorrow’s journey
until the quest of summit and wind
drowns me in the cloudy peaks.
Zen Koan by Pete Ahrens, 1990
Zuni Craft by Ardale Mahooty, 1989