All it takes is a walk. And a walk is first person nothing in particular, everything in detail. . Sidewalks are carved with the tetragrammaton of those who were young when the cement went down. Squirrels dart across streets, duel with traffic. Crows caw the name of their god ten thousand times a day Meanwhile, an oak is alone with the scriptures of its leaves, the hard rock of its trunk. the monotheism of deep roots Mockingbird song, wind gust, sun-rays… a lack of cohesion among worshipers. But who cares as long reverence gets done. A familiar face ends my exile. “Good morning. Nice weather. The fertility god has been good to us.” Doctor says I need to lose twenty pounds. Twenty pounds of kitchen, bedroom, parlor he doesn’t say. Twenty pounds of being in the house, on the couch, immersed in the two dimensional All it takes is a hearty stroll through neighborhood bric-a-brac. White fences, kabbalist mystics, dogs, Rosicrucians, Spanish families new to the area, refrigerators on pavement, alms to the garbage trucks. I was immersed in a book not an hour ago. Existence was nothing but me and Gatsby lazing by his pool. But now a kid on a bicycle is in on it. A young woman pushing a pram. And here comes George in his motorized wheelchair. No sign of-him in 1920’s Long Island. But all it takes is a daily constitutional, an hour or so, up the hill, down the side street, along the main street, then through the college. Woman on bench feeding pigeons, it was either you or Daisy Buchanan.’ All it takes is a walk. It’s you.
A Prose Piece by Nayeli Guzman as told to Beverly Bell
Damn, I should have brought my beans! I wanted to show you my collection. One of my favorites is called powami, a Hopi ceremonial bean. There’s a really beautiful one called Maine Yellow Eye, which is all white and right at the part where the bean sprouts, there’s a little yellow moon on there. There’s another one called Provider. When you put it against the sun, it looks like an oil spill from your car. Man, those beans are so beautiful.
We cooked some red Mexican beans for the harvest festival, and everyone loved them.
It’s always good to be able to give food. It’s the best, dude. We don’t think of what we’re producing in terms of money, but just in terms of health and food for our families.
Farming was in my prayers for a long time. This land is my teacher; it’s my altar. It’s at the heart of my culture. We’ve always done that. We’ve strayed so far from it that I feel we have to go back, no matter where we come from. I’m just being responsible to the struggles my ancestors went through. They fought for tierra y libertad, which means land and liberty. In fact, we’re still going through that struggle today, with our food and even our genes being colonized.
May your crosswalk always say brilliant at the light May the wind at your back always be full of warmth, May you always find a ripe apple on a tree by your home And thick groves of dandelion greens along your bushes, May you always find a beauty in love, a fullness of joy, A grand bouquet of gratitude and balloons of happiness, May you always walk with your eye on the possibility And your thoughts on creativity and everything good, May your world be one of peace and graciousness, And your beach full of all that is wonderful and glad, May your hike in the forest full you with contentment, May your night sky take you to places no one has been, May your daily errands introduce you to intelligence, May your car always start, your lights always come on, Your phone always be charged, your windows clear And honest, and the breeze through your screens healthy And soothing, loving and comfortable. May sickness Never enter your abode, and everywhere you go May life be a luxury hotel with the sounds of nature Greeting you openhanded with the music of wind and air, Tree and brush, bird and insect, compliments and insight. May you always wake to sunshine and clear weather skin, And may you always arrive at the stoplight when its green. This is a thank you poem. May you always be full of thanks.