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Thumbnail of a dream image: a big blue crested cranelike bird on a stone terrace above a lava-fountain, in the crater of Mt Etna-Shasta. Thumbnail of a dream image: a big blue crested cranelike bird on a stone terrace above a lava-fountain, in the crater of Mt Etna-Shasta. Etna-Shasta,
or,
Groom Your Own Feathers!

dreamed 2008/9/18 by Wayan.
Sicily's clouds below. I'm on the lip
of Etna-Shasta, the fieriest
volcano on Earth. Red-dappled-gold
reticulate dancers, lava-limbed,
cavort within the summit-crater rim.

Sunk in that fumaroling brink
is a whitewashed bunker, clinging like
opal in rough matrix. And behind
its small brave face the holy caves extend.

Here live Volcano Monks. They pray
daily to Hephaestos and Pele.
Austere their lives, and a bit unsure,
though liquid flame last flooded their
stony halls centuries back. For
their redoubt's a thorny crag above
a shark-jawed caldera-gash
where lava vomits when the pool's
in spate. Etna-Shasta never cools
enough to plug, so the cauldron shan't
explode in suicidal rage. Sane,
unlike the apoplectic vain
Cascade cones I know back home.
A courteous forge! As well befits
the glowing blacksmith god below.
(They hardly ever virgins throw.)

The Monks agreed I may interview
their most renowned: a grayish-blue
alien bird, two meters tall.

A star-tourist, one of our first, he came
for one day, and stayed sixteen
years. Who of us foresees the call?

We nest behind stone parapets and gaze
out on the fire-veined lake below,
and interview. "When you pray, do you
really believe a fire-god hears?"

"Well," says the big-headed dusky crane
"I know I am here
atop a live volcano where I pray
to luminous Pele. Of that I'm sure.
But I never did wish upon a fire
or feel I merit some reply,
so I really cannot swear
divinity's on the line.

But is that soulwork's goal?
All I can do is hold up my end
of the interview, and mind
my thought and word and act.
No god ever made us pure. We
groom our own feathers!
Shouldn't we? Does not Pele
have grander work to do?"

That's the end of the interview.
What more is there to say?
Under the heron's indigo eye
the fire-fountains sway.

Dream image: a big blue crested cranelike bird on a stone terrace above a lava-fountain, in the crater of Mt Etna-Shasta.
NOTES

LISTS AND LINKS: mountain dreams - volcanoes - scenic dreams - fire - austerity and monasticism - ESP - aliens - herons and other birds - meditation - inner critics - gods and goddesses - advice dreams - I'm a heron getting more sound bird-advice in: Moa - dream poetry - the Dreamverses project - the next Dreamverse: King Kong Crab - Leonard Cohen sings, inducing a shamanic vision, in Passin' Through - climb the holy peak in Lord Valentine's Castle, in The Ill-Formed Tale

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