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Ed Hanson

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Commerce City, CO, US

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You Are the One

by

Ed Hanson

You are the one who walks beside me
Through flower painted meadows
And the stony paths we tread
The one who holds my hand
When the snow lies deep across the waters

You are the one
Whose tender kisses fill me with light
More exquisite than the sweetest wine
Setting my head to spin
And the stars in the night sky to swarm
Like fireflies on a warm summerís eve

You are the one
Whose radiant smile in the morning
Illuminates my day
Like the sun breaking in the east
The one whose honey voice
Falls lovingly sweet upon my ear
Caressing me with whispers
As I slip back into dreams of you

You are the one
Who embraces my love
Nurturing it like a precious child
Protecting and caring for it
Like a rare treasure
You are the one
For whom I have long dreamed
And searched half a world away
The one for whom
I have carefully prepared a space
In my heart and life
The one I have loved long before I knew your name


The Indian Floor at the Art Museum

by

Ed Hanson

Dimly heard echoes of ghosts
Calling out from corners and glass cases.

From the longhouse, joyful singing
In celebration of the potlatch
Beneath the glaring mask of Raven.

Across the room, wailing,
The mournful cries of women whose warriors
Did not return from the battle.

I am haunted by the sadness,
While tourists dully move
From one information card to the next.

Clinically displayed, a reed basket
Created by a young woman, long perished,
Conceived in community.
Expressions of cherished traditions
Now extinguished.
Shadows of people who lived and played
Beside rich waters now poisoned,
That once fed so many so well

Standing before the "half red headdress",
Once worn by a warrior of
Great-Grandmotherís people.
Crafted in prayer and song,
Infused with terrible visions,
The drums pound in my heart,
I see him riding against the sky.
His war cry rings in my ears,
My heart fills with pride
And deep sadness,
For his bones now lay lost
Beneath the silent sands,
As his fearsome bonnet rides
Upon a lifeless frame
Under just the right illumination.

Scraps and splinters of peopleís lives
Laid out for all to see.
Stories played out under an open sky,
Watched over by sun and stars
Now sheltered under steel and glass,
Displayed upon a sterile white stage.
But saddest of all,
The lodge of Standing Bear, Lakota Chief.
I felt as if the bones of my grandfather
Had been tied to a pole and
Hung out for all to see for a quarter.
How far we have fallen


Too Hot

by

Ed Hanson

The fire of your love burns me,
Too hot, too hot!
It crackles my skin,
It explodes my veins
It turns my heart to greasy ash
I fall into it, embracing it
Whirling and turning and thrashing about
You hold me closer and
I can no longer escape
As your fire reaches deeply
Penetrating to the deepest, darkest
Caverns of my tortured soul
Where not even I have known to look
It cleanses and purifies me
Like hot silver in the cup.
I am the man who is burned away
I am reborn, remade,
Resurrected after the third try
Alive and on fire, shining
Brightly under your golden sun.


A Dream Too Small

by

Ed Hanson

More than anything,
I wish to write
Poetry that rattles the Earth
And trembles the foundations of my soul.
I want to compose lines
That thunder across the hills
And lay low the walls
Erected by the soul
To hide itself from the world.
To wish anything less,
Would be to pursue a dream
Too small for me.


Spain

by

Ed Hanson

"Oiga" I called to the waitress,
And she came over to our table.
"Dos naranjas, por favor," I requested.
"Would you like fresh or bottled?" she responded,
Recognizing me as norteamericano,
Another chance to practice dashed,
Although I am sure she was just
Trying to be helpful,
But I did not come
All the way to Spain
To speak my native language.
And as I watched, I saw
She was just as good
With French, German, and Swedish,
But not so good pa-Russki,
Though she certainly did try.
And I had to wonder
Just how much Spain was left
In a land bled dry by wars
Fought against itself
Until few were left,
Who could stand up
And count themselves Spaniards,
When all the tourists
Have gone home.


Passing Into Night

by

Ed Hanson

Night forms itself from the afternoon winds
Tumbling headlong down stone knife canyons

Arid songs serenade the rocky ramparts
To the flutter of leafy applause
Blasting bare the mountainís bones
Along dry stream bottoms

Ancient stones huddle for company
Murmuring chthonic memories
As stubborn-sharp brambles
Stand guard over their subterranean dreams

Glory flees westward
Bleeding oceans of purple
Across the unmapped paths of the sky
Still stained brightly at the edge
By a barely remembered sun


Andalucia

by

Ed Hanson

Andalucia lies sleeping,
Dreaming of past glories and nightmare defeats.
Scoured and scorched by the ebb and flow
Of the different names of God.
Oceans of ancient blood spilled, reborn
In green-yellow olive oil.
Beautiful Andalucia, now at peace
Sleeping beneath new layers,
Modern highways and tourist tenements,
Criss-crossed by buses of foreign tongues,
Bustling taxis, souvenir shops,
And small foreign cafes.
Your own flavors drained away
Into the bloody sands of history
And eaten by sheep.
Proud Andalucia, your people
Have not forgotten you.


Beating Steel

by

Ed Hanson

Coal fire coke forge
Bellows roar the flame rising
Hot fumes sulfur smoking
Iron bar red, then yellow-white
See what it wants to be
Bristling sparks burning steel
Held lovingly in steel fingers grip
The hammer rings steel on steel on steel
In steady rhythm strokes banging
Shaping, thinning, stretching, turning
Iron stock meets anvil by
Hammer strokes molding into shape
Heavy hard to finer touch
Carefully crafted quenched


I Don't Go There Anymore

by

Ed Hanson

I donít go there anymore
too many aggshells to walk on
the sound of fear
the sound of furniture smashed against the walls
too much time spent
navigating mine fields
of the heart and the soul
Itís a wonder
I still have two legs
with feet attached

I donít go there anymore
my self-respect
is too hard-earned
to trust another who has none
Itís too much effort
to hammer out the twisted feelings
built of misperceptions and lies
reinforced by time

The wall of prejudice turns me aside
and I have learned
too live without whatever it divides me from

It couldnít be healthy anyway
So I donít go there anymore

I Don't Go There Anymore

by

Ed Hanson

I donít go there anymore
too many aggshells to walk on
the sound of fear
the sound of furniture smashed against the walls
too much time spent
navigating mine fields
of the heart and the soul
Itís a wonder
I still have two legs
with feet attached

I donít go there anymore
my self-respect
is too hard-earned
to trust another who has none
Itís too much effort
to hammer out the twisted feelings
built of misperceptions and lies
reinforced by time

The wall of prejudice turns me aside
and I have learned
too live without whatever it divides me from

It couldnít be healthy anyway
So I donít go there anymore

Fear Me

by

Ed Hanson

I had soft green security
sanctuary
Nana knew where I was
knew I felt safe there
would come to no harm
hiding in the geraniums
around the side of the house

In an emerald atmosphere
pink and red teardrops
tasting slightly sour
my teaspoon shovel
turned over moist dark soil
teeming with tiny citizens
going about their own business
unaware

I was the terror here
a great disruptive force
upended their little lives
until Nana called me in for lunch

Coyote Ancient

by

Ed Hanson

Coyote Ancient follows tracks
threading stone-laced ruins
bookmarks on adobe pages
marking space time
mysteryís moonwalk

Croon light nights sung
to star gods looking down
two steps ahead of death
four steps behind sunrise
scurry across creosote encrusted sand

Coyote Ancient turns
earth turns to face the sun
wind sings earthís bones
recites sacred litanies
cathedral sky
sand and stone floor

Anasazi daydreams
stone canyon memories
faded sky regrets
aligned with sunrise
adobe walls aligned
with winter moons

Centered on the spiral
chiseled vortex in stone
pierced by a dagger of light
Coyote Ancient dances