Monday, February 2, 2015

Satch Dobrey Presents the Stuff of Dreams

Satch Dobrey earned a BA in English from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and an MA in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis. His poetry appears in the September 2012 and the March 2014 issues of Bluestem, the literary quarterly of Eastern Illinois University, and the spring 2014 edition of Rampike (Ontario, Canada), and is forthcoming in Glossolopolis (Seattle). His fiction is forthcoming in Tribe magazine (Plymouth, England). Dobrey works as a librarian and resides with his wife in Southern Illinois on the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

Joseph Cornell, Toward the Blue 
Peninsula (For Emily Dickinson), 1953

Stuff of Dreams
A retrospective in dusky collage     
at the Peabody Essex Museum,
shadows sunk twixt noon and midnight mirage,

reviewers cry romance ad nauseam.
So, had Emily a romantic boat,
her Blue Peninsula’s carpe diem?

Would those far away dreams remain afloat,
recessed in blue behind a whitewashed grate?
There is nobody home to cast a vote,

for this invalid box stares straight
at the visitor peering to the void
as the artist looks for his poet mate.

She flew away to an idea place,
her perch a shrine without a lonely face.

The Cane Men

The Cane Men dance
surrounded by grooves,
arms and canes as figure trance,
pivoting on submerged feet,
they swivel between dark and light,
keeping the beat with their cane arms
Cane Dance. Mixed Media on Paper
© Dennis Ringering
aloft, afloat, in air, water, stage left,
in concert, legs akimbo about to circle
to the other side, these rock characters
feint and glide.

Cane Men dance swing
arm in arm, jubilant in their age,
the motion picture of their time.
Spirit encased in rock engaged,
celebratory throwing of canes,
to the soaring songs of birds held
on the wind ledge of the valley.
For all to see, for all to hear,
the harvest dance of light,
skip and glee.

The old men with canes
in their arms rotate front to back,
holding high a perched bird, balanced
on the stick with wings as folded hands,
eyes matching the floating clouds
reflected in the Great River above,
twirling as they high step, two step,
three step to the drums from the cities
of the plain, birdmen who talk in symbols
dance with canes.

Shaman with a cane wand
moves through rock as water
through the valley of thunder.
Dancing for the rain clouds to step 
out of the everlasting dream,
to reveal the source of joy in nature,
the spring of the naked river flowing
past Lookout Point. The spirits tell us
to make waves of passing, carve in rock,
sing and dance.

Pandzoavits. Mixed Media on Paper
© Dennis Ringering
Strong Medicine

Sky People peck
into electric rock, tapping
their flight from the inside out,
as the winter wind cools their spirit
lines on the stone sand of Beartooth Mountain.
Tuku Dika, the Sheep-Eater,
faces the sun before submerging
into the hot springs of Wind River,
crushing the red cast of iron ore
in cedar smut.

Ground People growl
as a grimace appears face down,
echoes along the tree line,
before the image is ground up
by the grizzly spectrum inside the rock.
To cure his people, catch invisible
arrows, the Shoshone shaman
rises from the cedar smoke,
journeys to the House of Power, waits,
cloaked in blankets.

Water people lure
their victims into the lake
with large ghost hands, moving between
rattlesnake worlds of lost souls, leaving
their bite marks on strangely shaped rocks at night.
Clear mind, bowels, this Rorschach trance
welcomes the nynymbi to lead through
an impassable crack in the stone,
to confront the pandzoavits’
demon tempest.

Little people teach
manners below the vous-soir,
ripples that spawn from hypnotic
prayer, where the vault of knowledge
is wedged between animal and human.
Phantasm shape shifters, terror
visions, alone, wolf-dog and man
gain wisdom and power to make
their bodies dense as stone,
minds prismatic.

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