Poetry by Jim Nasium

We Tie The Wind In A Knot

The once a year three day Hunting Feast was over and the village slept as the elders sat in a circle around a fire on bamboo mats trying to tie the wind in a knot. Hours passed slowly as they shared gourds of chi chi, chewed coca leaf, smoked sweet smoke and told hunting stories.

I stood watching them for what seemed like forever as they flapped their hands in what seemed like thought out motions but never the less still seemed very silly to me. I suppose they had been watching me watch them, all along and they thought me as silly as I thought them.

It was just a few hours before dawn when they asked me to join them. Once I settled down in the circle on my bamboo mat near the fire I took a big swig of chi chi and packed my mouth with fresh coca leaves and mambu. It was then, and only then I was able to feel comfortable among these magic men of power.

I explained to them that no one else could see what they were seeing, or understand what they were trying to do with their hands or why they were flapping their hands every which way hard in front of them carrying out the motions for what seemed to be tying a half hitch, or perhaps a square knot... but not one of them had a comment.

I sat there, waiting for an answer and silently watched them. After awhile I was handed the gourd of chi chi again and I took another very long drink of the bitter brew. I finally gathered the courage to ask the Brujo to answer me, and tell me exactly what it was they were trying to do by flapping their hands in the air. The eldest of the elders answer made no sense to me; "We tie wind in a knot". I wondered to myself exactly what they'd do with the wind once it was tied anyhow.

The Brujo stood up, walked over to where I was sitting and carefully filled a long hollow bamboo tube with a yellow powder he called yahe' then carefully pushed the smaller end of the bamboo tube into my nose. With out warning he blew hard on his end of the bamboo tube, forcing the powder [inside the tube] up into my skull and all over my brain. The rush was amazing...

The elders sat silently as the Brujo danced around me in a circle chanting something or other about a safe journey then turned away from me. One by one the Brujo put the hollow bamboo tube full of yellow powder up to the nose of each elder, and then he'd blow the yellow powder up in the nasal passage of each man, chant something, and dance in a circle, then he'd start over again at the next man until each man had three portions.

It wasn't too long after my third hit that I found myself watching myself trying to tie the wind in a knot along with the elders, still having no idea at all exactly what I'd do with the wind once it were tied in a knot. I looked down on myself from high above the fire floating out of body with the group of men below, who were both way out and up there with me, and yet, below at the same time still trying to tie the wind in a knot along with me.
Eventually the sun rose as we floated back down to earth; the start of another day in a far away magical land.

©2001 Jim Nasium

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