Thursday, April 12, 2012

Toward the Within

Later this year, a dream is coming true - a dream within a dream, a serendipitous culmination of passion and music, aptly, in the year of my twentieth anniversary with the source of that dream.

In the time Coro and I were separated (sadly longer than the total we have been together), when he lived with my parents across the state from me and our summer-long reunions dwindled to extended weekends and the plans of having him near me were dashed on the rocky shores of adulthood reality, I dreamed of him.

In the most vivid of these dreams, I was leading him through a crowded gypsy market, the air filled with spices.  I saw a woven tapestry in floral swirls of burgundy and black in one of the vendors stalls, bartered for it to drape across his back, then continued to walk with him through the narrow alleyways.  Nothing more...but the way we negotiated the exotic setting together, the way he followed and wore his gifted mantle...something I have never forgotten.  At the time I was taking Spanish and had enough command of the language to write a poem about the dream in another tongue. My mother helped me to be sure I had all the translations right.  I learned then of the Spanish word canela, which means at once "cinnamon" and "something exquisitely perfect." Coro had looked, when he came to me in his dark transitory grey phase, right before the burst into starry dapples, like he'd been sprinkled with cinnamon (and does again, though it bears the unflattering name "flea-bitten"). The Spanish poem was published in a horse poetry anthology, Cadence of Hooves, many years after it was written. 

Sometime after the market dream, I became involved in the Goth scene  - not, as so many assume, because I was obsessed with evil and death, but because the strains of the music spoke to me in a deeper sense, because there was actual dancing at these clubs, the focus on slipping into that place where only the song and the way your body experiences that song exist.  One of those songs stood out in a way that was uncannily profound - from first listen, it was the soundtrack to that dream of Coro.  It's slow percussive opening like the beginning of trust, then swirling into an intricate chanted dance.   I could never hear that song without thinking of him, however far apart we may have been.  It was this song:

Once I could finally approach description of the amalgamation, I wrote another poem - for the dream, for the horse, for the song:

(for Coro)

That lead rope goes straight to her heart, don't it?
~ K.R., farrier/philosopher

In dreams,
we have woven silken corridors
in labyrinths of cobblestone,
swirls of coin, changing hands like music
while our feet found Slypner’s eight prints
through streets as narrow as eyelashes.
Is there a bit of myth in your heart?

Over road and mountain,
While your ears tilt miles away
at the interrupted hush of deer-steps,
while the blackbirds rustle into sleep
in the eaves of your stall,
I am crushed and spun in the
smoke and the pulse
of a Denver night club.

As I dance to the thread of a lonely voice,
A card turns over like a memory,
the woman’s baubled hand offers, strung 
with silver horses, The Chariot.
Music powders into marketplace spice.

The ghost of you
steaming and pawing like a rainstorm
slips somehow through the door.
Had I left you tied outside?
Dancers become merchants,
the dance becomes a caravan’s bolero.
A white glimmer,of your mane twines 
between my fingers.If cinnamon 
were a jewel, your body bedecked 

in riches. Gypsy boy,
with dark eyes like the
ripples of a mandolin,
did you gather all of your gallops
into a cirrus cloud and wisp through city streets, 
nets of strangers, to dance with me here?


The band became one of my favorites, outlasting my blood-red hair and black lipstick, but had already begun to dissolve by the time I started listening to them. I didn't ever think they would tour again, let alone come back to our city on the plain.  Earlier this spring, they announced a reunion and world tour.  On August 19th, beside my love, I will sit mere rows away from Dead Can Dance as they perform at the Temple Hoyle Buell theater in Denver, my home.  Perhaps the day after,  I will drive a mere thirty minutes, saddle and ride my horse in an arena on a canyon rim, with the sound of "Rakim" ringing freshly in my ears - two things I never expected, never dreamed.


  1. Such a fine line between dream and reality... what nice freestyle music.

    1. Freestyle has always been at the pinnacle of my dressage dreams. First Coro will need to be less suspicious of the music box :)