Be like the flexible branches then the dead roots


Be like the flexible branches than the dead roots

A Story by Coyote Poetry

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I learn the past is gone and today actions matter, by a New Orleans Tarot card reader.

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                            Be flexible branches not dead roots

Late October in 1992. I had 45 days to get to Fort Ord. California.  I left Michigan with three weeks left and four destined places. New Orleans was my third stop. I like the landscape of New Orleans. Old ancient places is where I feel the safest. The city had a lot of hope and energy in the  daytime.  The people were beautiful. A lot of mix cultures making the city controlled by no chosen people. I liked the long hair, dark-skinned  Cajun women. They paid me no mind or attention. I was just another Soldier looking for something I couldn’t have. I went to the sea and wrote poetry. A painters joined me and he introduced himself. I’m Paul and he asked . Can I paint you? I told him. I’m not so pretty. Better to paint the sea. The beautiful woman or the old city. He smiled. He had dark skin and a huge laugh. He told me. I like dark things. Things that hold mystery. You are alone in my city. Fearless and waiting for no-one. I like to paint interesting things. You have a good face. Good for my painting. I told him paint away and I watched the sea as he did his work.

A Cajun young woman sat with us. She asked Paul.  Who is your victim today? You are going to steal his soul and put his image to the canvas? He smiled and told her. Sally, this is Johnnie. A lone soldier seeking peace in the city of confusion. Sally is a pretend Gypsy. Read tarot cards to tourist for $20. She is a Cajun beauty who steals hearts and leave you for dead. That is why I marry her. I smiled and laughs. I took her hand and looked into her dark brown eyes. I told her an honor to meet you. She was a Cajun beauty. Long black hair to her lower waist and full-busted, not afraid to show them off. She held my hand and she asked me. Can I do a reading for you? I told her yes. First your husband need to finish his masterpiece. Paul told me. I’m done. He turned the painting to me. It was beautiful. I was facing the sea and with rushing  water near. I told him, an amazing painting.  I offered to buy drink and food at my nearby hotel. They accepted.

We ate and drink till the midnight hour. Sally told me. Best time to do a proper Tarot reading is at 12 midnight. She shuffled the cards. It was an old desk. Artwork on each card. She laid out five cards. She turned the first one. The first card was the Devil. She raised her face up and she told me. The card had many meanings. Mean you are twisted and can be living for the wrong things. The Devil card can mean options too. Life is not written in blood. She turned the second card. The card was the Ace of Pentacle.  This card mean you are not done yet. You have many places and journey to touch and do. Ace of Pentacle is a good card.  Mean your life is not written yet. She turned the third card.The Knight of cups. This is a good one. It means you love “Love”. You live and die for love. Can be a dreamer lost also.

She turned the fourth card. Wheel of fortune. This card is hard to describe. It mean you will take chances and the ending isn’t written. You must be wise. Every decision had result. Good and bad. She turned the fifth card. The Hermit. The Hermit card mean options too. Your life is not written. You have just begin. You will teach and be taught. She reached over and she caressed my face. She told me. You are a driven man. The cards showing you leaving everything behind to accomplish your dreams. You will drown in sadness one day for things you cannot find again.

She told me. Your sorrow had just begin. You carry the burden of a world you cannot save. Please try to save a thing or two to hold on to your sanity. You will need something left when your tire body need to rest and you quit roaming. All dreams cannot be touched. Touch a few easy one’s. For one day. You will realize you are alone.

Paul smiled and ordered more beer and whiskey. He told us. Let the cards rest tonight. Johnnie had a kind spirit. I like his energy. Wild and colorful. This is why I requested to paint him. Most tourist are dull bright and aiming at useless things. Don’t blame the cards or the gods. We decide our place and journey.  We can swim in love or swim in hate? Better to drink the whiskey and the beer. Dance, sing and laugh at the wind, leave the storms and the sorrow in old graves. Better to be the flexible branches than the dead roots. We tapped glasses of the good whiskey.
I agreed.
Coyote/John Castellenas

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