The True Story of Kaldi

An old man in any time, his hands were like gods

His feet coming, like songs of mercy

His eyes, sour from sun, no better than dogs’


He was, like all saviors, a king and the least among them


Into his ears they poured their longing

for true shapes in the world

and he listened, like water listens


He blessed the hunt but burdened the hunters

He was, as his name insists, ever-present  and

a thing left behind


The women called him The Old Goat



On that day, he drifted away from the morning fire

one arm outstretched like the night watch

pointing at devils in the high grass and mist


They were in fresh lands unknown

They were fleeing the dry death of drought

They spoke of abandoning spirits

They pretended not to notice he was gone



His voice returned before him with the rising stars

screeching like a bandit bird

then singing like a new mother


The men stood in a fierce line against the approach


He grew out of the dim light, first running, then spinning

then raising his knees  and pointing his toes

as in the praying for rain


He spilled small red fruit from his bag

his mouth was full and dripping as he laughed

his face was as wide and white as the moon


Frightened, the children soothed one another with whispers:

it is only the prophet gone mad

it is only an old dancing goat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *