Tracking the Magi – A Poem

Tracking the Magi

Through the condensation
in a dream I see my brothers
standing proud
in a mahogany room
dressed in dark beautiful suits
their heads held high
eclipsing the crowd of blurry faces
with their
presence.

And I know that it is time to leave.

I get away with a parka and my collection
of seashells
in a pack on my back
tracking the Magi west to
California
using a map drawn in 1870.

I wrote my brothers that I forgot
my parka
at a roadside café
where an old man served coffee
with a long tooth grin
and that I got lost somewhere
in the southwestern desert
grabbing a bus in El Paso
that took me to Vegas.

They never wrote back.

I lived there for some time
finding work translating the Book of
Life
but had trouble with some erroneous
entries and had to consult
a jeweled lady at Rawley’s Bar
more than a few times.

We ended up sleeping together.

A fact I am not too proud of
but
not all that ashamed either.
Her ears were bitter
and fingers trembled terribly
when sober
yet she made French Toast that made
the morning sun shine
cry out of jealousy.
And she had a reasonably attractive
body
and a mind
an imagination
deep and as full of life as the Pacific.
She knew where the Magi were holed up.
In a duplex in Thousand Palms
living next to a family of five
who owed two dogs,
a cat
and a VW Passat.

She said one evening
at the bar
when our drinks ran out and
the bartender had not come by
for fifteen minutes
that she
kept this from me because she knew
I would leave.
She was anxious and drew
stick figures fencing.

And she was right.

I did leave.
But like a thief
bearing gifts in the night
I gave her The Book of
Life.

An old couple gave
me a ride in their motorhome
to Los Angeles
where I met Nick
at the beach
who was a one-time acquaintance
from a former life
and he took me to Thousand Palms.

The Magi were strung out
and behind in rent
when I finally caught up with them.
And they were fearfully looking
for safe passage
back to New Hampshire
saying the mob was after them.
So I made us some Caucasians
and gave them my map
to use on their
journey home
telling them to stay clear
of Denver.

I asked them why they had come
all the way to California
and they replied they were
following
a star
but it turned out only to be
the flash from the explosions
of bombs
dropping
in villages
and towns
and cities
far away.

And I wrote my brothers about this
but they never answered
locked up as they are
I suppose
in The
Mahogany Room
drinking Champaign
in their beautiful
dark suits
in the midst of all
the blurry faces.

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11 thoughts on “Tracking the Magi – A Poem

    • Thank you! I suppose there are a few motivations behind it. Politics, religion and family play a part. I wanted to write a quest or journey poem in which the narrator sets out to find meaning and life, but discovers at the end an awful truth and the dismissive, opulent attitude institutions have with these horrors. Also, I had a dream where I saw my brothers at a party. That provided some inspiration. I could go on, or be more detailed, but fear this is lengthy enough as it is…

    • Hmm… A second part. I am not too sure. It was partially a telling, in a fashion, of the journey of the Magi to see Christ. I used it to frame the journey. So without knowing what the Magi did after, I don’t have a framework for a sequel. But you give me something to think about… Maybe there is something in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Oh, and Denver serves to a certain extend as a reflection of when an angel warns the Magi not to go to Jerusalem and report the news to Herod.

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