Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Sedona – A Poem

(Photo by Justin W on Unsplash)

This poem – written for a friend – is about the quirkiness of Sedona, Arizona and people who live there (and my dear friend is one of the quirkiest people I know). Sedona is a unique blend of breath-taking landscapes, New Age energy, and esoteric experimentation. Although I never lived there, I went through real estate school in Sedona at the height of the housing bubble, passed the state real estate exam, and witnessed all the reasons for the housing market collapse. I spent a lot of time soaking up the atmosphere, getting to know both locals and tourists, and hiking among the Red Rocks. If you’re looking to join a cult or expand your mind, Sedona is the place to go. But, beware! Every community has its dark side, regardless of outward appearances, and Sedona is no exception.

Sedona

Tourists think the locals are all wealthy snobs

Who perform yoga contortions on the tops of ruddy mountains

And meditate in the epicenters of vortexes on the Red Rocks of Sedona.

But we know better, you and I, for we’ve known the locals,

And we’ve known the tourists, and it’s hard to say who’s more eccentric.

If they heard the colorful tales about your youthful days

When you protested at Alcatraz with the American Indian Movement

And met its leader, Dennis Banks, who jumped bail

And later went to jail and then prison,

Would they think you were real? Or just another Sedona fantasist,

Gazing into your crystal ball and scrying into a mirror?

You liked to test the boundaries of reality and the rules of society

And thumb your nose at The Establishment, whomever that happened to be.

When burglars looking for money and valuables targeted your neighborhood,

You laughed out loud — shocking the neighbors — when your son,

Dressed up in full Nazi gear, with his Glock fully exposed,

Ran around the neighborhood, after playing his part in World War II re-enactment games.

But, hey, your house was never robbed! And, that’s the joke.

And, remember that lady we used to know – the one who belonged to the UFO cult –

The psychiatrist made a special visit to her house one day, and we never saw her again.

But her son was happy: he got the house and all of her money.

Of course, you knew more than her about the greys and the lizard people,

Having met them in your childhood on your family’s farm in Pennsylvania.

You still remember Bigfoot’s stench when you fed him in the woods.

And you never quite understood why George Romero chose the neighbor’s farmhouse

Instead of yours to make his zombie masterpiece. Even befriending Jason Voorhees’ mom

(Of Friday the 13th fame) cannot keep you down on the Red Rocks of Sedona,

For your Buddhist heart is too large, your courage too brave, and your mind too active

To bring you back to earth.

~

Dawn Pisturino

August 16, 2022; November 1, 2022

(Revised October 30, 2022)

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Reprise: Bigfoot!

(Still photo from Bigfoot film by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin, October 1967)

Crack! The bullet zings past my ear, hitting an old oak tree.

I drop the salmon wiggling in my hands and run along the bank of the Mokelumne River, propelling my long, hairy arms for speed. Behind me, the hunters move carefully through the dense underbrush, tracking my movements.

Sharp green thorns snag on my hair and tear at my flesh as I struggle through the blackberry briars and wild grapevines. I hike deeper into the wilderness on two strong legs, climbing skillfully around granite boulders barring my way. In the distance, the jagged outline of Deadwood Peak rises above the trees. If I can only get there, I will be safe.

Rounding a bend I see her, tearing meat from a rabbit carcass with big, sharp teeth. Mama! Her shaggy brown head turns in my direction. With a low growl, she opens her long, hairy arms as if to embrace me.

And then she smells it, the distinct odor of musky sweat. The hunters are near!

We run, ignoring the stones piercing our feet, causing us to stumble. Behind us, the humans call back and forth, “Bigfoot!”

Together, we melt into the shade of a thick stand of pines, hoping to slow down and catch our breath. But our feet become tangled in nets concealed by pine needles, and suddenly, we are swinging up, up into the air, and dangling from the limbs of a sturdy pine tree.

Mama struggles inside her net, growling with rage. I struggle, too, yelping helplessly as the net swings back and forth above the hard ground.

“We’ve got them now,” says a bearded hunter to his companions. “Bigfoot! That TV show, Monster Search, will pay us big bucks for these babies.”

“We’ll be famous,” cries a husky hunter with red hair. “Scientists won’t laugh at us anymore. Finally! Proof that Bigfoot exists!”

“How are we going to get them back to San Francisco?” asks an old man with spectacles. “I mean, we weren’t really expecting to find anything.”

The bearded hunter pulls out his camera. “I’m taking plenty of pictures, just in case something goes wrong. They can’t call it a hoax this time!”

While the camera clicks and the three men argue over the best way to get us back to the city, I turn my head from view and gnaw on the net’s thick webbing with my teeth. Pretty soon I’ve made a small opening, large enough to stick my fingers through. I wiggle them at Mama, and she understands what to do.

The red-haired hunter chuckles as he pokes me in the back with a long stick. I give him a warning growl, but he keeps it up. My powerful jaws chew faster on the netting.

“We need some of that fur,” says the old man with spectacles. “We can send it to a lab for analysis.”

“Good idea!” says the red-haired hunter. “Then, if they get away, we’ll still have proof.”

The three men stand under the nets, looking up at our shaggy brown bodies hanging in the air. Suddenly the nets give way, and Mama and I find ourselves lying on top of the three men on the ground.

We howl victory cries and scramble to our feet. The men, tangled in the nets, shout curses at us as we run away.

The Miwok Indians tell stories about us — great hairy beasts roaming these desolate mountains. They fear us and protect our sacred habitat on Deadwood Peak. We are going there now, secure in the knowledge that we cannot be followed. Men from the city will continue to hunt us. But, with help from the Miwoks, they will never find us. And we will never let them capture us alive.

Dawn Pisturino

©2014-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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