Hidden Stuff (audio story)

by tobias crabtree

This is a story I told at the Desert Stories Event in Joshua Tree, California. It was a wonderful event, hosted by Cheryl Montelle, and it included a bundle of great stories told by great folk. I’m including the poem I wrote titled, “Yo, Mother Earth called…she wants her people back.”

So, uh, just click on the thingie above and you should be able to listen to my weird little voice tell a story (yuck).

and then, here’s the poem:

hello. hello. remember me? i thought that you’d forgotten.

i have some things you left behind, i’m quite sure that you lost them.

i see your doubting, pouting face and you’ve far too much to do.

but trust me on this, there’s something amiss, and i can help to see you through.

so meet me in the canyon, out where the white sage grows, in the cave…

with the drawings…

that are lit…

by the moon…

as she wanes and hangs, so low.

it’s plain to see you’re wondering, just how i came to know you,

but words alone will not explain, so come find me

and i’ll show you.

yes my darling,

i am the owl down in the hollow, on silent mothy wing.

i am old, forgotten bones.

i am the hornet’s sting.

i am the tiny bones and leather wings that cause the desert bat to swing

between this world and that,

where nightshades bloom and ‘poorwills call

out across the flat.

i am forsaken footpaths that long for naked, tribal feet.

and fires, and prayers, and songs, and dance

and wonderfulthundering hearts that beat.

i am the emerald sound that tolls through fathoms

dark and deep,

the song that rolls from whales’ souls where ancient

sorrows sleep.

i am the humped and bristled bore-backed beasts

that cause lip to twitch in fevered dreams.

i am the fury.

i am the tame.

i am the both in twain.

i am all that ever was, and evermore remains.

i am every glint and flicker out the corner of your eye

and then imagos, changing worlds,

i am every hoof and lash and curl,

from every beast in every time

and you, my child, you too

are mine.

–these are the words i wrote while i drove across the new mexican landscape where the sky does seem to be a bit more open to the whatever else and the might be, where canyons snake away with all the mysteries carried by things that are old and forgotten, where cottonwoods have been standing and waiting for decades and they still wait and watch the sky and shake their scaly limbs, where i feel perfectly insignificant and magnificent at precisely the same time because of my smallness and my inclusion in something far beyond my ability to explain… but, yeah, these are words i wrote, that came from everything else. —   tobias