Blu’s selections from “Making It Without Wings” 

The Blue Raven - photo by The Jaguar

Selected Journals of E. Thomas Sterns, a.k.a. Azul 1985 -2001


Meditations on Being, Conception and Knowing 


Being conceived and knowing it.

Feeling the thrust

And counter-thrust,

The thrashing and bashing,

The coition of a couple

A woman and her mate.

Groping and fumbling

In the darkness of Becoming,

Grasping the sides

Of the womb for life.

Gasping at the violence,

Basking in the privilege of

Being conceived and knowing it.

“O the womb, the womb,

So warm so warm and awash

With seeds of creation

And the sod of generations

And generations to come.”

Reaching out

With trembling fingers,

Fingers that trembled

From touching his lips and toes

Touching his eyes

Touching his nose

Reaching into his chest

Touching his heart

Feeling it throb

Touching the bumps

Between his legs

Touching the lumps

On his throat

Feeling the humps

On his back and crying out—

“O my wings, my wings

Where are my wings?

Why was I chosen

To be thrown down

And bound to the tomb

By a cord?”


In memory of the dead of Hiroshima.*

—For all the leaders of nations with nuclear potential.

“Words lead to deed. . . they prepare the soul,

make it ready, and move it to tenderness.”

Mother Teresa



Never Again


The dead children of Hiroshima

Turn in their graves

Anytime a weapon is fired

Turn in their small graves

Anytime man slaps man,

Turn in their tiny-little graves

Sitting up in their deaths

When-ever war is declared.

The dead children of Hiroshima know

There’s no purpose only profit, know

There’s no privilege only despair

When-ever war is declared.


The dead children of Hiroshima

Scream out

With the agonies they died with

Still in their throats.

Scream out

With the pain and suffering

Still burning their tiny little bodies

Scream out in their rage

Rising up from their unmarked tombs

Still clenching their tiny-little fists

Scream out

Never again!

Never again. . . let it never

Happen again.


The dead children of Hiroshima

Walk with me, walk with you

And you and you…

Walk with the fathers who have sons

Who have sons of their own

Walk with mothers who have daughters

Who have daughters of their own

Walking and sitting

In the flange of their ears whispering

Never again.

Never again – let it never happen again.


The dead mothers of Hiroshima

Will lie in their moldy graves

In violet dusts and gold-gold ash

Clutching their wombs through-out


Moaning and mourning

Their tiny dead children.

Have you ever heard them? I have.

Have you ever heard them

In the winds of a storm?

In the silence of sleep? I have.

I have heard them, voices

Crying in the dead of the night

At the edge of the sea, voices

Wailing out of the wilderness of death,

Heard gnashing of teeth, felt flesh burning

And voices crying out – never again!

Never again!

Let it never happen again.


Even after fifty-seven years

The dead fathers of Hiroshima

Cannot lie down in rest, for

Even now they roam the jungles

And deserts of the world

Dragging their dead-dead families

Behind them like legacies,

Sitting in the flange of the ears

of the living

Screaming at the top of their deaths-

Again! You’re letting it happen again!

It’s happening again!

*commissioned and presented at the Third Annual Hiroshima Reading, August 6th, 1989, Bisbee, Arizona.


O What Small Wonders We Are

With our little wings

We beat against the sky

But still can’t escape the butcher’s knife.

What small wonders we are you and I.

With our little wings prone

On the chopping block

The sky a grey murder

We watch the preparations

For our own coming sacrifice

But will not sing out.

O what small wonders we are you and I.

Bound together hand and hoof

We wince as a match is struck

On the fangs of the white wolf

Chained to the meatcutters ankle

We groan hearing the oils boil,

Squirm as the blade is drawn across

Our tongues, still we don’t resist,

Don’t sing out, offering up our throats.

O what small wonders we are you and i.


With our little wings trembling

We sense the grip on the knife

Draw ourselves closer together

Visualizing the coming climax

And beg the cleaver

To make the slaughter last. Relentlessly

He tears out our tongues and swallows them,

Gouges out our eyes and feeds them to

The beast strapped to his side

Then snickers at our tiny wings

Breaking them off—

Falling they explode

And shatter like porcelain music.

O what small wonders we are you and I.


Still alive we drink each other’s blood

And fornicate. Sip each other’s sweat

And masturbate in celebration,

As the butcher smirks in awe.

With the swiftness of evil

He smashes our passion

With a weapon of bone

Cuts our throats with a knife

of guilt, then laughs

When we beg for more and more.

Bloodied he thinks the slaughter finished,

The murder almost ended—

But our dying is as slow as love’s,

O what small wonders we are you and I.


         for Anne Brimson

Jewels of amber and jewels of silver

And gold and amethyst and turquoise. Jewels!

Jewels of azurite and jewels of malachite

Rings and chains

Brooches and bracelets worn by slaves

Jewels, jewels, jewels.

She had some jewels.

Moonstones that told stories of the night.

Black black obsidian and green green jade

White quartz crystal arrow points

Still covered with rust-colored blood

From ancient kills or recent slaughters—jewels.

Jewelled silver snakes with ruby eyes she wore

Like handcuffs. Fine chains of platinum  draped

Her pale throat like rope and buttons of gold with


Images of gods never heard of. Earrings, hoops

          and loops  groups of

Bangles that glittered in the sunlight

          that glowed in the moonlight

When she’d danced, swirled, twirled and whirled

Around a sparking fire to tambourine and fiddle

Avoiding the licking flames, the reaching fire

She had some jewels.                Jewels!

Tiny brass elephants she mounted and raced

In her dreams over dunes of her past, wearing

Tiny bronze bells around her ankles—that

Chimed when she’d walked into mens

Hearts and minds and over their coffins.

Jewels, jewels, jewels, thousands and thousands

And thousands of coloured stones in dusty cases

Under her bed shaped like a womb. Crosses.

Crosses of tin and bone and splinters of mahogany

And cedar and redwood and myrrh 

She refused to wear hidden away

 In closets with hand-carved doors

Stacked in the attics of her mind packed

In the hallways of her soul and the cellars

Of her self. Jewels, jewels, jewels,

She had some jewels.           Jewels! 

Jewels she wore with leather and silk and satin.

Jewels worn once before by ghosts

Worn to weddings… jewels she’d wear to seductions

Topaz that smoked, jewels in carved ivory boxes

With ivory buttons and ivory handles that played

Hymns thousands and thousands of years old. Jewels

In teak chests, wrapped in Indian saris jewels

For her navel resembling the faces of her children

Jewels for her crotch that glowed in the dark jewels

Shaped like fish and fowl and fauna and freaks

And angels and serpents swallowing other serpents.

She had chains fashioned into barbed wire that

She wore when she hunted for guilt, jewels that ticked

But never tocked nor ever told her the time to live

Or the time left before she died.            Jewels!

That burned when you touched them. Jewels smelling

Of sassafras smelling of jasmine and thyme

And oregano jewels tasting of vanilla and peach

And lime and cinnamon.

And she had jewels that she wore in the corners

Of her eyes that looked like tears that tasted

Like tears felt like tears and fell like tears

From a deamond encrusted  heart     

That no one two or three had ever seen.

She had some jewels.


Odd wit in a Garden of History *

Dedicated to the Mexican people on the 173rd Anniversary of their Independence.

On a bus

On a bus that
Rattled and shook
With the windows
All closed
Filled with women
With black shiny hair
And old men with eyes
The colour of almonds.
Down unpaved streets
Crowded with dogs
And yards crowded
With old rusted cars.
Up and down streets
Through clouds of dust
Until the last stop
With no one left
But this gringo
With blond-blond hair
Blue blue eyes
With a sack on his back
That asked
What have I come to?

At the Border

At the border
A rooster
On a rope
Black iron gates
And white white-washed walls,
Pastel-painted houses
And dogs that bark
At everyone. Kids
Peeling mangos
And kicking stones.
Children in the streets
In the alleys
In the stores
In the railroad station
Keeping warm
In the bus terminal
Sleeping on the floor.
Little children
Selling fruit
Selling shoestring
Singing sad songs
Dancing, juggling
Standing on corners
Selling tickets to fortunes
Selling dreams and pleasures
All for the price
Of a few hundred pesos. Sonora, 1986
On the Desert

On the desert
Old women selling tacos
Juices and warm Coca-Colas.
Stands filled with pottery
Made with red clay hands
Baked in the sun.
My ears filled with the sounds of the music
Of struggle and existence
The songs of perseverance.

The air was filled
With the stinks of living
Of sweat
Of raw meat
Ripening fruit
Of tanning hides
Bolts of dyed
Cotton cloths. And
Vegetables and cars
And chickens
Dead and hanging
By their feet
Their necks still bleeding.
Everything is raw
And alive and moving
With a purpose
The purpose to survive.

In a House

In a house
On a river
With a cracked
Tile roof
And cracked walls
And bamboo curtains
I sat listening for
The coming of pirates.
I had an iguana
Living in my wall.
He slept late
And ate well.
He’d make his way
Across my tile roof
Scratching his way into the sun.
A black and gray
Frightening face
That seemed
So familiar
I wouldn’t look in the mirror
For a week.

By the Sea

By the sea
Sand packed
On the backs of burros
The cobbled streets of
Puerto Vallarta
While picture-takers
Snapped pictures
To take home
Of sweaty brows
And dusty roses
In multicoloured shawls.

And here’s a man
And his tequila
A friend
And his guitar
Singing stories
I could feel.


Plate IX


She was older
Than a mother.
The lines
On her face
Denied the children
Tugging at her skirts.
Never meeting my eye
They held out their hands.
Two young flowers
And an old tree.


Then there was
This purple flower
With long
Braided tresses
Growing right there
In the bus terminal
Feeding her child breast.


And a garden
Was dancing
In a small courtyard
I couldn’t say
If they were roses. . .
I couldn’t see their eyes
But I thought I heard
One of them laughing
Like chimes in the wind.
I never knew
Flowers could sing.


She came
Small as a child
Fragile as
A porcelain bird.
Time had shrivelled
Her spine
Bent and curled
Her fingers
Like twigs
Covered with moss.
She murmured
Like moving water
And swayed
Like a proud old tree
Bending in the breeze.
She came.
She came
with a cane
in each hand
at a time.

Her chin was pointed.
Her cheeks sagged
transparent as rice paper
rocking back and forth
from side to side.
She could have been
an old spider up
on hind legs. She
moved up the street
like a silent movie.



O México


tus manos.

Manos que curan,

manos maternas

que sostienen el niño al pecho.

Manos paternas

que guian esas manitas

a que aprieten el bosal.

Empuja la piedra,k

planta la semilla,

amarra el nudo

y detiene la cuerda.

Las manos de mujeres jovenes

tejiendo soles destellados,k

mesiendose bajo la sombra.

Manos tantas manos.

Manos y pies,

manos y corazones,

manos cansadas y sabias,

manos jovenes que buscan,

manos fuertes y deseosas,

manos que se ofreçan manos

pero no ofrecidas.

del color de tierra,

coloradas y partidas

cortadas y gastadas

de construir y desbaratar.

Manos con historia.

Manos de campesinos, manos de indios,

Maya, Tolteca, Azteca,

manos unidas en un fuego hacia los dioses.

Todas las manos

tirando de la misma cuerda,

arrastrando el mismo corcasan

Lejos del fango del pesado,

jalando de la misma red

y tirarla sobre la rivera

de Historia.

O México

tus manos le han dado

significado a tu existencia—

nunca sea contenta

con la mercia de tus manos.

Mira en tu entorno

y siente las piedras

que tu has levantado.

Manos que construyeron las Iglesias,

construyeron barcas y

construyeron las piramidas.

Sienta la belleza y

el sudoor en las maderas

que tu has tallado,

en las piedras que has labrado.

Siente el tornol.

Siente las paraedes

y siente donde tus manos han estado,

entonces enseñales

a donde deben ir.

Teme a la libertad

que no puede crecer

con las semillas de tu cosecha

y con las manos que no sean

las tuyas— Temele como a

fastasma de tu enemigo.

Manos fuertes que hacen un Gobierno.Gente fuerte que hace una nacion—

Manos que la construyen y

Manos que la desbaratan.

*Recibió una recommendación escrita por la administración de Miguel de la Madrid, 1988.

A limited edition (200), signed, dated and authenticated digital prints, original size,9×12  are being offered until 12/31/2010) for 250 pesos.
This painting celebrates the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The image is of Emanuel Zapata and Still a strong, modern symbol of the Struggle by the disenfranchised and poor.
Payment Can Be at the time of delivery for local residences of Oaxaca and other local and valley areas. Ordering is through Jaguars Speaks, Alan Goodin Speaks. Payment is cash only. Allow two weeks for delivery if necessary. Contact Blue, the artist at  Instructions for mailing … Payment terms and postage added.


Trans: Mario Castro

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