The walker came down from Tucson last night just after seven
striding the horizon in phainein form; the strider appeared
an occurrence extraordinaire as if a god from out a cloud
ten thousand feet tall had just arrived for dinner.
I was out grilling salmon when the feathered one swallowed
the mountains on the horizon at the edge of town and not quite
done, I snatched the foil pan from the fire and ran before the
great one began shedding its skin all over my supper.
Some folks I know call the walker “old man”; some call him
the storm serpent and some just say “Avanyu Sendo comes hither”
and mean something biblical and primordial, a tall strider
big as god moves like a serpent behind a wall of dust.
When Avanyu walks the sun fades; Avanyu is hungry and it is
the dinner hour. The serpent is no invited guest and so I hide
indoors and eat my fish watching as he swallows Phoenix
on TV. I can just as easily watch it from the front window.
Considering it’s a storm god, I hospitably relent and agree to share
repast by the window. Avanyu’s tongue is made of barbed
lightening and dining with the serpent god can be more
than a spectacle should there be dinner conversation.
Avanyu is no good in his youth the story goes; folk gossip in dread
P’o anyu is a monster who threatens to flood because he, nearly one
hundred miles wide, is a big boy is all; he means well folk say
into the swollen street swallowed earlier in a wall of dust.
Tonight he’s more polite in watching what comes out of his mouth
although, a diminished flood of sorts pours out when he opens it
and this is true because dining with any god is one wild party; the
cleaning up afterward takes all next day and requires a hose.
I can’t help thinking TallStrider a kind of benevolent serpent, too
while the hose, what comes out of its mouth, descends like a river
onto the patio floor to rid the way my dinner guest could chew and
how, the way Avanyu left last night in a hurry, made his clothes fall off.
©2011 Feathered Gods stephanie pope Bugs & Monsters mythopoetry.com