Maya Poem by Michael Lucas

Walking along the shores of this river in the lush jungle with the air as hot and thick as blood and the screeches of guacamaya bursting through the air…

By the river I see someone … and I start to faintly hear her hum… a lullaby in her tongue, that gorgeous native ancient tongue. She washes her clothes in the river along with the rest of what little garments she for her family and herself…her cracked, worn and wrinkled hands scrub away the same cloth over and over again. Then she picks up her pot for her family’s daily water, nothing has broke her from this daily routine that she has done for over two k’atuns nothing has ever broken this cycle…

Until now! As she hears the scream of a guacamaya as the bird swoops down over the river as if she is attacking her prey, the morning sun shines on her gorgeous green feathers, the color of long life, the shimmer of the primordial sea of the underworld that waters the axis mundi, the tree of all life! The mother’s pot hits the ground as she gasps and her eyes open wide like mirrors which reflect the descending bird.

Upon her wrinkled face ruined by the wheels of time bearing wrinkles and scars like the hieroglyphs carved upon an ancient stela, but even wiser. Breaks! And her jaw drops in awe with just as much expression as a scream. The bird swoops across before the women can even complete her gasp. She stands still with her wise elderly face in the same frozen expression. Then a thin red line appears across her neck from a mere microscopic cut from an obsidian blade, the red line rapidly grows into a gash until her head is only attached by a scrape of skin.

The flesh rips and her head falls to the ground… with her decapitated body still standing the silence is broken with the lullaby that she hummed…now it was louder than ever! The blood spotting wound explodes! With a fury of flowers blooming, lotuses that bloom into the beautiful white of a pale moonlight. Then snakes burst forth with scaly coats in myriad of colors…I look into the eyes of one of these creatures of wisdom and without words they tell me what I have witnessed. They speak, “She is a tree of life that bears eternal fruit…she has not died but she has transformed into the nutrients of the soul (why).”      

So, with tears of love filling my eyes overwhelmed with the passionate majesty of the sight. I ask myself, “Will the obsidian blade ever free my head from this body, my soul (why) from this world?”


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