Wednesday, December 13, 2006

PT: At The Corner of Guatemala & Argentina


Directional Artifacts


South, at Tenochitlan is blue
As water, indigo or azure as chalchihuites
Thrown into the temple mortar,
Is the season of rain, and life,
And wet sky.

East is the red son of the flowery wars,
The moon-sister of Huitzilopochtli, slain
And dismembered on the hill of Coatepec,
And her thin, red-nailed hands.

North is black as the volcanic disks
Of his stone eyes, black as the abyss
Of the executioner's block.

The west is white as the sickness
Of her death, white as the bones
Of her children, fishbones,
The bones of frogs and the skulls
Of feathered serpents.

Their colors shine with an
Extraordinary luster,
The holiness of direction
Excavated two meters below
Street level at the corner of Guatemala
And Argentina.


(This is an old one, from The Book of Fours)
.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is lovely- especially the penultimate stanza! Just getting frogs and their unmentioned green in the same stanza as the bones of her children is amazing.

If you want to write something new this week, visit my prompt from the prompt. . .

brian said...

Love the poem and all the images and names and how they tell a story of a culture that is no more. Paved over and buried by progress.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful imagery. I had to work on name pronunciation, however!

Anonymous said...

I love how the directions ground the poem, and how everything comes together in the end. This is really a powerful poem, Pepek!

Great picture, too!

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing it. The four sacred directions, as with many N.Amer. native tribes. Only up here it is red, black, white and yellow. With the distance and time the colors changed. I love the image too.

liz elayne said...

Your words are a gift - forcing me to read and reread because I want to relish it all...

"at the corner of guatemala and argentina"

fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Old it may be - but a goodun! It is such a strong poem with strong imagery and striking descriptions.

pepektheassassin said...

Thanks everyone for stopping to read. I have had such a busy day I haven't been able to read yours. Tomorrow I'll try to play catch up!

pepektheassassin said...

Ha! It just occurred to me that this is just in time for Mel Gibson's Apocalypto! What timing....

twitches said...

This is just awesome. I love it.