small songs I sing
to join
my voice to other voices
hidden in the grass

Monday, August 26, 2013


stone rooms
filled with Mayan dreams—
the wings
of frightened swallows
beat against my chest

Chaak the rain god’s
blackened face
over the temple steps
a double rainbow

a jade mask
for a dead king . . .
in the window
of the tourist bus
the beggar’s face

on cobblestone . . .
the boy
with the withered foot
hawks used shoes

an altar stone
grooved for the flow of blood . . .
in each little shop
an armed guard
struts his shotgun

the sun god’s
nightly passage
through a two-headed snake—
I dream of finding
the second mouth

of smoke rising
from a ritual fire
we cleanse ourselves—
these bundles of rue

flower water
in a plastic bottle
in my carry-on
the shaman’s essence

Atlas Poetica 14, March 2013

~Impressions of our trip to Mayan sites in Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras in November 2012. 

1 comment:

  1. All of these tanka are very rich and vivid. I was glad to read this in ATPO.