The words taste good
Like fevered hot bowls
Of salsa, chocolate and brown pinto beans.
Oiling my tongue,
Burning my nose
And smokin’ my mind with
Palm platter morsels
From oil drum fires
Frying fish and tortillas.
Over my lips, tongue and
Giving me glee.
Joy in the wild, exotic, and
Humid Jungle flavors
And taste that satisfy me!
© 2003 by Alan L. Goodin
No Mais, No Pais
Through adobe dust
Indigenous eyes seek God in belfries,
Ancestral shadows of their history,
Searching for sprits in ochre towers
seeking reality in dreams
blown down narrow, snake-like callejones
under red-tiled roofs
huts made of palm and reed
that shade carvers, potters, painters,
scribes and Indian weavers
avoiding the sun’s rays.
They seem lost in daydreams masking
their pueblo’s rites and hopes
hidden behind their curious smiles.
Their wandering brown eyes,
All seeing, reading faces
in ten thousand zocalos,
with outstretched hands
praying for pesos across the reddish-brown,
forgotten belly of America.
learned-native people with timeless crafts,
struggling–dying under sorrow and loss hope
like starving burros stumbling
up and down steep cobblestone streets and muddy trails
day by day to flee
the cruel poverty of yesterday
only to awaken to the stench of
tomorrow’s dead dreams,
blown in, under this morning’s door.
God-forsaken religious land,
people consumed with crosses
in a land of Santos and Virgenes
offering small streams of hope,
only to be washed away in a deluge of sadness,
punctuated by the gleam in a child’s eyes
set upon a melting ice cream cone.
Scream at them, adobe pueblos,
Built with their clay of mud and blood,
rouged walls build of screams and dreams
in pueblos twice as poor as potter’s field.
Listen to them, concrete walls of government,
Hidden behind thick walls
Built with their blood and sweat, yet
You are deaf to their tears and cries
escaping these hungry people.
Rejoice adobe people,
Encased inside twin masks
half flesh and half blood, the history of Indians:
Eagle, Snake, Sun, earth,
heaven and hell.
The people wait for change,
unfold a new country under their bandera,
field of the red, white and green,
their symbol, these children
born of Corn, Cactus and Chiles.
Dia de Independencia, 2010
Alan L. Goodin 2010 ©
“No mais, No pais.” Kayum Yuk Maax told me. Poem is based on a sign hung over the home of Kayum, a Lacandón Maya Shaman (Hach Winik, or “real people”) in the eastern jungles of Chiapas.