Tomorrow Triumphant

PRAYER FOR THE SOUL OF MY MEMORY
May the people have
peace and be happy
   Popul Vuh

I sink my hands into the earth
and the seeds escape through my fingers
like the flowing tears of the countryside.
I kiss the clay amphitheatre
of furrows swollen with dew
and the kiss seeks a floral wind
to ignite the wounded swallow
in the sensual pupil of the stars.
I unite my blood with the fresh earth
to gather the resonance of my body
in the blue future of words.
I sink my heart into the center of the earth
and unfurl the feats of the cornfields,
cornfields full of cereal
courtesies, of pure and high cereal
courtesies, sustained by my infinite
flight, yes, I am always singing
always struggling, so that
the world may exchange its sadness
for a simple cascade of joy,
for a spark of love
for a rose of sweet
words and sweet eyes.

We all know that the earth is wide
and eternally new.
We know it’s as wide
as the hips
of the greatest harvest.
And we all know that an intimate sun
lights the birth
of fruits and flowers
and that a blind force
pushes color and leaves
toward the transparent hand
of the winds.

But know,
know well that no one laughs
in the furrowed fields of flowers,
know well that no one
will share his joy with the plants,
know well that no one  affirms
the birds’ singing
or the ice blue gaze
of the ocean fog.
But know,
know well that no one
who sings is truly at peace
like the sparrow or the trill
of the winds, in the green
vegetal throat of the pines,
know well that no one
now converses with twilight
and the star burst kiss of night.

Know well that no one
carves the centuries in hard stone
nor counts the phases of the moon,
know well that no one
now speaks with volcanos and stones
because their high temples
are crumbling on their souls
without the heavens knowing it,
without it being known by the mountains
or the blue gesture of the bays.

Let us love, nevertheless,
the sweet shoulders of the earth,
put our ancient nest
to the chlorophyll breast of the jungle
and learn the language of trees,
le us retrace our steps
to the first cultivated seed
and leave our song embossed
on its sonorous cotyledon.
Let us love, nevertheless,
silent campesinos of my country,
gods multiplied by hunger,
true examples of the Mayan fire,
let us love in spite of everything
the full emotion of our clay
because tomorrow, Mayan campesinos,
grandchildren of corn, grandparents of my hands,
the perfumed purity of the earth
shall be yours
the handful of pollen
that always waited in ambush
to upset your lives
and the celestial track of the wind
shall rise from pure love
to save the soul of the earth.

  • trans. by Wifredo Q. Castaño