The Quetzal's Song

July 27, 2011
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In a land of golden dreams
A red and green bird hums
Slowly lifting his stunning voice
To the beating of wooden drums

But his voice awakens the volcanoes
Their fiery hearts anew with life
The fire within them blazes and grows
Heated by their own inner strife

They begin to spit out smoke
Dropping ashes on the earth beneath
Threatening to extinguish innocent lives
And turn the cherished land to heath

Thus to make them sleep again
The bird sings of the Mayan blood in my veins
And of my ancient Maya ancestors
Who once resided in the land he reins

He describes to them the temples they built
Dedicated to wise rulers of the past
To make them like Gods in the afterlife
And to allow their spirits to last

He tells them about an ancient tale
Of a jaguar who prowls the heavens at night
To prey on the Lords of the Underworld
And protect the world from evil might

He recites an olden lullaby
Once sung by a widowed mother
As she held her only child
And promised him a life like no other

He recounts the tragic memory
Of the day the Spaniards came to shore
When they took what my ancestors had built
And burned it all to the floor

He ends with how the Maya people
Were changed from day to day
As they were forced into new lives
Based on the Spaniards’ ways

The volcanoes find peace with his stories
Each inferno reducing to a simple spark
As they slowly fall back into their slumbers
The bird vanishes into the dark

But somewhere in my Mayan heart
The red and green bird continues to hum
Slowly matching his stunning voice
To the beating of a wooden drum

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