As with the Greeks, Aztec
Gods nursed fatal sibling rivalries.
Obsidian Butterfly gave birth
To Golden Bells and Blue Hummingbird.
The blue-skinned brother
(His father a ball of blue feathers)
Beheaded his golden sister
When she tried to kill
Their black-winged mother.
Her golden face still shines,
But turns in shame at each new moon.
As with the Christians, Aztec
Gods sent floods to punish sinners.
Noah saved some to start over.
Hunab washed the world
Free of sin and sinners
And started again with a clean slate.
In Nice, the French hold
A Battle of Flowers each year,
A symbolic song to Spring,
To rebirth and regeneration.
Each year the Aztec
Fought Flower Wars
With Feathered Warriors
To capture the food of the gods.
Catholics eat the body
And drink the blood of Christ
To save their souls for eternity.
Aztecs offered their own
And others’ bodies and blood
To their Gods to save their world
The Hebrews still wait for their Messiah,
Denying all pretenders.
Aztecs waited for Feathered Serpent
And welcomed the liar, Cortez.
He offered Aztec blood to his Christian God,
And Aztec gold to his Spanish King.
He destroyed their world
I have read the pictures in the stone,
Followed Jaguar down naked streets,
The soft pad of his paws loud in the silence,
Seen the Goddess in all her myriad forms,
Rotund, fecund, Reubanesque mother of us all,
Worn the serpent in my skirt
And heard the Golden Bells, Krishna’s Flute,
Chased Golden Apples,
Stood in my seashell,
Adrift in my father’s foam,
Been taught by Raven, that trickster,
And Loki, Thor’s bane and brother,
Of a brave, new world,
Looked for my Corn King,
Lithe and lean and green with longing.
I have harvested his death
And seen him born again in Nile’s mud,
Gathered and loved him, my Osiris.
I have danced with Grandmother Spider in the stars,
Through the swirling spirals of galaxies.
I have swelled my soul with stories.
I have known the pictures in the stone.
Grief Song at Tikal
I hear the wind in the trees,
And I am filled with desire.
With stingray spines and jade knives,
I bring you back.
You still wear that tight-woven necklace of rope.
How Ixtab howls to lose her favorite lover.
She wants you back.
How red my blood on the green blade.
I will speak with you of paradise,
You, brave warrior and suicide,
Doubly beloved of Ixtab.
We speak scant moments.
How red my blood beads
Where spines pierce.
The jealous Goddess is impatient.
You return to Ixtab.
Like the Nine Lords of Night,
I must wait for the Sixth World.
Perhaps you will be born again a bird.
Perhaps the priests will offer me to Inti.
Perhaps I will die in childbirth.
The night surrounds me.
Naked streets and again,
The moon shines on blue.
Silent, in my blood, I sing
As a story poet, Kay Kinghammer shares humorous, ironic, formal and free form poetry. Audiences have enjoyed her spoken word performances at Seattle's Bumbershoot and the Whidbey Island Poetry Festival. Samples of her written work appear in Granny Smith Magazine, Prospective – A Journal of Speculation, and Electric Windmill Press.