Joanne Kyger

(19 November 1934)

From 'Marian Lopez Calixto's Story,' (Visit To Maya Land, Fall 1976) - Poem by Joanne Kyger

In the time of the ancients
the earth went dark for 5 days
and they broke many pots
and the pots spoke
And the demons in the dark came forth
from them:
The lion, the snake, the jaguar
And the people perished from them.

The little children sprouted wings.
'You will die mother'.
And the child went outside
at once
And changed into a bird
And the children survived.

At dawn, no single person
left alive
Only birds,
Jay, woodpecker, sparrow . . .

The the people were transformed. They were good
again. The sun came out
in the soft white radiance.
And our father in heaven came down
to make some other people
First from clay

But they couldn't move well
and he destroyed them again
Pulverized the clay
and prepared the clay
and made the clay alive.
And looked for food for them
But they didn't like the grasses
he gave them
so he gave them
the delicious part
of his thigh
And they fought trying to take it away
from eachother.
'It must be that they like my body then'
said our father.
And the clay
began to talk
and became human
one part man, one part woman.


Are you here now?
I am here now

Are you here?
I am here.

Have you come here?
I have come here.

Will you drink a little
to sweep away the fear?

Breathing the gods, getting the goods

I dreamed I went to see the officials
of our town
They were seated at a long table
I was handed a basket
Inside the basket were many flutes
I chose one,
one that was not too new.
I had been given the soul of the flute
That is how I can play
the flute today

Just not too far away, the dreams
just on the other side,
of this lazy after comida dream
the Dutch students playing ping pong
and softly talking on the other side
of the courtyard; Beach Boys from the boys'

Now vast sky of clouds move over
Now the sun warms
the land's dreamy Espanol

my lord
I, Joanne
where, am I in time
Me is memory
through the courtyard door
take me out, take me out

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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