Maya Blue (at Chichen Itza)
By Ann K. Schwader
25 August 2008
Imperishable blue this bitter sky
that Chaak abandons, brighter day by day
until maize withers. Soon the rain-priests say
someone—or all of us—must go to die.
Beside our great cenote where the earth
has sunk to darkness like a clubbed-in skull,
they kindle leaves & clay with rare copal
to heal a god who summons clouds to birth.
Amid their sacred smoke, a treasure gleams:
cool hue of water, life . . . & sacrifice
now struggling in their grip, this season's price
fresh-painted to placate Chaak with his screams.
Above us in the silence yet to come,
deep thunder speaks—then lightning-axes fall
among the stubborn clouds. How beautiful
the storm upon our faces, & how numb
our hearts to one necessity has claimed.
So history will claim our temple walls,
our ball courts, altars, glyphs beyond recall,
our gods forgotten & our kings unnamed.
Yet centuries ahead, when men seek clues
to solve our lives, one certainty remains:
among these bones we bartered for the rains,
fate gazes back imperishable blue.