Sunday, February 16, 2014

Why the Sun Follows the Moon

author’s note:

I wrote this poem after reading John Bierhorst’s Mythology of Mexico and Central America.  But this story can not be found in that excellent book.


The sun didn't happen by accident...

Obviously, our great hero


broke his head open
high on the granite mountain
at the edge of our world:

he sacrificed
for all the hungry children
by beating his skull on a stone
until finally the cranium burst
and corn kernels poured forth
in a grand eruption
of golden flame.

Since that time,
has run through the sky
chased by his own brain fire.

His sister tracks him,
day after day--
cooling him down
night after night--
she is the moon,
she is Totamapua.

She knows he wishes to remain
alone with his wound
so she keeps her distance

but as he sinks down in exhaustion
each night, she begins to cry
and so, cools his inferno:

as her tears flow
we see the moon go
from full to empty

but because her love overwhelms her
the moon fills back up again...

while down below,
the people watch and wonder
if Moon Sister will ever
join with Sun Brother

--her husband, her father, her son, her lover--

he whose ferocity powers our lives,
he whose burning light feeds our crops,
whose madness often scorches our soil
and burns our crops--

whose brain fire too often drives us mad.

At night, in the darkness
he fights to find his reason--
with only Totamapua’s light
to guide him.

One day, he’ll heal his wound.
One day, we'll heal Sun Brother.

Moon Sister knows
that in truth, it is not
she who follows him
but he who follows her

so she waits for the day
when he’ll realize his need,
she waits for the day
when he’ll see what he seeks.

One day she’ll heal his wound.
One day she’ll heal us.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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Blogger Goldenrod said...

A lovely myth, and a beautifully-written poem, Michael.

6:45 PM  

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