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Poems by K’ojol Bal’m – Francisco Icala


Love, Love

My soul is lit by a flame

A burning fire

Whose heat melts the cold

You exist

It lights my path

I don’t stumble or slip

My heart beats

My pulse is a song

Rising to the stars, arriving at Paxil.

You exist

I see the light in the Jaguar’s eyes

The night is no longer so dark

And fear vanishes.

You exist

I caress your hands

My desire is in your dreams.

I rest beneath your gaze

You name is my song and my prayer.

You exist

Your strength is my energy

 Your soul, my dream

You exist

With your thoughts and feelings

I take them and write a

love song

You exist

I write verses on your lips

I wander your body until I find love’s key,

I kidnap our love and there will be no escape, only possession.

I exist

                                                                                                                                                        Translated by Paul M. Worley


Loq’ laj Nan Ulew!!!
Oh, Mother Earth!!!


Your pain beats in my heart.
My eyes moisten with your tears
My feet feel your sadness
as I walk.

Watching you die is painful
As I’m dying, too. 
Every night the Moon Ixmukane
Comes down to drink your tears. 
Every morning Heart of Sky
Warms your womb with the light of the sun. 

My heart can feel your great love
When the leaves shed their leaves, dropping
Them, carpeting you with leaves and moss
And adorning your face while the birds sing.

Your sweet charms awaken great spiritual passions,
Your majestic breasts are the volcanoes,
Like the crystalline waters that run through your veins
Like the green rebozo that you wear, across your womb,
Down to your feet, like the “Sierra Madre”
Where the Quetzal flies freely, your love enraptures me. 

Let me see your wounds, let me see inside you. 
Give me your hands, give me your feet.
Let Grandmother Ixmukane use marrow to heal your wounds
Made deep inside you by miners’ hands
Wake up, my mother, wake up, my mother. 

I will exalt your name before the Creator,
I lift you up in my incense, I offer you the ancestral drink
That the sun’s creator pours down as light from mountain paths
Down through the vines,
While you bathe in the fog to the beat
Of the crickets singing under the full Moon.

Oh, Mother Earth, let Grandmother Ixq’anil plant the fruit
Of love in you, let Alom and K’ajolom place
The divine semen in you, the spiritual seed of sacred corn
Oh, Mother Earth, great lover of peace!!!

Oh Mother, oh Mother Earth!!!
Today I sing you, today I dance you, today I cry out for you with drums
Flutes and the guarimba, because when I give
My last breath you will envelop me as my spirit leaves
Me, going down the road to Paxil, where from on high I’ll see how you take
My body into your green, green grass, nothing more than a footprint that I left during my short life.

                                                                                                                                                        Translated by Paul M. Worley

The Light and the Mayan Resistance

O Resistance of the Maya!


Like those fields greener than green,

Like those high-mountain forests,

Like the silver moon above on Mayan altars,


Like the steep-banked river gorges,

Where the Xara and the quetzal sing,

Where the broad plains of my land

Bathe and wash away,


Like the crystal waters of her rivers

And like the unmatched beauty of her

soil surges the resistance of the Maya and

with it your immortal name.

Oh, resistance of my people!

How beautiful you are, how lovely!

You shine your light like a star,

Like the morning star I'c Oq'ej at dawn,

Oh, resistance of the Maya!

How wondrous are your traditions!

How deep-rooted your ways!

Your rushing waters,

Your fragrant flowers,

These are the resistance of the Maya.

Oh, resistance of the Maya!

Yours is the divine voice that said:

Let there be light, 

And light came to be.

And from that moment forward,

Threads of sweet words

Like those spoken by the Indigenous people,

When they bow before the altar of Pascual Abaj

Who when they pray, pray thus:

O Mother, Mother Earth!

O Creator of the Sky!

Grant me life, grant me what I need to live,

grant me faith, grant me your blessing.

O Creator of the Sky,

Make my light shine as a song of peace,

and not of war.  Oh, Creator, I thank you!

Because you keep me company on my path,

This day I bless you and I adore you.

This day I send you my prayers,

This day and evermore will I follow you.

Oh, thank you for giving us light!

Light was created, and the mountains

Trembled and came into being.

Light was created, and the darkness

Lamenting ceased.  Light was created

And the Mayan people smiled.

Oh, thank you for creating the light!

Oh, thank you for creating the light!

Oh, thank you for creating the light!

Oh, thank you for creating the light!

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