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Dale Pendell


(compiled from pharmakognosis's chapter on teonanacatl)


hello, spirit, welcome, dear spirit,
my cougar, my puma, my snarling lover,
bring me words, I know you.
And now I see your wound,
and now I see your death,
and wailing is my only song.

come in, you orphans,
come in, bear, twin bear cubs,
with beads you come,
dressed in woven beads you come,
in patterns in the patterns we weave,
turquoise beads, beads of yellow ochre,
with black beads and red beads woven
on your back, my lizard, my writhing one,
you come bearing grief,
          and now i know what keening is.

bring me words, my panther wife,
blinded by brilliance we are.
we, the clever ones, the peacocks,
blinded by brilliance we are,
the beads, the beautiful beads,
the beads in patterns, the turquoise beads,
the beads we weave,
they blind us, O mother

and now i know, i too, know,
i who have heard your cry,
i who have voiced your wailing,
now i know where words come from,
now i know where language begins,
now i know what real words sound like,
 and now i know what keening is

and now i know why we walk upright
and why we leave offerings
i know the panther's cry
 and now i know what keening is

and now i know,
i, slowest of your sons, O mother,
now i too know why we decorate ourselves
and why we sing the song of the water-jug,
 and now i know what keening is

and now i know, i too, know,
why we walk in beauty in the sunlight
why we wear woven threads, yes,
why we sing songs of woven threads

you have entered, graceful snarler,
my predator who won't be tamed,
the dogs are howling.
you bring me words, you bring me wailing
          and now i know what keening is

for now i have seen beauty, i have seen courage,
and i know why we walk upright.
stand tall dear daughters, O sons,
walk in grace and beauty,
you who have heard the cougars call,
          we who know what keening is


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