Mayan Voice

In Chiapas, the war is not over

By Phil Goldvarg
Published on LatinoLA: September 18, 2002

Mayan Voice

"Chiapas is experiencing an emergency and is at a critical state today, which could explode more seriously at any moment. The assassinations of Zapatistas at the hands of paramilitary groups have caused great tension in Chiapas and a large mobilization by both armies, the Mexican Army as well as the EZLN, over the last 18 months."


We Mayan/Zapatista voices sing of survival,
we know
our roots went so deep
they tapped the explosive heat
of our mother's center,
they wrapped around la noche,
pulled the sun from raging storms,
covered our sangre,
living home
that was a universal bond for the generations,
there was a strong wind,
slipping thru the brush,
foreign, unrecognizable to our ancestors,
it came like the north's whipping sand.
blinding village eyes,
leaving streaks across skin,
this intruding death mask spoke of marches,
eviction from our land,
laughed at the bone hardness of faith,
we watched dreams fade,
disappearing from sight,
covered by thickening mist,
our river souls sobbed silently in regret
and confusion,
our circle of connection was demolished,
cracked like shells
of lost unborn turtles,
their kidnapped bodies
riding currents of an unknown sea,
our roots went deep
into this greed filled invasion,
this eviction that was too weak
to destroy our spiritual home.

No olvideremos Acteal, Chiapas,
no olvideremos
los hermanos y hermanas de nosotros,
the earth is filled con recuerdos,
unbirthed voices waiting for expression,
eyes of ancestors that protest
the 500 year old assault on Mayan heart,
these relations will dream
tomorrow's resistance,
burials are ceremonies of care and respect,
the earth of Chiapas holds it's children
with open hands
so they may rise
against an oppressors terror,
days that follow the massacre
are filled with manipulation,
fiction accounts,
absurd fairy tale explanations
of this mass murder,
the two faces of the PRI spit out masked concern
and military venom,
school of america children killers
armed with u.s. devastation,
60,000 assassins replace fields of corn,
execute livestock and Mayan,
burn crops and hope,
empty villages with fear,
rape sacred home of life,
hills are filled with hungry children,
with death, so easily cured,
with the last breath of an elder's heart,
villages move behind the rocks,
tremble in the cold rejection of night's breath,
naked familias wander thru mud,
pull against sucking grip,
go in empty circles,
fearing the direction that leads to home
and crisp military commands for their death,
We madres de Chiapas, cherish our seed,
wrap it in love, wash the child with our blood,
put our bones into their small huesos,
thru la noche we are their protectors,
we teach the way of survival,
only to see them become still
in the spring of our dream,
as the earth swallows our ninos in an early harvest,
we madres are left to walk the dawn and cry alone,
mothers with empty arms
sing to disappeared ninos,
young sons cry to fathers
who sleep beneath the earth,
their broken bones pierced by scrape metal
of pentagon and corporate garbage collectors,
schools are flat against the ground,
lessons pressed beyond hearing,
teacher-guides evaporated
by the pressure of implosion,
the women create a human fence,
deny army entrance to their home,
fear does not swim in their proud eyes,
they push their bodies against AK-47s
and metal stares of their mirror images,
their fists speak words resistance,
their voices sing a cry of revolution,
paramilitary roam like hungry vultures,
paz y justicia,
mascaras rojas,
anti-Zapatista cowards,
sharp beaks ready to strike and run,
strike and hide,
strike and kill
they are the spirit of violent death,
green beret - special forces - kabili
trained in murder and counter insurgency,
to slice open bellies of mothers,
swing their dream children thru the air
in celebration of conquest,
trained to use hollow tip bullets
that spin in hunger,
eat into Mayan flesh,
expand in cannibalistic greed,
leave volcanic craters,
lava colored screams
along the brown flesh of the Pueblo,
the PRI has negotiated a peace agreement with itself,
signed in great ceremony on opulent tables,
signed without Zapatista, sin Maya,
las luchas are never ending,
a string of beads along endless necklaces,
they are the daily marches
into edges of oppression,
razor sharp sightless death
that has no corazon to see the gente's pain,
earth is filled with memory,
unbirthed voices waiting for expression,
eyes of recent ancestors
protest the 500 year old assault on Mayan heart,
all relations dream tomorrow's resistance,
La Tierra Madre holds children
with open hands
so they may rise again,
Los Zapatistas, los Mayas cantan,
we have nothing to loose
and everything to gain,
to dream,
to embrace en el dia nuevo,
cantan, we weave mascaras de sangre,
take over pueblos that are ours
y los mascaras de nosotros
and our faces
blend into one voice,
cantamos basta,
cantamos basta - basta - basta,
no olvideremos Acteal, Chiapas,
we will not forget you.

Phil Goldvarg 1998

Image: Detail from "Revolution Evolution" by Hector Ponce. http://www.muralart.com/pastmonths.html

About Phil Goldvarg:
Phil Goldvarg a poet & artist in Sacramento, CA, a member of the Zapatista Solidarity Coalition

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