the drum beat could be heard
from the four directions since the beginning
of time, since mother earth first whispered
the rhythms of life into the thirsty young ear
of the cedar tree.
and the cries and screams of the
very first drum made their way through the
forests and deserts, through the plains and
the mountains, paying homage to the eternal
cirde of life.
and it was the song of the drum
which gave thanks to el gran creador
in both life and death; the heart beat of the
land which took us from it and on to the next world.
the drums were playing when jesucristo
se murio' y nos quito' todos nuestros pecados,
pero solo para dejar espacio paia otros.
pero la conquista was never a new sin.
we have been doing it to each other since
father sky first put his arms
around the land and with a great abrazo
squeezed our future into being; this was
the day that the drums played loudly, the
day that the ships tip-toed onto the shores
under the black shadow of fate, hidden behind
the festering mask of conversion.
and the drums were playing when
la malinche gave birth to the mongrel
child of destiny under the watchful eyes of the
midnight stars who have seen everything since
the beginning, y asi fue que el primer nino de la raza,
todavia cuvierto en la sangre de la vida, looked up at
the moon and shattered the night like glass with
its first shrill cry as it entered this world saying
here i am
the drums were outlawed shortly thereafter,
for everyone knew, including the priests, that
the drum could not be shackled, its essence
the rhythm of life, the song of freedom
and the beat of the long past. silence never
overtook the drum song; we hid the rhythms
in the crevices of memory.
and it was perhaps an ancient drum song
that first came to juanito's mind that fateful day
that day when the drum, in a sense, made its way
into the church at last, with its head held high.
that day at tepayak when nuestra senora, tonanzin
called all her children together and fused
the first of many worlds together.
el es dios.
--Marc David Pinate