From 2000 to 2005, I was a member of the Latino literary troupe, Los Nortenos in Seattle. For the Day of the Dead, we hosted and produced literary events. I read this poem at one of the events.
Phoenix Rising from the Ashes
Death comes in shades; Grim Reaper’s many faces.
Secrets are revealed in the stars leaving traces.
True identities sought in the mad rush of the times.
Once we were tribal and we have left that behind.
Buried somewhere in a desert, mountain or stream.
Until the day destiny calls in a whisper, in a scream.
The rocks breathe our names; the river sings our songs.
They grab our attention and we feel something is wrong.
Illusions bend our faces back to us in tricked mirrors
And we choose not to listen, we recoil in horror.
We are not the names or identities given to us.
Like a phoenix, we rise from the proverbial ashes.
Death is an illusion and life is magically unreal.
We peel back the layers to see the truth revealed.
We reflect on our persecuted chromosomes.
We forget our ancestor spirits in our skeletons.
And the fires that burned in ancient times.
Shielded by preoccupations and factual lies.
We rise from our burial and kiss the galaxies.
We gather in pyramids beneath cosmologies.
Red, yellow, black and white, we are one.
Tribes returning to gather the moon and sun.
Someday we will see we are not alone.
And we will hear the speech of our bones.
We will crossover and sneak past the reaper.
The gods and goddesses of the past appear,
Smiling and laughing at our remembrance.
We wash paint from our faces and dance.
Around the fires, ignited by tribal drums.
Twilight gazes on us as we return home.
By Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved