All moons redux

All moons, all years, all winds,

reach their fullness, and pass.

Blood flows to its silent thrones of power and authority.

The radiant gods

measure out our hours of celebration;

our days under the benevolent sun,

our nights under the stars.

And until time ends,

in vigilance,

these gods we have trapped within the stars,

look down us, our suns, and all our structures.

from the Chilam Balam de Chumayel, translated from Spanish versions, by Joanna Wiebe

Today on the train on the way to work I addressed the issue of this translation again, and came up with the version shown above. This is the poem which I intend to appear at the beginning of my book, Birth Mother, as a dedication.

I am much happier with this version than anything I have done previously. It’s shorter, for one thing, and flows a little better. Most of all, I think I have done a better job of capturing the thought in the last sentence.  Here are these batch of gods, supreme beings, all powerful and authoritative, whom we have drawn to us by our neediness. So they are attached to us and our stars, trapped in a way, by their ceaseless caring for us, but at the same time, they are above and beyond us, our suns, and our every concept of every thing.

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