Piedra de Tortuga, Turtle Rock

photography by Susa SilvermarieSacred Tortuga.
When you watched over the pueblo,
when you protected Teopantitla
and the children played at your massive stone back,
I think you listened all day, all night,
to Lake Chapala calling,
from the base of the mountain calling,
calling down the water of the river where you stood.

Sacred Rock,
they needed a tow truck to move you
down to the shore in Ajijic.
I think you miss the running riversound.
But still you keep the pueblo grounded.
The centuries pass, the people change,
but you, oh earth compressed to rock,
you, oh long-lived one,
still you anchor Heart of Sky to Heart of Earth.
Still you teach the people who we are,
who we really are.

In May, when the Coca tribe
on the riverbank in Teopantitla.
readied all their offerings,
I wonder what they sang to you.
Before they descended to the lake
to ask Diosa Machis for the rain,
I think they circled round you, Turtle,
creature of both water and the land.
This morning I notice
the concentration of your silence.
I wonder, are you are listening
through the curtain of time to the chants of Los Cocas?
I almost hear them too, through you;
an echo from nearby, and not so long ago.

Unacquainted with the history,
unfamiliar with the culture,
I arrive as immigrant.
Yet I am an earthling,
like those you protected where the river begins.
And like the people then,
I honor you as a living being.
Today, Old One, I listen hard
with spirit ears wide open.
I place tobacco on your granite back.
And I offer little seashells
to thank you for your teaching.
Every place you go is home,
you murmur in your rock voice.
Every place we find ourselves
is home, is home, is home.

©Susa Silvermarie 2020

photography by Susa Silvermarie

photography by Susa Silvermarie

 

 

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