“Mictecacihuatl” The Sunday Whirl #28

She brews fruit on open flame, calling souls of vanished loved ones; gurgling marigolds and cockscomb fill a dark room’s altar, copal incense burning sweet and thick encasing the air. Lady of the dead with her jaw gaping, swallows the stars of day, leaving flickering carved out eyes. She thumps across the sidewalk, a bottle of magic tucked beneath her robes, promising green meadows for respite, and days of tempered sunshine. From a roof’s gutter an owl watches, twitching, caught by her presence.

La Catrina rests
bloody, crooked hands on aged
bones in endless sleep

‘Meek-teka-see-wahdl’ or ‘Meek-teka-kee-wadl’, in Aztec mythology she guards over the bones of the dead.


27 responses to ““Mictecacihuatl” The Sunday Whirl #28

  1. Oh, man, does this freak me out. Scares me from inside out. Vivid, frightening. A worthy Halloween poem!

  2. Morbid and eerie, scary too! Being Halloween makes it acceptable I gather! Great offering Pam!


    • Hank, much of Aztec history is morbid. The human sacrifices were astounding. Mictecacihuatl was purportedly sacrificed as an infant to become the goddess of the underworld, her duty is to guard over the bones of the dead. Fascinating tales.

  3. Intriguing. I love the idea of days of tempered sunshine: they sound very agreeable at this end of the year!

  4. Spooky. Very halloween!

  5. Oh WOW! Great Halloween write, Pamela! “Swallows the stars of day” is wonderful!

    • Thanks Marianne. In the mythology it says she devours the stars of the day or something to that affect. I couldn’t get that image out of my head, so I reworded it. La Catrina is a cartoon figure of Santa Muerte and that comes from Mictecacihuatl. Pictures of Santa show her with an owl, or a globe and scythe.

  6. Love the Azetc mythology built around and in this. This appeals to me on several levels for different reasons. A very nice, tight write from you but, love the mythology involved.
    Love the picture of mother & child. Wonderful to see. 🙂

  7. ddt, I incorporated the mythology along with tradition of Dia de los Muertos. I had lengthy discussion with my students Friday about the different practices on this holiday. I was amazed to find out so many different tales I wasn’t aware of.
    Isn’t that picture just wonderful? My husband found it and told me about it.

  8. I loved your write, Pamela. I have always been intrigued by the Aztecs. So much of their culture remains a mystery. We can only hope their calendar is wrong.

  9. Thanks Mike. They are indeed a mysterious civilization. Quite advanced in astronomy and mathematics, but very barbaric in the views on human sacrifice. I am not sure I believe the world will end in 2012, but there is said to be a shift in the civilization. According to some people I have spoken to here. We shall see…

  10. Wow, this poem is dripping with atmosphere and is perfect for reading on Hallowe’en morning! I love it!

  11. Pamela, this takes me back to el dia de los muertos… and beyond. Thanks for sharing the Aztec history with us, and excellent use of the Wordle. It harks back beyond Halloween to ancient customs and practices, so many of which have been usurped by Christianity. Un abrazo para ti, Amy

  12. Amy, so much that is underlying in this holiday does date back to the pre-columbian era. Even though the people are firmly rooted in Catholicism. One of my students told me Friday that while cooking fruit, the aroma attracts the deceased loved ones. I had never heard of this before and it was fascinating to me. Un abrazo para ti, igualmente.

  13. Ah, love the mixture of wordle words and mythology. Especially liked the image of her swallowing the stars. Really wonderful piece, Pamela,


  14. Hi Elizabeth, I love that part too, from the mythology. Thanks so much. I will be looking for your poems this month.

  15. I loved the image it evokes…


  16. Oh Pamela! I love this piece. It is exquisitely frightful, and sheds light on an Aztec deity. Your imagery is wonderful, you do her justice.

  17. You are so sweet, Brenda, thanks. 🙂

  18. A great haibun Pamela.
    The wordle words just flowed seamlessly through the whole piece, scary as well (or at least it scared me!)
    Loved the haiku you finished it off with.
    Thanks for a great read.

  19. Thanks Mike. I like the haibun, and it seemed fit well with these words. Aztec history is more fascinating than scary.

  20. very historical and knowledgeable piece.

I appreciate all comments.

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