(after a line from Tales of the Warao, Orinoco Delta, Amazon)
An enormous sneeze was brewing;
the Lord of the Night shook out
his sky blue handkerchief
Aschooalotl, splotl, aschootl!
and dabbed tear-streaked eyes.
When he opened them
to his surprise
dark had escaped
covering the world in blackness.
Coyote howled, jaguar hissed,
all the birds fell to Mother Earth
His people huddled shivering,
afraid a mighty beast
had swallowed the sun for ever.
The Lord of the Night
hung his head and wept.
Tears froze on his cheeks
and he knew what he must do.
He flung crystal tears into emptiness
Somewhere far distant
glittering splinters of light
hang in the heavens, tiny fires
by which to navigate the night.