Two Poems

Maya poet Feliciano Sánchez Chan. Photo from the author's personal archive.

Ukp’éel wayak’ (Yaanal kíimilo’ob)

Ts’o’ok u máan p’iis in Na,
Ts’o’ok u máan p’iis.
Ch’úuyench’uuyo’ob tin k’ab,
ta’aytak u lúubsikeno’ob,
yéetel jayakbalo’ob tin wáanal
bey ba’al ku pe’ekaabe’.

Teche’ mix junten ta wa’alajten
wa le wayak’o’ob ta pak’aj
tu yóok’ol le seen cháaltuno’
bíin súutko’ob muk’yajil
tia’al ok’ol tin wóok’ol.

Teen X-ya’axche’, in Na’.
Bini’it k’abo’ob
tu pak’o’ob tin jobnel
juntúul x-áak’ab ko’olel,
juntúul x-káakbach
bisik le wíiniko’ob
ku máano’ob ich áak’abo’.

Tene’ in k’aj óol a paalal in Na’
ba’ale’le ku seen chu’uchiko’ob
u k’aab yiim
a x-ch’upul aalo’,
ma’ in kimeno’obi’,
ma’ Aj Puch’, mix Ixtab
taasik u k’ubo’obi’.
Tu xikino’obe’
k’aaynaj jump’éel kíimil
ma’in k’aj óoli’.
Ma’in kimeno’obi’, in Na’.


Seventh Dream (The Other Dead)

There are so many, Mother,
there are so many.
From my branches they hang
about to pull me down,
under my shadows they roll
like filth.

You never told me
that the dreams you cultivated
over so much limestone
would today be the sorrows
that cry over me.

I am the Sacred Ceiba,
The other hands
sowed in my guts
a woman of the night,
an evil woman
who is taken to those left behind.

Even still, I know your sons
and those who nurse
on plentiful milk
from the breasts of your daughters,
they are not my dead,
they are not brought to me
by Aj Puch or Ixtab,
other dead I do not know sing in their ears,
they are not my dead, Mother.
They are not my dead.


Máax kun kaxtiken

Yaan k’iine’
ku k’uchul tin xikin
u yayaj juum juump’éel jub.
Yaan k’iine’
bey in wool kin wu’uyik
u yáakan baake’,
yaan k’iine’
kin wu’uyik u éets’nak’
u yusta’al ts’oon,
wa u wa’aban in láak’…
Yáax ba’ax ku máan tin tuukule’:
In Yuum,
máax wal saatal k’áaxe’.

Le ken waalak’nak
in tuukule’
kin wilikimbáa
tin chan t’uluch juunal
tu chúumuk u satunsat bejil noj kaaj.
Kin tukultike’
In Yuum,
máax wal bíin kaxtikene’.


Who Will Find Me?

Sometimes, the sad sound of some snail
reaches my ears
sometimes I think I hear
the groan of some antlers,
sometimes the echo of the blast
of a cannon comes to me,
or the invocation of hands of some brother.
The first thing that plows through my mind is:
My Lord,
who could be lost in the forest?

I leave the daydream
and see myself so alone
in the middle of the labyrinth
of the big city
and I wonder:
Who will find me?

Translated by Arthur Dixon

From the verse collection Ukp’el wayak / Siete sueños [Seven dreams]


LALT No. 6
Number 6

LALT No. 6 goes from the gripping true stories of literary journalism to the strange worlds of fantastic short stories and graphic literature. We highlight chronicles by Colombian journalist Alberto Salcedo Ramos, speculative fiction in a dossier curated by Mexican writer Alberto Chimal, and Yucatec Maya poetry and prose in our ongoing Indigenous Literature series. 

Table of Contents

Editor's Note


Featured Author: Alberto Salcedo Ramos

Autor destacado: Alberto Salcedo Ramos

Dossier: Speculative Fiction

Dossier: Ficción especulativa

Dossier: Narrativa gráfica

Dossier: Graphic Narrative



Dossier: Jorge Enrique Lage


Literatura Indígena

Indigenous Literature

Dossier: Venezuelan Poetry


Nota Bene