Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Floricanto for the Approaching Solstice

Introduction: The Winter Solstice (December 21, 2012) Doesn’t Mark The End Of The World But The Start Of A New Era And Poem

by Francisco X. Alarcón

Mesoamerican Calendar
December 21, 2012 marks the conclusion of a b'ak'tun—a time period in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar which was used in Central America prior to the arrival of Europeans. Although the Long Count was most likely invented by the Olmec, it has become closely associated with the Maya civilization, whose classic period lasted from 250 to 900 AD.
Unlike the 260-day tzolk'in still used today among the Maya, the Long Count was linear rather than cyclical, and kept time roughly in units of 20: 20 days made a uinal, 18 uinals (360 days) made a tun, 20 tuns made a k'atun, and 20 k'atuns (144,000 days or roughly 394 years) made up a b'ak'tun.

Maya Date (December 21, 2012)
The Long Count's "zero date" was set at a point in the past marking the end of a previous era and the beginning of the current one, which corresponds to 11 August 3114 BC in the Gregorian calendar. This means that the current era will also have reached the end of its 13th b'ak'tun, or Mayan date, on 21 December 2012.

The end of the 13th b'ak'tun did not mark the end of the calendar but the start of a Sun or new era. Most major current Mayanist scholars agree that there is nothing in the Maya or Aztec or ancient Mesoamerican prophecy to suggest that they prophesied an apocalypse of any sort in 2012. The Maya did not conceive the end of the 13th b'ak'tun as the end of creation of the work as many have suggested.

Tonalpohualli, Sacred Nahuatl Calendar
In the Nahuatl Calendar that is very similar to the Maya Calendar, the date December 21, 2012, corresponds to the following temporal coordinates:


The tonalli or day sign of December 21, 2012, is Nahui-Xochitl (Four-Flower). The digital (Four) corresponds to the number in the 13-day wheel of time. Xochitl (Flower) is the last day sign of the 20-day wheel of time. This tonalli is governed by Xochiquetzal (Flower Feather). the Protector of Poetry and the Arts. The new era in the Aztec tradition is called Xochitonatiuth (Flower Sun). Xochitl symbolizes beauty and truth, especially that which speaks to the heart who knows it will one day cease to beat. Xochitl reminds us that life, like the flower, is beautiful but quickly fades. Xochitonatiuth announces a new era whose main symbol is Xochitl (Flower), that stands for the best in nature and humanity.

In the Maya calendar the Long Count date strongly signifies a new beginning. According to the Maya, the end of the previous era and the start of our current era will occur on a day 4-Flower with the Long Count date falling on the winter solstice, the start of the return of the summer, further emphasizes the quality of a new beginning.

The thirteen day period (trecena) that starts with day Ce-Ollin (One-Movement) is ruled by Tlazolteotl. This trecena is governed by the goddess of cotton and weaving, of sexuality and childbirth, she who is the Eater of Sins and the Mother of all Seasons waiting for us at the end of our life journey. The year in the Aztec calendar corresponds to Ce-Calli (One-House).

New Collective 2012 Winter Solstice Poem

The following poems come from a new Collective 2012 Winter Solstice Poem (Haiga) that sought contributions by poets and artists from all over the globe. We all are truly one. We all share the same dreams and aspirations of world peace, tolerance, and understanding with the whole humanity in balance with nature especially during the celebration of the new era (the Sixth Sun) in the Mesoamerican tradition that begins on the Winter Solstice (December 21, 2012) that in the Nahuatl calendar corresponds to the date "Four-Flower" (Nahui-Xochitl). In the Nahuatl tradition this new era is identified as the "Flower Sun" (Xochitonatiuh). We give thanks in advance to all who are wiling participate in making this human wonder something tangible and real.

"Xochitonatiuh / Sol Flor/ Flower Sun" by Francisco X. Alarcón
"Ceremony" by Alma Luz Villanueva
"Cierta vez caminamos / We Once Walked" by Claudia Hernández
"The Sixth Sun" by Genny Lim
"Winter Solistice Era of Promise" by Karina Oliva
"Sexto Sol" por Graciela Ramírez
"Cuatro Flores" by Israel Francisco Haros Lopez
"La Cruz del Tiempo" by Arturo Mantecón
"A New Sun is Born - Nace un nuevo sol" by Aurora Levins Morales

by Alma Luz Villanueva

Climbing the Sixth Sun,
Sacred Sun Pyramid,
straight up, warm
Sun, cool morning
Wind God pushes me
up, I pause to
breathe deeply,
drink water, a boy
of four behind me
begins to cry, he's
thirsty, forgot to
bring him water, I
offer mine, he smiles
and drinks- work at
the top, not able
to climb to the top,
a great-grandmother in her
eighties is helped to
the almost top, her
family bracing her,
no one is bracing me, it
seems to be my path,
to climb the Sacred
Pyramid of the Sixth
Sun alone, the only
(grown) child I miss
is my youngest, but
la vida calls him,
as it should, his own
family, families in great
need, a daily warrior
in the world, and I
needed to come alone,
all one, to greet
the Sacred Sixth
Sun, and one thirsty
four year old boy.
Unable to climb to the
top, I circled, my
rattle singing, next
year I will be a
great-grandmother and
no one will brace me,
yes they will love me,
that's allowed, maybe
in my eighties when I'm
a great-great-grandmother,
maybe, right now the
waiter has read my mind,
plays native flute, drums,
rattles, my birth
day gift, so well
deserved, bird song,
rattles, all day
sacred white butterflies
followed me, yellow
monarchs, little bees,
brash young men, “Hola
hermosa...I have a special
gift for you...Mi amor...
Take it it's free,” I
didn't do my usual come
back, “I'm old enough
to be your grandmother,”
now “I'm old enough
to be your great-grandmother,”
I just laughed, right now
the music is only rattles,
the sound of sweet
bones, the ancestors
winging home, I'm a
baby, I'm an
ancient, I'm not
born, I'm dead/transformed,
I'm newly born, always
to the song of rattles,
sweet bones, winging us
home, dancing us home-
I just told the waiter, my
grandson, youngest son's
age, “This music, flute, drums,
now only rattles, is
perfect, gracias.”
“It suits this place,
your presence.” (He
doesn't bullshit me
with senorita, I've
been called senorita all
day, I laughed, they
wanted some thing, my
smile, my money, my
life)- he's an eagle
dancer, a deer
dancer, a wind
dancer, a sun
dancer, I know
his mother loves him,
he loves his mother,
the women in his
family, sacred, he
knows I need the
sweet bones of the
ancestors, a pure
chocolate cake woven
with fruit, drizzled
with honey/chocolate,
a perfect birth day
cake- I sit by the
pool, too cold to
swim, a clay flower
painted senorita, I
* * *
An older man, probably
my age, asked me if
I'd done ceremony on
the Pyramid of the Sun,
without thinking I answered
yes, the two silver bracelets
symbols of Quetzalcoatl,
Sacred Sixth Sun,
I bought, 50 pesos each,
the third a gift,
he smiled, “Fuego,”
fire should always
be a gift, the
entire day, a
ceremony, the gift of
water and fire,
I hear the laughter of
my four grown
children, grandchildren,
great-grandchild in the
cosmic womb dreaming,
the ancestors singing
the rattle song, all
my friends, some over
thirty/forty years, my
students seeing me whole, I
see them whole, we are the
gift. We are the
* * *
White butterflies,
ancestor souls,
guide me/us to
Quetzalcoatl's Temple,
some know it,
some don't,
yet we all
arrive, Quetzalcoatl's
Spirit laughing in the
young grass, the
large rocks tiny
red ants carry to
their mound/pyramid, bleeding
cactus fruit/flowers, ancient
clouds/air Quetzalcoatl
breathed, laughing, I
hear him laughing,
some times weeping
for his children,
I sit facing
steps that he
climbed (still
climbs Full Moon
Mother blessing him),
flanked each side Sacred
Snake, Sacred Jaguar,
Sacred Eagle, Sacred
Shell, I hear him
laughing, take out my
bird rattle, Quetzalcoatl's
flute I bought here
thirty-four years ago
at the foot of Pyramid
of the Sun, lone vendor,
almost sunset, newly
married, we climbed to the
top that day, each
playing it, we became
Gods, today I play
bird rattle, snake/eagle
flute, weaving tears and
laughter, loss and gift,
folly and wisdom, marriage
to the Other, marriage
to the Self, silence
and song, stillness
and such dancing, today
I became fully
* * *
We all
we all circle
we all circle the
we all circle the sacred
Pyramid of the Sun
rattles in hands
flutes to our lips
laughing weeping silent
singing limping dancing
we all
we all enter
we all enter the
we all enter the Sixth
we all enter the Sixth Sacred
we all enter the Sixth Sacred Sun
we all enter the Sacred
Sixth Sun
bracing each
other up

Alma Luz Villanueva, Teotihuacan, Mexico, Into the Sixth Sun, October 2012

por Claudia Hernández

En lo más alto
del templo de La Danta
mi gente canta en pocomchi’

Su flor y canto se origina
de las montañas más
antiguas de Nakbé

Sus proverbios
nos alientan
a brotar como

orquídeas palpitantes;
como Luna llena
bajo un Sexto Sol

by Claudia Hernández

At the peak of
La Danta temple,
my people sing in Pocomchi’

Their flower and song
comes from the oldest
mountains of Nakbé

Their sacred proverbs
enlighten us
to sprout like

Pulsating orchids—
a new Moon
under the Sixth Sun

© Claudia Hernández

Winter Solstice Era of Promise

by Karina Oliva

daughter arises
from the womb of hunab ku
flower of the sun

a change has come
spiraling from the milky way
foretold in her eyes

we are the sixth born
geometry on our palm
voices from the core

we will make this world
no more tolerance for war
children will guide us

wake up and transform
rooster crows in dawn of peace
her flowering leads

we are from the source
of creation, so create
a way to nurture


by Karina Oliva Nov. 21, 2012

por Graciela Ramírez

Girasol, Marisol
Sol y Flor.

El nuevo sol sonríe
Al ver risa en tus labios
Al llamar bella flor
Al magno Sexto Sol.

El Sol

imaginable estrella
nace y muere
en miles de años.

La Flor

belleza imaginable
nace y muere
en unas pocas horas.

© Graciela Ramírez

by Israel Francisco Haros Lopez

ojos de jade
abriendo la boca
de las aguas de quetzalcoatl
birthplace of the sun
birthplace of water
own me. re-member me
sacred obsidian dancer
illuminate the fire
in the opaque new moon sky
abre la boca
a tus países collapsing
the heart of hearts of the sky is opening
abre la luz de tus palmas
abre el vientre de pacha mama
con el canto de tus palabras
open the sun/tonatiuh/sol
con el sonido de tu pecho
you are nebula and soul
eres mi alma sin fin
eres mi otro sol
eres mi otro teotl
sing to me coyoxauhqui
remind me of the llantos de llorona
que sanan la tierra con cada gota

by Arturo Mantecón

The Cross of Time spins,
and the world turns from the north--
bows to eastern Sun,

Bows to eastern Sun--
new blooming morning glory--
Xochitl Tonatiuh,

Xochitl Tonatiuh,
mid-Winter Sun, heaven god,
flaring golden hair,

Flaring golden hair…
sixth flor de la guirlanda,
usher of beauty

© Arturo Mantecón

by Aurora Levins Morales

a new sun is born

rivers of light cascade
through the open door of time
in each tight furled heart

a new sun is born

soft clouds unravel
history’s wintery steel softens, melts
petals of hope open wide

a new sun is born

fiery star of love
golden possibility
out of the rich black earth

a new sun is born

ancestral egg, great seed
ripening through centuries of pain
the flowering time is here:

a new sun is born.

by Aurora Levins Morales

nace un nuevo sol

ríos de luz se derraman
por la puerta abierta del tiempo
en cada corazón encapullado

nace un nuevo sol

las nubes suaves se deshacen
el acero invernal de la historia se ablanda, se derrite
pétalos de esperanza se abren plenamente

nace un nuevo sol

ardiente estrella de amor
posibilidad dorada,
desde la tierra rica y negra

nace un nuevo sol

huevo ancestral, gran semilla,
madurándose tras siglos de dolor,
ha llegado la hora de florecer:

nace un nuevo sol

© Aurora Levins Morales


"Xochitonatiuh / Sol Flor/ Flower Sun" by Francisco X. Alarcón
"Ceremony" by Alma Luz Villanueva
"Cierta vez caminamos / We Once Walked" by Claudia Hernández
"The Sixth Sun" by Genny Lim
"Winter Solistice Era of Promise" by Karina Oliva
"Sexto Sol" por Graciela Ramírez
"Cuatro Flores" by Israel Francisco Haros Lopez
"La Cruz del Tiempo" by Arturo Mantecón
"A New Sun is Born - Nace un nuevo sol" by Aurora Levins Morales

Francisco X. Alarcón, award winning Chicano poet and educator, born in Los Angeles, in 1954, is author of eleven volumes of poetry, including, From the Other Side of Night: Selected and New Poems (University of Arizona Press 2002), and Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation (Chronicle Books 1992)m Sonetos a la locura y otras penas / Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes (Creative Arts Book Company 2001), De amor oscuro / Of Dark Love (Moving Parts Press 1991, and 2001).

His most recent book of bilingual poetry for children, Animal Poems of the Iguazú (Children’s Book Press 2008), was selected as a Notable Book for a Global Society by the International Reading Association, and as an Américas Awards Commended Title by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs. His previous bilingual book titled Poems to Dream Together (Lee & Low Books 2005) was awarded the 2006 Jane Addams Honor Book Award.

He has been a finalist nominated for Poet Laureate of California in two occasions. He teaches at the University of California, Davis. He is the creator of the Facebook page POETS RESPONDING TO SB 1070 that you can visit at:

Alma Luz Villanueva was raised in the Mission District, San Francisco, by her Yaqui grandmother, Jesus Villanueva- she was a curandera/healer from Sonora, Mexico. Without Jesus no poetry, no stories, no memory...
Author of eight books of poetry, most recently, 'Soft Chaos' (2009). A few poetry anthologies: 'The Best American Poetry, 1996,' 'Unsettling America,' 'A Century of Women's Poetry,' 'Prayers For A Thousand Years, Inspiration from Leaders & Visionaries Around The World.' Three novels: 'The Ultraviolet Sky,' 'Naked Ladies,' 'Luna's California Poppies,' and the short story collection, 'Weeping Woman, La Llorona and Other Stories.' My fourth novel, 'SCORPION HUNTER,' and new book of poetry, 'GRACIAS,' to be published in 2013. Some fiction anthologies: '500 Great Books by Women, From The Thirteenth Century,' 'Caliente, The Best Erotic Writing From Latin America,' 'Coming of Age in The 21st Century,' 'Sudden Fiction Latino.' The poetry and fiction has been published in textbooks from grammar to university, and is used in the US and abroad as textbooks. Has taught in the MFA in creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, for the past fourteen years. And is the mother of four, wonderful, grown human beings.
Alma Luz Villanueva now lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for the past eight years, traveling the ancient trade routes to return to teach, and visit family and friends, QUE VIVA!! And taking trips throughout Mexico, working on a novel in progress, always the poetry, memory.

Claudia D. Hernández was born and raised in Guatemala. She's a bilingual educator, poet, writer, and translator in the city of Los Angeles. She's pursuing an MFA in creative writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. Her photography, poetry, and short stories have been published in The Indigenous Sovereignty Issue of The Peak, Hinchas de Poesía, KUIKATL Literary Journal, nineteen-sixty-nine an Ethnic Studies Journal, Blood Lotus, REDzine, Kalyani Magazine, Along the River II Anthology, among others.

She’s currently working on a project titled: TODAY’S REVOLUTIONARY WOMEN OF COLOR. This is a yearlong project that will tentatively culminate on November 2013, with a walking photography exhibit and the publication of a photography book.

The exhibit and the book will feature everyday women who are role models in our communities. Artists, activists, editors, writers, poets, painters, social workers, teachers, professors, therapists, and mentors share their stories of resilience through short-filmed interviews, creative photography shots of them, and exceptional artistic pieces that will also be included in the photography book.

Claudia’s main goal is to inspire and empower women. If she raises the necessary funds for this project, she hopes to give the book as gift to all the women who attend the opening night of the photography exhibit.

These interviews are available to the public on: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdIj9ANucaTRIdniOLBqfjg

Genny has performed in poetry & music collaborations with jazz legends
such as Max Roach, Jerry Gonzalez, Herbie Lewis, including local
musicians, John Santos, Francis Wong and Jon Jang. She has been
featured poet at World Poetry Festivals in Venezuela, Sarajevo and
Naples, Italy. Her award-winning play "Paper Angels," aired on PBS
American Playhouse in 1985 and was reprised in 2010 in San Francisco
Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square, receiving the San Francisco Fringe
Festival Best Site Specific Award. Her performance piece, "Where is
Tibet?" premiered at CounterPULSE, S.F., in 2009 at AfroSolo Arts
Festival and Women on the Way Festival in January 2011. She is author
of two poetry collections, Winter Place, Child of War and co-author of
Island:Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island.

A native born Salvadoran, mother, professor, artist, and poet, Karina Oliva believes in the practice of mutual empowerment and in the interconnectedness of knowledge, art, and experience. Her poetry has been published in Mujeres de Maiz Zines, La Bloga, and most recently in Ban This! The BSP Anthology of Xican@ Literature. She continues to teach Chicana/o and Latina/o literature and topics at CSULA in the Chicano Studies department.

Graciela B. Ramírez. Poet, memoir writers, dreamer, educator. Born and raised in Mexico City, Graciela immigrated to the USA in 1965. After earning three Masters degrees as a returning student, she taught Spanish and Ethnic Studies at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) for 25 years. Graciela has written two books, yet unpublished: Sacraztlán, Una Épica Chicana, written in verse is a historical account of the Chicano Movement at CSUS. For 11 years Graciela was the Coordinator of “Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol / Writers of the New Sun,” a writers’ collective based in Sacramento. She also served as a Board Member of La Raza/Galería Posada of Sacramento. She has been a mentor to many writers and poets, a true role model, and an exemplary cultural activist respected by the whole community.

Israel Francisco Haros Lopez is both a visual artist and performance artist. His work is an attempt to search for personal truths and personal histories inside of american cosmology. The american cosmology and symbolism that he is drawing from is one that involves both northern and southern america that was here before columbus. The work both written and that which is painted is attempting to mark and remark historical points in the americas and the world.The mark making attempts to speak to the undeniable presence of a native america that will continue to flourish for generations to come.The understanding which he is drawing from is not conceptual but fact and points to the importance of honoring and remembering ancestral ways of living as a means of maintaining healthy relations with all humans,the winged, all those that crawl on this Earth, all Life, the Water, the Sacred Fire, Tonanztin, Tonatiuh,the Sacred Cardinal Points,everything inbetween, above and below and at the center of self and all things in the universe. Currently the visual motifs are drawn from both a pre-columbian america that had far far less physical, mental or spiritual borders . Recent works are exploring Xenophobia in laws such as "SB 1070" both in written and visual format. Israel considers himself an environmentalist poet seeking to awakening those harming our first mother Tonantzin.He also draws inspriation from the contemporary styles of inner city youth who use public space by any means necessary as their method of artistic expression. Israel also draws much of his inspiration from his peers and contemporaries who constantly show him innovative ways to approach cultural and political dilemnas. The written words cannot be without the painted image. The painted image cannot be without words. Neither the written work or visual work can be without sound without vibration, as all things on this earth carry vibration. As such his written and oral work is constantly shifting as it is performed or recording. The same poem,story,monologue or abstract diatribe shifts within the space it is performed taking into consideration audience and the theatrics and vibration of the moment. he is currently working on a chicano spiritual sci fi thriller the work in progress can be seen at :
you can see his visual, audio and film/ed work at :

Arturo Mantecón was born in 1948 in Laredo, Texas and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. His poems and prose have appeared in several reviews and anthologies. In 2011 his translation into English of selected poems by Leopoldo María Panero (title: My Naked Brain) was published by Swan Scythe Press.

Aurora Levins Morales is a chronically ill and disabled Puerto Rican Jewish writer and artist, currently living in Cambridge, MA with her Papá. She is the author of Remedios: Stories of Earth & Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas, and Medicine Stories. Her blog can be found on her website, www.auroralevinsmorales.com.


Unknown said...

Dear Em, Thnk for your all your dedication that has made possible the On-line Floricanto week after week for the past two and a half years. I want to thank all the poets that contribute to this Floricanto and to the collective Winter Solstice poem, Best wishes, Francisco --This is the link to that poem: http://www.facebook.com/notes/francisco-x-alarcon/new-collective-winter-solstice-poem-haiga-for-the-sixth-sun-dec-21-2012-in-celeb/10151311606725734

koffee-kommie said...

Wonderful. Thank-you all for sharing.