This drawing is inspired by the Mayo Indians of Sonora and Sinaloa, and the book

Mayo ethnobotany:  Land, History, and Traditional Knowledge in Northwest Mexico

The authors are David Yetman and Thomas R. Van Devender

La Liana de Yage
traducido por Dolores Gamez

Toda la gente buena que ha muerto
Y todos los niños risueños que aún no han nacido
Están todos en el cielo, el cielo lleno de estrellas
Siempre, en el rio cósmico de materia infinita
Subes la liana para conócerlos
Para aprender de ellos
Para sentarte con ellos
Para escuchar sus canciones
Para luchar con ellos
Allí en nuestro paraíso terrenal

En la profundidad del agua
Vive la madre de todos los peces
Ella es la protectora de la vida de los mares fértiles
El origen de esporas , semillas y huevos infinitos
Ella está sentada en una cueva rocosa
Miles de brazas en la profundidad
Baja la escalera de la liana para mostrarle tu respeto
Y la conversación sigue así:

Madre: ¡Hola muchacho! Vienes de muy lejos
¡ bien hecho!
¿ qué tienes?
¿ cuántos peces quieres?
Tu: ¡Mucho gusto en conocerle!
Es que… ah.. bueno…
Soy pobre
No tengo nada de riquezas
¡Lo siento!
Aquí tiene mi corazón, todo lo que tengo
¿Eso tiene algún valor aquí abajo?
Madre: Ha, ha, ha , ha
¡Eso está bien! ¡ Es perfecto!
Eso es todo lo que vale aquí
Aquí tienes un puñado de peces para alimentar a tu familia
¡Y sonríe un poquito! ¿Vale?
¡Todo va a salir bien!

Bajo los sedimentos, arcilla y roca sólida
Muy profundamente dentro de la tierra
Junto al cortez caliente del centro de la tierra
Vive el maestro de los animales Vai Mahse
El está en el terreno feliz de caza
Cerca de un charco barroso lleno de huellas de animales
Te espera con una escopeta y una corona del arco Iris iluminada
Tu desciendes la liana
y la conversación sigue así :

Tu: ¡ Hola maestro de los animales!
Maestro: ¡Hola muchacho! ¿ qué necesitas?
Tu: Desearía tomar la vida, para que mi familia pueda comer
He venido a pedirle permiso para hacerlo
Maestro: Está bien..
Tómala, compártela y da gracias
A cambio..
Protege el bosque, el desierto,las montañas, los llanos, las pampas
Cuida los ríos, lagos y fuentes
Mantenlas limpias
Trabaja duro
Deja que los animales se multipliquen, respete sus madrigueras
Es muy simple
¿Puedes hacer eso por mi?
Tu: ¡Si, si puedo!
Maestro: ¿Cuántos jabalíes quieres hoy?
Tu: 2-3
Maestro: ¡mucho gusto en servirle! ¡Siga el buen trabajo!

Al final
Es toda la misma patente
Lianas y parras
Tripas e intestinos
Ríos, arroyos y fuentes
Haciendo curvas una y otra vez
Suben y bajan
Las olas serpentinas
Que ondulan las mareas
Y movimientos
De nuestra vida diaria

El huevo es la tierra, es un huevo
Alimentado por las lluvias de las nubes
Y fertilizado por el semen del sol
Enlazando estos elementos juntos
Están las lianas y las flores
Las lianas agrias y las flores fragantes

Bebe un cuenco de Yage
Y entonces, mientras te echas en tu hamaca
Reza para liberarte de esa trampa psiquica de la mente humana
Esperando a curarte de qué sabe Dios
Soñando del rayo de luz que para el tiempo
Aquí y ahora vienen los pequeños doctores
Que colorean tus líneas gastadas y secas, desfiguradas y dañadas
Ellos te sumergen tus tripas en un mar reflexivo e iluminante
Ellos tejían tu alma en geometría y simetría
Ellos gravan el amor de la madre tierra en las grietas y valles de tu ser
Y ves el amanecer
¡Algo es distinto!
¡Aún estoy vivo!
Por primera vez en mucho, mucho tiempo
Más del que recuerdo
Todo se siente en línea
Tengo paz por dentro
Conmigo mismo
La niebla se ha despejado y hay cielo azul
¿Qué pasó?
¿Qué es este lugar?
¿Porqué es tan

Y las flores florecen
Esto es lo que he aprendido tomando Yage
Y escuchando las historias de los mayores
¡Grácias a los doctores de las Amazonas
¡Gracias a los botánicos que andaron allí y más allá de las cimas!
¡ Y Gracias a los guías animadores del universo espiritual!
En todas sus formas, figuras, tamaños y personalidades
Aún riéndose de las historias del bien y del mal,
de los ríos de lianas llenos de colores fluorescentes

All the good people that have died
and all the laughing children yet to be born
are all in the sky, the sky full of stars
all the time –
in the cosmic river of infinite matter
you climb the vine to meet them
to learn from them
to sit with them
to listen to their songs
to fight for them
back in our earthen paradise

Deep underwater
lives the mother of all fishes
she is the guardian of the fertile sea of life
the origin of countless spores eggs and spawn
she sittin’ by a rock cave
thousands of fathoms below
go down the vine ladder to pay respects to her
conversation goes like this:

Mom: Hi kid, you’ve come a long ways
good effort
What you got?
How many fishes do you want?

You: Nice to meet you too
well, um, uh..
I’m poor
don’t got nothing of riches
I’m sorry
here’s my heart, all I got
is that worth anything down here?

Mom: Hahahaha
thats fine, perfect
that’s about all that does matter
here’s a handful of fishes to share with your family
and smile a little bit, alright?
its gonna be okay

Under the sediment, clay and bedrock
low low low in the ground
next to the core mantle of the earth
lives the master of animals vai mahse
he is in the happy hunting grounds
by a mud wallow full of tracks
waiting for you with a blow gun and a crown of rainbow light
you descend on the vines
conversation like this:

You: Hello master of animals

Master: Hi kid, what’s up?

You: I wish to take life, so that my family can eat
I have come to ask permission to do so

Master: That is fine
take, share, say thank you
in turn
protect the forest, the desert, the mountains, the plains, the grasslands
care for the rivers lakes and springs
keep it clean
work hard
let animals multiply, respect their homes
super simple
you can do that for me?

You: Yes I can

Master: How many peccary would you like today?

You: 2-3?

Master: Your wish is my command, keep up the good work

In a way
it’s all the same patterns –
lianas and vines
guts and intestines
rivers streams and creeks
curving back and forth, high and low
the serpentine waves
that undulate the tides
and the motion
of our daily lives

The egg is the earth is the egg
nourished by the rain from clouds
and fertilized by the semen of the sun
tying these elements together
are vines and flowers
bitter vines, and fragrant flowers

Drink a gourdful of yage…
then, as you are laying in your hammock
praying to be released from the psychic mind trap that is humanity
hoping to be healed of who knows what
dreaming of the lightning bolt that pauses time
here come the little doctors
they color your faded crusty disfigured and damaged lines
they dip and submerge your innards into a shining reflective sea
they weave your soul in geometry and symmetry
they etch love for the earth mother into the valleys and crevasses of your being
and come sun rise
something is different
I’m still alive…
for the first time in a long long time
longer than I can remember
everything feels aligned,
I am at peace
with myself…
the fog has lifted and the sky is blue
what happened?
what is this place?
why is it so

And the flower blooms
this is what I learned from drinking yage,
and listening to the stories of the ancients
thank you to the doctors of the amazon
thank you to the botanists who walked over and then beyond the rise
and thank you to the cheerful guides of the spirit universe
in all their forms, shapes, sizes and personalities
still laughing about tales of good and evil, and the river vines full of colors

Trotted past the four corners of the Colorado Plateau
fried along the panhandle of Oklahoma
and landed in a reservation in the southwestern corner of the state
my mind that is, traveling through stories, pictures, and dreams

Went back in time with author Julie A Jordan to the 1960’s
and heard echoes of old timers who’d been put through the wringer of change
somehow, they still acknowledged the spirit of place
possessed survival skills of ancient times
and shared what they knew with an open heart

After a good meal of such fine fare
it was my turn to burp and say thank you
I rose up to say goodbye
and left this little print in the well trodden grasslands

Theres a couple of leguminous trees in the Sonoran Desert that the locals use extensively. The first one is the honey mesquite. Its gives shade on sun beat trails, got pods good for eating, hard wood for darn near everything, and pliable strong roots for making rope.

Story goes that there was a dude who was getting ready to go somewheres

but he got to thinking too much, vacillating, contemplating, being wishy washy,

uh maybe, maybe not. perhaps after the sun goes down. but what if. well okay just one more bite to eat. procrastinating, putting it off till later, and so on.

he paused for just a little too long

by then old man coyote was done spinning, twisting, and rolling the fibers together into rope

and he hung the indecisive person with the mesquite cordage.

the end.

guess the moral of the story, if you want to call it that, is – just go!!!

Theres another legume tree that is awful hard, its called ironwood

it was the material of choice for harpoon foreshafts, hunting clubs, footballs, and bull roarers

its said that when the waters are rough in the estero, and you are paddling around in your lil balsa raft

you chew a mash of ironwood seeds, and spit it out onto the wind and waves

the waters would then calm down and be still

and you would be able to see your prey

this was taught to the Seri by the giants of ancestral times

I cant wait to try this one out, and spear a snapper or a crab

A couple of brothers, angry with their kin, left the village in the old times

and made their way across the Sea of Cortez to Baja California

they were lost, then found by giants – a couple of women giants

the women rubbed their hands, feet, and heads with the brains of whales

and turned them into giants in this manner

it is not said if they then married the ladies, or travelled further, or what?

however, when the red fruit of the pokeweed relative Stegnosperma was ripe

in the middle of summer, in june

the brothers went home to Tiburon Island

and lived __________________________ ever after