The group were weary. They had reached the deserted settlement, black-clad pilgrims comprised of masters, priests, prophets, messengers, and six big German Shepherds. The meaning of the place, Xtul, was “the end” in Yucatec Maya, which they had taken as a sign that they should settle there. At first it seemed desolate and without hope but they held out until they received a communication. Some among them believed beings had accompanied them along the journey but more important were the felt presences in this new land. The beings here were altogether unique, apparitions of translucent shapes, amorphous blobs that moved slowly and deliberately, others appearing jewelled and shining or human-sized billowing forms.
I saw the birthing of a crazy phoenix – saw it raise hackles of fire,
span its bright wings of pain, sear the night with a flock of sparks.
It made a spear of embers and flew its pyre into the night –
crackled with vicious feathers, spat its language of waste