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Quetzalcoatl’s return

The Aztec believed that the defeat of Quetzalcoatl by Tezcatlipoca marked the beginning of the current era of creation.
British Museum display notes


As he raised his glass

deep inside the mountain

to the fishes of the cities

and the tears of the iguana,

fragments of shadows dropped from the clouds

and blazed like crazy arrows of light,

peeling back fields of skin,

uprolling whole plains

beyond carmine horizons,

infinities of crimson.


Within the mountain’s shadow

he breathed on sun-struck glass

until it splintered,

spitting shards of light,

splitting tears of tortured cities,

flicking open the jaguar’s claws,

dragging death out on to the open plain

for execution by rainbow or moonlight,

as the iguana,


in its unassailable green tower,

blinked once.

©David Urwin 2018

First published in PENfro Poets 2013. Eds. Peter George & Brenda Squires. Menter Rhosygilwen, 2013.

David Urwin is a founder member of PENfro Poets. Some of his poetry appears on his poetry blog, He regularly reads his work live at local venues. He is the MC for The Cellar Bards, a monthly spoken word event in Cardigan.