On Sunday an estimated 20,000 marched in Mexico City calling for an end to violence by both the drug cartels and government. According to the New York Times at least 150,000 participated in some portion of the march which began on Wednesday. The mass rally was inspired by poet Javier Sicilia. His 24-year-old son and six friends were found dead near the resort town of Cuernavaca, a massacre that mirrored scores of others in Mexico’s brutal drug wars.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Sicilia hopes to turn Sunday’s demonstration into a mass movement to fight not only the drug cartels but also the government’s heavy-handed tactics in pursuing them. The leftist academic is a vocal critic of Mr. Calderón’s conservative government, which he says is too corrupt to resolve the problem. Mr. Sicilia hasn’t offered alternatives.
Mexicans have tried before to create a popular movement against criminal violence. In 2004, just before Mr. Calderón began his crackdown against drug gangs, several hundred thousand people gathered in the capital for a “March Against Insecurity.” But momentum stalled.
Nearly 40,000 people have died in drug-related violence since then, with authorities saying Monday that another 13 were killed in a shootout between military and drug gangs at a lake on the border with Texas. Mr. Sicilia and his followers hope the mounting toll is enough to create a popular groundswell.
Following is my own rough translation of Mr. Sicilia’s poem Zazen, with apologies and appreciation.
Feeling, Love, is to look at the wall
the white wall, clean before I pray,
light reflected, a plaster desert
clearly closed, pure boundary.
Sitting at the light of day is hard,
hard time without end, an empty wholeness
when body shifts, heaviness departs
and absence is assuring.
I open my Love in this gap
where I’m alone in a white desert
clean spacious and stark,
dusty light, absence without pride.
Nothing left of me I’m open
clearly this is where you spy.
Stung by your light and without hope
my body is in ecstasy for the day
dust cleared in the light of noon,
stubble burnt by Your dedication;
in the soft evening light of this January
light my bread and cold, wet room,
my wife, the city and joy
of my soul burns in your hearth.
What can I expect, if the fire
fully consumes me each day
and leaves only its quiet depths?
Everything in life is light so dear,
only my body is straw, wood and blade
light consumed on earth, is nothing.
(Editorial Note: On Tuesday morning I inserted this as a Sunday evening post. I began the post on Sunday but did not complete the amateur translation until Tuesday. Please find the Spanish original at A Media Voz.