The Merchant of Copan [In English and Spanish]

English Version

The Merchant of Copan [480 AD]

Advance: The ballgame at the Honduras courtyard in Copan, the year was 480 AD, Copan's 3rd ruler, Mat Head, whom succeeded Quetzal Macaw, whom was the founder of the city is now the new ruler. Mat Head, was a female, the spouse of Quetzal Macaw, and here is where the story begins.

There was a main ballgame ready to start, the competition was extremely high, as usual you might say; that being, if the game was not played the world would end, so they believed, and so rain or shine it was to take place.

The opposing team had eleven players, all ornately dressed and painted for the competition. They had leather padding around their waists, over their shoulders, about their arms and legs; able to withstand the blows of the solid rubber ball. The weight of the ball was one kilo. The ball was now thrown into the play, and each player knew they could not let it touch the ground or their hands.

Mat Head was watching the game with intensity, knowing her sister was part of a bet of which, if the opposing team won, she'd be [she being: her sister] the property of a local merchant, a very wealthy merchant, the most wealthy merchant in all of the Copan Valley; she would be his property, to do with as he pleased; but if the merchant lost, he would lose all his properties to the brother-in-law, riches, and be vanished from the city of 27,000-inhabidents, Copan; perhaps to the Yucatan. It was not uncommon for such wagers; it was deadlier than the exhibitions at the Roman Coliseum, in Italy. That being, the losers of this game would forfeit their heads.

But the Merchant of Copan, as I have said, was very rich so much so, he provided flint, lime, and pottery to the elite of the city, the whole city and thereabouts. And the Brother-in-Law of Mat Head was married to her sister, the most beautiful young woman in Copan.

The Merchant of Copan, had watched her at a number of previous games, and could never take his eyes off her beauty, her shape, and lusted after her with eyes like a hawk's. To him, it was worth the chance to bet on the game, all or nothing; he didn't know how much Mat Head's brother-in-law cared or didn't care for his wife, but he knew he was insatiable, and made the bet nonetheless and he accepted it; thus, his instincts were correct; for he could not longer withstand the burning pain he had inside of him watching her walk among the temples of Copan, and wishing she belonged to him, at any price, and a hungry soul will do most anything to impede that hunger.

-The ballgame had started, as I had already said, and the ball was in the air; some of the players were kicking their feet, and thrusting their hips, as they knocked the ball back and forth, in the I-shaped field, 25-meters long, 10-meters wide; all the players not wanting the ball to touch the ground, which would end the game, and eleven-heads would be severed.

All of a sudden the game stopped?a silence took hold of everyone, eyes were being shut by eleven players; oh it was a great thing to die, to be sacrificed for the game, but on the other hand, it would have been better to have to do it at a later date, I'm sure most of the players felt that way.

The spectators took in a deep breath to see who won and lost. History would not favor the brother-in-law today, unfortunate for his wife to be sure. Yes, yes, fortune smiled on the Merchant of Copan; I'm sure my readers are now downtrodden on this matter but it is as it is what I can say.

Thus, the lucky fella grabbed her like a wild monkey grabbing a banana out of the feeder's hands, and rushed her to his domicile. He threw her on the bed like an animal pelt, his eyes sparked with lust and passion, and he melted into her body like heat on ice; if anything, she was hurt beyond all understandings.

'How could he do this?' she moaned as this fat, ugly and rigid man pouncing on her. Yet she told herself, at least he wanted her. He was willing to give all his money for her; whereas, her husband sold her for a game ticket, and a bet. It was beyond her youthful comprehension.

Several years passed, and the fat old merchant got fatter and older, but other than being over lustful over her, he was a good provider, and gave her all she wished for. She became well known as a business woman, and at his 67-birthday, he died on the bed, as I suppose he wished it to be. Consequently, she was now the inheritor of the estates he once own, for there were no children involved.

She then made a deal with her ex-husband, knowing he liked to gamble, and wanted money. She made the same bet, well almost, a similar kind of bet anyway with him, as the Merchant of Copan had done before; she bet all her properties on the next game, that her team would win, and should he lose, her ex-husband, he'd have to give up his head, like the losing team had to. Well, he felt he could win her back should he lose the bet or win, and thus, took his chances and made the bet. But again, life did not favor him, he was not meant to be a gambler for sure, and after losing he begged her for his life, to take him back, saying in essence, they both could enjoy the riches she acquired, and their old position in the kingdom.

Oh gosh, she was such a caretaker, and told him she'd go home and think about it and make up her mind tomorrow. Well, he thought that was fine, at least it seemed better than losing his head today, and just the fact she was thinking about it was enough to enlighten him, feeling he would have the final victory, and that was the one that counted, he'd have her back and the treasures, what more could he ask for.

But as I had told you before, fate was not always in his pocket, that night the ruler, Mat Head, asked for the head of her Brother-in-law, being he had lost the bet. He begged for her to wait for her sister tomorrow and she'd strengthen it all out, but she said:

"A bet is a bet?and it must be paid."

Can't remember what else she said but his head was off within a heartbeat.

Upon Mat Head's sister's return the following morning, she asked for her ex-husband, and found out by her sister, the Mat Head, she had beheaded him. She cried a tear, a very big tear, and then smiled at Mat Head.

Dedicated to Jorge, 7/3/05

Spanish Version

Versión en Español

El Mercader de Copan [480 Después de Cristo]

Avance: Juego de pelota en el patio de Copan en Honduras, el año era 480 después de Cristo, el 3er gobernador de Copan era Mat Head, quien sucedió a Quetzal Macaw, quien fue el fundador de la ciudad ahora el nuevo gobernador. Mat Head, era una mujer, la esposa de Quetzal Macaw, y aquí es donde la historia comienza. Había un juego de pelota principal listo a comenzar, esta competencia era extremadamente interesante, como siempre podrías decir; esto es, si el juego no era llevado a cabo, el mundo se terminaría, o eso era lo que ellos pensaban, y entonces lloviera o soleara éste debía jugarse. El equipo contrario tenía once jugadores, todos adornadamente vestidos y pintados listos para la competencia. Ellos usaban algo acolchado hecho de cuero alrededor de sus cinturas, sus hombros, sus brazos y piernas; que les permitiría soportar los golpes de la pelota de caucho sólido. La pelota pesaba un kilo. La pelota ahora fue lanzada en el juego, y cada jugador sabía que no podían dejar que ésta tocara tierra o sus manos.

Mat Head miraba el juego con intensidad, sabiendo que su hermana era parte de una apuesta en el cual si el equipo contrario ganaba, ella (su hermana) pasaría a ser propiedad de un comerciante local, un comerciante muy rico, el comerciante más rico en todo el Valle de Copan; ella pertenecería a él para hacer lo que a él le antojara. Pero si el equipo contrario perdía el comerciante perdería todas sus propiedades, que pasarían a manos de su cuñado, sus riquezas, y sería expulsado de la ciudad de 27,000 habitantes, Copan; quizás a Yucatán. Esto no era raro en esta clase de apuestas; esto era más mortal que las exposiciones en el Coliseo romano, en Italia. Esto era, los perdedores de este juego perderían sus cabezas. Pero el Comerciante de Copan, como ya lo había dicho, era muy rico tanto que él proporcionó sílex, cal, y cerámica a la elite de la ciudad, a la ciudad entera y sus alrededores. Y el cuñado de Mat Head estaba casado con su hermana, la joven más hermosa en Copan. El Comerciante de Copan, la había mirado en un número de juegos anteriores, y nunca podía sacar sus ojos de su belleza, su forma, y lujuriaba detrás de ella con ojos como de halcones. Para él, era valiosa la posibilidad de apostar en el juego, todo o nada; él no sabía cuánto el Cuñado de Mat Head se preocupaba o no se preocupaba por su esposa, pero él sabía que él era insaciable, e hizo la apuesta sin embargo y él la aceptó; así, sus instintos eran correctos; por que él no podía soportar más el dolor ardiente que sentía dentro de si mismo al mirarla caminar entre los templos de Copan, y deseando que ella le perteneciera, a cualquier precio, y un alma hambrienta hará algo más para impedir aquella hambre. -- El juego de pelota había comenzado, como ya lo dije, y la pelota estaba en el aire; algunos jugadores estaban pateando, y empujando sus caderas, mientras ellos golpeaban la pelota hacia adelante y hacia atrás, en el campo de forma de "I", de 25 metros de largo, 10 metros de ancho; todos los jugadores queriendo que la pelota no tocara el suelo, el cual terminaría éste, y once cabezas serían cortadas. De repente el juego se detuvo?un silencio se apoderó de cada uno, los once jugadores cerraban sus ojos; ah! era una gran cosa morir, ser sacrificado por el juego, pero por otra parte, habría sido mejor tener que morir más adelante, la mayoría de los jugadores sintieron de esta forma, estoy seguro.

Los espectadores respiraron profundamente para ver quién ganó y quién perdió. La historia no favorecería al cuñado hoy, lamentablemente para su esposa por seguro. Sí, sí, la fortuna sonrió al Comerciante de Copan; estoy seguro que mis lectores están ahora oprimidos sobre esta materia pero esto es como es, que puedo decir. Así, el muchacho afortunado la agarró como un mono salvaje agarrando un plátano de las manos del alimentador, y apresuradamente la llevó a su domicilio. Él la lanzó sobre la cama como una piel de animal, sus ojos brillaban con lujuria y pasión, y él se derritió en su cuerpo como el calor sobre el hielo; si algo, ella fuera herida más allá de todo entendimiento. '¿Cómo podría él hacer esto?' Ella gimió, mientras este hombre gordo, feo y rígido se le echaba encima. Sin embargo ella se dijo que al menos él la quería. Él estaba dispuesto a dar todo su dinero por ella; mientras que su marido la vendió por un boleto de juego, y una apuesta. Esto estaba fuera de su joven entendimiento.

Varios años pasaron, y el viejo comerciante se volvió más gordo y más viejo, pero aparte de ser lascivo sobre ella, él era un buen proveedor, y le dio todo lo que ella deseaba. Ella se hizo conocida como una mujer de negocio, y en su 67 cumpleaños, él murió sobre la cama, como supongo él deseó que esto fuera así. Consiguientemente, ella era ahora la heredera de las propiedades que él una vez tenía, porque no habían hijos implicados.

Entonces ella hizo un trato con su ex-marido, sabiendo que a él le gustaba jugar, y que quería el dinero. Ella hizo la misma apuesta, bien casi la misma, una clase similar de apuesta con él de todos modos, como el Comerciante de Copan había hecho antes; ella apostó todas sus propiedades sobre el siguiente juego, que su equipo ganaría, y si él perdía, su ex-marido, él tendría que ser decapitado, así como el equipo vencido. Bien, él sintió que él podría reconquistarla así perdiera o ganara la apuesta, y así él acepto la apuesta. Pero otra vez, la vida no lo favorecería, él no fue hecho para ser un jugador, por seguro, y después de perder él la rogaba perdonara su vida, que lo aceptara de nuevo, diciendo en esencia, que ambos podrían disfrutar de la riqueza que ella había adquirido, y su vieja posición en el reino.

Ah ¡mi Dios!, ella era tan cuidadosa, que le dijo que iría a su casa y que pensaría en esto y lo decidiría al día siguiente. Bien, él pensó que esto estaba bien, al menos eso le pareció mejor que perder su cabeza hoy, y solamente el hecho de que ella lo pensaría era bastante para iluminarlo, sintiendo que él tendría la victoria final, y que era él quien contaba, él la tendría de vuelta y los tesoros, que más podría él pedir. Pero como ya lo había dicho antes, el destino no siempre estaba en su bolsillo, esa noche el gobernador, Mat Head, pidió la cabeza de su cuñado, como que él había perdido la apuesta. Él pidió que ella esperara por su hermana hasta el día siguiente y que ella lo arreglaría todo, pero ella dijo: "Una apuesta es una apuesta?y ésta deber ser pagada". No puedo recordar que más dijo ella, pero su cabeza fue cortada en un segundo. Cuando la hermana de Mat Head volvió a la mañana siguiente, preguntó por su ex-marido, y descubrió por su hermana, Mat Head, que ella lo había decapitado. Ella gritó un rasgón, una lágrima muy grande, y luego sonrió a Mat Head.

Dennis Siluk, you can see his most recent book "Spell of the Andes," at most of your internet sites, like http://www.abe.com; it will be featured in the Huancayo, Peru Correo, newspaper, July 9, a review of the book, and on the internet for those interested; http://www.Correo.com - It will presented at the Ricardo Palma House, in Lima in October, by Luis Guillermo Guedes, Director. Dennis lives both in Lima, and Minnesota part of each year and is working on another book called, "Curse of the Abyss Worm."

In The News:


Bellingham Herald

Hope releases his first book of poetry
Bellingham Herald
JUNEAU, Alaska — Ishmael Hope spent six years putting together his first collection of poetry, "Courtesans of Flounder Hill," a period of time in which the manuscript went through many changes — as did Hope himself. Among them: He became a father to ...

and more »

New poetry by area poets to be featured on LCTA buses
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
New works of poetry and accompanying photography, displayed on placards normally used for advertising, are once again being placed inside Luzerne County Transportation Authority buses for the 2014-2015 edition of the Poetry in Transit initiative.


Review: 'This Bird of Dawning' illuminates Christmas story with music, dance ...
Salt Lake Tribune
The performance uses dance, pantomime, and an eclectic selection of poetry and music to tell the Christmas story. The title comes from Shakespeare's "Hamlet," but several of the poems are local. Since the story begins with the Magi setting out to find ...


American Life in Poetry
The Spokesman Review
My father, rather a quiet man, / told a story only the one time, / if even then – he had so little / need, it seemed, of being understood. / Intervals of years, his silences! / Late in his life he recalled for us / that when he was sixteen, his papa ...


The Guardian

Imtiaz Dharker awarded Queen's gold medal for poetry
The Guardian
She added: “Hers is a unique perspective and an essential voice in the diversity of English-language poetry. It is a moral force – a force for good and a force for change – that refuses to see the world as anything less personal than an extended ...

and more »

Meet the new poet laureate at Tellus360
LancasterOnline
Weitzel was named the county's fourth poet laureate earlier this month by Betsy Hurley, executive director of the sponsoring Lancaster Literary Guild. He is charged with promoting poetry and poetry education during his two-year term, which succeeds ...


Poetry and Literature Calendar (Dec. 21 to Dec. 27)
Buffalo News
Saturday, 7 p.m.: American Repertory Theater of WNY presents “ART in the Box: Poetry, Prose and Open Mic Readings” featuring poets Marek P. Parker, Eddie Gomez and Indio Cortez, hosted by poet/playwright Mark C. Lloyd. American Repertory Theater of ...


Valdosta Daily Times

Literary Guild rejoices in poetry
Valdosta Daily Times
Collins, professor of poetry at Harvard, suggests that quiet reflection in solitude can also enrich one's appreciation of everyday events. In a poem titled “Introduction to Poetry, he bemoans the fact that students do not enjoy the total effect that ...


A Poetry Contest About Race
New York Times (blog)
I did this years ago, with a poetry contest about the Iraq war, and I found many of the poems very moving. Race likewise seems one of those topics that calls for the kind of soul-searching that poetry is well suited for. I'd also invite school or ...


YourWestValley.com

Veterans learn to tell stories through poetry
YourWestValley.com
Through readings, exercises and discussion, participants will delve into their own experiences to practice the craft of poetry writing. All materials and a complimentary meal will be provided at each session. Veterans at all levels of writing ...

Google News

It Was Not Me

It was not me as I am now. It was... Read More

Give Me a Lily Pad & The Continuum [two Poems]

What can I do to keep this world in its... Read More

Two Poems and an Analysis [?Witness,? & ?An Old Love?]

Two Poems and an Analysis ['Witness,' & 'An Old Love']WitnessMy... Read More

Song of the Great Zimbabwe, and Silver and Inca Blood [Poems and notes]

"Song of the Great Zimbabwe"Across the African, winter's skyIn the... Read More

Asha of Darfur [A poem with a commentary by the author]

Asha of DarfurCry, cry-oh little Darfur woman For your sister... Read More

Two Poems and a Short Story

1)dying in the bar [sluggishly]yet, I would crawl too upto... Read More

Live For Today...

Isn't that what they say?But what does that mean?There's no... Read More

Four Poems: Harvest of Apoplectic Horses [Katrinas Pathway]

Four Poems: Katrina's PathwayHarvest of Apoplectic Horses ((Dedicated to: Katrina))... Read More

The Gaul of La Laguna de Paca

Part OneI tell you a legend of long ago Of... Read More

Expressing an Emotion - The Art of Writing Poetry

Writing poetry is an art, a way of expression, finding... Read More

Two Poems with Triggers [and a commentary]

So Many Einstein'sThe morning mist, insists there is a God.... Read More

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: A Discussion of How Do I Love Thee?

"How Do I Love Thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning was... Read More

Three Poems (While in Transition/English and Spanish)

Here are three more poems by the author, Dennis Siluk,... Read More

A Ship to Remember

Hammers. Timbers. Iron. Steel.They're laying down a mighty keel.As ant-like... Read More

Uamaks Aquatic [suspense: now in Spanish and English]

Delicately, my mind was selecting a muffled tune, out of... Read More

THe Monster Mash, A Graveyard SMASH (short story I wrote when I was 11)

The Monster Mash The Graveyard SmashHave you heard of the... Read More

Africa

AFRICA (to africans in diaspora)africa here i come, africa africa... Read More

I Hate The Wait (Weight)

I get up in the morningAnd want to stay in... Read More

Mechanical Poetry

Do you ever stare at the paper, waiting for poetic... Read More

Way of Life: Rhymes of the Inca [four poems: see in Spanish and English NOW!]

Way of Life: Rhymes of the IncaPizarro (Spanish conquistador ((1525))The... Read More

Walt Whitman, Romance With a Stranger

The concept of brief encounters, even romantic encounters, with a... Read More

Thank You To Our Soldiers And A Tribute To Old Glory And A Prayer For Peace

Thank youDedicated to soldiers and their loved onesFor those who... Read More

The King and Delka & Moiromma: the Cold Planet [Parts 25 and 26]

#25The King and Delka [Split Mawkishness-on Moiromma /Part V]Sickly SentimentalityI... Read More

Let Your Feelings Be Your Guide

The light of all eternity shines with me now /... Read More

Lucky...

You make me smile like I've seldom done before You... Read More