⌗IWSG, Wednesday 6th November 2019

Welcome to a new monthly post for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group.

If you would like to know more about this Blog-Hop or join-up start here

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional! 

November 6 question – What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story? The awesome co-hosts for the November 6 posting of the IWSG are Sadira Stone,Patricia Josephine,Lisa Buie-Collard,Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie!

î Abà

Writing a poem for the November issue of MAGMA, theme Resistencia, I researched the Amazon tribe of the Guarani on Wikipedia. Beyond the historical aspects of their culture, I came across a link to a website detailing their language, as widely documented by the Jesuits priests in the 17th and 18th centuries. The site was in Spanish and I discovered a whole new world. This very intriguing language surprised me by the insightful light it shed on the Guarani, their culture and more fascinatingly on the way they perceived and interacted with their environment. A lesson to all later civilisations, the Guarani, like most native people from the American continent live in harmony with Nature and have developed a deep respect for one another. I discovered an unfathomable richness of philosophy and art which gave me pause, which if it hadn’t been recorded would have been lost, as their language perdured only orally until the 17th century.

my poem (not accepted for publication) September 2019.

î Abá

Soy Guaraníe, î Abá.1

The white man appeared,

a tall spirit in a black robe,

a drape over his feet.

He glided into a clearing

silently from the roar 

of the Iguazu waters. Hair

covered his cheeks and lip.

Tendyva, a beard. He spoke

a harsh tongue. The pale man

charmed our ears with the song

of a guyra2 we had never heard.

The sound came from a rigid

wooden Mboí3, he held in his hands.

We listened to his tales.

We believed his barter.

Our soul for protection.

We had heard of the raids.

Men in heavy shiny shells

thrust thick spears into tye4.

They took the strong. Juka5

the debíl6The disappeared

never returned. The dead u7,

their bones and angue8

we offered to the ground.

The clanging battles

encroached more and more

on our hunting paths.

We knew we were next.

The black-robed men came. 

We welcomed them

in our midst.


We gave them our chipa,

jeky, pakavo, pety9. We shared

the kali. They showed us 

a wooden cross.

We felled more trees in a moon 

than we would in twenty-four.

We missed their shade.

We missed the korochire10 tune.

The tatu, tapiti, mbosevi fled

deeper into the forest. We saw

no more panambi, pykasu11.

We built a great house.

It climbed to the sun

blaring down. The priest

chose a boy to clamber

the planks and tie

a gigantic gold cross

on the apex. They spoke words 

from leaves bound in skin,

called a prayer, membo’e.

The drone drowned us in sleep.

When we woke, the words 

were etched on the inside

of our minds. Our eyes blind.

With time the clash of metal

reached our ears. The din

and wails turned us deaf.

Sapukáy, Sapukáy12,Hasê.

The shiny-shell men

aimed sticks of fire,

sent a hail of arrows. 

Flames rained.

The black-robed sorcerers

told us to chant the words

behind the cross statue.

We obeyed, temimbo’e13.


Many, many, many rains later,

our great-great-great grandsons,

deep, deep in the dark forest

looked up at the hovy14.

They heard a roar, saw

a giant shiny bird

with rigid wings.

They remembered

the legends


while gathered around 

the hearth, weaved

with their hearts,

from elder to young.

Mother to daughter,

father to son.

They knew they

would come.

This time,

The Guaraní

would not be

wiped out.

They would fight.


1I am a Guarani, in Spanish and in Guaraní (http://educar.org/kunumi/vocabulario)

2A bird




6Weak in Spanish



9Bread, potatoes, banana, tobacco …. monkey.

10Zorzal cantor, type of bird.

11Armadillo, hare, tapir …. butterfly, dove

12Screams, to weep



The Guaraní People

The Guaraní language

Guaraní-Spanish Blog.
guarani-and-the-importance-of-maintaining cultural identity through language/

MISSION, the film. Palme D’or, Cannes 1996, here

The Atlas, Morocco, October 2019

Bab Zouina, traditional Moroccan villa, Natha Yoga Retreat, October 2019

Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to comment, discuss and I will be sure to reply. Happy IWSG Wednesday. Torrential rains here in Toulouse, the past ten days. Halloween washout !

6 thoughts on “⌗IWSG, Wednesday 6th November 2019

  1. I love that poem, Susan and all it evokes – poignant and tragically so true. Missionaries caused such disastrous occurrences all over the world. (Being part-Chilean, I’m proud of my native blood – even diluted.) The Mission is a powerful movie – haunting like the music by Morricone,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t so much the Jesuit missionaries that caused the damage but the Spanish Catholic Church that allowed the Spanish and Portuguese armies to invest the region and massacre the native people. Of course if the Jesuits hadn’t gone poking their noses above the Iguazu falls, the Guarani would have been preserved maybe 50 years more. Have you travelled to South America ? To Chile ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a dream to go there, but my chronic illness stopped that – and my aversion to flying. My first wife did get there with her current husband – and brought my second wife and me some gifts like a wall-hanging from Laka Titicaca.

        Liked by 1 person

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