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PERU


Children


they surge against us

small children selling postcards

waves lapping our shore


lambs licking our trough

where do they scamper off to

with our fifteen cents


women with infants

bundled tight in heavy cloth

wrapped around their backs


baby slumbering

in vibrant textile colors

dreaming of purple


Animals


alpacas llamas

tender eyes blink back the sun

seeping through their wool


Language


hard sounds of Quechua

mimic masonry’s hard lines

Inca  bold  precise


Pukapukara

Qorikancha  angular

stout  Saqsaywaman


On the Inca Trail


a thousand steps up

two thousand down, down and down

we wilt, panting dogs


and porters run by

their sandaled feet black, calloused

two packs on their back


ruins lay quiet

stone steps and terraces yawn

beneath white capped peaks


in between the stones

delicate blooms christen great

walls with nature’s laugh


angel orchid dips

her slender brow in the breeze

yellow skirt shimmers


Machu Picchu


width of history

depth of human achievement

strangling time with stones


centuries gilded

with secrets, sun gods, temples,

caressed in jungle


across verdant slopes

terraces cascade cleanly

stones fit precisely


Titicaca


in puma-stone lake

reeds bundled into islands

float a peaceful life


taste like celery

soft underfoot like a tongue

forest in water


Amantani Island


lit by one candle

the room is framed by shadows

we eat in silence


one flame lights inside

while ten billion shine outside

we gasp, we shudder


a sky of fables

stars like heaven’s waterfall

foaming on night’s shore

*



**parts of this poem first appeared on Holiday Nomad

back to Tuesday Tales


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