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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

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