Worlds Away

what the nomad brought home

Anachronism

Rome was already dead.

It was her ghost which emerged from the barbarian raids
To witness the moment the Tawantinsuyo awoke to its own splendor
Just moments before discovering that the seeds of its destiny
Had always been germinating there among those Seven Hills.

And as the mountain kingdom lay bleeding,
With one final, desperate gasp before her altar,
A deathbed convert, but all too tragically late,
The prostrate Inca warrior poured his libation of virgin tears
Over the marble belly of Venus–
Whose alabaster robes had buried
The quena
That opened those last decisive battles on the páramo–
And an empire built on granite
Fell to dust at the feet of a fading Classical apparition.

When the most bitter of Andean chills
Mangled the Mediterranean olives on their branch,
Two great empires
Reigning out of time

Clashed in anguish.  Fused.
And fell
Right there

On our bed.


* ~ Ñoqa Chuquiagomarkamanta Pichopaq ~
Quena =
type of Andean flute, held vertically at the lips

February 10, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Virgins

I made a pilgrimage

To the land of eternal spring

Where the ancient mountains are burning

And the verdant fields are bleeding

And the youthful streets are screaming –

Cries of the ghosts of virgins

Whose daughters

Are harvested every day.

I walked in wonder

Through the pristine savagery of eternal spring

Averting my eyes from the wolves

Closing my ears to the snakes

And opening my soul to the carnage

That first claimed the virgins

Whose daughters

Are ravaged every day.

I stopped the advances

Of the conquistadores of eternal spring,

Appropriating boulevards for myself,

Walking, exposed on all sides,

To protect my body from their gunshots

While my spirit was penetrated

Like the virgins

Whose daughters

Are born every day.

“Everything’s resolved in bed later,”

Some laugh on balmy afternoons in eternal spring,

When, exhausted from running

And dreading the blows,

The helpless desperately seek refuge

And are cast aside by the sons of a virgin

Whose daughters

Are flogged every day.

“Why won’t you drink!” he screamed

Of the poison of eternal spring

As I told him, instead, to imbibe it,

Wrestled myself from his grip,

And became

Another refugee of the virgin

Whose daughters

Are sedated every day.

Deep in the lion’s den

Higher than the clouds,

The beasts were salivating at my side,

And I could truly see the tragic glory of eternal spring

While, smaller than ever,

I stood at the feet of a virgin

Whose daughters

Are falling to their knees every day.

Stealing into the heavens one night,

I passed into a new season —

More alive than ever before, and crying with relief,

Unscathed but not untouched,

And forever remembering the virgin

Whose daughters

Are saved every day.

  

*I’m not here to make any claims about religious affiliation or devotion, so it is with the utmost of respect that I am requesting you not focus on however it may be that I experience my own spirituality.  I will say, however, that I firmly believe that life is experienced in a deeply cultural context, which, by its very nature, can vary drastically from scenario to scenario.  I hope to inspire reflection on this latter aspect of the human experience.  Travel memories come in all varieties, and sometimes your souvenirs choose you rather than the other way around.  Thank you sincerely for reading, and I wish you kindness, love, and peace.*

December 28, 2007 Posted by | Memories, Poetry, Travel, Woman, Writing | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments