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Latin America Team Dispatch


"The Food of the Gods: Our Poetry in Peru

Before we leave Peru, we want to share with you some of our poetry that commemorates a little bit of the beauty, mystery and energy of the country. Since poetry has the ability to express emotions and images that cannot be described through ordinary language, we hope that these poems will leave you with a strong feeling and picture of what Peru really meant to us. We encourage you to write poetry to communicate what touches you most deeply as well. We also hope that we will have the honor of reading some of what you've writing through e-mails to our team!

Enjoy!
Abeja and Kevin

Click on the picture
to read Monica's dispatch,
"Machu Picchu at Last!"

Caption

Ode to Machu Picchu
by Abeja

Dark Inca hands
laid with reverence
a monument of worship
high in the temple of Apus.

The condor, the serpent, the spectacled bear,
and a garden full of Orchids,
with the winding Urubabamba
singing praises from below.

Each inanimate stone a tribute
to a living miracle.
To the tilt of the earth,
the spinning of the stars,
the lunar cycles.

Left to the earth
the rocks fill with offerings.
Decorated,
given life
with plants, mosses, trees and insects.

The ultimate shrine,
Life worships universe.

Enter man, enter logic, enter desire.
Stones laid bare, to be admired.
Archeologists and tourists, guides and vendors,
with the winding train
singing praises from below,
to stones and man.

The condor leaves, with other birds,
with the spectacled bear.
The garden receeds,
the serpent slithers away unnoticed.

The earth tilts,
the stars spin,
the moon waxes and wanes.
The universe patiently awaits
reconsecration
of its sacred shrine.

Click on the picture to read Abeja's dispatch,
"Spirits in the Material World"

Caption

Tears of Tihuantinsuyu
by Kevin

Tears of Tihuantinsuyu
Touching magic stones so grand, so bold,
Their seamless unity, that of a vast empire.
Mourning dew drops fall from their smooth faces
Onto ground still sacred in Inca memory.
Through war and through quake never toppling,
Outlasting their family, surviving their creators.
Their song of sorrow weighs heavier than anything
Ever felt by those who once tamed them.
Death of one man is a mysterious card
Dealt in all fairness by the gentle hands of time.
But death of a people, a culture, premature,
A solid hand cheated by the trump of kings and queens.
Deception and brutality, a discredit to civilization,
A shame worn as armor protecting none from judgment.
Discovery turns to greed with the finding of riches,
Leaving the conscience the only realm still unexplored.
Steel, tearing flesh, scatters family bodies to pieces,
Guns blow open holes from which trust escapes.
The Sun now eclipsed by the cross of Jesus Christ,
Forced to glare in disgust on the shores of Spain.
An endless flow of blood runs down the streets of Cuzco,
Washing away beauty and traces of great art.
Music from the navel, now an echo in the mountains
Where gold hides in fear of being torn from this land.
Was possession worth 300 years of pain?
The chest of treasures has been emptied and abandoned.
Destruction is simply not a sign of greatness,
but of envy and contempt for others' great achievements.
The spirit of the Inca, never meant to be silenced,
Lives freely within the stones, now and forever.
Every rock still whispers the greatness of the Inca,
In the touch of magic stones, we join in their lament.



The Team
 

Monica - The Land Down Under: The Silver Mines of the Cerro Rico
"My Poetry Will Make Me Great": Behind the Words of Cesar Vallejo
Kavitha - Get Political, Go to Jail!
Kavitha - An American in the Alcatraz of Peru
Making a Difference - Helping Political Prisoners in Peru
 
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