Three Poems from: Jauja (Peru)
Note (a small summery on three poems after visiting three sites): For me these following three poems are interrelated simply because they are all from Jauja, although two are from a town-let called Chongos, the other one from the ancient hillside capital of the Wanka world (700 to 1450 AD), Tunanmarca (all within the Jauja area). Here is where the Inca Empire (from Cuzco) came and subdued the Wanka Capital in the half of the 15th Century. Some 15,000-inhabidents lived on this mountaintop city that is being renovated as I write these three poems, called Tunanmarca. Access to the city is a bit difficult; it is about 12,500- feet above sea level, and there are two defense walls nearing its summit, but it is worth the hike up the hill.
The Old Shepard
Lady of Chongos
“It is late, quite late.
And I, I am one of few, awake!
What I love is by my side.
I spent all morning talking,
as I bend and rise
under the moving sun—!
They speak to me—, the sheep,
clear as the eyes of chickens!”
No: 2009 10-5-2007
The Wanka Capital
(700 to 1450 AD)
Oh, on this early afternoon I think
I shall live forever!
I am bound in my carefree flesh;
wrapped in these old Wanka ruins.
Rising from my feet from where I sat
it is a long walk up this mountain,
of old stones and white rocks:
the sun shines joyfully on my back.
I have now survived the long climb,
bathed in excitement along the way;
now on top, I plunge through the wind,
I drift into an antique universe,
where the ancient Wanka once set foot:
and alive forever, these stones seem.
No 2009 (10-5-2007)
(The Cross of Pain)
It was mid-morning when I got there,
the plaza full of birds flying quietly
through the warm, but fresh breeze
(‘the day shall never end,’ I thought)…
the old, old Wanka cross in Chongos,
the Cani Cruz, named for the pain
that brought regret to the hearts of patrons,
of those far off days of long ago!...
stood solemn and erect, with flowers;
stood in front of me like a leaning tower.
‘The day shall never end,’ I said aloud,
but at last it did, like the quiet waters of
the night—like the birds that vanished.
‘The day shall never end,’ I said aloud.
Now, this ancient cross comes back to me
as if through a net of heavenly stars—
it has come back for me to write
its poetic legacy… its first breath…!
Note: The Cani Cruz is considered one of the most beautiful crosses in the world, carved out of stone in 1601 AD, by the Wanka nation of the Andes. The cross stands tall in the town-let known as Chongos (Alto), and has many inscriptions on it. There are few equal to it. No: 2008 10-4-2007.