Quechua Christ

In the desert was I tempted.
Thirst besieged my throat
And sleep my eyes.
Stones were my only bread
And thorn bushes
My resting place.
My feet stumbled
On precipitous paths.
My mind wandered
With the wind
And sought refuge
In the moving sands.

But still I would not yield.

On the mountains was I tempted.
Finest vicuña
Clothed my limbs
And Inca gold
Crowned my brow.
On the upstream of Time,
I soared with condors
And saw, from the clouds,
The Lands of the Earth.

I alone possessed
The arts of the shamans
And, in my two hands
Held the thunderbolts of power.

But still I would not yield.

At the appropriate time,
I came down from the high plains
And, in the sacred valley,
Drank at the springs of Life.

AJS – On the Altiplano, Peru, April 1998