Machu Picchu (poem)


Machu Picchu


bucket lists
smart phones
selfie sticks
altitude pills
attitude pills,
sun hats
sun block
Lonely Planet Guidebook,
don’t drink the water
don’t eat the salad
no ice please
this is our tribe
this is our tribe.


The Incas long ago
left for the valley
to grow their quinoa,
wheat and corn
but we keep coming
to look for something
that may have been left behind;
we are a benign invader
a tad earnest maybe
mild-mannered to a fault
but hand us a weak wifi signal
and we go ape-shit.
There are those among us
who have already abandoned
the physical world –
I see them
sitting in restaurants
heads bowed and thumbs
working beneath the table
connecting by radio waves
to a digital stream
of consciousness and banality.
I am he as you are he
and we are a river of electrons.


Photos by Marie Feeney

This poem was originally published in The Galway Review.

Taking part in Open Link Night over at dverse

16 thoughts on “Machu Picchu (poem)

  1. Steve Simpson

    Wonderfully sharp descriptions, Jim, and thought-provoking as always. Pretty sure it’s not what John Lennon had in mind, but I dare not criticise the wonder that lets me chat to you from across the world, and yes, as soon as the net goes down I start feeling insecure.

    Spending formative years in the Latin world reshaped me, at least enough to let me know I didn’t have a clue, and maybe I learned a few things when there was nothing to do but be where I was. On the other hand, I learn a few things whenever I read your work, so thank you.



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