The Sun God


The Sun God

Myron volunteered once
as a caretaker on an island
in the middle of a lake
in the High Andes, North of Puno,
the Altiplano.

The top of the island
was as flat as an anvil
and every day he would climb up there
from his lake side cottage
to study the funerary towers
of Silustani over on the mainland,
using his large binoculars.

It was never quite clear to Myron
what exactly he was taking care of.
He had a house,
a dread-locked alpaca
and three guinea pigs.
The guinea pigs were housed in a wired compound,
inside the compound was a miniature mud hut
with a thatched roof
and three open doorways which the guinea pigs retreated through
every time he approached.
He thought that,
perhaps he was supposed to eat the guinea pigs
it was clear that they thought this also.

Located close to the funerary towers
were the remains of an Inca temple
worshipping the Sun God,
at that time in his life
Myron was losing faith in atheism
and the Inca worship of the sun god
had a certain logic to it.
Without the sun where are we?
Where are we, indeed!
He wasn’t overly keen on human sacrifice
but he had to admit that the Incas
dealt with the blood well,
channels and drainage being an Inca thing,
knowledge they acquired along the way.
Subjugate, assimilate,
and so it goes forever.

Myron thought he would use this time to write
but mostly he sat looking at a blank page
listening to the tinnitus in his left ear roar
and in the absence of his fellow human beings
he began to think that the alpaca was judging him,
the way it stared at him from under its matted fringe
and down its long nose.

One night he found himself shouting abuse at the alpaca.

The next day he left for Puno
and got drunk on gassy lager
in a pizzeria on the ragged, dusty town square

not far from the shores of Lake Titicaca.

This poem was previously published in The Galway Review. and also was posted over at earthweal.

Taking part in Open Link over at dverse.

13 thoughts on “The Sun God

  1. lillian

    An amazing narrative…..I read it twice….the reflection within the narrative….the questions….the possible symbolism in my mind. Thank you for posting to OLN!


  2. hedgewitch

    I absolutely cracked up several times during this–the guinea pigs, the judgemental alpaca, and the abstruse hygiene of human sacrifice. It’s a terrible thing to lose your faith in atheism. The humor is a byproduct of your skill in drawing the personality of the protagonist, and too many of your lines are gold to quote back. A poem that rewards re-reading.


  3. Eilene Lyon

    What a piece of work – and I know it’s too much to ask, but so hope it is autobiographical. When we start taking it out in the innocent bystanders, be they four-legged or two, it is time to move on. Yes, indeed, that Sun god will go with you.


  4. Steve Simpson

    A very enjoyable and amusing read, Jim, especially all the detail. I feel as if I know Myron. Apparently the Incas indulged in more refined savagery than we see in the world today. Your wonderful work makes me miss WordPress.



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