Inquisitor: Sun & Moon



He told me to read,
and plucked my left eye from its orbit.
He slashed the glowing globe of the other.

 Knowledge leaked out:
loose threads dangling,
the reverse side of a tapestry.

 He told me to speak and squeezed
dry dust between my teeth.
I spouted a diet of Catechism and Confession.

He emptied my mind of poetry and history.
He destroyed the myths of my people.
He filled me with fantasies from a far off land.

I live in a desert where people die of thirst,
yet he talked to me of a man who walked on water.

 On all sides, as stubborn as stucco,
the prison walls listened, and learned.

 I counted the years with feeble scratches.

For an hour, each day, the sun shone on my face;
for an hour, each night, the moon kept me company.

Broken worlds lay shattered inside me.
Dust gathered in my people’s dictionary.
My heart was a weathered stone
withering within my chest.

 I longed for the witch doctor’s magic,
for the healing slash of wind and rain.

 The Inquisitor told me to write out our history:

I wrote
how his church
had come
to save us.

Note: I am still working on Sun and Moon. It will be ready for publication on Amazon and Kindle some time this week. Monkey Temple, Though Lovers Be Lost, Bistro, and Empress of Ireland are now available for review or purchase on Amazon and Kindle.

37 thoughts on “Inquisitor: Sun & Moon

    • The Living God and the God coming in from the East … most certainly a clash of cultures. Bernal Diaz makes interesting reading … The true history / la verdadera historia … Cortes was in Oaxaca, too, beneath the Arbol de Tule, according to local legend.

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    • Sun and Moon was published on Amazon and Kindle today. This is the second (revised) edition of Sun and Moon, the first edition having been published in 2000. Although this is the second edition, I have returned to and revised the original manuscript. It is clearer, stronger, and better than the first edition. Here is the description of the book as it appears on Amazon and Kindle.

      “They tore down our walls,” Mono whispered, “stone by stone. A new church they built on the land they stole from us.” These opening lines begin the verbal adventure of Sun and Moon. Written in Oaxaca, Mexico, between 1995 and 1999, the poems tell some of the tales of the voiceless, of the conquered, of the displaced, of the survivors, of the people who eat and sleep in the streets of Oaxaca, spinning their myths and legends and recalling their oral histories and memories. Sun and Moon traces the relationships between two civilizations, the indigenous and the conquerors, from the first contacts between Europeans and the people of the Oaxaca Valley up to the modern day interactions between locals and tourists. In these pages, some of the ancient ceremonies and beliefs, as described by indigenous people, are brought back to life in vivid images and colorful metaphors, so sharp, they can be grasped between the fingers and examined by the light of the sun by day and the moon by night. The multiple voices in the poems are those of human beings who, like the author, himself an émigré, find themselves in exile, lost, abandoned, and displaced. As the final character cries out in the final poem: “You do not worship at our sacred places … you don’t know even know the meaning of my name.”

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  1. Bitterness and resolution. Really evocative, Roger. Inspired by your time in Mexico, I’m sure. Imagine a world where western colonialism didn’t destroy native civilizations…. Who would’ve risen up to fill the vacuum? Or flourished, for that matter.

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  2. The victors write the history. Thus, can an entire people and their story over the millennia, be obliterated, destroyed, and all that remains is their architecture and their stone-engraved thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

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