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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Dear Pachamama


This is a poem I wrote as we were on our 15 hour bus ride to Peru, inspired by the mountains and colorful villages en route. In Andean culture, Pachamama could signify what westerners would call “Mother Earth.” In Bolivia and Peru there is still a strong indigenous presence. Many indigenous villages live in harmony with the Pachamama, respecting and listening to the mountains and its inhabitants. I was feeling quite disconnected from myself and the natural world before embarking on this trip. Humbled by its beauty and strength while looking out the window of the bus, this poem is an apology and attempt to reconnect with the earth.


Dear Pachamama,

Now the light is really almost gone-
I could safely say it’s no longer dusk
But entering into night.

When I am lost in you,
This is the hour I am forced to surrender
Because my human eyes can’t perceive you anymore-
so my soul takes over instead.

Let me feel your energy
pulse through my veins again;
Getting into your rhythm
perched up high in your swaying limbs,
Rain soaking my pores numb

Your soft hills are welcoming
but they are laced with jagged rock
You remind me
I don’t know you anymore.

I look to you for relief and
You remind me
You are dark and uncontainable,
And could thrash my body around
until I return to dirt.

I want to run along your bare ridge
Bare feet pressed into loose earth.
I want to feel what your foreign terrain has to offer-
blister my skin and leave me panting;

I want to blend my naked bones
Into your trees,
reflecting the moonlight
chilled by your midnight howl.
hold me
until our skins become undistinguishable
as one.

I want you at your dreariest dawns
And your wildest bone-cracking nights.
I want to sleep in your crevasses,
Even if you barely contain enough oxygen
to fill my burning lungs.

But most of all I want to say:
I’m sorry
I’m so sorry
I never meant for any of this to happen
Will you take me back?


Con Amor desperado,