Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

The Four Quarters, or Tawantinsuyu

by Juan Morales


Above the continent,

Sun God and Sister Moon oversee

the Four Quarters, calling

down to Tawantinsuyu,

settled in its hum,


stretching southward

along coastlines

with mountains that segment

the entire band.

With its rivers,


the Four Quarters thrust

through deserts, tumble

jungle vine

to bend into the towns

illuminated by Viracocha’s spark,


past sloped farmlands

and roads

that network the supple,

working body. To the west,

the ocean’s


clustering boats

easing to shore.

Still above,

Sun God and Sister Moon

are witnessing, calling out



but failing to rouse anyone

for the coming booms

of steel, the end

of imperial routines.