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Volume I, Number 1 (Summer 2006)
ISSN 1934-4324

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NEW-CUE, Inc. is a non-profit, environmental education organization founded primarily to assist writers and educators who are dedicated to  enhancing  the public's awareness of environmental issues.




Richard Marranca

Richard Marranca is an Assistant Professor of English at Passaic County Community College, and from 2002-2003 he was a Fulbright Professor at LMU, University of Munich. These Peruvian poems came out of his recent National Endowments for the Humanities summer study grant, Andean Worlds 2005.

Milky Way Shaman

Moche Ceramic: Man and Woman


Milky Way Shaman


On the floor sits a tiny cosmos:

feathers, flowers, beads, crystals,

rugs, shells, spices, seeds, coca

leaves, red wine, divine chicha…

Sharp sticks point from the shaman,

guarding against the array of dark

forces. He wears a red vest with

multicolored lines & leather jacket.

As we look on, he does the ceremony.

The shaman has us think of our desires,

then he goes around the room, touching

each of us, being present, communing.

Like Ganesh, he can remove obstacles.


Then, he folds everything into a package;

we follow him outside. He makes a fire

and burns these fruits of the earth.

I’d never seen the Milky Way as a

river across the ancient sky; I opened

my mouth as if I could gulp the froth

of impossible worlds. Shamans travel

across time, heal the sick, convey us from

where we were, from fear and loss.

They do not fly, they become flight.



Moche Ceramic: Man and Woman


She is the earth and he is the sky.

The handle protrudes from

his back as she crouches on

all fours, sphinx-like. They’re

atop a rectangular beige vessel,

with white lines on the sides &

squares cascading down the middle.



He wears a hat, like the one I bought

at the Pisac market – pointy with

donkey ear flaps, of clay tones.

They are naked, of one anatomy.

The woman is hatless and focused,

with a powerful but quiet passion.

They boil, but you don’t see the boil.

The viewer is drawn to their

blending point. They still breathe: we

long for them, for that gasping place.






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