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Archive for October, 2011

26. Malaysia (The Pinnacles, Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak)

Four days jungle walking
(raining).

I creep out at night for a pee,
crouching over the steaming leaf mould
(it’s raining).

A hundred scrawny, starving leeches
LEAP to attention,
their infrared sensors focussed single-mindedly on my warm bum
(still raining).

The race is on: first to the finish line wins!

 

jpm

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25. Kenya (Nairobi, 2000)

A city of one million.
Most in full-time employment.
Commuters, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers.
Laughter beside corrugated iron shanties:
children playing games in dirt alleys.
A neat blue clinic nurtures modest dreams
amidst the stench and grime.
Health for all.
The Nubian-named ‘forest’ of Kibera:
Biggest slum in Africa.

jpm

Dedicated to the MSI Kenya mini-clinic team of Kibera.

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24. India (The Taj Mahal)

Blinding heat ricocheting off the pristine marble of the Taj.
My bare feet dance across the white-hot path as if walking across coals.
Devastated to learn that the fabled love of a man for a woman
which built this great edifice, resulted in her death:
Fourteen children in fifteen years.

jpm

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23. China (The Great Wall)

A sweaty, claustrophobic ascent in the cable car after
continuous traffic jams from Beijing to Badaling.
A cacophony of hawkers: it’s all noise and crowds.
Until – my tiny daughter takes her very first steps
(on the Great Wall itself!),
and all of us – hawkers, tourists, guides –
become one universal parent.

jpm

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