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Archive for November, 2011

31. Spain (Barcelona, 2007)

Today I stop and stare and climb within the fantastical spirals of the Sagrada Familia.
The passion of a crooked man,
building his twisted confections and crippled buttresses,
venerating his God.
Reaching beyond a mortal lifetime,
the loving hands of his disciples raise Gaudi’s utopian vision to grasp Catalan skies.

jpm

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30. Cyprus (Ledra Street, Nicosia/Lefkosa, 1996)

One step.  Another.
Crunching hesitantly across the eerie quiet of the No-Man-Zone
that buffers this divided country.
Crossing the Green Line.
The vigilant gaze of peacekeepers tracking my progress.
I mark derelict buildings, pitted with old gun wounds,
and walk a lonely country mile through the heartbreak of a nation.

 

jpm

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29. United Arab Emirates

If intelligent life from galaxies beyond
looked down on earth
and espied Dubai,
what (on earth) would they make of it?

Green grass in waterless deserts;
Palm frond-shaped islands recreating ecologies that never existed;
Improbable spires of glass and concrete grasping for the skies:
Nature subverted … temporarily … by Man’s denial.

 

jpm

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28. Tanzania (Mt Kilimanjaro)

One foot (breathe)
in front of (huff)
the other (gasp).
Sucking at the thin air.
Boots d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g heavily through chunks of dirty ice and loose volcanic gravel.
My body as leaden as my head is light.
Summiting in Kilimanjaro’s numbing dawn,
5895 metres above the baking African savannah.
Woo-(wheeze)-hoo!

 

jpm

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27. Germany (November 1989)

Three days ago.
“Die Mauer ist gefallen!!!”

Checkpoint Charlie, so bleak and forbidding just weeks before,
as I inched my way through the traffic jam of surveillance and barriers.
Now a free-wheeling, riotous East-West human motorway.

I witness the pure joy of liberation
as The Wall comes tumbling down.

 

jpm

(Die Mauer ist gefallen: The Wall has fallen)

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