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Posts Tagged ‘backpacking’

12. Indonesia (Sulawesi)

Seated with care in the esteemed guest’s position,
itinerant strangers shepherded in to honour The Dead.
The squealing of sacrificial pigs exploding up through the floorboards.
There we squirm, eyeballing the black cardboard coffin.
Garlands of flowers, not quite masking the slightly sweet aroma of humid, three day old death.

jpm

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11. Egypt (Giza Pyramid)

I’m folded over, shuffling upwards at a 45° angle, my nose inches from the bum ahead.  The stifling, dank air nothing to the claustrophobia – which is naught to the dent the 3000 year old roof puts in my head when the man behind me fondles my captive bum, in delight.

jpm

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8. Canada (Algonquin Lakes)

Erupting from a cloud of
VORACIOUS midges,
We paddle our tinny canoe
furiously
around the next bend,
Glen swearing all the way
his skin exploding in itchy welts.

Too late!

We’re eyeball to kneecap with
A skyrise
of unmoving mooseflesh,
Chawing away disdainfully
on his midstream morning tea
of waterlily.

jpm

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7. Jordan

It is the silence of the night desert that remains with you.
Deep in Wadi Rum,

The stars swallowing the sands.

Until the surreal moment,
When a company of Jordanian foot soldiers
Materialises from the north,
Clanking along in the night cool.

Assalamu Alaikum!

Then fading.

Into the startled moonlight.

jpm

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5. Turkey (far north-east, 1990)

The dolma was stuffed.
Heaving with humanity and its trappings.
Wheezing over the mountain pass.

Another woman and her produce by the side of the road.
Impossible!
No way!

Muttering in the back, general shuffling.
Still no way.
Claire squeezes onto my lap.  General approval all round.

Room for another.

jpm

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