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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

34. Austria

Clickety Clack

Orderly Austria flashes past.
Suffocatingly precise.

Oh for some fresh air.

I pry a reluctant window open just a fraction.
In an apparently personal affront to the severe man glaring at me from afar.
Who storms thunderously through the carriage to slam it shut in my face.

Twice.

 

jpm

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33. Hungary (Budapest, 1990)

Rubbery, flubbery, lubbery bellies
Peeking through the clouds of steam in immodest abandon.
It’s Women’s Tuesday in the Rudas Baths,
Nestled at the foot of the castle.

And ruddy-faced, barrel-shaped matrons pass gossip and time in the public baths
as they always have.
An hour’s respite from their daily cares.

 

jpm
(posted from Waiheke Island, New Zealand)

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Košice Town Square.
Safety pinned and superglued,
the sneering punk sprawls his scrawny self beside me on the bench,
radiating a loose-limbed exuberance
at odds with his steel capped boots.
An outpost of desperate wannabe anarchy
amidst Cold War Communist conformism.
Thirsting for my corrupting tales of the Wicked West.

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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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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