Tag Archives: Travel

So Long, Halong (Poem)

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So Long, Halong

As we ride out of Cat Ba

through a valley circled

by limestone crags,

a compilation of pop ballads

 

from the seventies and eighties

oozes from the speakers

and the affable English backpackers

at the back of the bus

 

groan in faux horror

as Aerosmith follows Bryan Adams

follows George Michaels

follows Michael Jackson

 

but when the Bee Gees launch

“How Deep Is Your Love”

the backpackers quieten down

and the driver stops honking his horn

 

at the dogs, children, women

in cone hats and cyclists

with finely balanced cargos

who drift carelessly

 

in front of the bus

as if it was an invisible

visitor from the future,

and we all strain against

 

the tug of the song’s chorus

far too cool to sing along

except for one backpacker

let’s call him Nigel

 

or Christian, or Jason, or Justin

who, in a high piping voice

declares his oneness

with the song’s embattled lovers.

 

This poem was first published in Oddball Magazine, and is a re-post from 2016. Participating in Open Link Night over at dVerse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caye Caulker Chronicles (poem)

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Caye Caulker Chronicles

1

skinny backpackers
tumble off the water taxi
clutching Lonely Planet guidebooks,
in the café below
Bob Marley’s still jammin’
the locals talk of Paradise spoilt
of Eve, Adam and apples bitten.

2

Out on the coral reef
tiny organisms
fret about climate change
and carbonic acid
(I fink the pH is dropping, I really do);
while over in San Pedro
on the Redneck Riviera
soccer moms mingle
with sun-damaged matrons
dedicated to the preservation
of floral print muumuus.

 

…participating in open link night over at dVerse (thanks Mish), check them out.