Archive for the ‘Poetic prose’ Category

New Moon Beach, 5:36 pm

In Feeling of the moment, Place description, Poetic prose on 2018/06/10 at 15:18

The sun has just started to set, it’s noticeably lower in the sky but still bright and warm, shining right at me. My hat shields my face from its rays but I can feel its warmth on my bare chest. It paints a broad streak of silver on the water’s surface, like a glimmering road across the tops of the waves, from the ever shifting waterline on the wet sand all the way out to the horizon.  I stand a few feet out in the water with the waves washing over my ankles, watching that strip of silver as if mesmerized by the way it sparkles, drawing in my eyes until I see nothing else. I feel the cool breeze one my my back, I feel the sand being washed out from under my feet as I sink down into it, I hear the wooshing of the waves that, though not loud, drowns out the sounds from the people around me. It is a strange thing this, this urge that makes me kick off my shoes and go stand in the water, this instinctive need for meditation that only the ocean can fulfill.


Chengde temple trail, 7:15 pm

In Feeling of the moment, Place description, Poetic prose on 2018/04/29 at 11:36

There is a rounded opening in the wall of trees, just big enough for two people to stand side by side, framed by overhanging branches and low bushes silhouetted against the background, a barely perceptible difference between the shades of gray. A path, its gravel surface painted a light gray by moonlight, runs through the undergrowth, undulating slightly as it stretches out to a point somewhere in the distance. Thanks to the full moon my companions and I can navigate the darkness without using our flashlights, it enables us to see the little flickers of light all around us. In among the trees and bushes, and in the tall grass are little lights, flashing intermittently and ahead of us, a short distance down that darkened path, fireflies are flitting about, filling the air with their erratic blinking and making the entire forest sparkle like a starry sky.

Nanliao beach, 3:29 pm

In Feeling of the moment, Place description, Poetic prose, Writing on 2018/04/01 at 09:56

A vast expanse of grayish brown sand, broken up by a couple of large puddles left over by the receding tide.  Shallow canals winding their way through the wet sand, leading out to a large lagoon of pale blue water, and in the distance the white crests where the waves break over the outer sand bank. The sun shining down from a cloudless sky, topping every unevenness in the sand and every ripple in the water with a dash of silver. The distant roar of the breaking waves fills the air, every other sound seems to have been blown away by the breeze. In an instant my mind is emptied, the troubles of daily life all washed away, and I start to notice the little things around me: the feeling of the ridges in the sand under my bare feet; the coolness of the water as I step through it; the perfect balance between the afternoon sun on my back and the wind on my face; the little whirlpools in the canals as the water flows over the uneven surface and the way my feet sink in the sand if I stand still for a moment. Is this meditation?

Toul Sleng prison 10:27 am

In Feeling of the moment, Place description, Poetic prose, South East Asia Photo Album, Writing on 2018/03/17 at 02:33

In the room there are four large, freestanding notice boards, two on each side. Both the front and back of these are covered in photographs, all black and white, all the same size, neatly organized in a grid pattern. The photos all depict the same thing, faces, people looking straight into the camera, not a single smile among them. All the people have number tags hung around their necks, a few of them have fresh bruises on their face and a large amount hold their arms behind their backs, their shoulders twisted backwards. These are pictures of prisoners, brought here to be imprisoned for “crimes against the state”; save for a few, they were all executed. Their photos are a testament to the meticulous brutality of their executioners. They sit here on display to remind us that we must not let history repeat itself.

Treehouse, 02:28 am.

In Place description, Poetic prose, South East Asia Photo Album, Writing on 2018/02/28 at 08:23

I’ve woken up and can’t go back to sleep, so I stand at the railing looking out into the night. Despite not having any lights I can see shapes in the darkness, the silhouettes of the trees, jet black against the charcoal grey of the night sky. Beyond that, stars, more of them than I have ever seen before, twinkling all over the sky. I take in the scene for a few moments before the night chill forces me back under the covers.

Treehouse, 10:01 pm 

In Place description, Poetic prose, South East Asia Photo Album, Writing on 2018/02/28 at 08:21

I’m lying in my bed listening to music before going to sleep. I can feel the chill of the night air on my bare skin and hear, over the sounds of the music, the whoosh of the waterfall in the background and the occasional frup frup of a moth hitting the protective cocoon of the mosquito net surrounding my bed. It is pitch black like it only gets in really remote areas, far from any kind of civilization, the only light is the tiny amount spilling out around the edges of my phone where it lies face down on the mattress. This is an epitome of tranquility.

Over the jungle, 2:40 pm

In Place description, Poetic prose, South East Asia Photo Album, Writing on 2018/02/26 at 15:18

I’m whizzing through the air along a metal wire suspended over a gorge. All around me is lush greenery, jungle spilling down the sides of the valley. To my left a bare rock face, water cascading over the edge to form a huge waterfall, a rainbow down at the bottom where the sunlight hits the spray off the rocks. The speed is exhilarating and I shriek with joy, drowning out both the whining wirr of the zip line and the rush of the waterfall.

Central Pakse, 8:00 pm

In Place description, Poetic prose, South East Asia Photo Album, Writing on 2018/02/25 at 09:06

I’m only a couple of blocks from the main street but the place is almost empty. A few cars and scooters passing by, an open shop down the street shining like a beacon and the warm orange glow of the street lights that shine for no-one. With so many travelers coming here you would think the place would be more active but it no, everything seems dead and deserted.

Konglor cave, 4:48 pm

In Place description, Poetic prose, South East Asia Photo Album, Writing on 2018/02/23 at 04:58

The chamber we are in is enormous, the vaulted roof as high as that of a church and at least 30 meters from wall to wall. On the sides, gentle slopes of bare rock come down towards the water, forming a sort of outcrop where there is a bend in the river, the boat skimming across the gravel just inches below the surface. The whole scene illuminated by the greyish light of our flashlights as they focus on different parts of the surroundings.

Just outside Moc Chau, 6:54 pm 

In Place description, Poetic prose, South East Asia Photo Album, Writing on 2018/01/10 at 15:58

I have parked on a small patch of open ground just at the side of the road, and turned off the engine. I am surrounded by the dark silhouettes of the mountains, only a few scattered lights here and there down in the valley. Further down the road, the lights from trucks and cars play through the light evening mist. Here where I’m standing everything is dark and quiet, no houses, no cars, no people, just me and the sound of the crickets. I stand contemplating the darkness for a moment then I look up.

Up above, the sky is clear save for a few thin wisps of cloud, myriad stars twinkling all around with the bright crescent moon shining down on the peaks. So peaceful, so beautiful…then a truck roars by with blinding lights and the moment is gone.