I’ve been pondering whether to share this particular post with you for a while now, seeing as it isn’t exactly like the others that have come before it.
A great deal of my writing relies on humour (or my rather earnest attempt at it) and for good reason. My adventures and travel experiences are rarely lacking in amusement and it is with the greatest pleasure that I am able to recollect these hilarious moments across the globe. For me, the faint memory of that side-splitting ache offers undeniable proof that my explorations were worthwhile.
Nevertheless sometimes I question whether, on occasions, my point is lost amidst the embarrassing encounters and giggle-inducing descriptions of one disaster or another. If this is indeed the case, I have concluded it is perhaps necessary to adopt a alternative approach.
Anyone who has encountered my work before will be aware of my complicated relationship with clichés. Whilst such exaggerated statements seldom elicit much admiration, I cannot help but understand their function. Attempting to express the reasons why travel has become so dear to me without falling victim to these pesky declarations is more difficult then you may expect. Some seek adventure in an attempt to abandon their troubles, momentarily existing in a reality entirely absent from the mundane worries of the daily grind. Others, myself included, embark on such excursions in search of all that is foreign. The tangible pull of the unknown has become almost impossible to ignore and with each journey, my understanding of the world is altered. Though these changes may be slight, the experiences I have had have laid the foundations for the outlook I possess today.
With this in mind, and in light of one of my most surreal moments to date, I have a poem to share. This summer I was catapulted once again (to read about my previous experiences, click here) into the madness that is India and, unsurprisingly, the intensity of this visit has inspired tales in their number. Whilst I have every intention of describing my trip in detail, I felt it right to publish this particular insight first. I am not a poet, nor do I have any great desire to become one. Instead, after witnessing a funeral in the afternoon Varanasi sunlight, I decided to document my sights in a slightly different manner. Perhaps it was the nature of the event that warranted an alternative interpretation, the serious quality of the scene demanding a certain kind of acknowledgement. Or maybe it was the utterly alien atmosphere that sparked such an unusual response. Quite simply, it is besides the point. For me, the way in which you choose to record your travels is irrelevant, all that matters is that you do. Whether you take photographs, scribble notes in a leather-bound diary or write poetry about your adventures, one day you’ll be grateful that you did.
So, to conclude the waffle, please do have a read of the piece below and keep your eyes open for my next post!
Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi – India
Goodbyes harsh and laboured carried on an outtake of breath
Sickly salty acceptance, a marriage of sweat and tears
The shell that housed the soul carves a winding path amongst the alleys of its past
The darkest pied piper of all perhaps
A twisted congregation at its heels
Blue eyes and ignorance
A flash of confusion precedes another, stolen snapshots not ours to recall
Dark skin and mourning
A disturbed smile on the lips of bearded men
No sobriety, melancholy – a collection of voices and noises
Mood shifted, spirits lifted, a battle cry echoes
Blondes squirming, logic fading through their lens
Friend, cradled by the water
A cleanse on soiled ground
Flames so alive in their dance, a stark opposition to the absence of beating
Sunset hues lick the wounds of the fallen, healing and burning all at once
The flicker falters
Embers of a rich existence fizzle out to dark
A body sinks.
The others walk away.