A Postcard from Lastovo

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Lastovo: isolated Adriatic island of jagged hills clad in holm oak and aleppo pine, where the sea laps sunbleached stones with tongue translucent blue.

Days Between Mirages

 

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Certain skies have the power to sharpen eyesight.

It is the map maker who actually creates the world, and in a landscape devoid of features, cartography turns inward.

Far below the walls of Dier Mar Moussa, the sands stretched out like a hazy veil beyond the perpetual present; beyond even remembering.

Venus Set Me Free

cornisland.jpgIslands are places where different destinies can meet in the fullness of isolation, and in their own time. Island time doesn’t match the time of other places. The ideal island is a whole world, and even a tiny island may contain multitudes.

 

Sommières Daze

 

 
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moonlight echoes through nighttime streets
reverberating off walls of limburger cheese
and the yellow plaster of peeling bandages
over Poseidon blue.

razor wounds
or Time’s shaving nicks?

A Postcard from Armageddon

 

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I’m 31 feet below ground at the Delta One (D-01) launch facility, standing in a reinforced concrete tube, behind a foot-thick steel blast door. A loop of Cold War tunes plays in my head: The Final Countdown, followed by 99 Red Balloons (the English version, with that sexy accent). I’m facing a grey metal control panel with several bakelite telephones and a number of switches — but only one of them matters.

A Postcard from Alexandria

 

A Postcard from the Taklamakan (2)

 

 

taklamakantoo.jpgDesert travel blurs all time sense. I don’t know if it’s the hypnotic motion of the camel or the endless monotony of the scenery. The mind works on two levels simultaneously. The automatic level is watching the route, choosing a path, adjusting for balance. The other level is flowing along rivers of memory, through labyrinths of thought, reliving past events and acting out future possibilities.

A Postcard from the Shan Highlands

 

 

shan.jpgA thin mist broke over pale green rice fields in a wet hill-wrapped bowl in the Shan Highlands of northern Burma. An ox chewed its cud. Smoke rose from bamboo huts on the fringes, and longyi-clad men swung slow-motion sickles in garden plots. From over the next hill came the plaintive cry of the train from Mandalay, winding laboriously from village to village, overloaded with produce, creaking under the weight of the country’s isolation for lack of spare parts.

A Postcard from The Spanish Main

 

 

spanishmain.jpgThe trade wind blows moist on the Caribbean side of Panama, stirring the palms of the tiny coastal fishing village of Portobelo, but it isn’t enough to put more than a ripple on the plate glass sea.

Two Postcards from Laos

lao1.jpgLaos is a jungle country of rural villages with wooden stilt houses and smoky cooking fires. Karst hills obstruct the journey, jutting up like horribly broken teeth, unbrushed and moss-covered. Distances are not great, but winding roads make journeys into marathons. The highway between Vientiane and Luang Prabang is like a footpath that — over time and purely by default — became a highway. Modernization goes no further than the edges of the pavement.