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Bus Ride Through Chiapas

January 4, 2013

The landscape is surprising; unexpected.

Coniferous furs sprout out from the dry ochre hills

prickly and defiant of their proximity to the equator.

Fields of maize, flat topped split wood casas,

the clear blue of day and the angry clouds of swelling evening

keep my attention fixed on this winding mountain valley.

It is five hours to Palenque, a town I know only by name.

A third of my life in DF, another in Puerto Escondido.

The rest with me in one small backpack

and a large black garbage bag.

I carry them along while they lead the way;

a pack mule to the carrot.

On whims I add things to my list of belongings

proving that money is no object at all.

Attempting to live free of attachments

and in that way just gaining more.

Not coveting, just feeling the loss too much

and always wondering why.

There are simpler mysteries along the road.

Veo la ropa en un campo y nada más.

Just lying there cleaned fresh for abandonment.

Empty white shrines sit beside the road

like doghouses with crosses just anticipating use.

“The poorest villages get the best views,”

the girl beside me comments just as I wondered

if I could live here with but a simple sprawling valley

with a view of rolling mists to sustain me.

But my thoughts loom larger than I

and being left alone in a room with a hungry bear

leaves the fantasy shattered.

Stripped of everything but those

might drive me mad or to some deeper

foreboding revelations of self.

I am far from ready. For now just to sample is enough.

A simple view from a window dashing by.

A placebo can often be the cure.

***

AJG

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