Tikal remembered

Tikal remembered

Those sultry nights I slept
           in the rain forest in Tikal
lying in a hammock
           watching the fireflies flit
back and forth
           listening to the owls
I would think of the temples
           I had explored during the day
and how the forest
           had closed in on the past
and regained its territory
           how everywhere
the thick roots of plants
           were prizing the stonework
apart causing the masonry
           to crumble 
mostly reducing the once proud city
           to rubble

and through
           the frail morning mists
deer and monkeys could seen
           roaming the grounds
at the base of the great pyramid
           indifferent to the sculpted
limestone stelae upon which
           the Mayans had recorded
pivotal moments from their history
           : and at night lying
in the hammock
           I remember asking myself
what I was doing
           so far from home and love
and whose history
           was I really exploring

John Lyons

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