It was like
A new knowledge of reality.
As evening falls,
so too, the relentless rain, the air
dense with the stench of rotting
vegetation. I am typing a letter to
myself and there are children all
curious to see the neat rows of black letters
appear on the crisp white paper. So few
typewriters make it to the forest depths.
The rain does not ease and I’m
in the restaurant run by an elderly Chinaman
who is desperate to buy my wristwatch.
There are candles on the tables and they
splutter and die as clouds of termites
they are relit and die again, charred termites
trapped in the smouldering wax. It is almost
impossible to talk through these flurries of insects
that find their way into ears and mouths
Mortality borne on frail white wings. An ancient
city quarried from limestone lies now in ruins.
a place of visitation rather than a centre of celebration.
The Mayan time wheel halted in its tracks.
the mists rise above the temple pyramids, monkeys
haul themselves over dilapidated walls, and deer
and tapirs roam freely; wild turkeys scavenge
in the undergrowth, unperturbed by the raucous
caw of toucans
and parrots in the branches above. No human
prayer will bring this city back to life.
Nature has regained control: or rather, one life has
surrendered to another in all its tacit mystery.
14 October 2004