Docked since '67 in Long Beach, the same liner Mom sailed in '39 from England to marry Daddy. Relic of a past the well-heeled now are recreating, "cruise" being the upscale way to travel, like the tour labeled "Alaska's Glorious Inside Passage in 8 Days," or the one advertised as "Wonders of the Mekong, 10 Days Down South Asia's Amazing River." But the Queen Mary was not designed for this sort of travel, rather to get you from Southampton to New York in less than a week.
Or from one life to another. Within a year Mom had lost most of her Britishisms, except for her cadences. "Oh, you Americans," she’d shudder at us daughters, though she carried on with Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. The phrase "carry on" holds more weight than hand luggage. All alone on the Queen Mary. Not part of any migration. No soft-bosomed granny, no jocular uncles to keep her afloat. Those glossy first class cabins were kept spotless. Then repainted, reupholstered, refurbished. Not a trace of her.
So we travel on earth seeking the terrain of Poetry, walking through wilderness and empty landscape or visiting those ancient sites like Dholavira in far-western Gujarat, or Mykenai in the Greek Peloponnese, or the Arawak campsite on eastern Carriacou in the Grenadine Windward Isles, pursuing that authenticity of experience in a form of antique material reality...
These are places, strange and vague situations where death is manifold and thoroughly extant to the careful eye. There are women’s bangles made of shell to be picked up from the saline dust or small copper beads and thin chert blades, or tiny obsidian arrow-heads that can be unhidden and disclosed beneath those bloody grey walls about the Lion Gate, or beautiful indented potsherds and ceramic fragments at the waterline where the Atlantic rolls out its long blue visceral waves...
Kevin McGrath 🐚Yoga of Poetry
“Dare to live the life you have dreamed."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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