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Guest Poet Mike Simpson

The Altiplano

Untrapped, no trappings,
Ride the metalled road
As far as she or you should go.

Passing through, we wave - why?
Because they wave at us
With un-self-conscious glee.

Brilliant shimmer, falling sun on water,
Pans of indigenous gold.
Reflection on . . .
Other people's lives - distilled.

"Where are the oysters I was promised?
Am I much longer for this world
(If I ever were)?"
Regard the menu, sir, as we
Who make no claims.
Never fail to deliver.

Tethered, yet resplendent, imperious
Beasts of the altiplano.
Masters of the 10-yard circle,
They graze and tread, unhurried.

The couple at table 3 (if so they be)
Shuffle their feet in vain.

I write only what I think I see
Laid out on the plain in front of me.

Anxiety´s fountain
Overflows with expectation.
As spray rises up,
So droplets fall beneath.

December, 2001

Mike Simpson's questions:

1. The poem attempts to bring together two conflicting worlds, the altiplano and those passing through. Do stanzas 4 or 6 acheve this, or do they appear to you clumsy and incongruous?

2. I am not sure about the word 'indigenous', stanza 2. I am trying to suggest the gold only exists for those on the altiplano. Any ideas?

Any other suggestions/ideas/advice gratefully received.


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