Travel Around the World
Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you've never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.
-- Judith Thurman

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 Poems about Travel



TIP OF THE PENINSULA

Bordering the basilicata
Between seas of Tyrrhenian and Ionan
An isolated individuality
With two million souls alive in the cols and valleys.

Land of treed mountains massif
Pollino and the Botte Donato
The chestnuts and the beechwoods
The evergreens of pines and spruces.

The deer, the boar
The woodpecker and the martin
Some of the wildlife most attractive
Did I fail to mention the peregrine falcon?

Still mysterious and unexplored wetlands
A flourish of vegetation
The magnificent yellow flowers
And the colorful iris.

Languages of Cosenza and Catenzaro
Albanian and Greek in the Bova
The forsaken peoples
Living at unjust and tragic standards

Ancient and modern Romans
Policies of exploitation leading to authority mistrust
Eternal resistance on subsistence farming
Thank heaven for the olives in abundance.

A land of splendor
Endless variety of panorama
Majestic blue and green beaches
The Mediterranean haven of Calabria, Italia.

©D.S. 2002

-- Submitted by David Soriano from Bradford, PA
e-mail: soriano@pitt.edu



PRAGUE AT DUSK

Prague lays over its inhabitants in shades of grey. Oppressively close
to the surface, some of us duck, others simply walk carefully, our
shoulders stooped, trying to avoid the monochrome rainbow at the end of
the hesitant rain. Prague rains itself on us, impaled on one hundreds
towers, on a thousand immolated golden domes. We pretend not to see it
bleeding to the river. We just cross each other in ornate street
corners, from behind exquisite palaces. We don't shake heads politely
anymore. We are not sure whether they will stay connected if we do.

It is in such times that I remember an especially sad song, Arabic
sounds interlaced with Jewish wailing. Wall after wall, turret after
turret, I re-visit my homeland. It is there, in that city, which is not
Arab, nor Jewish, not entirely modern, nor decidedly antique that I met
her.

And the pain was strong.

-- Submitted by Sam Vaknin from Skopje, Macedonia
e-mail: palma@unet.com.mk



CRUISIN'

All aboard the Fantasy M/S of Carnival
For half a week's vacation time of fun and falderal.
Hear greetings from your captain, his director and the crew.
Ready, set, get going. The Bahamas wait for you.
Bon Voyage to Reggae being played upon the Lido.
Dinner is at 6 or 8. (Hold off on that tuxedo.)
You could eat a pizza by the Windows On The Sea
Or go beneath to dine on shrimp and meet the maitre d'.
Stay up late for comedy or reflect upon the ocean.
Go to bed, relax your head, sense the soothing motion.
Rise and shine in Freeport where the ship will dock all day.
You can disembark to take a tour or you can stay

Lounging on the deck or take a dip or dance calypso,
Go below and have massage, shop, or play some bingo.
The second day when you awake, you'll find yourself in Nassau.
Take the kiddies, take a friend, take your gramps or grandma.
Little ones can stay behind. There's folks to entertain them,
Or they can tag along with you to see the sights. No problem!
I'm not into nature. I prefer the funny things:
The contests for the men with hairy chests or knobby knees.
But if you like adventure, visit lovely Blue Lagoon.
Swim with sting rays (they won't bite). The boat leaves right at noon.
Venture into town. You may be nabbed by a "plaza beautician."
Getting braids is all the rage, so people have their hair done.
Be sure you're back to the gangway before the ship sets sail.
If nothing suits you up to now, you're deader than a doornail!

Day At Sea arrivies as your trip is winding down,
But the biggest night is coming. Time for formal dress or gown.
That final evening dining at your table with new friends,
You'll wish instead of ending, it were starting all again.
Gals and guys with braided scalps; everyone looks nice.
Ah, the midnight feast divine with sculptures carved in ice.
One last time enjoy the karaoke or the disco,
the lounge's show, the bistro, or the gambling in the casino.
The ultimate for leisure if you're after more than snoozin'.
In lingo of the laid-back natives, "Mon, you best be cruisin'"

-- Submitted by Andrea Dietrich from Pleasant Grove, Utah
e-mail: Pandie55@hotmail.com



RETURNING TO IBERIA

Returning to Iberia, where lies enchanting Spain,
First I'll fly to the core of her, Madrid upon her plain.
After a day at the Prado Museum, I'll stroll by Retiro's lake,
Nodding to friendly passers-by, and then for old times' sake,
Find a glass of iced "horchata," go neath Alcala Gate,
Where shops are open nights when folks themselves reanimate.
Last, I'll watch flamenco while I eat my dinner late
and wake to fresh baked bread. Then I'll reinvestigate
The other outer regions of the land they call Castile.
I'll pack potato omelets placed in french loaves for a meal.

You can tag along, my friend. Come ride here next to me.
View valleys, winding rivers and the Mediterranean Sea.
In any one direction, heading north, east, south or west
Is something quite amazing for your senses to digest.
First, a cross upon a peak near the great Escorial.
Then the mighty Avila, encircled by a wall.
A central tourist spot steeped in history is Toledo
With its finest of cathedrals and house of the late "El Greco."
Let's not forget Segovia, where a fortress castle stands
And its rather sturdy aqueduct built by Roman hands.
East, cut deep by ravines, is a city I find quaint.
Houses hug the cliff so steep and its bridge can make you faint.

After leaving Cuenca, we shall travel to the coast.
Much there is to see of which Valencia can boast.
Try the "calamares" (squid); for me it's best when fried.
Oranges abound here and the paella's bona fide!
In March, throughout the city, many floats of papier mache
Are set to fire simultaneously, a marvelous display.
Northward are the Pyrenees, rugged, vast and green,
Sheep in fields, refreshing clime, and villages serene.
There's bustling Barcelona when we've journeyed up the coast.
Farther west along a bay in Galicia I like most
A place named San Sebastian, a very lovely town;
Some little trees have tops like strange umbrellas' upside down.
Also near this area is a prehistoric cave
With drawings on its walls that its dwellers did engrave.

Last, to Don Quixote's Andalucia--south we'll drive
Where for centuries as beacons of enlightenment did thrive
Cordoba, Granada and Seville (we must these visit)
The mosque with marbled columns at Cordoba is exquisite!
With its charming personality, Sevilla leads the pack.
Once you've been to her fairgrounds, you'll be clamoring to go back.
The last of these three cities I'm revisiting with you
Is Granada, home to gypsies; the Alhambra is their view.
It's a palace of magnificence like none you've ever seen,
With ornate rooms and gardens fair which pleasured once a queen.
Malaga, I've yet to know, but this time I'll not falter
To stay there, and I have to look again on the Rock of Gibralter!
So many different nations have arrived on Spanish shores:
Greeks, Phoenicians, Visigoths, Carthaginians, Celts, Moors . . .
I hope that you, like me, can appreciate what they left.
Dear Iberia, "patria chica," on our parting, I'm bereft.

-- Submitted by Andrea Dietrich from Pleasant Grove, Utah
e-mail: Pandie55@hotmail.com


AMAZING RIO

Rio de Janeiro, city by the shore.
Home to Ipanema, Carnival and dance folklore.
As a child, of you I read from a book that showed your Christ,
With arms outstretched, who guards your days and lights your sky by night.
And now I've stood beneath his feet and breathed the air you breathe.
I've viewed the illustrious Sugar Loaf, seen monkeys play in trees.
I've visited your fruit stands and drunk from a coconut shell,
and searched for birds hewn from pretty stones that midnight vendors sell.
And lying on soft and clinging sand, I thrust my toes deep in.
I glisten below your winter sun, brown sugar on my skin.

Later, I hurdle waves tossed on Copacabana's beach,
a site by which crossing an avenue, each resident can reach.
On weekends and on holidays, your several sea fronts teem
with hundreds, maybe thousands of individuals who seem
content to chat 'neath umbrellas or lounge on towels in the sun
while on a road closed to all traffic, others go for a run.
And on the winding promenade are folks, most clad in shorts,
thong-bikinied women, sundry shapes and shades all sorts!
Kids whiz by on roller blades; old or young may ride a bike.
Many merely merrily stroll though dressed as for a hike.

And in the whole of your city, countless cars and bodies stream.
Pedestrians and doorless shops are props in your waking dream.
With taxis veering left and right, people catching buses;
a cacophony of crowded life the subway and streets encompass.
children on their mothers' hands; boys in soccer shirts.
Men sipping beers at sidewalk bars;
girls that scurry in pants or tight skirts.
Portuguese artisans laid the paths your citizens walk.
What tales immersed in history if cobblestones could talk!
More than a metropolis, you are yourself, unique.
And I have had the pleasure to have tasted your mystique.

-- Submitted by Andrea Dietrich from Pleasant Grove, Utah
e-mail: Pandie55@hotmail.com



WOOD FENCES OF KENTUCKY

In the heartland of Kentucky, in the bluegrass countryside
Below the winding Elkhorn lie the jewels of southern pride
On the outer fringe of Lexington, white pillars and black gates
Mark aristocratic realms of equestrian estates

Like serpents along the country roads, weaving to and fro
Wood fences zigzag as they did a hundred years ago
Defining thoroughbred pastures, delineating space
Encasing stately grandeur of the acreage they grace

The wood and limestone fences hold the cherished legacy
Of horses crowned with roses in simplistic pageantry
Of chestnut stallions duly bred and bound for Churchill Downs
And supple young Trakehners gently floating 'cross the ground

They house farriers and stables, grand and splendid barns
The stately mansion houses of the old Kentucky farms
The simple pure and wondrous beauty of a mare and foal
Which represent the very essence of Kentucky's soul

The fences that encircle the horse farms that abound
Are deeply steeped in heritage and wonder they surround
The Bluegrass Country glistens still in glory that it yields
And the fences of Kentucky still meander through the fields

-- Submitted by Elizabeth Santos from Pottstown, PA
e-mail: escheffey@aol.com



FLAMES OF LIFE

The fiery ball of flames
Burning, with the oxygen of life
Tanning the horizon
With it's amber glow

Another summer's morning
Sweet, with the scent of Arabia
And the fire of ambition
That in every spirit grows

This crown that heralds the day
With it's luminous brilliance
Raging with vivacity and verve
The jewel of the desert sky

This day we offer up to Him
He who sanctifies us all
Behold the sacred desert sands
On the call of the mullah's cry

-- Submitted by Nicole Anne Braganza
from Rak, United Arab Emirates
EMAIL: jbragan@emirates.net.ae

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