The Humber monsoon has liquified the family archive including that charcoal sketch of a steam train leaving magical Smyrna before the Great War. The digital files with your award winning snaps of rare fauna in Kerala and Jilin Rime have been erased. Those kodak icons of trooping Uncles in faraway lands have faded to a visual whisper. You are left with words. Some of them hardwired from the classroom like Cargoes by John Masefield. Others read along the way and bookmarked with now faded rail tickets from the Red Arrow bound for St Petersburg. Oh, for a jar at Akhmatova’s favourite haunt, the Stray Dog – when the weather clears!

Alas, habituated – as Coleridge would say – to the vast, you can’t carry with you all those poems and notes on things people said or say. Maybe that’s what the pack mule caravan was for! So, to help you on your way – Welcome to RihlaJourney! This is where all those moments return, the pack mules take a rest and words read – as Heaney puts it – may echo in the darkness!

Les Murray, the Australian poet of the outback, who “is only interested in everything” had this to say about journeys at sea in his novel in verse, Fredy Neptune:

Here’s me riding bareback in the sweater
I wore to sea first.
I never learned the old top ropes,
I was always in steam. Less capstan, less climbing,
More re-stowing cargo. Which could be hard and slow
As farming – but to say Why this is Valpariso!
Or: I’m in Singapore and know my way about
Takes a long time to get stale.


One Response to “Hello world!”

  1. Percy Bisque Silley Says:

    Alas, habituated to the vast, as Coleridge said,
    I looked not before my nose and bumped my head;
    And Once when I a hamster-kit did think to raise
    I found I’d grown a Boar that tasted well with mayonnaise.

    Although I’d thought to Eat no more than just a bit
    I ate so much my belt and pants no longer fit.
    At that I went to heave a disappointed sigh
    But gasped and turned a purple hue to nearly Die.

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