Questions of Travel

All houses here are more or less
the same; the crowded stones are stacked orderly
and stand motionless over the empty street
until a lonely engine sends rushed groans
through the cold still air
 – the sound stretches further than many dare
an echo among the mute December grey houses. Unmoveable.

They are the heaviest ships, and sink before touching water
if they’d fare anywhere
would we follow them mindlessly?
Or, restricted in the nets of the people around us
(invisible grids of distance)
stay put?

There is no long trip home.
Our thoughts wander further than we dare to go
and wonder must be found in the everyday.
Sails are lowered, the night train
that would override our bravest fantasies
came to a stand
still. And still, the air, shifting relentlessly
even while moving bodies slowly freeze into statues
– hail, hail on our nation
this salutation
not inspired by honour but by immovability.

The space in the traveller’s diaries
is empty – not with lack of imagination,
or unmade inquiries. There is only stillness.

Not a question of travel, therefore –
more a matter
of not having another choice.

– Robin van den Brule

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