Glimmer of Hope

by Joseph Ikhenoba


The poem resonates a traveller who sojourned to Makhachkala in Russia. Only to find out that he could not cope with its environs and menu. So, he eloped and vowed never to return.

How nice it is not to be sojourning throughout Makhachkala this summer,

Exploring its cities, and climbing its avalanche hill towns?

How much better it is to navigate these familiar, local streets,

Understanding the significance of each and every billboard,

Road signs, and unexpected hand motion made by its countrymen.

There are no monasteries, famous domes

Or deteriorating frescoes in this area,

Nor is it necessary to memorize the reigns of many rulers

Or explore the damp nooks of a dungeon.

There is no desire to peer into a mausoleum,

Witness Dobrynia's tiny bed on exile,

Or examine a saint's bones behind golden glasses.

How much preferable it is to rule over the modest confines

Of one's house than being overshadowed by pylon, dome, and cathedral?

Why should I bury my head in creased maps and language books?

And why provide landscape to a camera with only one eye

That is eager to consume the world's artifacts one at a time?

I shall go down to the cafeteria

And the waitress known just as Dottie

That I won’t sip any cup of Turka

I'll blend alone in with the morning's tide.

Perhaps, even though, torrents of metaphors are streaming down

There are language barriers, and shells are being broken easily.

Therefore, I ought not to hunt for a sympathetic shooter after brunch

To capture a shot of me grasping the manager's wrist.

And I won't fret out over invoice or jot down what I tasted

Or exactly how the light went through the glass in a diary.

It is suffice to get back in the car and race off on a path

That will never lead me to Makhachkala nor its confines again

While blaring a loud vernacular horn.

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