Saturday, 15 January 2011

Transiberian Winter Leg

High contrast monochrome, shadow and glare,
black specks of crouched Baikal fishermen on vast flatland of pure white.
Pocked betulla trunks streak vertically a wide angle vista
while a logical chaos of twigs and branches adds depth and texture.

As dark cross-hatched promontories elbow out onto the Persil™ nothingness,
the juggernaut centipede carves its inexorable advance through the frozen silence.
Its rumbling roar and rolling heartbeat lulls us into a satiated stupor,
soft flowing landscapes stream past our thirsty eyes.

Like a breaker through pack ice, the desire to feel the sharp wind on our faces
and explore villages of stained logs and brightly coloured shutters
slices into the coal warmed womb of a 10,000 tons of steel.
Inside, the odorous presence of humanity pervades the thick air,
lucid spirit vapours and cured meats, tinned fish, artificial flavourings, breaths and armpits.

The subdued quietness is at times shattered by the clumsy crow of drunken laughter,
the rocking stillness interrupted by the shuffling of lost souls towards the samovar.
In the restaurant car the provodnitsas listlessly play a worn game of cards,
their once provocative allure tarnished by leery stares and long hours of tedium.

99 and 53 minutes for us two
between the thin bunks and the corridors of the Kupeyny Class Wagon Lits,
The Master and Margarita and Murder on the Orient Express
as we make our way
towards the Sea of Japan and the Golden Horn Bay.

4 handed written


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