Sunday, January 18, 2009

Southern African Storytelling in DC [January 18th | 18/365]

We almost lost each other
In the group of people walking along the platform to the Metro train
Likening them to a herd of any kind of non-human animal would be a lie
Calling this collection of individuals a mass or a throng would also be untrue
It is best no to engage in description of others but merely say it was hard
For the two of us to keep each in sight

Much later in the comfort of an apartment
I was told the story of driving in a jeep through tea fields in the Honde Valley
Seeing a flash of green ahead like the last ray of the sun on the horizon
A green mamba raised up with its eyes at eye level and weaving back and forth
Brakes were slammed and all the passenger stared with wide eyes and mouths
At the human length snake dancing on the road in between the tea bushes
Though to call it dancing is to not understand

Then as I prepared to go to sleep
I was told of an old railway signalman in the bush of South Africa
Who trained a baboon to read the signals and move the points
So that trains would follow the right rails but even more importantly so that
The signalman would not have to work any more that lazy fucker
But I say that any human who trains a baboon to read train signals
And operate the levers deserves a rest

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