Friday, 14 May 2010

the world comes to me

The young academic who often visits China
has just returned from a trip to Iceland
when he drove to within 4km of Eyjafjallajokull.

He tells me of the extraordinary crackling sound
of the volcano exploding; twisters of volcanic dust;
a smell of sulphur that clings to everything;
the gigantic plume of smoke that fills half of the sky
and leaves the other half clear and blue.

He thinks that it is unlikely that
he will ever see anything as exciting again in his lifetime.
I make him promise to show me a photograph
and when he sounds surprised
I insist that I would really, truly love to see a photo.

"Well..." he says "if you are really, really sure
I will send you a photo whenever I go somewhere interesting."

"I'd like that a lot." I said.

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