Writing by Tori Dudys, photos by Janine Lameiras and Tori Dudys
I’ve decided to bite the bullet and post some poems, accompanied by trip photos as a method of luring friends to read my work. To be honest, I’ve always hesitated to even write poetry because I find it incredibly self-indulgent, but alas, travelling has turned me into an introspective, constantly-crying, emotional tool (I mean that in the most positive way possible). So here’s one I call “Desert”. Can you guess what it’s about? Please leave some constructive criticism for me since I have no idea what I’m doing!
A haze gleams in front of me,
I take a dry breath.
It’s hot out here and hard to move.
The sun weighs on me
And holds me in place like heavy chains around my neck
I slowly extend my arm
And move my fingers in front of my eyes so I know they’re still there.
It’s hard out here.
Moving through sandstorms alone and seemingly forgotten.
When I see it,
“It must be a mirage,”
It can’t be though.
It’s so real.
It’s there I can see it.
I can smell it.
I can feel the cool breeze rippling the water.
It makes me move faster.
I cling to everything about this spot in the distance,
The courage it gives me to keep moving,
Through this hopeless, lonely desert.
It gives me a purpose to keep going.
Something to aim for.
I’m so close, just a few more steps.
I reach it.
Water is around me.
I stick my toes in to make sure it’s real.
And it is.
My body instantly cools.
I dive in and feel the comfort of the icy waves
That wrap their arms around me in a welcoming embrace.
I drink it.
I drink the water.
It gives me new life.
I feel my lips curl into a smile.
I feel accomplished.
I get out of the water, and remove my clothes to dry in the sunshine.
Completely naked I bask in the breeze
And prepare to make this place my home.
Sheltered from the hot sand and burning rays,
I fall asleep,
Smiling and proud.
When I wake, my body is sore.
My lips, peeling.
Throat parched worse than before and grit lining the inside of my mouth.
My bare body is covered in scabs from burns and dirt from the sand.
For a short time it was so real.
But it was all just a mirage.
It did save me though,
For even just a few moments,
From the desert.