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January 24, 2008

Waxing Poetic

Two days to helicopter! Not even two weeks yet in Ethiopia…three weeks of the project to go.

Lovely sunrise. This time there were already other people up and talking. Now there is a sound like a radio between stations. Very relaxing. Mmmm…or maybe not.

How quickly the sun rises from orange to yellow. The erratic brushstrokes of clouds in a patch overhead—angel-white in the morning light, contrasting with the heavy grey of the clump of clouds passing below them—make me want to paint.

Ode to the Afari

I want to be strong like the rock-throwing boys,
I want to be strong like the stick-wielding girls—
The men with the beaded Kalashnikov straps,
The women with the beaded headbands.
I want to be strong like the woman who carries,
bent forward, a 5-gallon jerry can of water
on her back,
Like the man who runs back and forth behind his
herd of camels all day.
Like the old women with their creased, worn faces
And the men with their henna-dyed beards,
Cooking all day and negotiating all day and praying
and climbing the rocks, crossing the plains,
searching for water, for brush for my herds.
Using my herds to feed my family—
The rock-throwing boys, and the stick-wielding girls.

Posted by beth at January 24, 2008 10:37 PM

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Dang, Beth!

If this is typical of your verse, count me impressed.

Posted by: Tom Horn at March 28, 2008 11:22 PM

Beth, I'm in Seattle April 8-9. Are you around?


Posted by: Andrew G. Fountain at March 29, 2008 6:47 PM

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