Trips From Freedom
For the tourist, there is no vision on the tour bus,
just streets in linear array and snapshots of a statue,
a door, a window and the floor leading to graves
which have been honoured in ever school book as history.
For the tourist, the tour guide is the history book,
the perception which should, somewhere down the alleys
of time, bring the tourist back to beaches of white sand,
a drink at the swim-up bar, all inclusive, with sunshine.
For the tourist is a moment in a long-run play,
which ignores the bit players selling cigarettes and
chocolate bars at a bus stop – the bit players who are
arrested and mistreated in places the tour bus avoids.
Even totalitarian governments can be painted with
broad strokes in a sympathetic way – as long as the doors
which appear in the tourist’s photo album of time
in paradise – as long as those doors are always locked.