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  • Category: Community Poetry
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Dirty Water and Other Mental Obstacles

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We fill our canteens to their brims
We all take long refreshing gulps
One by one
We all spit the dirty water out
There isn't another village for miles
Miles away
Miles Davis plays in my mind
Mindful of the scorching sun
I sit and simmer in the shade
Where am I now?
India? Kashmir? Hell?
It's all the same to me
Why am I here? To help?
Help the jungle natives?
Obstacles of the mind tricking me
Losing my grip on the mission
Gripping the canteen tighter
as the jungle has me in its' grip
Tricking my mind with distractions
Distractions of obstacles galore
How long have I been here hearing?
The thirst is overpowering me
Should I refill my canteen again?
The river is not far from me now
I order my guides to fill the canteens
They take long gulps at gunpoint
I hold the gun on them from here
What do I have a gun on them for?
The next village is miles away
One by one
We all spit the dirty water out
and once again, I am miles away

Comments (10)

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I like the circular nature of the poem. it gives it this endless eternal feel, like Hell perhaps?

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Wow...great use of punctuation like the rhythm of a slow march.

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Thank you, Alberto. That is exactly what I was going for. I wanted the narrator to be on the cusp of figuring out a solution, only to slide back into old habits and the cycle of events. Thanks for reading!

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Thanks, grunfruaorshell. It seemed to be a good device to showcase the narrator's situation. Thanks for reading!

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I like the experimentation in this piece.

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Thanks. A cookie-cutter form just wouldn't work for this piece. Thank you for reading.

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were you in Vietnam or something? or just speculating? -Soulja4Alethia

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Haha! At 33, I'm a bit young for 'Nam. I imagined the narrator as an American bandit smuggling jewels out of the Indian jungle.

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Ah that makes sense. -Soulja4Alethia

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Someone told this makes more sense after watching Inception. I guess if it helps. I just think the poem works on different levels.

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