I watch videos of places I have lived or enjoyed
and disapprove of every change
in my arrogance I want to dog-ear the earth
like a book I might get back to

I do not want to watch the modern
American or European or whoever
swipe magnetic strips in ancient cities
I do not want the neo-serf intruding on
my grape-leaved, arbory afternoon
by gabbling at the end of his cellular leash

I want to grab an idiot iPad
and throw it from the wall of Kyrenia Fort
and point to it flickering on the ocean floor
and shout, That is the miracle, you morons
that in our world there is still water clear enough
to read your email through

when I was here before
every stone was rough magic
it cost nothing to be amazed
and I was so young
so young
and not yet disappointed in myself
and this was a land of Gods, and history, and culture
instead of just another version of a mall

here is my advice to you and my advice to me
though I well may be too old
to listen to myself anymore.

stop thinking of what to do next
stop being Miss and Mister Thing
think instead of where you are
lean back with your eyes closed and breathe deeply
smell all those fragrances you cannot name
feel the same breeze that stirred Marc Antony’s desire
and listen to how very many words there are
that you do not understand
and that aren’t about you

——Don Whittington


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