randy roark

This tag is associated with 32 posts

A Poet’s Progress: Beijing, The Chinese Buddhist and the Western Skeptic

Du Fu, Demanding Wine from the Gods in Exchange for His Poem, Poet’s Garden, Chengdu, China Day Two: Beijing, Part II We are staying on an average concrete and stone street in Beijing, which means a torn-apart two-lane alleyway choked with tides of humanity flowing back and forth day and night, tangles of black electrical … Continue reading

A Poet’s Progress: Beijing, Day Two (Including Tiananmen Square and Chinese Wedding Customs)

Tiananmen Square, Beijing Beijing, Day Two Mao is still revered in China as a god or demi-god. The life-dream of many Chinese is to visit the mausoleum in Tiananmen Square where Mao is encased in crystal, his body covered by the Chinese flag. For those in the most remote and poorest areas of China, this … Continue reading

A Poet’s Progress: Leaving Kathmandu

Charlotte April 27 2011, Kathmandu I am drinking tea and sitting in a music store I’ve just discovered on my last day in Kathmandu. The owner and his brother play me selections from CDs of modern Nepalese music. A track begins and within 10 to 30 seconds I say “Yes” or “Not so much” or … Continue reading

A Poet’s Progress: Varanasi, Night and the Following Day

The Veranasi Ghats, Seen from the Ganges April 20, Varanasi, Walking to the Ganges Returning from the Ganges after the evening rituals, I work my way through the crowd and am accosted by a young boy selling postcards for 100 rupees. I assure him I have no money, which is true. Most thefts occur in … Continue reading

A Poet’s Progress: Jaipur and Varanasi, April 2011

Train Station, New Delhi Jaipur The Maharajah of Jaipur died the day before we arrived and everything in the whole state has shut down for two days of mourning. After lunch, we walk downtown and come upon a funeral filling the center of town. There are floats pulled by pick-up trucks, brightly painted elephants, musicians … Continue reading

A Poet’s Progress: In the Gem Store, Jaipur, India

“All photos handheld and framed in the camera” In the Gem Store, Jaipur, April 7, 2011 After driving for eight hours through the desperately poor areas from Delhi to Jaipur, Bill is obviously shaken. “That was really something,” he says, as we get off the bus. And I, stretching my legs, agree. “Yeah, that was a … Continue reading

A Poet’s Progress: Final Entry from Africa, December 6, 2010

Victoria Falls from the Cliff Walk December 6, 2010, Illala Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Woke up this morning to the sound of animals screaming. I assumed it was the baboons, so I didn’t bother to investigate. But on my walk in to the dining hall, I saw in the near distance a wild dog, trotting … Continue reading

A Poet’s Progress: The Story of Dr. David Livingstone

Dr. David Livingstone December 8, 2010, Illala Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe When Kerra, a native Zimbabwean, heard that some Americans were staying overnight in Victoria Falls, he asked if he could talk to us about his hero, the Great Liberator of Africa. I copied down as much of the story as I could, but Kerra … Continue reading

A Poet’s Progress: Among the Ngamo, Zimbabwe

At the Waterhole (Tinashe, Our Guide, in the Front in Yellow Shirt and White Shorts) December 3, 2010, Linkwasha Lodge, Hwange National Park, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe What Are You Looking At? When James was training to be a guide, he was assigned to an ex-Army drill sergeant named Tomas. One of James’ jobs was to … Continue reading

A Poet’s Progress: Into the Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta from the Air Our Landing Strip in Botswana December 1, 2010: Lufupa Camp, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe John Dee Explains the Okavango Delta The Okavango Delta is the largest interior wetland in the world—a natural basin into which three rivers empty. At some point in prehistory the tectonic plates shifted and there … Continue reading