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Bob’s Story: A Traveller’s Tale Thursday, 11 March 2010

Posted by edincityoflit in Stories.

I copy some of my favourite poems and songs into a field note book which I often carry on travels. It easily fits into into a rucsack and goes with me when hillwalking or on travels abroad – it’s been as high as the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro! It’s a bit tatty now, but with its black waterproof cover has survived at least 30 years.

The book has 200 pages but there are still a few empty spaces for more entries. I like poems about mountains and nature, but also other themes including freedom, injustice, longing and loss. Some are humorous, others sad; some joyful, others melancholic. I dip into the book at random or choose one to suit a particular mood. I like reading the same poems again and again – they’re like old friends.

One short poem from my collection is ‘Two Beacons’ by Theodore Stephanides. I think it’s a well-crafted gem, seemingly simple yet profound. It highlights one of those moments in life when we might have to make a crucial decision. It also hints at the sheer insignificance of human beings in the vast universe – a harsh reality which can help put any problems or squabbles into perspective.

Two Beacons

Two lights gleam equally across the snow
The traveller hesitates which way to go . . .
One is a cottage lamp; the other ray
A world four hundred million miles away.


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