Malaria - Poem by Orlando Belo
I got this inclination to find
some thing that wasn't lost.
I knew not what it looked like
and to find it I must.
I discussed it with my colleagues
and rightly so they thought me mad.
But the feeling was so overwhelming
it was the first of its kind I've had.
I visited museums and libraries,
researched chronicles and books.
Diligently viewed my surroundings
leaving nothing at all overlooked.
A year passed and I lost interest,
and found something else to do.
Soon after that I fell off a ladder
and laid unconscious on ward two.
From deep within my dreams of nonsense
the mind rediscovered an earlier ordeal.
It searched the most ambiguous imaginings
the absurd, abstract, and surreal.
I travelled the continent of Asia
by boat, elephant, horse, and camel.
Alone I walked across the Gobi Desert
guided only by a one eyed owl.
From an hot air balloon I fell into the ocean
and was rescued by a blue whale.
It left me on the beach at Cairns,
so I followed an Aussie trail.
I headed west across Australia
and camped at Alice Springs.
Got a flight on a cargo plane to Cairo
and suffered from bites and stings.
In hospital I was laid up with malaria
and touched the borders of death.
It was then that I regained consciousness
with the answer on my breath.
Now you may find this story unlikely
and sometimes I think so too.
The doctors say that my memory is patchy,
and malaria can do that to you.
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