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They say that the Atacama is the driest desert, but I disagree.
The blue lagoons quenched my interminable thirst for beauty,
the flamingos still fly right through my dreams,
the imposing mountains showed me how high we could reach,
and the deep valleys let me look so beyond that I didn’t even know existed.
Come, let’s ride this journey together,
because my friend,
you would need someone to hold onto,
when you are not sure if what you gape at is the reality,
or it is just another dream you behold.
Related Read: My travelogue of Spiti valley – The Cold Desert of India
Sun rises from behind the mountains,
to show us what had always been there.
What would humans do without nature?
Then why is it so hard for us to submit to its power?
The golden rays scatter across my face,
they make me shine,
they make me look ablaze.
They ask me to smile,
and in return,
they promise to always keep me warm.
The azure-blue of the sky,
spread on the mountains,
and coalesces with the still water,
but look at the golden dry grass,
it watches from a distance,
as a spectator,
as if it has nothing to do with the world it lives in.
Mr. Lake, are you a painting?
Or are you for real?
If you are listening,
could you vapor out of the desert
and liquify by my side?
You see, I wasn’t this selfish always,
but your beauty corrupted me.
Related Read: Real Photos of Pushkar and Pushkar animal fair – The Dry Desert of India
Blue-white brown-white blue-white-red,
as my eyes shift between the spectrum of these colors,
I pinch myself to see if I am hallucinating yet again.
I don’t like selfies
but I took many with you,
it was almost disrespectful
to not be clicked together.
And now I would always be a part of you.
I thought I was looking at a cat which has sneaked inside a brown carpet,
but it’s you, oh mountain,
it’s you who are so velvety,
Could I lie on you,
and feel a bit of the greatness of the giant you are?
and an arid-looking church,
a volcano behind,
and not even a single bird is perched.
But look at the patches of green that has shot up,
out of nowhere,
you can find life anywhere,
if you let it be there.
for you can,
fly above your reflection,
fly against the volcanoes and the mountains,
fly underneath the dove-white clouds,
they might follow you,
just so you know,
but do not worry,
they only care to keep you close.
Volcanoes look at the flamingos,
what is it that you all search?
The flamingos, jointly reply,
The volcanos laugh,
why are you so insatiable?
The flamingos reply,
because we have been bored of watching you.
Oh, dear earth,
fume out all today,
for with your fumes,
you release your anger,
you say that you trusted us,
but we did you unjust.
I might be too pink,
but oh blue-gray fumes,
together we look cool.
Who said there is no food in the dry desert?
Look at these vicuñas grazing upon,
as if there is no tomorrow,
as if they are oblivious to us all.
The doors were all locked
the church still watches over the village though,
I wonder if the insides would be empty,
or there would still wander the souls of who left?
This blue patch in the otherwise muddy water makes me wonder,
what if the blue was brown and brown was blue?
We see everything as we have been taught,
but what if one of us starts changing the reality?
Isn’t that’s what has happened over the years?
The gigantic mammoths were alive and the dinosaurs wandered,
but look now, would anyone think of them as real?
All is barren now,
let us promise to let live what is left behind.
Live. Laugh. Love.
Have fun while you can.
If ever you run out of salt,
and it is too late to buy,
go find these walls in the mighty Atacama,
they hide the salt inside them,
and I have heard,
they are very free-handed.
You meet someone,
and then you are gone,
Isn’t each day just a fast forward of our whole life?
I am taller than you,
but I wouldn’t compete with your depths.
As I treaded in the white desert,
I wondered if I was walking in snow or in the sand.
See, the mountain is wearing a cap,
soon the sun would set,
and take the orange-ness away,
maybe then the mountain would uncover,
we would then be able to see its face,
which he has been shying away.
Until we meet again!
Which place in the world makes you poetic?
If you liked this essay, you might enjoy this travel memoir and travel tips post: San Pedro de Atacama – A Bustling–yet–Quaint Gateway to the Driest Desert
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