The Quail

There is a long story behind this poem which I’ve casually worked on for about a year and a half now. It involved deciding to trek across an island, unprepared, in a very sparsely populated rural jungle area nestled in between two volcano’s, in order to escape a Russian sniper instructor thief…. You know it’s time to leave a place, when someone unsavory enters the picture. While at a hostel, I met a middle aged Russian man. Very quickly after engaging in some casual conversation, he began to show me videos on a public computer that he had filmed of himself training 6 year old girls, how to shoot a quarter out of someone’s hands 50 feet away with a sniper rifle… This was followed by ex-military stories and it didn’t take me long before I got the feeling this person was engaged in questionably legal activities and was hiding out on the island… After what I suspected was a not so coincidental run into him elsewhere on the island, it was time for me to go. 

The morning I had planned to leave, I couldn’t find my camera anywhere, and missed the one bus of the day while searching for it. Till this day, I suspect it was the unnerving Russian sniper instructor that stole it… And given the situation, I was still getting out of there, bus or no bus. Unfortunately, what I didn’t plan for, was the excruciating heat while walking, and I didn’t bring any water in my rush to leave. So I had to trek, up and down the ragged dirt road through the worst heat of the day carrying my 22lb pack. I neared heat exhaustion after a couple hours of walking and started to get a little worried. Luckily, I ran into a farmer passing by on a dirtbike and he offered to help. Unfortunately, his bike was small and it couldn’t carry me and my bag. So, he put the bag on his bike, and each 1/4 mile for about 3, he stopped and waited for me. The kindness of humanity that I learned then, has never left me. For, if no one helped, I could’ve died from the heat, the sun, the lack of water… That is where this fun and slightly dark poem originates from.. 🙂 Oh and the loss of the right eye has a pretty good story behind it too. I’ll save that for another time…

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