The Tourist’s Lie.


It is the beautiful lie

that makes us believe that Central Park

lays empty, photographed at four

in the morning and any sign

of lingering, full of early morning dew humanity

photo-shopped out,

leaving only the light green grass and the sound of silence

in a city of broken and disturbed dreams,

the snore and the wide awake call

of the alarms and the beautiful

that reside on avenues and in sewers;

for tourism depends fully on the calculated

and erasable lie.

The same with those that have their photograph taken,

displaying Herculean strength

as they hold back with one hand out stretched,

pulling a gurning muscle as they show the

Leaning Tower of Pisa being held back

from its inevitable decline and fall,

as hundreds around them do the same,

original and fun, something to show the

Great Grand children

who will wonder why nobody else is around

to take the slack of the job.

Just once I would like to see

a picture of Rio’s mighty beach

with evidence of Humanity having killed the day,

of the sacrifice the Venice Steps

leading to Heaven

full of mischievous Devils

and battle scarred angels

having tangled with pigeons and Seagulls

starved and beady eyed, their stomachs ravenous

and eager to peck out an eye or two in the hope

they might snaffle a chip…

to be honest in a tourist’s photograph,

seven billion souls all converging like ants

in search of one good picture

to show

peace and tranquility

are possible.


Ian D. Hall 2017