Monday, 6 January 2020

6. City Camping

The din of the traffic keeps humming and heaving
as I pitch my tent and try urban camping
horns blare loudly stomped on by sirens
cars whiz by driven by titans
incessant, demanding, aggressive, unbending
where does it start, when is it ending
I close my eyes and cup my ears
but the brakes keep screeching, the tires keep skidding

this is my night
there’ll be no real sleeping
this is my plight
I’ve got to stop thinking
I lie in my tent but flee in my mind
dying to escape —
the cold air above me, the gravel below me.

The only smart choice
is to run
run away
far away
to the other end of the bridge
to Stanley Park
where sounds are harmonious
tall cedars are glorious.

And, so I go hurriedly to fleeting dreams
where at last
eyelids close, breathing slows
In my bough of soft moss
my canopy of frost

All tucked in
nothing left to disturb
nothing left at all
but exquisite sleep.

My boyfriend and I were visiting West Vancouver one spring. Rather than spend money on a hotel, we decided to be clever, and bring a tent along. We used the internet to find a campground. When our GPS led us to the campsite, we discovered it was located directly under the north end of the Lion’s Gate Bridge, right beside a major mall. We realized the traffic would be non-stop but decided to stick it out, as it was ‘just one night.’ Lying in the tent, listening to endless noise made me crave what lay on the other side of the bridgethe ever peaceful, ever pristine Stanley Park.


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