All entries for Sunday 25 December 2005

December 25, 2005

The Map

There was a map
upon my table
coated in
weather-proof plastic.
With time on my hands and
dirt under my nails
I trailed my finger along its
A-roads until they reached
their conclusion
at the paperís edge.

The clock struck 12 .
I turned to see
but while I bowed my neck
the map began to shake.
Without warning it grew beneath me.
It rose from its synthetic casing
and broke through my studyís walls
in an explosion
of swelling grid lines.

I lost my footing
and dropped to the ground.
The new real red-road
felt firm under foot
but flowed like a river and

twisting with an uncertain desire,

It tossed and turned me to
an unknown quarter.

When I arose
I saw the mapís borders
had vanished
over the horizon.

Above me
an enormous compass
hung in the sky
like a stray balloon.
Its sharp needle skipped
one way then the next,
as if at the whim of the wind,
pointing me in
a multitude of directions.

I ran,
half through fear
and half through passion
but the landscape curved,
dived and leapt
at the Northís shifting impulse.
I could not stop so
I stumbled between sandy bunkers,
Ox-bow lakes
and crossed church spires.
But they all lead to spilt ink fields
and I was left unsatisfied.

Tiring of the search
I settled on the curved forest.
Even though I could not see
beneath its muffled, triangle top.
it looked appealing.
Flirtatious contours
bent towards its rim
and beckoned in my direction
before they slipped inside.

I looked up at the compass
but its needle was now missing
and it hung there,
blank like a dead sun.

I took the first step
and followed the contours
but not without first
sparing a thought for
the nearby canal,
wishing we were more alike.


December 2005

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