Maps

I think we’ve gone beyond the place

where maps will help us. From here on in,

we’re fumbling our way through. We’re using caution,

feeling our way, blind fingered. All those little caves,

those dead ends, all those burial chambers,

so small, so snug, so cold. Just fit for one.

 

I don’t think that there’s a way

of leaving here. Only the way we entered,

and we can’t go back. We must go on,

even though the dark is full of danger,

strange sounds that echo round,

unplaceable. We are unplaced,

displaced, dysplased. We’re looking out

for runes, for messages sent from

the deep places, from the past,

we’re searching for inscriptions,

carvings, paintings – a running bull,

a horse, a hand-print.

 

Words don’t work so well here.

A lizard curls, a child swings out

over a stream of light.

In every chamber,  there’s a dragon’s egg,

waiting to hatch.

For Brendan at Earthweal. Wondering how we find  our way now.

5 thoughts on “Maps

  1. Wow, your writing always takes my breath away. I love “blind-fingered”, and agree, there are no maps to guide us, and the only way out is through. Scary indeed. A beautiful poem. I am doing 27 Days of Wild Writing online and it occurs to me that you might find it interesting – she sends a video every morning, chats a bit, reads an inspiring poem, then we write for fifteen minutes without censoring ourselves…people can post on her closed facebook group if they like……must be a Natalie Goldberg teacher. Laurie@27powers.org is the contact if you might like to sign up. Thanks for linking at earthweal…….

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  2. I love this poem Sarah – Pitch perfect for the challenge, cave-dark and boomy and strange. The only way forward involves going back–way back, beyond Paleolithic roots–and words are much a part of the problem as the miracle: “A lizard curls, a child swings out / over a stream of light,” which to me merges the primal into a certain hope beyond pandemic. Perfect response to the challenge. The collective view of the future has changed so much in recently years — its no longer a shining metropolis on a silver plain, becoming a terrifying spelunk through an unknowable bowel.

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  3. Wow! A stunning poem that reached into my solar plexus and pulled hard. I love ‘blind fingered’ and the ‘burial chambers, / so small, so snug, so cold. Just fit for one.’ Other lines that resonated deeply are:
    ‘…We’re looking out
    for runes, for messages sent from
    the deep places, from the past,
    we’re searching for inscriptions,
    carvings, paintings – a running bull,
    a horse, a hand-print.’

    Like

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