The Cartography Cycle

(titles link to the original posts)

Cartography I

Because 
        words are ghosts
after the death of wonder
              and the end of awe
have stopped explaining
                and exploring
the beginning of fear.

Hear,

there, 

             be dragons.

Cartography II
Of course we are all lost.
We have been lost many 
times before.

Off course, we all search.
We have been searching
for a long time. 

We search 
for some sense
but history proves 
that this proves
nothing.

What we seek and search for,
time,
we will never have,
we can never touch or grasp or collect.

Still we suck at it like 
an empty teat and
vanish right along with it.

.the point . the quest.
meets the dragons of the horizon. 

Some drag that same 
horizon around 
like a brittle map.

Some scream in the square 
at passers-by,
 “Look!  Here, where the 
ocean meets the sky! 
Here it is!  I have found it!”

Some look away. 
Some shuffle their feet on by
some loony preaching kingdoms 
of lost treasures and flatness.

We know how these things go.
We’ve heard these stories before.

Zeno’s been there. 
His fleet-footed friend 
is never fast enough. 

We hurry home, loose hopes
like flocks out to pasture,
and throw found prayers 
at the forever locked and
stricken horizon.

our noses fall off for us 
we the de- 
and in-
spite of all faces

we are not particles
this particularity 
this peculiarity is 

yet

we spin in the same 
spaceless circles

we cannot find our waste 
precious time searches 
for what cannot be found
without or within
(but) what does the searching
(we) must be who we are

Aren't we that which 
makes us wonder?

Aren't we that wonder 
which makes us?

Are we what 
wonder makes?

Cartography III
we play here 
in the fuzziest of maths 

our paths diverge from 
us even as we are 
on the verge of
pushing parallels 
until they converge 
at the horizon

no conflict of interest
our interests engulf us
and all the world around us

is there really a point
where one day becomes another?
a line demarcating one from the next?   
a border in time?
a break in the line?

there are no breaks 
only endings and beginnings
endlessly beginning

there is no border between
one moment and the next
a line in the sand perhaps
but this line is 
a billion grains of silica 
marking the borders of a negative space
where the idea of a line lives

one grouping of grains marks where
one grouping of grains ends and
another begins? 

one ending begins and
one beginning ends?

until the sands shift again

         ~~~~~~

we play here in an endless sandbox
our rules engage us in the 
game of rules

the horizontal is always 
flat 
while our horizon forever rounds
a strangeness of circles 
embraced by sand 

these grains embrace us and
we forget 
our lines
our selves

this sand loves us and 
loves for us to forget

this silica wants to make 
blue glass marbles 
to circle about us

7 thoughts on “The Cartography Cycle

  1. I like Cartography II a lot – this – (but) what does the searching
    (we) must be who we are

    Aren’t we that which
    makes us wonder?

    Aren’t we that wonder
    which makes us?

    Are we what
    wonder makes?

    and the part about time in the first stanzas – yes, time and maps and wonder. Good things to chew on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have to go ahead and reply, even though I’ve only read it two times. There is so much to be “drawn out” and “demarcated” from this “missing map”–

    “Some drag that same
    horizon around
    like a brittle map”

    –yes, this stanza calls to my poem. I’m smiling! Again!

    Also:
    “our paths diverge
    from us even as we are
    on the verge of
    pushing parallels
    until they converge
    on the horizon”

    This makes makes me think of a ship captain trying to navigate using a an oceanic horizon line, possibly at night. In my poem, the North Star has fled behind the clouds. There’s no system of guidance. It calls to mind “words” that don’t work, lost meaning which we hunger for. It’s all set up in Cartography I. I LOVE

    “Hear,/there,/be dragons”–

    the movement of the lines and the ominous tone with the placement of “hear” instead of “here”. It reminds me of a quote I think you shared with me about poetry being related to “inner sound”. A quote I didn’t quite wrap my mind around at the time…..

    “Aren’t we that which
    makes us wonder?

    Aren’t we that wonder
    which makes us?

    Are we what
    wonder makes?”

    This seems so central, and reminds me of what you said about ‘The Ticker’, about your feelings about the current culture. And it’s also spinning for me, like a singularity. I love it. The answers are always paradoxes.

    And one of my favorite stanzas–strikes me as clever even as it confounds me, is the following:

    ‘there is no border between
    one moment and the next
    a line in the sand perhaps
    but this line is
    a billion grains of silica
    marking the borders of a negative space
    where the idea of a line lives”

    Gorgeous. “where the idea of a line lives”. I love that.

    And then:

    Cartography III

    “these grains embrace us and
    we forget
    our lines
    our selves”

    Isn’t this basically our situation? “Words are ghosts”, and our lines in the sand elude us, like demarcations we can navigate by. The words on a “brittle map.” Words elude us, and we forget our “lines” as in a play where the dialogue is pre-programmed, along with our selves. We are actors.

    I have always believed wonder, or maybe a sense of “awe” is the most important psychological trait for happiness or fulfillment, assuming people are seeking such things. I guess I am. So this poem speaks deeply to me about that issue I have. I guess you could say “wonder” is one of my favorite words.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Hear,/there,/be dragons” : I was thinking about the phrase seen on old maps from when people thought they could sail off the edge of the world but I was going for a re-thinking of that idea–a reassurance of sorts that this exploration is safe, really. And valued. And important. I almost think the lines could be a poet’s call to action. To listen, to pay attention, to be aware of place and space and how sound and language traverse it all, with the final imperative: “be dragons”! Creatures of transformation as the phoenix, as well as representations of our deeper, reptilian selves.

      “The answers are always paradoxes” yes! And I feel that being comfortable with those paradoxes, not seeking answers but better, deeper questions, is central to being a poet. That and that element of acceptance/awareness.

      I thought of the idea of a “line drawn in the sand” and its idea of perceived (or at least wished-for) immobility (a stupidly “manly” idea) as it relates to how we think of some of our precious concepts: money, borders, the self–all fictions to greater or lesser degrees but in my mind really entirely fictitious, convenient perhaps, but fictitious nonetheless and often dangerously so. But yes, some of the invisible things are exceedingly useful, the maths and lines that are used to navigate. So I think of a map as a kind of a locale for a clash for these ideas…..right on the paper.

      I could not agree with you more about awe and wonder. Also central to being a poet. Even as the world burns and crumbles down around us we watch with wonder and awe. Existence itself is the greatest wonder of all and makes all else wonderful.

      Liked by 2 people

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