Saturday, 12 January 2013

Map 163

Re-imagining the landscape’s mapping,
Envisioning an old-new cartography:
Erasing the blue of the motorways,
The red and yellow of roads and thoroughfares,
The lines of footpaths, byways, bridleways,
All that pale blue signification
That denotes tourist amenities,
Ignoring those black lines of railway tracks,
Cuttings, embankments, viaducts, tunnels,
The red squares and circles of railway stations,
Along the so-called permanent way,
Bus stations, power lines and pylons,
Then radio masts, television masts,
Churches, chimneys, towns, boundary lines,
An alphabet of abbreviation,
And even symbols of antiquity
Are all immaterial to our search
For thin blue lines issuing from nowhere,
Where William Blake sees the universe,
In tumbling drops of iridescent water.

I wrote the above piece down by the garden pond and distinctly recall that when I got to the lines about William Blake, a busy wind came out of the still nowhere of a still afternoon, and scattered my notes all over the garden. As soon as the wind had done this, it stopped. I wrote these few contextual lines in Sicily,  just after walking up to the medieval battlements above Cephalou, after visiting the Temple of Diana, by way of a Megalithic 3,000 year old shrine to water. I wonder what shrines we once had on what is now map 163.

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