Explorer

by
May 2021, no. 431

Explorer

by
May 2021, no. 431

after Eavan Boland’s ‘New Territory’

 

The world closed in, but it was fortunate
there was her own interior to explore:
the prayer books a captain might have read
on long voyages, now small with gossamer pages
of tiny print, so interesting, myths really,
of rise and fall, pride, hedonism and fate,
the farmer who could not turn water into wine
no matter how hard he tried. And then there were
emotion’s continents, the hesitation of awkward
words, entire cities falling into wrath’s fire
and reddened sunsets flaming shame
over unknown deserts. And the territory of air
how weightless the soul becomes in solitude –
a puff and there it spins across the inner globe
like a stellate summer husk. Each landscape
morphs in shadow and more shadowless sun,
death hidden in a map marked with disparate
arrows, as if no symbol leads the way home.
Other scratchings indicate a waterhole, some
place to rest. And here, in the centre of a circle
scrawled by a child, the child glimpsed,
the monster conquered by the colour of the sea.

From the New Issue

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