Our coastal skin shrank as knowledge grew;
why have we forgotten paths and dunes
devoured by an increasingly hungry sea?
Never sated, the leviathan lingers on the shore
until its rumbling belly sends it back for more.
Ancient rock has turned to crumbling cliffs and sand.
There are no maps to fathom what lies beneath,
how the now familiar landscape looked before,
a village drowned, the bells of ancient churches
silenced, paths and cart tracks erased from memory.
And yet the human race continues to leave its trace
in the shifting sands of time and place,
to become figments in the imagination
of a future, mapless generation.
Kim M. Russell, 28th April 2020
My response to earthweal weekly challenge: A New Map to the Old World, also linked to dVerse Poets Pub where I am hosting Open Link Night
Brendan says that corona virus time ‘feels like we’re adrift in a stillness which echoes vastly down the abyss of geologic time, sails lagging, motion nil’. We have no idea when the world will resume and so we wait, ‘praying for anything like a breeze’.
He has shared an extract from Robert Macfarlane’s Underland: A Deep Time Journey, and writes about his interest in ‘countermapping’, which he says is associated with ‘indigenous or suppressed cultures who seek to disinter and reinscribe forgotten or overwritten topyonymies and modes of perceptions’. He also says that mapping is ‘always partial, and for that reason is always an expression of priority—and often an expression of power’.
Brendan compares the ease of navigating with Google Maps with the difficulty in ‘reckoning a soul’s history or a nation’s fall’, and asks: What’s your new map to the old world? What hidden perils and treasures does it reveal?