It’s tempting to modify
the 3D landscape projected
inside your head
to force it to comply
with expectations.
You can go so far like this
but no further:
sooner or later
you are forced to turn round
and retrace your steps
back to the place where,
map folded in your pocket,
you set off at a tangent
thinking it merely
a bend in the road.
But then, you may ask,
where were we going?
What’s in a destination?
True, we were looking forward
to the view across the lake
but instead we went for a walk
through the woods and
had I paid attention to the map
we’d have never seen
the bluebells.

(c) Sackerson, 2019


9 thoughts on “Off-Course

  1. After reading your poem and listening to #1 Hit Song (thank you for the fine juxtaposition), I took a long walk in the woods, turning here and there on random trails with the result that for the first time this season I saw a mallard with tiny ducklings at the side of Whatcom Creek near the upper bridge where the current is not so swift. As I was walking, it occurred to me that, ultimately, my destination is always “home.”

    1. Thanks for that. I too encountered a mallard recently. I was in a café eating a scone when I heard a quacking coming from under the table. To my surprise, it was a mallard, demanding a bit of scone. It even started pulling at my trousers with its beak. I don’t know if scone is good for mallards but I gave him a bit. Come to think of it, I doubt if they’re very good for me.

      I’ve just been looking at Whatcom Creek. It looks uncannily like a number of similar places round here, like parts of the river Greta I know and Hackfall Woods.

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