Maps

Were always lines
cast toward lands
I’d one day see. Whole worlds
rested within a dot,
and there were always more
dots (beyond rivers, past oceans)
marked London, Beijing, Paris, Canberra,
Rome, Reykjavik, an endless catalog
of possibility.

The blue passion of Pacific
Ocean isles, white distance
falling away from Everest,
tan grasses swimming
over African savanna.

Age shrinks hope
to a cold, hard longing
as I flip pages
of vast distance
never crossed.

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Zen and Out

I enter
the space
between my thoughts
and walk around,
stroll for hours
in cool breeze,
hear the sound of gulls
calling in the distance,
a steady soft roll
of surf.

Moist sand
slips between my toes,
ocean rippling over them,
walking the verge
between land and sea.

The distant ring
of a telephone
intrudes,
then a disembodied voice,
tinny and flat,
totals my bank account,
job prospects,
age,
social life,
an endless litany
of inadequacies.

Slipping in the water,
I swim to get away.
Far out to sea,
no land in sight,
yet the voice
still mutters.