Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

Cartographer

by James Roome

Turn to Europe. Lethargically I skim my hand
over the cool laminate of foreign countries
to the British Isles, where I plough the land and
seed myself in the warm folds of familiar geology.
 
Delving through brittle carboniferous sandstone
I sift the fine-grained textures of shale,
fragments of a Roman pot, Neolithic bone 
and someone’s dead dog in the dirt under my fingernails.
 
The quakes of my tectonic power
crease the Universe and the Images of Earth
and I do more damage in one meagre hour
(the pages of a country breaking like the turf),
 
than I ever could have caused travelling from my home,
wielding my Atlas, that huge, unwieldy tome.

Added: 04.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem

11.05.2011

Lovely, surprising & refreshing language with sensuous imagery (as poetry should be) -funny too and it wears its brilliance casually.

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