The Unfinished Country

I draw the lines, they trace themselves

straight, true to paper scaffold

crackling up against a vision


Of lands great and beyond sky’s reach,

sumptuous, possible and laid before.


Too coloured from rain to grip

quills again, if I weren’t

so sullen I’d do it

myself without a moment’s


Mulling over the shape

air makes over borders.


As if skipping lightly, traversing

taps through boiling last lances,

my shapes are not so undefined;

capitals have roots to road,

set down on high, from distracted hands.


In that they weren’t so different,

in delirium tremors,


Than the last time I stepped

out into newfound soil,

terrain yet to be overrun with

razor wire and shadow figures


That rode and came along

through buses and Buicks to be here.