North of Direction


Were it but drawn on a canvas of dunes

Our celestial guides would spin and vault

In route’s alteration, their hazard to choose

The improvisation of man in seeing through

His miles over earth, miles over salt

And were it the transient mayfly’s life

Then we might discover, only to be robbed

Of our splendorous loves and of places rife

With wires or spires or underground light

Their loss abrupt, to memory dropped

Doubtless, the blooming windrose’s stay

Ought to hold the heavens fixed firm

But I ask that friends may never stray

Without compass, that we meet again

Where cardinal points our selves adjourn

ยฉ 2012 Elizabeth Cook

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32 comments

  1. A compass, that we may never lose our direction and focus, but sometimes it’s nice to wander aimlessly and find the undiscovered, hear the unheard, and just walk new paths. Liked the poem, Lily.
    Paul

    1. It’s all because we have a good set of directions to come back to that we can wander, isn’t it? I was imagining what would happen if suddenly we had no sense of that!

      Thank you!
      Lily

  2. With wires or spires or underground light
    Their loss abrupt, to memory dropped
    Doubtless, the blooming windroseโ€™s stay
    Ought to hold the heavens fixed firm
    And I ask that friends may never stray
    Without compass, that we may meet again
    no way, thousand years is good, but this rocks, like official, thousand years has better rhythm I’ll give it that, which is why people prob prefer it, but it does not hold a candle to this conceptually. This thing reads like a drifting dream. I am green with envy. If this is not published it should be

    1. You have no idea how happy that makes me, this whole time I have been trying to make something that is as good as Thousand Years – to know one person thinks something else is better means a lot!

      None of my poems are published, unless WordPress counts ๐Ÿ˜›

          1. Look into Lulu, real cheap, if you got no color pics all you really got to pay for is an isbn barcode and that’s if you want it to be distributed through amazon and borders. My phoenix epic will be out Jan. I was surprised how easy it was. The only hang up I’m having is finding someone to do coverart for me so I don’t have to use their generic templates. Trust me, the two I read are better than half the stuff I’ve seen them push. You should enter the both of them in a poetry conteset. try the writer’s digest. You can make a couple extra bucks along the way. Peace ta ya…

  3. I suspect this one is the better poem of the two. My evidence is indirect: I am not a native speaker of English. I think I understand Dream of a Thousand Years, but I don’t understand this one, although it sounds very beautiful. It is beyond my level of English which means the language here is more complex. That might be evidence for higher quality ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh, what is your native language? ๐Ÿ™‚

      You may be right, I think I put more complex words into this one partly because I wasn’t sure what I was writing about until I was halfway done!

      1. Hi, my native language is German. With my wife, we mix English and German, so sometimes we talk “Gerglish”. I read a lot of scientific and philosophical stuff, but when it come’s to poetry, there is a limit. I need a dictionary then and who wants to read a poem with a dictionary ๐Ÿ™‚ And I don’t know all of the more subtle connotations that some words might have. However, bit by bit, that limit is shifting, but it takes time.

        1. Neat! Haha I often need to look up words as well, I have learned lots of new ones since looking around WordPress. I admire your picking up another language, its something I’m not good at

  4. My next self publication I want to do a collaborative anthology. Each poet has their own individual pieces, but the pieces fit the same puzzle. Like, say, let’s get four poets to write about the four seasons. One might take the Frost approach and write about the snowflakes of winter, and another might get all brooding and introspective for the fall, and another may write of young love for spring, and another may write about the good times of summer. I’m not saying that this would be the theme, just an example of different poets takes on the same concept.

    1. Hey that’s a neat idea, have you decided on your theme yet? Assuming that the seasons really were just an example, you went into lots of detail!

      That exemplifies something I like about WordPress, I sometimes find poems about the same thing but they are written very differently. The variation is interesting and gives me ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Maybe, but vocabulary can be tricky, because a poem is a snapshot in time, a portrait of who YOU were at the time. It doesn’t matter if that is how you spoke at the time, because the poem is about that time and who you were then not now. But u r right on some issues cuz I write at least two poems a day, good or bad, and some of them are forced but they might have one or two killer lines I just amputate from the piece and transplant them somewhere else. Wow, sorry, I just realized how pretentious I’m starting to sound. Who am I tell u? U keep doing you, u seem to have a good grip on it. But mayfly is perfect, don’t change that, I couldn’t think of a better fit

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