Week 4 – Cartography
Cartography by John Wentworth Chapin
|A Mountain So Lost by Sheldon Lee Compton
Maps are everywhere. On the palm of your hand, across the terrain of your heart. These are maps of hope and magic, emotion and muscle.
But these are not real maps, not those of a drafts man. Not the cartographic maps I make, the general progression from the cave wall to my fingers. The others, the tracks and cuts left on the heart, the spill of superstition poured over the heads of the desperate. These maps are not science. They have no more direction to offer than a wind-beaten cloud.
They call what I did a deliberate error, cartographic graffiti. I like that. It’s better than saying it was a prank or joke. It paints me less like a clown and more as a mischievous eccentric. Being different and clever is how I will be remembered.
In my design for the Rocky Mountains’ continental divide I added a fictitious peak called Mount Richard. It took two years before anyone realized there was no such peak, no mountain bearing my namesake. Two years I spent pointing out me, the mountain, to Heather in the diner in Niwot, to Jill at a bar in Arvada, Kim in Broomfield, Teresa in Wheat Ridge, at least four dozen or more across Colorado.
I should have just kept quiet, stood in silence against the skyline and let the majesty do the talking. I should have learned to be patient in my loneliness, still enough to watch a rosebud bloom.
Partly Revealed by Linda Simoni-Wastila
If you look close enough
Closer still, lines
If you dropped your robe
indent too small to see
The mirror reveals all,
Space by Damian Pullen
Didn’t even know she had a son, says Mum. Dad goes upstairs and looks through the binoculars. Says he looks a bit of a hobo, and not surprising really, given the mother.
He doesn’t do much, mostly just sits under a tree, and sleeps outside, in a tent with a little porch. His mother’s dying of cancer. Everyone knows. We hear her moaning and crying sometimes. He keeps a fire going day and night, and sometimes the smoke blows across the street and stinks us out.
Our dog Milly runs over to their place and Dad sends me to get her. She’s lying on her back while he rubs her tummy. He’s made some damper dough and we cook it on sticks, then dip it in honey, delicious. Milly sniffs around their place.
He’s never been to school or anything. He says he’s an explorer. He lives in a tent ‘cos he doesn’t like houses, they can’t come with you. Dad calls me back after a while. Place is a bloody mess, he says.
Mum thinks the old lady ought to go back to the hospice but the community nurse reckons they can’t force her. Some days she lies in the sun, wrapped in an old blanket. One night we saw them doing a dance round the fire. It can’t be much longer, Mum says.
He’s started building a raft out of bamboo. He’s going to take it down the river, all the way to the sea, when she’s gone.