Map Gazing – John Short

Map Gazing

In the stone age of paper maps
I gazed all day,
found a dot marked Chapel-St-Leonards
and decided I must go.
Now I’m sitting on a bench
outside Tesco,
a can of lager by the sea.
I cycled two hundred miles to get here,
to hit the coast or rather
a wall of wind hit me
shifting sand
into beach huts and a derelict hotel,
making shapes in corners
just like the abandoned Arabian palace
in a comic book when I was six
that fired dreams
of travel, but ultimately
dots on maps are disappointing,
no mystery in arrival
only in staying.


After spending some years in Europe, John now lives in Liverpool and is a member of The Dead Good Poets. Recent appearances include The Blue Nib, Stepaway and Allegro. Work also forthcoming in The High Window, Envoi, Picaroon and Sarasvati.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s