a poem by James Martin

I do not recognise
My city
I do not recognise
My country
Not because
I do not have one
But because I have too many
But isolated
I do not have the poles
Or the canvas
To build my own tent
Only a sleeping bag to roll up
Then move on
And flee
This dead city of mind
This barren country of mind
This long tall history of mind
With its flags
And its books
And their songs
And their words
Which can only fill holes
In its ash-ridden borders
And not the vast depths
Of its fathomless heart
Still alive
And yet distant
Like the faint beat of its waves
Still here –
In this blown speck of dust
Caught in its bright piercing light


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