The Fate of the Topographical Cartographer

source-image-wytfliets-world-1598

The earth is flat, they said, be warned! Don’t travel too far or you’ll fall into the sky.

The earth is round, he said, and I

will surmount every summit bathed in golden sun

traverse every trench at the sea’s bottom

And map every crevasse and curve

To prove that you lie.

Every inch of this sphere he set out to see

To feel with his finger, to taste the air

To trace a path

Over each mound, into every cavern.

lookout-mountain-and-flag-point-07-large-02.03.13I will plunge my flag into the deepest snow at the southerly pole! he touted

Too early, and write my name in the sand

For I am the man

Who conquered each curve

Of this mystery earth.

You’ll do no such thing,

She declared, in the silence native to women of such galactic gravity

And shifting in celestial slumber

Her ocean gown undulated, sweeping away the profane sand-inscription with a tidal kiss

So sweet, as he was knocked off his feet

a6cb6b897f40206cf15ed35da2eb8a4d

By new nameless mountains

Tumbling down a vertical road of red river rock

Losing track of his limbs, the power to talk

Crawling into the dark. Falling into the sky

is preferable to this fate of failure, he cried

Wondering why he ever had tried.

Meanwhile, her crystalline caves unpenatrated

Ocean rocking slowly to stillness

The ever-changing earth

Returned to her beauty sleep

For another pristine millennium or two

And man’s fear and jealousy only grew

For the treasures of this terrific and terrible

Earth of the sphere

Earth of the curves.

9-Kilauea-Hawaii1-500x375

images-1

Image credits: (in order of appearance)

1. http://emergingamerica.org/for-teachers/topics-in-history/maps-and-exploration

2. http://loomisadventures.com/blog/lookout-mountain-hike-and-flag-point-lookout-snowmobile-ride

3. http://www.pinterest.com/chadwick2019/3-1-volcanic-eruptions/

4. http://thedetectivenovel.blogspot.com/2010/08/2012-world-end-myth-or-fact-super.html

5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunburst_over_Earth.JPG

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