The Fate of the Topographical Cartographer


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


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.



Image credits: (in order of appearance)







One response

What Do You Think?

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

Etrange et Insolite

Ici tout est bizarre !


The Official SMBAS Online Newsletter - - - - - SMBAS, P.O. Box 35, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272


with lesser words

indahs: dive, travel & photography

cities - cultures - ocean - marine life


Art, Poetry, Thoughts, Photos I've taken and Random things that inspire me.

Underwater University

Teaching about fish in the ocean

O at the Edges

Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.


poetry by j matthew waters

Fictional Kevin

Cigar Fueled Creative Writing

Rantings of an Amateur Chef - What works, and what doesn't!


Because bare nails are boring.


reflections on a passing life


blog of a manicure addict


Food Innovator, Clean Eater, Recipe Sharer. My kitchen is small but mighty.

%d bloggers like this: