Tuesday, July 5, 2011



We use the land to help us move,
to tell us how to return to a spot.
The mind bites down on pieces
of the world that appeal to it:
a bridge, steel cables holding
it in place like a hand made
of knitting needles, or one bench
in a park where there are dozens
of benches, remembered for
its proximity to the street
we need in order to walk home.
The elementary school that signals
we will be at the bus stop
in twelve minutes. The territory
belongs to us, we feel fondness
for its quirks. The yellow sign
with its black stick figure reeling
back in pain, warning of electric
shock. The upholstery shop,
a red and green striped wingback
in the window, facing the street
and extending its arms to all
who pass by. Choosing where
to turn and where to wait
is easier if we let the land help.
We can keep landmarks private,
or share them. Imagine how much
scribbling this planet would have
on it if we knew how everyone
steered themselves through it.


  1. A fine poem. Enjoyable all the way through, but I particularly enjoyed the intriguing final sentence.

  2. I have missed you several days, really miss reading you Hannah. So true about landmarks. I was traveling in Nebraska once and I was totally lost in that flat land among those neat squares of corn land, and I had told myself that one patch was not harvested, my landmark, and the next day my landmark was harvested. I had a good laugh at my inability to maneuver in a land untainted with bold landmarks. xoxo

  3. and how quickly landmarks can establish themselves...

    excellent poem which says a lot about how the mind works...

  4. Another very good poem, Hannah. I especially like "The mind bites down on pieces / of the world that appeal to it" and "a hand made/ of knitting needles", plus those wonderful last five lines. The internal landmarks, those are what particularly intrigue me.

  5. I like the poem's thesis (so to speak):

    "The mind bites down on pieces
    of the world that appeal to it" -- and how everything else flows out after that, in poetic detail.

  6. PS: Just realized that I'm echoing Maureen...well, echo I am, then.


  7. That image is amazing! I am totally lost without landmarks. I do feel fondness for them :-)


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