Monument to the Discoveries

Even as children, we suspected our world
was broken—as if our hometown had been lifted
and dropped from a much higher place.
Everyday during the long summers we explored
the edges of the pieces—the spots
where the pattern no longer matched up.

Thirty years later, it’s harder to get up
the motivation to get out and map the world,
to find the forgotten corners and secret spots.
The veil of mystery has been lifted,
and the edge of the continent explored.
The great unknown now muffled by a sense of place.

From Yerba Buena to Eureka, I thought I had found the place
to put down roots—and as many times—I pulled them up.
A privateer, up and down the coast I explored,
only to miss the hidden parts of the world.
No longer lost, my spirits are still lifted
when I think about those magic spots.

Days spent in rapture until our eyes saw spots,
we rode bikes from place to place.
As we grew, our dreams were lifted,
until too soon—we just grew up.
It’s every man’s destiny to make his way in the world,
and every boy’s to forget the land he explored.

Down in the creeks and ravines we explored,
searching for those perfect spots
away from the bustle of the world.
We were driven to find a mystic place,
somewhere where the rules were not put up,
and our pirate banner could be lifted.

With found bits of lumber are battlements yet lifted
into treetops no longer noticed or explored?
The old men below don’t bother to look up,
knowing that gazing into the sun pays nothing but spots.
With everything marked and in its proper place,
wonder fades into the background of the world.

If only the veil of maturity could be lifted up,
and we could again see the world as an enchanted place,
the spots we explored as youth could provide asylum—even for the grown.

***

Published in The Hot Air Quarterly, Number Sixteen, Autumn 2010

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