escape routes

staring at the cracks in the ceiling
he went in search of unexplored lands
lost worlds mapped in lines and stains
one-eyed cyclopes in missing plaster caves

there the route to King Solomon’s Mines
Quatermain exhausted he falls to sleep
forty leagues of adventure dreaming
he climbs Kanchenjunga in The Lakes

exploring Slater Bob’s copper mines
‘sing out if you see rocks under water, Roger’
but there are only books lying on the floor
slipped from the hand of a tired boy

now the books are aligned on shelves
classics, fiction, poetry, art, nature, travel
and the man still dreams of unexplored lands
the cracks in the ceiling his escape routes

~

the black holes he passes through
huh, the mazes that he wanders
a different form of escape sometimes beckons
one that cannot be written in words

 

‘sing out if you see rocks under water, Roger’
adapted from Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.

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