Armchair Explorer by A C Clarke (Lucent Dreaming Issue 4)

The maps were the gift of the place Roger Harvey

Inside the stiff bound books, their spines still unbroken,
the once bright paper has mellowed to ochre;
the inks which shaded boundaries between
black coast, blue sea, have sunk their difference
in a sepia concordat. Europe resembles a child’s
drawing. Eastward Asia is named. Southward
North Africa fringes a silence. Westward
a sea baited with mermaids. A bookworm
has eaten the Azores. Top left at the extreme
edge a space where the cartographer
has scribed with firm strokes Terra Incognita
prompting some mariner in a quiet harbour
to rig his carrack, lay in stores —
or so imagines
the reader seated by his study fire
with a full glass, dreaming snowflakes
and frostbitten feet trudging through darkness
that never lifts. The thought stirs him
to poke the coals into a blaze. That moment
he straddles two worlds, outer, inner,
knows the contradiction of the map
which flattens fierce and living landscape
into the four corners of a page
down which his finger travels glibly pointing.


Browse issue 4 in full.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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