Maps Crafted by Poets and Desert Fathers

Yeats was thinking of Thebian sands

when he wrote how the world

can turn “featureless desert,”

to sift, shift and “run through

our fingers.” He meant life,

and so do we, as it can, overnight,

turn itself, flipped like a pancake,

into a small, shifty plot of space

we no longer recognize.

Then we tumble about like Alice

in her Topsy Turvy world.

Travel in the desert is tricky,

but sometimes the lands

of our lostness, the sands of our exile

can hand us hidden treasure

 … if only we do not panic

 … if only we can wait 

                 with empty, upturned hands.

Carol Hamilton has published 17 books: children’s novels, legends and poetry, most recently, SUCH DEATHS from Virtual Arts Cooperative Press Purple Flag Series in Chicago. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize eight times.