Country of Mind – A Poem by J H Martin


I do not
Recognise my city

I do not
Recognise my country

Not because
I do not have one

But because
I have too many

But isolated

I do not have
The poles or canvas
To build my own tent

I only have
My sleeping bag

To roll up
To move on
To try to escape

This dead city of mind
This bombed country of mind
This long tall history of mind

With its flags
And its books

And their songs
And their words

Which can only fill holes
In their ash ridden borders

But not the vast depths
Of this bottomless heart

Out here
From outside

I can still feel it alive

Like the faint beat of waves
Like the warm rays of the sun

It is the wind on my skin
And my first and best thought

All of these barriers
And all these checkpoints

All of them are nothing

But dust on the road



© J H Martin
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An earlier and shorter version of the poem first appeared in Rue Scribe.