Unchartered, Kenwyn

Unchartered, Kenwyn

The woods by my house don’t have a name.

 

I was map-gazing at 4am when I learnt this.

By 5, I’m still slightly angry – or if not angry, then

Bemused

 

How could somewhere so important be so

easily dismissed

to warrant not even a patch of green

on a cartographer’s screen

now etched permanently, ironically, into ‘the real’

by smartphone scribblings

 

Because that place is

everything;

The root from where my half-formed self

half formed itself

through years of afternoon wanderings

Spring, summer, autumn – break

 

Something happened,

between the dew of March

                           and the July heat

                                         and the September mulch

of modest, glorious trees.

 

I fought through leaves, and brambles

cleared my lungs by the Kenwyn stream

marching ever upwards to defeat

but starting here, proudly,

Rightly. 

 

This is where I come to write, to lie, to listen

to perch, and burrow

away from dog-walkers, ramblers, fellow wanderers

To them, this place is theirs.

To me, it is mine –

Simple.

Sublime.

 

I grew here.

 

And I have loved here, too.

Brought friends

to see what I have seen –

the place in my dreams.

 

I regretted it, endlessly

 

You shouldn’t let others see your dreams

or even know that they can;

like when I saw that girl by the tree – 

           – oh, the ignominy –

It must have been the same for her

 

But I have forgotten all that now, 

and by morning,

I’m clearer – accepting, even –

of the anonymity,

              the casual, relentless being

of this stretch of land,

so beautifully ignored

 

Because in my head,

it is still wild, undiscovered

A secret garden

where I can look over my kingdom –

 

amid the yellow, coconut gorse

              and the dew,

                             and the hills of this valley –

                 

I too become uncharted,

Embedded.

 

And now, it pleases me

that somewhere so important

can go so unseen

to warrant not even a patch of green

on a cartographer’s screen

 

How many more hidden, personal wonders

must there be?

As close as this,

                            as deep,

                                           as needed?

 

It is testament to our world,

that something so incredible

is so effacingly normal –

wonder in ubiquity

God’s divine, humble scribblings

 

The woods by my house don’t have a name.

Or, the name is silence:

            it would die if you said it.

Because it is inseparable –

through the seasons, it remains.

An unrequiting love.

 

And despite all this, despite everything:

I still believe

          I am the only one who knows about it.

 

 

Cornish poet and singer/songwriter Josiah Mortimer currently lives and works in London, but he yearns to be back by the sea.