ON OWNING LANDSCAPES II

The second landscape was always on the move,
a shy animal that could never be traced.
I only caught glimpses of its back, never managed to
map it out entirely from the seat of a green Peugeot car.
Its contours were vague, as if seen through a kaleidoscope,
the headlights from the highway that fragmented,
showered the black leather in flashes,
the trees on the side of the road
one early summer afternoon on the way
to my favorite roller coaster exist

side by side with me, years later
in that same landscape riding a bicycle
I was old enough for
across peacefully tame front lawns
and no matter how far it felt like you were, it was
always row upon row of houses
hiding behind
every curve.

The cola bottle factories, the caged, abandoned
parking lots at night, driving over a bridge crossing
rolling farmland where another road cuts through:
nowhere could you enter the landscape, walk it,
map it, get a view of any trails,
animal paths, a natural pace.

Every trace of it had faded. Nowhere could you see
further than the next village, the next
street or rows of houses,
nowhere other than the place
where you were
riding away from yourself


Photo by Nora Goerne

From: Walking The Horizon (2017).

In 2017, the booklet Walking The Horizon was self-published in a limited edition. It featured nine poems written specifically for a selection of photographs by Nora Goerne. Both the poems and the photography deal with themes such as distance and memory, combined with an impressionist and contemplative style. If you’re interested in buying a booklet, please get in touch

 

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