Making Place text

Here, setting out alone,
feet heavy in the clay,
travel seems a blind cacophony
replete with ancient allegories
In a dark wood
An isle full of noises
Tilting at shadowy windmills
You can’t see the wood for the trees
— the usual wayfaring fears

At first, still in darkness,
strike out on a new path
with only black images to go on
Behind today’s raucous machinery
a memory of crows
Flinch – anticipating movement
feathers across the face
Nothing is something in this featureless expanse
Everything is up for grabs

But soon, gradually,
the natural signs take root
It all falls into place
Turn when the river forks
Wait where the traffic halts and waits
Look out for the short cut
Take the longer path
Stop to buy bread
Hardly special, this quotidian mapping

Later (a time that starts before you know it)
the ordinary gathers ground
Making the trek in all kinds of weather
Visions, sounds and memories collide
Emotions and communities elide
Paths begin to form
inscribed from here to there
A line from me to us,
from you to me

And then, those older shadows fade
Knowledge creeps in by stealth,
beating the bounds
Nothing exotic – this withness
It could be anyone, and anywhere
Again (and again and again) that same walk
Making this place,
dwelling here

Katharine Norman (2012)