Compass



To hold a compass in my palm
and watch the needle stay true
while winds sing a ragged psalm
O, wanderer, we thought you knew

Even to eyes cast northward bound
even to the southern bands
the lines of sight stay not ground
like time-weathered marks on your hands.

The direction to a life borne
is cloaked in shadow and light
the heartbeat of the hours drawn
into the wash of your life’s flight.

But the compass, I tell the wind,
lives within and shapes the road.
It is the sky and soul twinned.
It is the seed, the harvest sowed.

From earth risen a rustling laughs:
the magnetic lines of their
own are not your guiding paths
but streams of us that course through air.

And still then the compass is held
for bones are not skeletal  
when breath is life, and the weld  
of heart and mind defines the call:

The eye of the needle is me
From north, south, east and the west
It is the sky, it is the sea,
the stillpoint to the wind’s tempest.

About this poem

Life's directions

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Written on June 06, 2023

Submitted by wmcfadyen on June 06, 2023

59 sec read
6

Quick analysis:

Scheme XAXA BCBC XDXD XXBX XEXE FXFX GXGX
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 944
Words 198
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Warwick McFadyen

Warwick McFadyen is an Australian writer and editor, based in Melbourne. more…

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    "Compass" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/160806/compass>.

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