The Maps of Kansas

November 26, 2006 at 6:19 pm (Blue Kansas)

The Reverend Talisman has kindly provided us with four additional poems by the recently missing local poet Ralph David Emerson. This is the first of them.

 

The maps of Kansas show roads
As if it were like any other state
But soon you realize
That there are no roads
No towns no cities no lakes no rivers
Nothing with a name
Just vast space
All the roads in
America end here
Somewhere in a wheat field or a prairie
A few make it as far as an abandoned farmhouse
Or a rusted windmill
Then turn into tall grass
It is all unexplored, unclaimed space
To reach
Kansas
Is to have all your thoughts run empty
To open a book
And find all the pages blank
You turn off the car engine
And step out into the sunlight
There is no point in driving any further
Everything can be seen from here
The oaks and the hedgerow
The vacant white church 
The blue hills in the distance
Any direction you take
Will lead to the same destination
No place at all

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