Geography Lesson by Mel Perry

These politicians, for whom

I did not vote, pledge

to learn from the lessons

of Paris.


May a voice,

calling from distant

teachings, find an ear

in this dinning fear.

Where you found

our land, let it be thus.


In choosing a colour for

the map, let it not bleed

pink across continents.

If you must have a border

draw a line in dash-dot-dash.


Where you find steep mountains,

carve a zig-zag path. Where you

plant a forest, leave space for wide rides

When you make a garden, grow

plants for bees, butterflies.


If you must build a fence,

leave off the razor wire.

As you build a wall, make a gap

for the kissing gate.

As you form a language, learn

another’s, and learn another too.


As you ink in the coast

leave a space to build

a harbour.  And when you

colour in our seas, choose blues

from pale tropical shallows to

deep-ocean ultramarine.


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