Friday, 29 August 2008


They left their bags in the ice cave when
they were too weak to carry
they stuffed remaining foods in pockets
tried to trace where the compass had failed
and eventually starved
or froze, the rescue teams
couldn’t tell which.

Some of us die like heroes, or so go
the news reports.
A list of essential wilderness survival materials
is something every American boy has memorized
by nine years old and forgotten by eleven,
a lingering sense of what-if-I-had-to--

Some of us “do what we must” to survive, or
so go the narratives to countless westerns,
the excuses made by anti-heroes of my favourite films.

The man who hitchhikes across America with
just a knapsack, his thumb and a bottle of something
is an image that doesn’t
quite transfer overseas.
But the idea of a well-packed
bag does.
So when I say I left my bag up Constitution Hill,
it goes without saying I’ll be back up to get it;
leg-ache be damned.
There’s important stuff in there.

A good rucksack has what you
need to survive anything short of an apocalypse,
if you know how to pack it right.
My daily bag has a couple books, an in-progress
letter to my sister and my ipod.
I fear the apocalypse less than boredom, apparently
and should I ever get trapped in an elevator
I’ll have to resort to cannibalism.

this feels a few drafts away from completion, but I like what I've got so far.


Ryan A. Johnson said...

quite the improvement

Jake Tucker said...

This is among my favorite things you've written over in the god-forsaken motherland.