The Mythicals – 1: the illusion of travelling

A counterpoint to the previous poem about Archie and the commemoration of life and death.


“the tectonic plates which shift beneath our feet

drive the motion of the swollen seas,

their tides in turn the rhythm of our hearts

and we, certain of our karmic being, spin,

spinning into the orbit of every sun we see,

believing we are the epicentre of …..”

(AMM – Blinkered We Ride the Stellar Surf – 2019)


the paper’s headline read “The Body in the Woods”;

a dogwalker found her – “i thought she was praying.

she was kind of kneeling against the tree.

it was only when Charlie barked and she didn’t move

i knew there was something wrong. i touched her.

she was cold. called the police straight off.”


travelling she had been, part of the group which camped

in the fields across The Howard, shuttling in and out,

their pickup vans heavy with garden waste tipped

onto the rising piles fired every night, warming

and lighting, the smoke stirring the locals’ bile

(the developer’s too – a national concern

with concrete plans submitted for three hundred units)

who would have to foot the hefty clean-up bill.


the note she left behind said: ‘i want life to be fixed, stilled.”

her brothers strung two effigies, hers, her lover’s,

dressed, to a branch –  twenty days left swinging –

to call her wandering spirit back, help it root,

rest easy in this place, at peace with her death,

travelling proxied through the motion of the earth.   


I know well that place where she was found;

a birch, uprooted lies, the thick strands which once fed

now dry, its dead length peeling, core rotting exposed.

what force tore this once sky-touched tower down?

the wind rolls through the new leafing trees

and their whispered answer traceless disappears.

© Bhi 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Beautiful last line. Also the words in her note draw me in. Sometimes freedom from constant movement is what we need. A strange thing for a gypsy to write though.


An interesting format, B. I like the way you built a story into this piece which I guess is prose poetry. I guess this is based on a true event from some time ago. Certainly as CW said the girl’s note is very arresting. The final stanza is whimsical yet beautiful. The illusion of travel? This makes think of when I used to fly to long hauls . . . you get in an aluminium tube, get fed and watered for 10 or 12 hours and get off at somewhere or another having no idea of what fantastic scenery and… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Guaj

On purely technical appreciation, I found the last stanza built a convincing rhyme, from the first to the fourth lines, and of course the last two lines; and for me this closed the poem beautifully; but that is just how I found it, and it is a strong – thought provoking work – thank you.

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