7 February 2012

You Are Here

- an introduction to navigation

Written late January 2012 - (112 lines)


YOU ARE HERE - oh, thank you very much!
But what exactly does that mean?
The problem for anyone still in touch
With reality is easily seen

For this is not where we want to be
We are on the road, just passing through
To somewhere else entirely
But thank you, signpost, for the clue

How will we know how we got here
Without taking notes as we go along?
In fact we might well disappear
Unless our homing instinct is strong

For when it is time to make a move
Which direction is the best?
There is a principle to prove
Now put the theory to the test

Set our compass heading true
And should there be any need
Now make any corrections due
Good, we are ready to proceed

And with a song and high hopes
We march into unknown territory
Up and down some wooded slopes -
Then, wait a minute, let us just see

We cannot even hope to begin
A meaningful journey to anywhere
Without recognising the shape we are in -
Is it a circle or a square?

Some kind of triangle maybe?
To find that out we must look around
From a mountain top or the tallest tree
Then measure carefully on the ground

Our destination may well lie
Diametrically opposite
The point suggested by the eye
But we may lack any proof of it

We cannot confidently say
WHERE on the circumference
We are moving, nor which way
Without a point of reference

We may follow the radius
Firmly believing we are on track
But is the centre in front of us?
Do we continue or turn back?

And we must answer the question: WHEN?
If we wish to know where we are
So look at the watch every hour and then
From there and your speed work out how far

Did anybody record the height
Of the warming midday sun?
If not, it was an oversight
So please do it now someone

Spot the deliberate mistake:
Today that is of course too late
There may be other shots to make
But will they help us relocate?

And we must answer the question: WHY?
Those who cannot should at once go home!
The easiest way would of course be to fly
But - we cannot find the aerodrome...

Which path precisely did we take
Before it vanished in the grass?
Realising what is at stake
We struggle as the hours pass

Did we miss a left or right?
How did we arrive in this place?
If we are not careful we just might
Forever get lost in time and space

Or did we miss a right and left?
Did we go straight instead of turn?
Slow to accept that we are bereft
Of good ideas - but will we learn?

This is getting serious now
We must determine at any cost
Immediately where and how
We went so wrong that we got lost

We are now here - so far so good!
Decision time is approaching fast
But have we properly understood
Just half the lessons of the past?

We are where we are and that is a fact
That will not change by moving on
Instead of philosophy and the abstract
Let us consider what can be done

Before the rising of the moon
One last attempt in the fading light
And unless we find the right way soon
It is probably better to camp for the night...

For we must admit we lost our way
That is the unimpressive score
Tomorrow, inshallah, is another day
And we may learn a little more...


Yesterday we were getting tense
Now calmly observe the lie of the land
Then hopefully it will all make sense
For it should be easy to understand

Progress may be frustratingly slow
Surveying such a confusing scene
To plan the direction we wish to go
We must remember where we have been

Remain at all times sceptical
About the trail that we have come
For it is entirely possible
To end right where we started from!

But - is that not what we want to do?
No, not at all, we wish to explore
Till we find something amazing and new
Where nobody has gone before

YOU ARE STILL HERE! - how interesting!
A very rare interactive sign!
But that does in no way help to bring
Us out of here, so please change that line!


Copyright © 2012 - IBRAHEEM (O.E.H.Johansen) - All Rights Reserved

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