Inscribing our planet as maps,
Or on new electronic apps,
Serves to make ourselves gigantic,
But rooted space microscopic.
Maps conspire in making the world,
Laid out in close detail unfurled,
A tiny place where, with no fuss,
We go where'er fancy takes us.
Transport at every persons' door
Waiting for the rich and new poor.
And thus the common cars and trains
Convey us to pernicious planes.
For now, the general populace
Wants always to be somewhere else.
Motorways clogged in foul delays
Two fingers trafficking both ways.
Can we not exchange our ideas?
Experience each other’s prayers?
Be content with what we have got;
Nothing certainly it is not.
If maps are so necessary,
Were they not so very many
Years, decades, centuries ago?
Did not then ideas also flow?
Now there’s no space for idle thought.
Where they go matters less than nought.
Each desire mutually transferred:
Movement, ambitions, endless words.
It is no right of common man,
Though it's claimed as he alone can;
To also claim the planet’s wealth,
No matter its expiring health.
Your primrosy road to leisure:
Sex, sun, food and boozy pleasure.
All things which might seem so funny
Sure as hell cost too much money.
“To Hell with your pessimism.
What we want is cheap tourism.”
Hours spent going nowhere at all,
Fuming in some departure hall.
Enmeshed motorways now car-bound,
Bus and coach stations moribund.
Trapped in one cage or another;
Rumbustious slums never more drear.
The glory of the Open Road,
As envisaged by Mr Toad,
Which once promised glamour and dreams
Now project exhaust pipes and fumes.
Existing space is exhausted
Heated up. No! Suffocated.
Pumped out gaseous emissions
Choke vital vascular systems.
What has caused this situation?
Not just the essential mission;
Could this be an explanation -
Endless jaunts and small excursions?
Could such an explanation be
- Sacrificing our history -
These frivolous expeditions
Pumping out endless emissions.
Businessmen claim they're essential,
Trippers, tourists say medical
And claim travel broadens the mind.
Usually though just the behind.
Shangri-Las became ambitions.
Imagined real destinations.
Relentless days searching for sun,
And endless days queueing for fun.
Lost some other place the luggage
No-one will broadcast a message;
Silky staff once keen to sell flights
Strangely now disappear from sight.
Cruises and package holidays
Leave me beyond bereft and fazed.
What on earth has been left behind?
What on earth is there left to find?
Security and visa checks.
Essentials, one of course forgets,
Frustrates the fragile piece of mind
Searched in all those brochures to find.
When back, we breathe sighs of relief,
Joke about all those hours of grief.
And before very long we’ll say,
“Let’s plan another holiday.”
North Devon, September 2018