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Vol. 1:  On Isolation

Nicki Blake

The Coastline Paradox

poem by Nicki Blake

my footprint cartography makes it clear

that I will not be leaving this place soon

I have walked this edge around, around - 

stepped out the realisation of being marooned

I’ve found no way by which I can escape

no causeway, raft, or other means to leave

no other human voices can be heard

no other living presence have I seen

(though yellow eyes have watched me in the night

when, by my campfire, I have tried to sleep)

I find no comfort in the depthless stars

or from the moonlight dancing on the waves

I wake from fitful dreams that chill my bones

into the nightmare of a life alone

and each day, as I walk around again

to force acceptance of my loneliness,

I think about another life in which

I was told that shores were measureless -

that demarcation of the littoral sands

disappeared in geodesic spans

and every island, though it seemed confined,

had a coastline that was without end -

its limitations therefore limitless

holding infinity in its compass

yes, I think this as I make my way

mapping forever, day by silent day

wondering if I should even have to fear

being castaway, if eternity is here

Nicki Blake is an emerging poet and writer of short stories who is based Western Australia. Her writing focuses on themes of identity, inclusivity, the natural world, and the interaction between people and their environments. As a teacher and student of languages, Nicki draws on her lived experiences of working with words to inform her writing.

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