Boxing the Compass

Richard Greene

Off to the printer

I did the sketch quite a while back.

The photo comes from a travel site I found on the web by Gemeah Howarth-Hockey

Boxing the compass refers to the ability to memorize all 32 points on a compass. It also refers to the action of a rudderless boat which will eventually rotate in a full circle hitting all the points on a compass. The title poem deals with a father on his death bed. The boat on the cover has a coffin shape which I thought was perfect.

So I wait with you in a crowded dark
where ageing men must revive or perish,
and wonder, my father, what under morphine
your dreams are? The old man on his ship’s deck
and you a boy among the ropes and canvas –
that hour’s sunlight over all the days you’ve seen