Editing poetry: Road Scholar

I wrote this piece about C’s father, who seems to wander the world according to his own timetable. He once lived in a cave.

with stratified hands
circlets of dirt
echo the blurred
whorls of his fingertips
he smudges the yellowing lignin
breathes as it oxidises
runs a crooked finger
over justified columns
thin colour diagrams
and broad pages
he is blank and wide as
prairie margins
this lonely
road scholar
retells the parable of the scorpion
shoes fading camouflage
with the bitumen
tree roots
cracks in concrete face
unsure which page to read
he stares into blank
like Picasso’s blue family
the moving finger
smoothes the creased pages
with a hard black fingernail
traces the scrawled notes
with empty pen
frail amalgam of feeling
his books are out of date
and the world turns
faster than he can run


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