Islands of Man

"The Blue Street Fountain", Odon Czintos
“The Blue Street Fountain”, Odon Czintos

Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes.

Our intersections well-combined; concentric pegs, ladders and chutes.

Cabin logs fit, notch on notch and oaken floors laid tongue-in-groove,

Alpha letters etched on blocks, built towers high to stand, unmoved.

Our party lines were wired hard, and gaslights lit by hand each night,

Electric links for trolley cars, with route lines linear and tight.

The water pumps in cities wide and far abroad, pumped clear and clean,

Until the ground was compromised by viral beasts; minute, unseen.

We trusted water flowed downhill; that east was where the morn began,

We trusted spring’s return until the polar vortex blew its plan.

Was it we who changed the plan, who damaged waters cross the plains?

Who built an ether-web to span each others lives and sagging brains?

 No longer absolute or straight; each turn untried, leading where?

Were all connected, yet apart: No man an island, but no one’s there.


This was written for Speakeasy 151, using the provided opening line, “Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes” and making reference to the provided photo by Odon Czintos, ” The Blue Street Fountain”.

19 Comments on “Islands of Man

  1. This is beautiful! The beginning had me thinking about childhood days, when worries were few. I like the bit about being well-connected yet apart.


  2. This is fabulous, Joanne! I love the whole things, but this line really stood out for me: “Who built an ether-web to span each others lives and sagging brains?” Fantastic imagery and awesome rhythm.


  3. Thought provoking questions there Joanne and as always loved the rich imagery in your poem-well done 🙂


  4. LOVE THIS. I am definitely feeling similar sentiments right now, and you hooked me from the start with the wood working references. Beautiful imagery, I love what you did with the prompts!


I'd appreciate your feedback (Please, leave a comment)!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: