An old story. Our hero wakes up disoriented in a strange and unfamiliar land. Rock strewn, treeless. He is amnesiac; expulsion from Eden is false memory. The Ruskinesque, quartz blaze of a fallen rock. Into his field of vision float half erased memories. The plank-hulled ship stretched upon the leek-green sea, for instance. Though how did he get here? Balloon cheeked clouds puff powdery gusts from every quarter. The ship tilts toward its destiny, sails pot-belled and proud. An empire in red shading and black lines spell out emptiness. A clutch of miniscule palm trees lean toward the coast. A few towns and oases marked out phonetically in copperplate promise little. Inland remains largely terra incognita, a persistent rumour. He observes a lizard, frozen beneath his shadow, its back patterned with yellow chevrons. This reminds him of ship’s anchors. The map fades off, borderless, into obscurity. The horizon swings on its boom in one slow arc either side of the perpendicular. The emissary has not yet returned with news from the ant-headed people. At best, trade routes remain speculative. Twilight is the texture of wickerwork all around him. Soon the stars.
1 August 2015