Representations of Home Creative Journal

ROAM - Winter/Spring 2022 - ROAM 2

Transhumance, Plague Year

Sarah Day


       Plague Year



It happened more quickly

than anyone might have expected,

we were unsure whether

we were shifting from mountain

to plain or low ground to high.

There were false starts,

many reluctant to leave

the familiar old terrain.

Then suddenly we were all

on the move in both hemispheres

and in every continent,

bar the coldest. Goodbye

to road, office, city and sky;

we circled and ox-bowed

like cattle or deer or sheep,

clockwise and anticlockwise,

wondering who among us

knew the way. The air smelt

different, birds and all winged

things were the first to notice.

Rats, snakes and centipedes

felt the hush that seismic instruments

recorded. In the absence

of the cities’ noise

we learned to hear the rumblings

of the most distant volcano,

the gentlest earthquake.

The planet it seemed

possessed an interior life

which might always

have been there. Out of the chaos

the dimmest rhythm

could be sensed –

or was it direction that emerged

in the pricks of light –

the earth’s magnetic field

like a map, as we follow one another

out of the old into the new.



Sarah Day

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