How We Write – Carta Mundi

Our prompt was: Here Be Dragons. To Orion, who loves maps, especially old ones and fantasy ones, the subject was obvious. She was also influenced by the poetry of Dave the Poet. A fellow member of the Kickstart Writers group, his poetry is often literate and humorous. Carta Mundi was the result.



When cartographers of old unfurled

Their atlases, charts, and maps

They had only parts of the world

Told them by sailors, and other chaps.


Their maps proclaimed the land and sea.

Areas, nations, and peoples untold.

Their boundaries fluid and maybe

Imagined paths leading to gold.


Medieval maps, more elaborate,

Charted Asia, Africa, Atlantis.

But their information, not adequate,

Forgot one was but myth.


In present day, maps are huge

With fjord and causeway and island.

If ever you need a harbor or refuge,

You’ll always find someplace to stand.


Cities and towns and burgs are dots.

Highways, roads and streets are lines.

Mountains and forests are squiggles and jots.

All elements bearing their own signs.


Imagine a child in some distant future

Finding our maps in colors so bold,

Folded or in atlases sewn by suture,

Our images might leave them cold.


If the seas have risen or lands have burned out,

The nations of old would be in doubt.

That future child would perhaps scrawl

“Here Be Dragons” across them all.

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