Inspiring Older Readers

posted on 02 Oct 2016

Google Earth   by Denise Hayes

Denise says:

This was first published in the magazine Mslexia (Issue 40) in 2009. The brief was to write a poem linked to the theme ‘The Four Elements’. I wrote several poems linked to the ideas of Earth , Air, Fire and Water but this one, which takes a very loose interpretation of the brief, was my favourite and the one selected for publication. 



Google Earth   by Denise Hayes



Denise Swithenbank,

11 Ida Terrace




Great Britain


The Earth

The Universe


Remember doing this?

Now we can make the journey in reverse

Through liquid crystal.


The earth sits before me on the screen, and at my command

Turns slightly on its axis -

Pauses - then hurtles towards me.


North America and Canada

Curve upwards and away

Spain and France and Germany

Rush by me on the right

And the crooked-back figure of Britain

Swells and pushes away the sea on either side.


Blurred greens and browns

Sharpen into the geometry of landscape.

Rural rhomboids and rectangles appear

Divided and connected by the grey threads of roads and rivers.


And now, crammed into a segmented row of flattened rooftops

With its ribbon of garden stretched out behind it,

Is home.


Here Google stops.

And cannot enter the hidden doors

To search me out at my keyboard.


But the Earth’s magnetic pull and other screens

Let me travel further


Past the contours of my face

And the radial tributaries of my iris

Into the folded strata of my brain

Until I reach

The dark planet at its centre.


            Zoom out.