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December 09, 2002

COMPASS [a poem]

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I. North
Over there, in the North
in Edmonton Alberta
is where I was born.

In a University hospital wing that's since been torn down
where Barb & Charlie live, my mother's sister and her husband.

II. East
Over there, in the East
in Orono Maine
is where I grew up.

Going to Orono High School
living near the University of Maine with my family
in a house that we sold and moved away from.

III. South
Over there, the South
is where my family moved to.

Tucson Arizona:
Where my Mother & Brother went after leaving Maine
my Granny & Grampa after having lived in Wisconsin.
Texas: Where my father moved after Corvallis Oregon,
which is where he went after leaving Maine.

I'll probably visit my family again soon.

IV. West
Over there is the West
Portland Oregon
where I live now.

With Jacque, in a duplex
after having gone to Reed College.

Where I was partners with Argie
Matt & Malia before that
Hilary (in a way), Miwa
Amanda from Maine
Lara, first of all.

V. Above
Up there, Above
the Sky
is where I came from.

Outer space, a Big Bang
matter and energy coalescing into a solar system
the Sun
this planet, the Earth
formed from the dust of galaxies.

VI. Below
Down there, Below
in the ground
is where I will go.

A ball of iron and nickel
with trace elements on the surface rusting,
being bombarded with nuclear rays
forming a thin, inhabitable layer where life could emerge

One day I'll go back to the ground
worms will eat me, my body decompose
I'll become soil once again.

VII. Center
The Center, inside
this is my life.

This flesh which has been passed on generation after generation
as a seed by a species mating with itself
my mother and father creating this being
that I exist now.
These breaths, this blood, this flesh
this is my life
these thoughts and feelings and sensations:


Sven Bonnichsen
December 9, 2002

Posted by Sven at December 9, 2002 04:02 PM


One hopes that it is the center, you, to which your compass
always brings you back, Sven. It is a pleasant surprise to
happen upon you in the great void of cyberspace.
Amanda (from Maine)

Posted by: Amanda at December 13, 2002 12:51 PM

Im in collage designing a boat with a compas as its concept. Your poem has brougt great new meaning to my project, as well as life.

Posted by: heather at February 12, 2003 10:25 AM

Sven, you appeared almost incidentally in a dream about Maine, I swear out of nowhere. So I went looking for you, for about half a second. You are remarkably easy to find. Remember this girl from MSAP? Write her, tell her how you are. Tessa

Posted by: tessa joseph at March 20, 2003 04:10 PM

A compass reveals so much. We are created by direction, is it not so?

We are lead to new ground, yet a path is always there for us to make our way home.

My compass is made up of many wonderful memories, many of which include you. It is good to hear your voice resounding.


Posted by: Bethany at May 8, 2003 08:56 PM


Asa Tomash here, MSAP 1988. I remember you both from the creative-writing class. (Bill Carpenter was the instructor.) What up?


Posted by: Asa Tomash at July 13, 2003 11:50 PM