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In the Footsteps of Lewis Carroll

A hundred runners rustled past me on the walk he once walked to Alice;
Past calmly frantic fishers fishing, hidden hooks hard hoping, craving;
Past rowers who didn't notice anyone or anything at all.

An arrogant motorboat raped the tenuous two minute silence,
Its exhaust fog bubbling an unashamed broiling wake;
And with screwed inertia, only a bellyflopping duck heard the call

To dive into a river alive with limp and languid raindrops;
To escape a waterlogged sky as dimly grey as Prozac slate.
And I found my own old and oaken refuge, all subdued mottle and pensioned blotch:

This leafy umbrella, jaundiced green and vastly shrouding,
Left room enough to slyly feel the waking, slumbersnapped world;
And I swear I heard the ticking, ticking of his white rabbit's pocket watch.


I wrote this poem in Oxford after walking through the leafy corridor known as Poplar Walk from Christ Church Cathedral to the river Thames. I knew that Lewis Carroll was a lecturer in mathematics at Christ Church and a magical morning spurred my thoughts into this direction. I turned them into this poem right there on the spot.

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