This is how to find true north:
first find all other norths false,
littered with rubble from fallen idols,
all that glitters is pyrite; pyrrhic; permeable.
Forget magnetism, abandon all meridians –
cartography alone cannot account for this;
the seven seas already an ocean entire.
It is hard to hang a shingle with a hangnail,
clumsy fingers, wayward tongues,
torn sails and all hands on deck.
The first mate is first to mutiny.
The cabin boy a girl in disguise.
The parrot speaks in riddles, always,
dead men tell no tales, but you should hear their jokes.
A compass can only guide, not lead.
It is your feet that must move,
your hands that must row, and row, and row
towards an x that never wholly marks the spot.
When in doubt, look up.
Watch for clues lining cumulus clouds,
constellations, celestial signposts –
know you are not the first to see the stars fall.
We have nearly come to our white whale, our apogee.
Take my hand, I will teach you port from starboard.
I’ve walked left and right and recently,
shivered my timbers, walked
any number of planks.