‘Map’ – The Code For ‘Books’

What role for me in life is ‘book’;
What code-word opens up to look
More clearly at why I collect
Each volume after I select?

Compassion-persons ‘nesting’ are –
From floor to ceiling more by far
Than they can ever hope to read
Their eyes their mind and time exceed.

I do that too but that’s not why;
Far more than I can read e’re die;
I found ‘book scanning’ helped a lot
Few minutes with each book pre-bought –

Then left to let subside a day
The urge to read, impulsively;
I found I then selected best
And set aside sub-standard rest.

That way I quick recorded guts
Of each new volume – brushed with lots
So get a quick exposure to
A wide assortment of what’s new.

My periodic scan of notes
Brings back to mind what’s chaff and oats;
The gist of books ten minutes takes
The detail seldom difference makes.

I don’t need detail – books, or net,
Or reading from some coursework text;
Like map of road or chart of sea
They rocks and shoals in life show me.

I cannot see obstructions there,
Once pointed out, I then compare
Which route between is best to serve,
Then in and out I quickly swerve.

Presenting code I’d say is ‘eyes’
But that’s not where the code-word lies
I need to ask, ‘What’s there to see
Back when all books were new to me?”

So back I go – time-capsule mine
To first encounter, books in line,
Dad’s study – smell of pipe and smoke
Dim light and printing ink bespoke –

Of printing songs and program stuff
For Church and camp, and plans enough
To help folks on their ways in life
And thus avoid the rocks and strife.

So books aren’t ‘reading’ here at all
But ‘print provide for folks where stalled’
In life’s obstructed complex path
Thus open up a way to pass.

Mom did that too, books opened up
To adults, kids – gentle not rough –
‘The best makes better one of you
So you can live life with a view –

Of its immense and rich resource,
Select your way and plot your course”;
A place where she’d find storied fun
To share with us when day was done.

My sister took this inward way
Of fiction to delight our way;
But mine dad’s outward map of life
To share resource, averting strife.

So code for dad – ‘a tool to use’
Thought to collect and then diffuse
Throughout the world in which he walked
He teacher was – through life he talked.

That’s not for me – ditch-pusher I
Map-maker – find where trails lie,
Make tools for front-line helping ones,
Thus indirectly make life fun.

But “map’s” the code to me in books
“How to get on” when bleak life looks
Alleviate the pain, stop loss,
For those whose life is quite storm-tossed.

That thread emerges: my first cash
Newsletter made and neighbors asked
If they’d subscribe, they did and paid
Like Scouts when I newsletter made.

I even used the same machine
The case now holds my graphics screens
And pens now obsolete today –
Computers fast came into play.

Up north I used more printer’s ink
Promote Co-ops, make people think,
Train youth to photos make for books
Their kids see  how their culture looks –

When put alongside bigger one
Affirm their ways of having fun.
Then in Keewatin handbook made
For Church renewed – a roadmap laid.

In Winnipeg checked printing out
Sold graphic arts, took course about
The printing trade, computer ways
To speed and ease print work today.

My motion picture folded back
Enriching stills – outlet I lacked
But now I see – twelve books I wrote
Print-On Demand of future spoke.

My website is all print (to date)
Resource and roadmap free I’d make
With thesis up for all to see
Enriching life’s enriching me.

I fill the barrel, it or’flows
What I have found, what other knows;
Print carries best the detailed facts
While film as a promoter acts.

A picture’s worth a thousand words
A message better to be heard
Shelf life of books three months at best
Too costly to retain the rest.

But POD and Internet
Have opened up the best ways yet
To spread in printed form the word –
“Map” – code for book, when life’s absurd.

Now come to think, first paying task
Was shut down by my mom quite fast
“Not good to sell from door to door
Such printed stuff, do that no more”.

It worked, I know, I made some cash
Too bad it did, my income slashed,
But more than that, for me, a block
To later income – firm like rock.

But now that obstacle I see
The problem hers, now I’m set free,
To weave on through this channel clear
And make some cash without the fear.

Resources to create this way
Like books and tapes and films which say
“Get on with life, too short is it,
To be stopped short, and there to sit.