Don’t trust the guide-book, or the map:
one notes motorways, an airport, tower blocks;
the other talks of earthquakes, shattered rocks,
ruined houses sheltering wild goats.
Routinely confi dent, to meet the need
for fi rst-hand information, we despatched
our two best men, resourceful and well-matched,
or so the tests and fi eld reports agreed.
One returned within the week: a poor
report, laconic: ‘Nothing to see or do,
people hostile, primitive, and few.’
He leﬅ the fi rm; refuses to say more.
Three years later, now, the other writes:
useless notes of sleepless moonlit nights.