COMMON GROUND: Trails of Human Purposes

Posted: February 3, 2014 in Articles, Common Ground
Tags: , ,

by Fiona Lovatt

From the air this continent is marked with the trails of human purposes: a journey to the water, to the market, to the field; a following of cattle and the cattle spread as they moved on; a tending of the sheep; a need of one sort or another.

These trails contrast with ring roads and railways and suburbs laid out in grids.

There is barely a right angle anywhere in the walking of the people. Coming from one place, heading to another, the paths intersect like star bursts: five or more trails converge on a market place and disperse to clusters of circular thatched roofs. Wandering and meandering as liquid as a river, the people have taken routes, shaped routes as if the soles of feet had kissed the earth and carved these gentle undulations.

And the land, the land is marked by farmers who turned a row on the barely perceived fall of the land, and ran it back around, until all the yams had been used in the planting, or the sugar cane was finished. An arc, a segment, a portion. In shapes that survey the length of a day’s planting or a bounty of seeds, the hunger of a fire, the space between… shapes that English can only call polygons for there is no heed for Euclid here.

The height of trees becomes the third dimension, lifted higher by the flight of birds who carve through the sky the same paths and journeys that make a path into a kind of reconnaissance that confirms the boundaries have been checked, the borders are secure, and the space in between is known in the planting, in the harvest, in the heat and in the wet vast tracts where another century has scoured out a course for vehicles, held together with wire or wealth, a prayer or a purse, and the passengers within report that all this land lies fallow, how lazy the people are, say the riders riding through from one commercial hub to another.

Hubbed and knotted, theodolited in vertical, horizontal, almost perpendicular lives where the doors don’t quite shut, where the gaps are not quite closed, where the third storey leans a little into the car park, the passengers have lost an aesthetic that matched human industry with natural order in the purposeful trails of foot-falling journeys. One wonders who bears the loss: the blind or those who do not see the trails of human purposes written on this land.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

  1. Anene Francis says:

    Observation of the “course of human activities”: diverse, random, yet not in isolation, transforming the face of the earth with individuals contributing small quotas of it. similar to other animals, all within our world. Contemporary times have changed the way these activities are carried out. Abandoning some. A lot of migrations, and congestion. More isolated activities or living. Total deviation from the former purpose or way of living now causing problems.

    I’m just imagining how Lady Fiona would be laughing at my attempt at deciphering this. I don try. Please come and help me o lol
    You sure have a lot of knowledge in several fields. Nice write up. Intellectual.

    Suggestion: The 5th paragraph seem to have 2 points that are quite different. If so, may be better split into two

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      Mr Anene, I do marvel at your air of comprehension…your read and you try hard to understand…I love that.

      And moving on to the post, I feel that this writing is a photograph..yes a picture of fate. Fate is a contribution of choices of each and every man. Purpose here is the reason for the choice, the choice makes the trail…another persons choice crosses over it, and another one and more and more till we get this one giant maze of divine plan…yes Divine plan.

      We are smaller gods, and our actions define the fate of the world…we control the fate of God’s creation..WE, not you, not me, not them, not the Illuminati..,No, We all, both the small and the big…the choices we make today all fit together in the making of this one big Mosaic called: Fate or Divine will.

      I may be wrong, but this is my take.

    • Fiona Lovatt says:

      I am honoured by your attempt to decipher this piece of writing. I am grateful that you read it and that it means something to you.
      In trying to see how the fifth paragraph might become two papragraphs, I see that it is a single, gaspingling long sentence and I quite like that. The conventions of print have gone a-wandering, just as those trails and journeys score the landscape here.

      “… who bears the lost” is a typo, and I like it better than “who bears the loss”… I don;t ming being incorrect when it turns up something lovely. 🙂

  2. Anene Francis says:

    Well mr Solar, a good article of literature such as this and many more here on lyriversity are so good that dropping quality follow up comments or at least comments for encouragement is only the fair thing to do. This one required some brainstorming sha but worth the effort. That was mine, here is yours. I’m expecting much more. hoping…
    mr Solar, you just added another side to this piece. Interesting. Over to you lady Fiona and the subsequent readers.

  3. Moses opara says:

    Fiona writes well and knows how to input words. About the labouring of man on this land.

  4. Anene Francis says:

    Regarding the typo, with the authority you muster over the white man’s language, I can vote for it to be officially endorsed as queen’s english lol. No wahala, after all Shakespeare added and modified a lot in english language.

    As to the 5th paragraph I talked about, a full stop initially between ‘wet and vast’ seem to have disappeared, or maybe it was my eyes 😉 . Clearer now.

  5. timnwaobilo says:


    It’s my view that Fiona is some award winner of some sort. Pure skill. Intelligent deliverage. Master coinage.


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