Critical Voice by Terry Locke

Culture

We are all the time negotiating
          humanly created
                    systems of significance.
From axe to axiom
          the collective inscription
                    recollects the primordial premise.
Naming itself is an act
          that plants a flag:
                    Perry Saddle Hut
highest on the track
          the name emblazons a contract
                    between past and future.
History mates with geography
           bespeaks a sense of watershed
                    and time.
Culture is the act of lifting
          these things into
                    an ordered and utilized whole
the realised embrace
          of the social mind;
                    still
on a night on the trail
          in the cosiest of sleeping bags
                    there are gaps for the cold.

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