Spring 2022, Volume 43, No. 1
What do wild turkey shenanigans, space satellites, portals in your kitchen and mountain climbing have in common? You can find all of those things in Uncharted Territory!
This issue features new writing by George Elliott Clarke, Bänoo Zan, Marlene Grand Maître, Michael Fraser & more!
Cover image “Uncharted Territory” by Diana Thorneycroft
George Elliott Clarke
Joel Robert Ferguson
Marlene Grand Maître
Noeme Grace C. Tabor-Farjani
The Symbolic Cemetery by Bob Armstrong
The narrow-gauge mountain train whisked them from the pastures around Poprad to the base of the Tatras, where a Warsaw Pact–era holiday village loomed out of the fir and spruce. Barracks-like concrete hotels, their walls blackened with mildew, likely appeared more alluring forty years earlier when they welcomed party members who’d met their quotas for producing iron or informing on antisocialist elements. Here and there sleek, glassy post–Cold War villas indicated new economy money that had been tossed around by those who’d ended up running banks in Bratislava or perhaps brothels in Rotterdam.
A group of Germans, their bulging packs adorned with clipped on ropes, helmets and axes, disembarked along with Thomas and Rebecca. Despite their heavy burdens, they set a rapid pace and soon vanished from sight.
After two hours of climbing through thick forest, Thomas crested a ridge and saw before him a blasted landscape of scattered deadfall and shattered standing tree trunks. He rested on his trekking poles and surveyed the scene as Rebecca caught up. He heard her sharp intake of breath.
“Wow,” she said. “Avalanche?”
Thomas shook his head.
“It’s a wind they get here. I read about it in the guidebook. Weather systems from Poland get funnelled through the mountain passes and reach hurricane speed. Don’t worry. It’s just a winter thing.”
Rebecca pointed to the white fang of a peak visible through a gap in the clouds. “Looks like an early winter to me.” …
Tsunami Season on Lake Agassiz by Joel Robert Ferguson
Dreamt of the wave again.
Now I’m far from the Atlantic
shore, upstaked from the fisherman
Disneyland, the salty pastoral
of summer manse-upon-sea
and well-off come-from-aways.
Make a life in flatlands
at the forks of two great rivers,
two days’ drive (that’s with uppers)
from any ocean
(jokes about gas-station sushi). …
Peregrinatio by Nancy Huggett
I always intended to do the Camino Compostela Santiago. I fell in love with the idea of being a pilgrim, of pilgrimage. Was enticed by the promise of the landscape—from the steep rocky incline of the Pyrenees, through the long stretch of the Meseta, to the woodlands of the Galicia—and of great swaths of interior silence. Sleeping in refugios, yes, with bedbugs. I’d done my research. But that combination of walking and silence called to something in me that was either a filament of the past or a line to the future, I was never sure which. I bought and read books by pilgrims, pored over the different routes, looked at training schedules, shoe options. I scrutinized the calendar of our life and set sixty, that croning age, as the departure goal. The time when I could get away for a month or two. Save enough, plan enough, put enough minor supports in place for my husband Dan and our daughter Jessie, who would by then be in her late twenties. Her disability (Down syndrome) had become a norm in our lives and offered more perks than pain. Her continued growth into independence, her growing career as a professional dancer in an inclusive dance company, an advocate, a writer and a speaker all pointed me to the path out the door and down the Camino. …