Take one large island (Australia will do).

Smoothing off any uneven shorelines,

press offshore materials such as islets and reefs

into the mainland. Check that your coasts are clean.


Slice through under the bedrock,

taking care not to disrupt or fracture the crust

(base fabric must be kept intact).

Fold your four corners in over the top

of the mainland. Once they overlap

in the centre seal them tight;

make sure you have no spillage

of loose materials. On each side

seal the overlap creases.

Please ensure the overall package is secure.


Repeat with other suitable landmasses of your choice.


Advanced students may care to attempt the exercise

using a contained aquatic area

(e.g. one of the Great Lakes, the Caspian Sea).

Take the sea-bed as your base and,

if necessary, coastal land regions

as extra side support. Great care

must be taken to avoid leakage of water

during this more intricate operation.


Place your completed parcels

in a cool dry place.

Do not expose to shocks

or direct flames. Keep them safe.

Give them to a friend who likes surprises.



Now I thought I would have real trouble finding an image for this one, but there were hundreds under ‘origami map’. This was one other people tended to like, whereas I was lukewarm on it. I do like it better now, with its ‘instructionalese’. I’m pretty sure it was published in a magazine called Smith’s Knoll. Out of all the publications that I read or submitted to in those days, Smith’s Knoll was my favourite and I had a subscription for 2 or 3 years…and I was amazed to find out just a minute ago that they were still going until the end of last year, though sadly that was the final edition. Unlike some other poetry mags, they weren’t elitist or snobby, the content always seemed to be stuff I liked, and when you submitted material the editors weren’t afraid to give advice, always in a positive way (again unlike some). I have a sneaking suspicion they might have suggested that I get rid of the last two sentences in ‘…Origami’, advice that I should have heeded. They did ask me to change the title, and I’m glad I didn’t give in on that one.