The Island of MacGyver*
Twenty-seven rugged miles
Of seven series daytime tv adventuring,
An island road forever circling
Rerun homely action instants,
Cottage industries based on back-room bodging
Harbouring hand-me-down landing craft
And scrap-built midget subs.
Ploughshares duct-taped and remoulded
Into serviceable solutions
By ingenious can-do islanders,
A Swiss Army of blades in hand.
Now departed but not forgotten,
Now already so long gone,
For the clan of Isle MacGyver,
Always could and can
And would and will
And always does and do escape.
Pixel scraped and milled and mapped,
It’s a cartographic semifact,
It’s leger du carte
It’s a world digitally remastered and reprinted,
It’s ground truth,
Ground reground anew.
But, personified or programmatical,
Mapmakers can and will and do
Conspire to place at odd coordinates
Some fake town, Diagon Easter egg
To be that copy taking rival’s
Undoing pitfall trap.
Or maybe site,
A shady downtown Algoe lane,
A quiet cornerstore of mirth.
An impudent reminder,
Of ‘I was here’ but –
This was not there.
Of this and every other chart’s
All too uncertain birth.
*MacGyver was the name of a 1980s and 90s US TV action-adventure show.
In 2010 the Greek island of Samos was named ‘The Island of MacGyver’ by Google Maps after an automated system scraped this name incorrectly from a Wikipedia page that had been mischievously altered.