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Thursday, July 11, 2013


Waterhouse - Miranda

Illustration for The Tempest
Simi - 1910-Dreamer's Tale-Bird of the River


They were lighting small lanterns
All the way across the headlands.
Ships were coming.  They
Had been seen from the pilot hill.

Bright flares on the tops
Of their masts.  The lights
They carried were of many colors and
Occasionally shot bursts
Of colored flame into
The high atmosphere
Illuminating the bottom 
Of the clouds.

The coming of these ships
Had been foretold but
They were not expected
To arrive in the dead of winter.

The children had begun
Behaving strangely about
A month ago and the Teal
Gulls were seen on the 
Edges of the Father glade.

At night the booming 
Of the fisher bells
Could be heard at
Curious hours of the night.

There was a hesitant
Music coming from the
Taverns that was neither
Joyful nor sad.  It held a
A great sense of longing in its notes.
We were unable to determine 
If there were words to the songs.
The crowds grew well into the night.

The ships arrived much past midnight.
Were these sailors Gods

Then, plucked from the night
And to be proclaimed
Throughout the land?

Their garments were magnificent.
Some of us could see 
Them, some could not.
Quickly there were stories of them
Before the morning came
People were waiting upon
Them for answers.
The ships glittered with lights.

In the morning they were but
Hulls abandoned and gray.
Peopled by shades the same gray
As the forged bullets with which
the world infects itself.

There was no conversation.
There were no oracles.
Glimmers ran softly up the sails
Like fairy lightning and
Nothing was forthcoming.

All day they sat in the harbor,
A kind of fungus on the water.
By nighttime fires were
Started on their decks.
They burned with sickly
Colors and drove flights
Of dark birds around
And around their sails
Even as they burned.

On the following morning,
Ashes on the water.
The children packing 
Their lunches and
Heading off for school
Whistling tunes and
Singing songs we 
Had never heard before.

By the end of the week
We were once more
Upon the beautiful
Hills gazing out to sea.

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