The sails have a belly-full of siroccos,
Raging to fly if only the hawsers are not tied
To the catheads on the starboard.
The pulleys are creaking mad
And banging themselves to destruction
Against the masts but the boom
Is holding and will not be constrained
To do the wind’s bidding.
If we could give meaning to nature,
The wind wants us to fly to those beacons
On the horizon. Yet be still, my caravel,
Be still, even if the wind cannot,
For we will sail way past those fires
And their alluring shores, past where no sailor
Has been, where no pirate has dreamed.
We will sail not for the doubloon
–that’s for ordinary men to hunger for–,
But to satisfy this Odysssian longing to know
–the spice is only an excuse–
Strange shores and habits and tongues and arms,
Again not for glory–that’s for kings and princes
Whose hands are too soft to rig a mast.
Where is that Moluccan apprentice
Who will sweeten my tongue to the native people
At the end of the round earth?
So I don’t have to use steel in order to persuade
some recalcitrant minds.
You, there, at the crow’s nest,
Do you see Enrique coming?
Here at the mouth of the Guadalquivir river,
The bowsprit is pointing straight
Toward the autumn sky, where the galactic clouds
Are visible, a mirage even to the bravest helmsman.
Let’s first go around the globe itself, Enrique,
For it is round in spite of the priests—
I have seen its shadow on the moon–
Then you can come back to the ample bosom
Of your Moorish paramour.
- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones