New World

They set sail,
What glory they sought
Departing the civil sphere
For a world unknown
Golden cities, spices
Gems, slaves
What other intoxicants
Filled their dreams?
Sailing over vast
Violent seas in
Boats of wood,
Wooden tubs
Flung across storm
Toss seas by wind
Filled fabric, hand woven
Hand sewn, yet flung up
In the face of God’s breath
“Take me across this sea”
Is their defiant message
What manner of men
Were these, strangers
Going to a land strange
To them demanding
Entry, taking citizens
By violence, expecting
Conquistadors not conquerors
Picked off one by one
Lost in this strange land
Farther away from normal
People of this land asking,
“Are you prophets, ghosts, gods?”
Did they begin to ask themselves
The same as they wandered
In the hot baking sun?
Knowing less and less
Of real
Dreaming merges
With living with knowing
With being, as old life
Unspools into swamps
Runs into vast deserts
Flows into verdant jungles
We are heirs of new
Ways of being
Sparked by mad men
Who lost their civilization
Wandering in a land
Not their own


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