Cibola 10

Beginnings (cont’d)

Where memories fail,
where the chroniclers fall silent,
songs spring up to fill the void:
Seven bishops set sail on seven ships
in the year of our Lord
seven hundred & fourteen,

fleeing the African invaders,
the Moorish warriors for a new faith
irrupting in the heart of the old.
Thus the Iberian balladeers
for centuries keep stringing out
new verses: the freedom-seekers
settle in the West,
rebuild their Seven Cities
on the blessed isle first envisioned
by pagan Greeks. Antilla,
growing in the minds of errant
knights & vision-questing friars
until it occupies most
of the space on the globe
between Portugal & Japan:
unspoken goal of Columbus,
Vespucci, Cortez.
A kingdom without a king, marked
by all the purported virtues of
the early Church–peace,
brotherhood, charity. No use
for jails, no heretics,
no famished lions.

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