The Hand Pushes the Needle Through the Splice

“For three times, by the violence of the wind and sea, we were turned back; and the fourth time, without any contrary wind, we remained motionless for more than an hour, although our caracoa had ninety barrigas.”

~ The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 — Volume 27 of 55 1636-37: Explorations by Early Navigators, Descriptions of the Islands and Their Peoples, Their History and Records of the Catholic Missions, as Related in Contemporaneous Books and Manuscripts, Showing the Political, Economic, Commercial and Religious Conditions of Those Islands from Their Earliest Relations with European Nations to the Close of the Nineteenth Century

My great strength is my great weakness:
rare spice saved for the special occasion,

saffron the sibling of gold. On any other day
its rougher relatives, say salt, or pepper.

Luxury of milk, extravagance of butter,
dwindling stocks once new from the field:

I’ve saved this much, small stores of things
packed tight in the hold, a line of vessels

traveling in convoy down a channel
of traitorous years. Flags of stars

furled tighter than fists until the one
sitting at the prow pushes the marling spike

through the braid, opens her heart and heaves
her heartsick songs full into the wind.


In response to small stone (258).

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