Coronado

December 20, 2014

January across Barbados
Has never been very kind,
Harsh Atlantic winds can
Scatter ships just like
Petals on a pond,
And the coming of the
Rainy months seemed
To push people from
Bad to worse.

This island nation is
Peopled by grief, and an
Innate desire for both
Money and death, and
Both are handed out
On a daily basis.
But out in the crystal
Waters, there were far
Worse things to fear.

One such dreaded ship
Preyed the trade routes
With total impunity:
The Coronado.
Her infamous signal,
Three angled chevrons,
Pale blue and ochre
And all that was known
Was that her captain is
A dark and sinister figure
Who never dealt with
Anyone face to face.
A shady tyrant, who
Crowned himself the
Ruler of the seas.

A thousand tales
Told in hushed voices
Throughout every inn
And tavern described,
Often with grim detail,
The plunder of the
Coronado crew.
It was said that they
Always left the enemy
Captain alive, adrift in
One of his own rowboats,
With naught but a pistol
And a single shot for it.

What most did not know,
However, was that the
Captain of the Coronado
Was no king over Barbados,
But a queen, both fair
And unerringly cruel.
Each sunken colony ship
Was just another jewel
Set in her pirate crown.

Her path not chosen by her,
She tries to purge the seas
Of her guilt by burning all
And surrendering nothing.

MSBQ

Carthage, Ohio

April 24, 2013

The dusty outskirts of
A new settlement- upon
The edge of the wild-
That is where they
Discovered it.

The woodsmen said
It was the mightiest
Ash tree in the world;
Even the new mayor
Had never seen one
Even half the size.
Children stood in awe,
And the scholars, in
Their hushed voices
Solemnly referred to it:
“Lignum vitae,
The Tree of Life.”

But it stood squarely
In the path of Man,
Aside a quiet brook
That bubbled through
A well-hidden gorge.
Surely, we must take
The supple bark and
Sturdy lumber, and
Use it to fashion a
Thousand fine homes.

And so, weeks of labor
Passed noisily; some
Even died working tools
To bring the behemoth
Crashing down to earth.
With an eerie sense of
Conviction, the tree
Finally came down.

Over time, our ties with
That life would fade.
There would not
Be another.

MSBQ

The Price of Pride

October 23, 2011

The Aegean once again lapped red
At the cliffs beyond the land of Troy;
He who called himself Alexander
Was brazenly pressing the Persians
Farther and farther to the east.
One particular moment, held then
As a grain of sand in an hourglass
Vibrating silently in mid-air,
When the actions of one permit
The conditions of many…
An officer of Lydia rose his sword
To finish off the Macedonian lord,
A cry rang out, and Melas the black
Swung mightily and sliced with a
Crimson splatter the arm of his
Friend and captain’s enemy.

Only a few short years later,
The one called Melas sat brooding.
His shield-brother and general
Now began to inform him of his
Assignment north, a task for
Dogs of war beneath his valor.
Melas stood, open-mouthed,
And cursed Alexander, much to
The dismay of his many allies.
What began as a drunken quarrel
Between two brothers at arms
Ended with a bloodied spearhead
Through Melas’ chest,
Frozen in time with the
Most peculiar look of surprise.

MSBQ