state of confusion
He carries with him a treasure box
filled with scrolls yellowed with age,
counting loneliness, loveless years
he guards under locks twice over.
A writer of name in his island home,
between Africa and the Gulf of Guinea,
in a crumbling, rambling plantation,
writing a history of slave trading.
Equatorial tropical isle,
conquests of women he has many,
an artist’s eye searches for beauty,
none had yet met his measure of canon.
She sought only anonymity,
her fortune in a plain black bag,
but long pale tresses set her apart
from peoples of Portuguese purity.
She had arranged for a cottage
far from the eyes of town,
their paths crossed by coincidence,
when onto his land she did wander.
She had lost her way, so it seemed,
while strolling through the palms,
she stumbled over outstretched feet,
where he lay lost in daydreams.
Both startled by the other,
providence, this time, this place,
nonetheless he recognized her
as his long awaited lover.
He helped her reassemble,
brushed leaves from silken strands,
one fell across green eyes, he thought,
“time old man, to assert yourself.”
He gathered up his day’s work,
invited her for something cool,
she accepted the stranger’s hand
somehow sensing she’d come to stay.
These days he writes flowing poetry,
she provides the muse.
© 2000 Corinne Bailey
[This message has been edited by Corinne (edited 02-06-2000).]