Odyssey from Africa 14b

Chapter 14b (King Ptolemy the Second)

With a travel bag to carry
Their belongings and essentials
And they rode by wheel-borne carriage 
On the road down to the harbour 
 
There they stepped aboard the vessel
That would take them to the city
To the royal Cannabarro
North along the western coastline 

This took one whole day of sailing 
Thus it was already evening 
When their boat approached the harbour 
Of the kingdom’s foremost city

At the Island’s northern tip they
Saw the different vegetation 
Growing in the drier climate 
Of the west and central regions

Stands of mighty baobab trees with
Swollen trunks devoid of foliage 
Made the land seem strange and alien 
To the family from the mainland

They were welcomed at the jetty
Where a team of dogs at harness 
Pulled along their four-wheeled carriage
On the road to Cannabarro 

At the margins of the roadway 
Here and there a torchlight flickered
Trying to demark a boundary 
With the dark and vibrant forest 

Once they rode across a causeway 
Over an expanse of water
Spanning proud from seven arches 
Inter-latticed wooden pylons

Outlined in the silver moonlight 
And in glinting gold from torches
Then they rolled into the outskirts 
Of the town of Cannabarro 
 
Here they glimpsed prestigious houses
Dwellings of high-ranking people 
As their carriage shared the highway 
With a tide of human traffic

Till they passed a guarded gateway 
In the dark of fleeting twilight 
Into royal palace gardens 
Ornamental trees and flowerbeds 

Faintly lit by moon and torchlight.
Up ahead they saw the palace 
Saw the regal high roofed mansion 
Paneled with substantive timbers
 
Smooth, ornate and brightly polished; 
Now they drew up to its entrance 
Where the waiting royal servants
Helped them to descend the carriage 
 
They were led across the threshold
To the guest wing of the palace
Here they dined in royal style
Then slept the night in ornate bedrooms

Late next morning Han was summoned
By a royal court official
And was guided through the palace
To a long and high roofed chamber
 
At its center stood a table
Covered with a bounteous luncheon 
And by sparkling blown glass vessels
Filled with bright and fragrant beverage 
 
Han was wide-eyed with amazement 
Seeing glasswork for the first time
Now an entourage approached them
Ent’ring by the facing doorway


*****
"Odyssey from Africa and
The Adventures of Ipiki"
Can be found on Amazon, in
Paperback and Kindle versions
*****

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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