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Odyssey from Africa 14g 15a

Odyssey from Africa 14g

“This research by young Alinda
Tells us something most important 
For we find upon our beaches
Plants that are entirely different 

“From the flora on our island 
Or from the adjacent mainland 
This can only have one meaning!”
Said the king, with rising passion 

“That across the ocean vastness
There are distant lands and coastlines 
And our world is so much larger
Than the limits of our vision 

“What to us seem wide horizons
Are a spot upon the surface 
Of a world immense and wondrous 
Filled with things beyond our knowledge!

“Please keep up your great endeavours!”
Said the monarch to Alinda
Who by now was shyly blushing 
“For you truly are a scholar!”

Han and Ptolemy departed
Back outside into the gardens 
Where the king now spoke in earnest 
Spoke to Han his soul’s deep yearning 

Chapter 15 Southland

“Now I’ll tell another mystery 
Of a secret burning passion 
Something seen in nighttime dreaming
In a strangely lucid vision

“First the seed of it was planted
In the watching of the night sky
In the charting of the seasons 
Of the stars and moon and planets

“Their great canopy rotating 
With the turning of our planet
Shining myriad beams of starlight 
From unfathomed time and distance 

“It was further fed and watered
By the study of wild creatures  
By the annual migrations
Of the birds and whales and fishes
“They depart from our horizons 
Who can say how far they travel?
As they search the earth for solace
Round its vast and curving surface 

“And I glimpsed it on the beaches
In the flotsam and the jetsam 
In the sun-bleached twigs and branches
That have crossed the widest oceans

“Then it came to me at nighttime 
In a jolting of the senses
As I borrowed in my dreaming
Of the eyesight of a seabird 

“And I soared above the ocean
In a sunlight that was alien
Then beheld a distant coastline 
Coming nearer, growing wider

“Till I saw a land of wonder
It was vast beyond describing 
Still I sensed it was an island 
In a boundless southern ocean 

“There were mighty broadleaf forests 
And a wilderness of red stone
There were winding river valleys 
Grassy plains and stony scrubland 

“I saw not one single human
In this wide and lonely landscape 
Not one sign of habitation 
Any traces of encampment 

“As the seabird of my vision 
Quietly glided and descended
Nearer to an open grassland 
I beheld the strangest creatures  

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Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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