This week's book, the second part of the Captain's Log series is titled Soundings in Fathoms and Feet. This poem is handwritten on a depth soundings map... as was the previous Captain's Log entry. In this case, the map is a digital copy of a vintage December 18, 1976 map of the ocean around the Bahamas Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The original map, measuring 30 inches by 56 inches, has been reduced to 14 x 17 inches. The book can be stored rolled up as a scroll or tacked to a wall, just as a utilitarian map might be posted.
|handprinted poem on the map|
|the map title and date|
|close up of the Berry Islands to the Andros|
Soundings in Fathoms and Feet
Past the Berry Islands
to the Andros,
the soundings in fathoms and feet
map the Tongue of the Ocean…
one day this would be
some Eden for the rich and famous
to cavort and commune.
A wilderness isolated
by wind and water with
blue holes of mystery and mythic monsters.
Once there were towns
built on dreams of glory and gold
but they crumbled in antiquity
because the soil wasn’t fit
for anything but salt.
From the sea or from tears,
it’s all the same.
In those days, there stood outposts
built for warriors, smugglers, and pirates
until the wars were over, the goods were freed,
and the pirates rehabilitated, or not.
Now, new castles have been built
amid the palm trees and sandy beaches.
They shimmer and gleam in the Caribbean sun
Their beaches and tiki bars
are filled with the sun worshipers of modernity.
from the stress and boredom of their lives,
they lie on the golden beaches
sipping rum-spiked fruit juices
with colorful umbrellas perched in the glasses
matching the patterns of their island clothes,
their pink cheeks and bellies, their bold daydreams.
Elixir of pleasure bubbles up from the blue holes,
shimmers in the cays and channels,
and floats on the Tongue of the Ocean
as the Bahama Islands, a small string of gems
shines from the belt of the Earth.