Dawn at Palos 3.14.93


Pledged from the dock this half year gone,  

6 months, 8 days without a card, call, text or tweet; 

Disappeared and unheard of no one knew where 

Fallen off the edge of dead reckoning; 

Suffering the beginning of forgetfulness 

Sudden, unexpected, unheralded, mysterious–– 

     Rebirth, resurrection, new life, new world....  


Imagine the last innocent sunrise  

The morning of his return to Spain 

That cargo of world-changing knowledge 

Secreted away, secured in the minds 

Of his crew arriving back into a blind 

World, irenic, unprepared for their news––

     Pregnant with an unimaginable future. 

What frisson was there, there in the sailors’ souls 

Weighing the unbearable energy of history’s pivot 

Were they bursting with desire to reveal, 

Jealous to secure the wealth of their knowing,

Or just weary, welcoming home 

Assuming it would be unchanged by the time,

What they had done, had learned, would share by sunset––

     The first fruit of the fated tree of knowledge.


The magic of an other was made, the turn shown 

First in the new world, unready for the implications; 

Second in the old, insensible of the prestige.


About this

Christopher Columbus sailed from, and returned to, the port of Palos over the winter of 1492/93.

 © Philip Knight 2018