Handrail held half-aft,

Head swirling green star-scree of blood;

No man mood-lofty is there on earth's midst

But seeks at some hour this day to descend the stair,

Greed-lusting for scones and the hot Ethiope brew.


Palm-sweat and stomach-shiver
Mind thumps meek memory

Of burghers' daughters half-clad

That danced year's eve with stumble-step

On strewn wood.

Faces of leering lads false

That prodded me to down ale flagons unreckoned

Till lauds had rung.


Many such an eve have I strayed here lost

On this isle of ivory charms.

Many nights spent in vain grasping,

Ruining brain's force with reckless revel.


My head yet unhoary is near ghost-drifting,

Gone its old strength before the landing.


(Written Jan. 1, 2004, three or so hours after breakfast--thus 5:00 or 6:00 p.m.?  In homage to Ezra Pound's "The Seafarer.")


Eric Mader








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