I came by boat, a wooden boat,

half decked and half open.

The barbarian crew carry animals

to sell, in boxes and cages.

When the storms lash our deck

men and animals howl.


Now here’s land for sure:

a smudge of blue hills,

one lighthouse like a white tooth.


I’ve started to think

how the rich people of this land

will look at me

when I get off this boat

with all these animals.


I know!  When I go up to see the Prince

I’ll take Him a beautiful leopard.

—Derek Lamson, September, 1990