Aug 30, 2011

The Diary of Capt. John W. Froude ca. 1891

Written by Matthew Battles

Read by Laura-Eve Engel

I took my place among the men
and lessoned to their conversation —
their talk of clews and halliards
and all their catalogues and lists
of ropes and running gear and sails
slablines spankers brail and outhall —
then I showed them magic lantern slides
of kangaroos and horses on the plains.
The ranging foam is bitter as it’s bright
it measures out the world it stretches back
to where it never did begin or always
it’s beginning telling time without intending —
our sail is this bright gnomon casting shadows
on the tumbling furniture of the sea.