Turtle Island (part one)

Posted by ractrose on 6 Oct 2018 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of turtle-shaped volcanic island




Turtle Island





Lubbers among ye…let the old map speak

While the knees of captives bleed

Aye, this while before the smoking peak

Gets serious


The raft of the merchantman Corinth

Has ridden the surf to the sand

Of lava-rock pounded to glass new-ground

That skins the bare feet, scores the hands

Something horrid is roiling the waters

Blood they say draws her, Poseidon’s bitch

Sea-huntress of myth (hereabouts)

Long-muscled, cannon-bronze

Queen of the sea-cave

Guardian of the narrow way


Yet our balmy lagoon once had shimmered so blue

Near the wide mouth of Loggerhead Bay

Yet this storm-boding weakness of light

Yet these mists seem an army at march

Yet this stench is the reek of a swamp

And the winds cannot drive it away


All the shore, the landing party warned

Aquiver as though Leviathan tiptoed towards them

Turn to see

Hear the song of the waves fall shy

All the shore…thuds the hollow of a wooden drum

Lies exposed, the raft, perched

A fathom’s depth below them



To their surprise the island is not void of life

Mutineers escaped with their outcast brides

Sired, years long past, a village of traders

Traders in carvings, in feathers and flesh

Who live on the other side


The parties hail each other

Weaponed and wary

The Corinthmen guilty, a-ringing the pit

With a whip here had driven the captives

And lowering forced them to this

Fast, lads, fast, or the tide will come up

The tide! scoffs the native…why!

She won’t have waited

Now, fool sailors, where goes the sea?

Now where is the Corinth?

Now how will you flee?




Turtle Island

Oil painting of turtle-shaped volcanic island

Turtle Island (part two)
Haunt of Thieves (part seven)











(2018, Stephanie Foster)