Overnight arrival, concealed by dark.
Uncovered by the scratchy-sketch of dawn.
Bleak demeanour, drawn as stubborn and stark.
Bearing the Mistral’s mark; from elsewhere born.
And so blows the breath of an awkward gust;
tugs at the rigging with canvas attached;
agitates, orchestrates a whistling thrust.
And so throws a whisper; from elsewhere hatched.
The unknown foreigner, anonymous,
more shadow than substance; a pirate’s mast
that bears no scrutiny: Notorious.
. Best comes the pedigree by light of day.
. Open to inspection and expose.
© Tim Grace, 28 July 2013
To the reader: Built into the fibre and fabric of this nautical replica is a mischievous spirit. I was at ‘the coast’ doing what poets do at sunrise; walking the wharf. And there she appeared … Notorious … a black caravel. Overnight this ‘dark shadow’ had moored itself to the shoreline. As is her habit, she slips the coast of Australia slinking into ports under cover of dark; under pretence of a plundering prank… black comedy?
To the poet: This poem was written about an experience; a Notorious encounter of sorts. But like so many interesting snippets there’s a larger back-story. While writing the poem I had no idea the ship was built by an Australian, Graeme Wylie, in his backyard, as recuperative therapy. Graeme, a furniture maker by trade, built the Portuguese Caravel by-eye from surplus wood-stock. In a physical sense, the ship is sheer poetry… a compilation of ideas and a floating metaphor. (reference: http://scienceillustrated.com.au/blog/in-the-mag/vintage/the-mahogany-ship/)