March -May 2023

Voyaging is the theme of this posting. Scruples #22 was written in mid 2022, coinciding with the publication of three by 3‘s print edition.”Nautical Leeway” was posted in December 2021-February 2022. While editing three by 3, I decided to revise it. The present version is titled “Nautical Leeways”.


Cuzco’s temples worshipped the cosmos—
an imperial sun, earth mother, sibling moon—
on altars gilded with gold, silver, lapis lazuli
bluer than the horizon off Panama.

Pizarro laid claim to fame and fortune by conquest.
The infidel was no match for an army of Christians—
chieftains were vanquished, warriors held hostage,
nobles treated like slaves, their monarch with scorn.


Every year our flotilla weighs anchor from Cadiz,
in due course bounds over the Spanish Main
towards Hispaniola, where plunder’s waiting…
A river of blood flows from the Inca heartland,
carries our galleons back to Castilla full
speed ahead, high and mighty, invincible. 

     Nautical Leeways 


Sailing ships follow the wind’s commands
as directed in due course—tack one way
or another… drift along when none prevail…

Boats propelled by motors are commandeered,
count on a crew to keep them running,
an engineer who knows how and why.
While at sea the captain’s in charge,
his orders always right, never wrong…

A safe harbor welcomes vessels, regardless
of where they’re from, much less destined.
Windborne along with motor driven find
shelter on its premises—a time and place
for safe keeping during bouts of foul weather.



1 comment to March -May 2023

  • Liz Drayer

    I enjoyed each of these – a glimpse into a world I’ve only experienced as a passenger.
    The first one reminded me of grade school, when we learned about the new world explorers and what they “discovered” but nothing about what they destroyed.

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