Sestina in Account of TD+1
This poem and small collection of images represent some the only extant knowledge of the first era of the P.C.A. Due Return. Whether or not these items can be attributed completely to Banks is a matter of some debate, based on oddities of the original. They must otherwise speak for themselves.
time was once a tide, rolled long out in whisper,
and ships it dragged, dragged in our hopes and homes,
not cruel, but tore our comrades, tossed our womb-borne
captain, asleep in myrrh and mother onto shore,
another wreck in the margins of wrack and calm,
time’s salvage bay then still but for the words.
and time rolled in, told mother of its words
and time, and the captain’s birth a whisper.
over the wreck came a nightfall and calm,
sky of seablown granite clouds, and empty homes
began to glow in amber on the shore,
like satellites turning in their wombs.
in the salvaged hull, captain grew from womb,
by mother and time, had learned his words
and found out the people who lived ashore,
reconstructing their tower of whispers.
mother and son left the scrapped ship of home
and began to live with the builders in calm.
the rhythm of time for builders was calm,
their labors to bring radio from the womb
and restore a craft to seek out new home.
the boy fast learned to play their crafts and words,
and the builders hopes grew from small whispers
to full talk of sending themselves from shore.
the boy was found at play in ships on shore
and despite the builders’ number, kept his calm.
they entreated him at first in whispers,
“this place for you has been but another womb,
and now the time has grown beyond our words:
we think you can lead us to our home.”
the captain’s thoughts were little of a home,
time had ever drawn his feelings to the shore,
the ebb and crash the breathing in his words,
the storms and clouds and wrack his sweetest calm,
so his throat he opened like a secret womb,
his thoughts he traced out for them in whispers:
“though this home has taught me to build in calm,
i see this shore as but border to a womb.
we shall go forth upon our words and whispers.”