Tag Archives: travel

Frederick and Geraldine ( Part 3)

Chiara, Arturo’s wife, approached them together with
Lucca and Francesca, the other Italian pair
Saying, ”Is Quare’s invention real? I think it is a myth.”
” His barometer measures the pressure of the air.”

 

 

Chiara wore a red big gown, with lace trimming the low,
A green velvet mantel, which was lined with some ermine,
Square neckline and sleeves, which were gathered at the elbow.
She spoke well Italian, Spanish, and German.

 

 

Italians wanted to disembark at Syracuse.
Bella and Miguel traveled to Barcelona home.
To find a new home, Naimah and his son had an excuse.
Out of their Turkey’s limit, through the storms, they would roam.

 

 

Tia, Athan, Megan, and Karsten would disembark
At Selanik, an Ottoman province, where Ahmed
The Third was reigning while his war was a fire in the dark.
They were Greeks being born during the reign of Mehmed.

 

 

Marco and Rosa, Cruz and Pedra, Pedro and Carla
Were Portuguese pairs coming home from America.
They had bought from the Pueblo Indians some ollas.
They gave one to the Russian pair, Ivan, and Erica.

 

 

Ivan said, ”Tell me something about these Indians.”
Carla said, ”Their belief means dualism; they eat corn.
Some of them became Catholic due to the Spanish civilians.
They think they emerged from the underwater space to be born.”

 

 

Carla wore a black cap, having a veil, and a green gown
Patterned with acorns and flowers, and her sleeves were caught
With jeweled clasps on the lace at the elbow; her eyes were brown.
”The water is fresh in the ollas; I like their color a lot.”

 

She asked Ivan” Now, where do you go? ” ‘’We left the war.”
”Ahmed and Peter the First! ” replied Cruz, ” tell me something,
How could you reach Constantinople after coming from a far ”
Zone? ””I do trade with them, but this war destroyed everything.”

 

”Did you lose everything you had? ” Marco asked Ivan.
”To make business in Turkey, I sold all my Russian goods.”
Erica tried this conversation to enliven,
”In Portugal, we’ll search for a job in cities and hoods.”

 

Marco wore a banyan with a patterned lining; his cuffs
Were embroidered in gold; his justacorps and stockings
Over his breeches were red like Rosa’s shoes and muffs.
All of them wore periwigs and talked a lot while walking.

 

(Geraldine, Maya, and Pedra were talking in the kitchen while drinking some Jasmine Yin Zhen tea.)

 

”Between Bosphorus and Dardanelles, the waters are calm, ”
Geraldine Said, ”I love the life and the sea while being on this ship.”
Maya said, ” Let me see the meaning of the lines in your palm! ”
”I worked a lot; I can’t feel my hands when something I grip.”

 

 

Maya insisted, ” Let me rub your hands with Gilead’ balm! ”
”I can’t stand the hustle and the bustle of some big cities.
Will you predict my future after reading my palm?
”You’ll be surrounded by death coming from the waves’ ditties.”

”What is this balm? ” ” It’s an extract from the bakha shrubs.”
”Where did you find this shrub? ” ”This extract is brought from Chios,
Where this tree grows near the sea; I use it to make balm and drugs.
It’s good for the stomach and prevents the skin infections.

 

I used it also to make bread tsoureki.” ”It’s sweet, ” Pedra said,
”You must know that this tree excited the cupidity of many invaders-
The groves of Jericho.” Maya touched her, ”Are you afraid? ”
”It’s a place where to fight Titus, Joshua, and the Crusaders

 

Emerged, ” Pedra took a long look at her, ”Do you have children? ”
”I have two boys who live in the southern part of the Ottoman Empire.
My husband died.” ”Why did you come here? ” ”I’m a poor woman.
Now, it’s a war; I want to work here, not to walk through the fire.’’

 

(Maya left the kitchen. On the deck, Marco, Rosa, and Cruz stopped for a few minutes their walk to admire the Marmara Sea while approaching Çanakkale.)

 

”Anybody who wants to pass through the Dardanelles
Must pay a tax. So, we must sit at the anchor in waiting
For an opening of this small Port of Çanakkale, ”
Said Cruz. ” About buying fuel, the seamen are still debating, ”

 

Said Marco.” This city is placed on two continents.”
” The shape of the strait is akin to that of a river.”
” Its history started with Troy. The tidal currents
Make this time of wait at Anchorage a deceiver.”

 

 

”The Dardanelles is the most dangerous waterway, ”
Said Rosa, ” Maya and Naimah are talking fiercely.”
Cruz said, ”They’ve seemed not to know each other until today.”
”What happened, Maya? ” ”He can’t stop speaking viciously.”

 

”It’s a fuel crisis, because of the lack of supply, ”
Said Athan, ‘many mines exploit lead, copper, and iron.”
”They are smelted with charcoal, which only some people may buy, ”
Said Karsten, ” some people have the powers of the lions.”

 

 

” There are heavy demands for the forests to build castles,
Cathedrals, houses, ships, mills, and machinery, ” said Cruz.
”The fuel for glass and brewing industries is on hassles, ”
Said Pedro, ” this drill of the coal deposits has an excuse.

 

 

I’ve heard the steam engine has a low efficiency.”
Tia said, ”overland, the costs of the transport are very high.
The English iron industries still lose their proficiency.”
Megan said, ” this revolution adds up to one big lie.”

 

 

”I’ve heard that, in Selanik, the Jews control the commerce, ”
Said Marco.”Greeks, Turks, Armenians, or Jews, ” said Athan,
”They can equally thrive the economy of Selanik,
Whether they read the Bible, the Torah or the Quran.”

 

 

Tia wore a fine golden silk brocade jacket having
A metallic gold floral lattice design and shape,
A petticoat of ribbed silk embroidered with silk yarn forming
Loops; its front fastened with clasps, tightened in back with cotton tape.

 

 

Karsten’s navy blue, collar, cuffs, and skirts were embroidered
With cream silk ‘point Beauvais’ garlands of pearls and flowers.
Athan’s vest of silk moiré and coat were pumpkin colored.
‘Twas embroidered with silver thread and silver sequins.

 

 

Tia and Athan were in need of loans for short terms
While intending to bridge the time gap between the pay
Of the taxes and the take of the sums from the owners of some firms.
They traveled to find those wealthy Muslims that loaned money.

 

 

”People can’t pay heavy taxes and accrue deficits.”
”They must pay these sums even their finances are low.”
”All these payments are done for the Empire’s benefits.”
”In this condition, Selanik is a place left to go.”

 

 

‘’To prevent people from leaving, the Empire minimized
Their losses while enacting a kaskamot that obligated them
To pay and to leave behind them a guarantor.” ”It’s civilized! ”
”If the women and the orphans can’t pay, the Muslims don’t condemn

 

 

Them, ” ”There’re allowances for the persons donating or loaning sums
And for the philanthropic acts like the payment for the abject poor.”
”They take from any owner or any visitor that comes,
From birth, from death and from the sacrifice passing their temple door.”

 

”Gabella is a tax levied on the purchase of a basic test
Kosher for foodstuffs like wine, meat, and cheese.”
”The rich men pay instead of the poor people to prevent their arrest.”
”There’re some taxes for those goods that are brought over the seas.”

 

”Here, the new public buildings are built using an eclectic style
To project the European face of this Empire.
”Our monasteries are the centers of learning for a while.”
”The head of the Orthodox Christians is like a Vizier.”

 

(Tia, Athan, Megan, and Karsten disembarked at Selanik while Frederick and some sail men went to buy fuel.)

(To be continued…)

Frederick and Geraldine (Part 2)

That ship used to carry passengers and some cargo.
‘Twas cozy and elegant for the ladies’ travel.
The outdoor spaces and the suites were cleaned by Fargo.
Its furniture and artworks were dreams to unravel.

 

They had tobacco, Indian spices, and old wine,
Making sure that the passengers wouldn’t miss anything.
Searching for food and water, when the stars started to shine,
Freddy hired Maya because she knew to do everything.

 

Maya was an old woman having black eyes and white hair,
And she had a deep, long scar above her upper lip.
The crew got ready to leave the port, feeling despair
In waiting for the last passengers to board the ship.

 

”She will prepare the meals as a woman of the sea.
She will help you give birth to the child when the time will come.
Why do I sometimes feel like someone is watching me?
He always appears in my way; those moments I’m numb.

 

He’s a tall and a lean man dodging out of my way.
He has three daggers and a gold ring with a boom skull.”
”Sulim said something about a sea wolf, ” ”What did you say? ”
”Ask Sam to follow him, and to put him in a lull.”

 

”It’s dangerous to follow him, ” ”Now, where is his ship? ”
”Near wild shores or isolated places, well hidden.
Due to my accident, I left the army swords that rip.”
”I left my home for you, ‘ cause this love was forbidden.”

 

(She started to cry while thinking that her father died because she left the home without his approval to marry Frederick. While crying, she fell asleep. Frederick fell asleep while being worried about their future.)

The ship had left the port two hours before Geraldine
Said, ‘’I feel that I’ll never turn back here again! ”
She passed through the waiting line formed to use the latrine.
Suddenly, she heard a thunder in that rush of rain.

 

They had insufficient fuel, but enough food to last
Until their arrival in Çanakkale; the kitchen
Was quite large and Maya started to cook very fast.
”Maya, what smells so good? ” She said, ” the last fried chicken.”

 

Ibrahim was seventeen years old, and he helped them
Prepare the breakfast for the passengers; he entered
To bring a basket of coal and jet. ‘’It looks like a gem.”
He took a coal into his hand to see if it was splintered.

 

”It is increasingly difficult to sleep at night, ”
Geraldine said; the ship was sailing forward slowly.
The waves were small, and a galleon came into their sight.
It had the color of those waters being shoaly.

 

‘Twas a commercial one sailing in the same direction.
A gust of wind ruffled her hair and snatched her blue bow.
The splashing waves with the rain drops were in the connection.
That ship was sailing fast, but none of their sailors knew how.

 

Maya took the kettle of water coming to a boil;
Prepared some bread with butter and some cheese for the people-
Twenty passengers and fifteen sailors freed from toil.
The bells that rang were like those being in a steeple.

 

There was a bang as the ship might have been hit by a reef.
Sam had looked up and had said that the square sail
Deteriorated slightly in the wind; then, the chief
Asked Sam to repair it.”There are two techniques that never fail.”

 

”Do you see that ship in the distance, on the horizon? ”
”It must be a Spanish galleon bringing cocaine
Laced with some wine, ” said Brisbon whose face was wrinkled and wizen.
”They sail across the Pacific Ocean from New Spain.”

 

”They’re longer, lower and narrower, with a square tuck stern
And have snouts projecting forward from the bows below
The forecastle level.” They forced their eyes to discern
The sun rising and making the water have a golden glow.

 

” These galleons are fast and very maneuverable.
They enable the seamen to sail closer to the wind, ”
Said Fargo.”Old ship’s problems are innumerable.”
Freddy said, ” a thought of buying a new ship is in my mind.”

 

Mary had nine cannons to defend against the pirates.
The passengers lived in large cabins having low ceilings.
This carrack was steered by Sam, the best between pilots.
Three decks and the crew’s quarters made it look as a building.

 

Their quarters and the captain’s house were on the upper deck.
With a long boat and a shallop, this carrack was safe.
The kitchen was near the cabins; the food they could check.
The food didn’t push people against the restraints to chafe.

 

This vessel had hatches to be used between the floors.
On the lower deck, near the cargo, ’twas the gun room.
There, they stored some guns and powder hidden behind the locked doors.
Their scent was blurred by the salt and by the ladies’ perfume.

 

The waves and the missing light made this deck cold and damp
For flour, biscuits, dried meats, and vegetables, water and beer.
The seamen entered in that place using a small lamp.
One by one, Sam and Sulim were moving the rudder to steer.

 

The capstan used to heave up the anchor placed at the bow.
The binnacle stood directly in front of the wheel.
Through the compass, to have a night vision it could allow.
The magnetic deviation they could see and feel.

 

The sailors used the hourglass to measure their duty time
An astrolabe helped them see the position of the stars.
Their chip board measured the speed during the stormy clime.
The Cross staff was skillful to see those ships of the wars.

 

”Give me the quadrant to see the dawn star’s altitude! ”
Freddy told Sam, ”Why did you choose to buy a carrack? ”
”Provisions for long sails, but I can’t say with certitude.
It’s stable in heavy seas and helpful during attacks.”

 

‘Did you hear about der Eyck? ” Continued Frederick.
”His instrument for longitudes and latitudes is new, ”
Said Arturo, a Spanish passenger, ” it’s not a trick.”
”I’ll buy the Plantius’ version for me and for my crew.”

 

(to be continued…)

 

 

 

Cityscape

 

The red, green, yellow street signs flash at me.

With trembling hands, I honk, whisk.

The faint neon lights of the city flicker and blaze.

I am steering my way to the rhythm and pace of vehicles

Moving sideways, up, down and center.

I am using the break incessantly,

Cursing every twisted move I make,

Every street sign I am unable to follow,

Every wrong turn I end up with.

 

I am riding, in bumps and bolts,

While the neon lights, the streets fly past me

In synchronized movements, cooked with frenzy and oblivion.

In the blinding maze of uncertain miles,

Wild bugs screech inside my stomach

Make cracking movements, as my legs race up the accelerator.

I am shoving the car, its wheels and our bodies

Into the city’s farthest boundaries, mapping each road,

Each turn, each exit, rolling and stuffing them in my pockets,

The wheels crushing footprints like dismantled crumbs.

 

I am chewing my pie slices of proximity,

Hatching the intrigue of flying distant realms

While the city calls me out in broken syllables.

I have a splintered grin, wave at the hoisted hands,

At the outstretched fingers, the harmonic choir.

The streets are winding and long,

Embracing highways and horizons under abstract skies.

I weigh out my latitudes and longitudes of leaving.

The default settings of my memories,

They concede with the journey.

I collect them, stuff them in cardboard boxes,

Push them to the boundaries of nowhere.

 

I am shoving the car in the dead end of the city.

Shattered, in splinters and shards.

Down the quiet, grey streets, I drive like an old ghost,

In the break of dawn, flashlights blink like omens.

Lopa Banerjee. October 20, 2014