Cape Horn


Ahab found his madness
    pulling ‘round Cape Horn,
Bound down before his sirens—
    howling Odysseus,

There where the seas broke through
Hyper-extended America, twin
Who’d fain stretch themselves thin
    as Panama,
Pole to pole to barricade Magellanic

But Patagonia stretched too thin, and the waters
    broke the Andean spine,
and the cold blood poured through, pushed
    vertebrae out before it,
Warped Patagonia, Antarctica inward
like pincer-horns—a narrow funnel
For all the polar seas
And the southern gales to ride through;
Storms sliding down the Andes,
And beneath the wave crests:
    prowling icebergs,
    creeping coastal shallows.

Plenty bad with the Roaring Forties,
    Furious Fifties riding your back,
But a watery hell with them whistling
    ‘twixt your nostrils and teeth;

Twice dismasted the Garthwray
Before she finally turned about, sailed
‘round the world to reach Chile
    from Argentina;

And Magellan and Drake snuck through,
    lost half their ships,
But the Spanish, for their part, preferred
To cross the land and build new fleets
Than rip hull and sail
    on the Horn.

© 2014–15 Kaweah


This entry was posted in Verse.

3 comments on “Cape Horn

  1. Ken Forgie says:

    I read your oppinion of the Baha’i faith and I found you stretching the concepts to suit yourself. I’m not sure why you have a problem with Baha’i principals but I hope something corrects you, eventually.

  2. Igneous1 says:


    What, may I ask, does the Baha’i religion have to do with Cape Horn? That aside, your calling of the motives of a person into question (“stretching the concepts to suit yourself,” you say) without mentioning so much as a single such concept, demonstrates a key fault of many theists: you seem to think you can judge souls.

    Say hi to God for me.

  3. Dale Husband says:

    Ken Forgie, criticisms without specifics are pointless. Please specify the cases in which Dan (Igneous1) did what you claimed. If you do not, I shall dismiss you as a liar.

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