Cargo Cult

The ship departed long ago
but still its cargo is stacked
on the beach, plywood crates
delaminating in the hot sun,
for the natives, taking counsel
with their ancestors, chose
not to repeat the calamity
that befell Bora-Bora.

The mission, now in ruins,
did not benefit from the gift
of my remington typewriter,
then in very good condition.
The tides grind to sand
my discarded bifocals.
How long can a wristwatch
stand immersion in saltwater?

No tracts, only a bundle
of obsolescent textbooks.
No portraiture of the lord,
merely a portfolio displaying
their island from the air.
Fabrics that graced my sofa
swirl like algae blooms
in that far-off lagoon.

A letter from the embassy
expresses dismay for items
lost during the uprising.
We have shortwave contact.
Our forces made headway.
The cultists are in disarray.
Seen just over the horizon
is the resumption of trade.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.