Lost Lands

 

Let us list the lost lands,
islands which disappear in mist,
names from myth:

Lethowstow, Cantref Gwaelod,
Ker-Ys, Lomea and Lyonesse
taken by the sea. Lost to us

Atlantis, Hyperborea, Thule —
ancient Greek speculation.
Kumari Kandem, land of Pandiyan kings;

Hy-Brasil, Udrost: folk memory
of ice-age lands, tall-yarning
by sailors, or navigational error.

Step from the cave mouth, the hut door,
the coracle: a world unknown.
Before maps — songs and stories.

Yet in 1831: an odour of sulphur
blackens silver in Sciacca. Ships
report a sea monster (bubbling),

dead fish and a column of smoke
visible from St Domenico. The volcanic
island of Ferdinandea rises like Venus

and is claimed by the French Navy,
the British Navy, the Spanish
Government, and the King of Sicily

before sinking back beneath the waves
— its sovereignty unresolved —
in 1832. It will return, they say.

Aly Stoneman

Published in Lost Lands, (2012), Crystal Clear Creators

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