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Stanislaw
15th March 2011, 10:07 PM
THE PLACE WHERE LIONS STAY Gulf of Guinea, XV Century

( Story of a tragic voyage to the World’s end)

Fernier was the son of merchant from Genoa and he used to help his father with maritime trade from his earliest years. He worked at a goods warehouse counting barrels with wine and oil. He was raised among smells of clone and cinnamon chasing his mates between crates of Guinean pepper and pallets of textiles from Egypt..
Sailors from harbor told incredible stories of a seaman who survived being taken out of a whale’s stomach but lost all hair on his head, his skin went unnaturally white and lost his eyesight. Stories about lions with human faces and scorpion – like tails and dogheads from the far North. They told about porphyry, amethyst and crystal palaces and gold from the Mali Kingdom.

At the age of 16 years he got his first globe and a portolan chart - a World map made of calf skin from his father. The atmosphere of harbor and the smell of oriental goods and sailors’ stories awoke in the boy a desire to travel.
At last came the moment to sail off into a virgin. Fernier was to Ravel close because only up to Northwest coast of Africa to check the famous markets of Maghreb. The ship filled up with wool along with glass and tin plates (which were to be exchanged for eastern spices) reached the coast of Morocco after15 day. Fernier Stopped At the market place in Anfa – today’s Casablanca. There he witnessed huge Camel markets and saw local fishermen catching tuna and corals. Here he bought some candles and olive.
Then he started walking in circles. He reached Madera where He bought sugar and despite the fact that by then He could hale returned, something kept pushing him South.
He was not satisfied with cargo holds full of attractive goods as other sailors would and instead of returning to Genoa he decided to explore what lies further........
When he reached the Gulf of Guinea his map ended. He spread the veal vellum – the map of a Venetian Fra Mauro from Moreno monastery and knitted his eyebrows. The map did not cover Southern seas and lands. The outline of last known seas and lands was followed by drawings of mermaids, sphynx and unicorns – symbols of devil resembling characters from Genoan stories about centaurs, bearded women and hairy giants living at World’s end. .
Fernier came out onto the deck from his primitive quarters. He checked course on water compass – it pointed North. They were moving precisely in the opposite direction as was show by the needle sticking out from a grass stalk floating on water.
Part of the crew was sitting on the deck eating a mix of boiled pumpkin and portulaca with scrags from wooden bowls. The rest were sealing decks gnawed by salt and works with tar and oakum. Sails barely caught light side wind.
He glanced at the map once again. It was beyond dispute that they entered some unknown area..
It was growing dark. Dense clouds whose irregular outline sketched itself on the horizon resembled a risen coastline or maybe some unknown islands?




What will be left of us in his World
apart from trails of crawling
stopovers and escapes?
Caravans of pilgrims and merchants crossed the desert
and disappeared behind the horizon.
Your caravan has also disappeared in a shiny mist.
What did camels of your time carry
under their bellies and on humps?

The horizon got flooded with clouds.
What makes her bulbous
coasts surrounded with night violet?
What kind of exposition is his?
What kind of spatial compounds?
What an incomprehensible tension
at the sight of mountainous islands -
eternal and everlasting?
What a sick euphoria
caused by their closeness?
What is this cornucopia?
What a surreal experience?
-Que significa?

Over horizon’s Southern border-
a corneous spur of a fairytale rooster
or maybe a mermaid, sphinx or a unicorn?
Six corneous crossbows, few javelins and shields-
are tightly held by Fernier’s crew ready
ready to fight monsters, singing “ Salve Regina”….
Someone swears to goon a pilgrimage
with a five pond handle to Holy Mary in Loreto….
Somebody notices a hairy giant in the dark…